It’s never easy to find oneself immersed in a group of friends so tight that the group is less like friends and more like brothers or sisters. It’s even more difficult to find an entire scene of friends ready and willing to support each other as tight as Tempe and Phoenix’s local music scene.
And Sundressed, a one-year-old folk rock band from Tempe, emulates the closeness of local music.
The band is comprised of vocalist Trevor Hedges, bassist Evan Kees, guitarist Tyler Kees, drummer Garrett Tretta and guitarist Ryan Osterman. These guys, well, they just click. Four out of the five of them live together.
SPM sat down with the guys in Sundressed to film an acoustic session at their home and to talk about their upcoming record and shows, their writing process, and the support they share with other local artists.
“Holy Ghost,” a somber, dreamy tune off their upcoming record that’s due for release in April deals with Hedges’ former addiction.
“It’s kind of a reflection on some addiction that I went through a few years ago in my life,” Hedges says. “If you listen to the lyrics it kind of sounds like a relationship with a person but it’s really about a relationship I had with particular substances. I think people can relate to it by relating it to whatever keeps you up at night.”
Sundressed released a five-song EP shortly after forming together more than a year ago. Musically, though, they’ve grown since then. Now, they’ve accumulated enough songs to release a full-length record they recorded at Audioconfusion.
“We’ve really grown as a band since (our EP),” Hedges says. “Our sound’s gotten a little more raw and that was a little over-produced. Part of the reason we recorded, we don’t really sound like that anymore, I feel like we sound better.”
Writing music, for them and like for any artist, is mostly about the fun of writing and playing as often as possible. Though Sundressed can be caught playing a show almost every weekend, the band won’t always be found in a venue. They gave a shout out to the ASU Chapter of The Underground Foundation, who often throw “awesome” weekend house shows.
Photo by Kharli Mandeville
“Shows are a lot of fun,” Tyler Kees says. “We just like to play music and that’s the bottom line. We get opportunities to play shows and learn about how to perform and it’s all about growing. Plus its fun ‘cause we all live together.”
The guys agree they find inspiration from their friends and local musicians. It helps that they love many of the same artists. Get them talking about Tempe music and it becomes excitingly chaotic; their enthusiasm is contagious.
“In Tempe there’s just an incredible music scene,” Osterman says. “Everyone’s so willing to help each other out. It’s something that I think is really easy to take for granted.
“I used to live in Ohio and the music scene there is really good, but I think here people are just more willing to help out in getting shows and to support you.”
Hedges agrees, adding, “Yeah, there could be a night where we’re playing Long Wong’s and Future Loves Past is playing Sail Inn and Doctor Bones is playing at the Rogue all at the same time and there’s a bunch of people at all of them.”
Along with many other local favorites, Sundressed plan to make their way out to South by Southwest (SXSW), a large festival held in Austin, Texas in March. Until then, they’re playing every weekend until they head out.
They’ll be at The Trunk Space, an all-ages venue in Phoenix, Feb. 22 for their SXSW fundraising show. They’ll also be at Pub Rock in Scottsdale with Weatherbox, a favorite of theirs from San Diego, Calif., March 5.
Stay on the lookout for details of their CD release show set to be held at Crescent Ballroom in April.