Mock Suns
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Mock Suns

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Alternative Psychedelic




"Show Recap: Mac DeMarco, Ape School & Mock Suns at MilkBoy Philly"

I’m not really sure why I don’t end up at Milkboy more often. Maybe it’s because I’m bad at life, but I doubt it. It’s probably because I’m bad at checking out event calendars. But after a dinner consisting of stale crackers, antibiotics and a rum cocktail, I was more than ready to check out Mac DeMarco’s sold-out show this past Thursday. Locals Mock Suns and Ape School opened for everyone’s new favorite Canadian slacker rock babe, and did a swell job of it. I had myself a really good time - infected spider bite and all!

Mock Suns and their heady, playful revelry and what my discerning male companion described as, “agreeable, good-guy guitar-driven indie rock,” which I’m pretty sure was a compliment. If Phoenix and Real Estate and Lower Dens formed a jam band and afterwards wrote a screenplay in which Arnold Schwarzenegger birthed their unlikely child, you’d be looking at Mock Suns. And I refuse to apologize for that statement, because I have an infected spider bite and I liked Mock Suns, and would be psyched to see them again.

Ape School also ruled it, banging out a set of discerningly anthemic rock and roll that worked way more often than not. It was a more stripped-down Ape School than I’m used to with the band taking the stage as a four-piece. Michael Johnson and his smart, moppy pompadour closed out a fulfilling set with his angst-tinged, celebratory, “Be An Encore.” The audience would’ve been down for one more, at least; however, that luxury isn’t usually provided for an opener. Plus, don’t mess with a sound guy and his set times.

Mac DeMarco and his swaggery maneuvering of fine lines in his dirty skate shoes, shrouding his modus operandi as a not-not prolific musician in a cloud of scum and viceroy smoke. He is your future-ex-boyfriend. He’s the best dude you used to skate with. Demarco and his bandmates clearly give a shit about what they’re doing - just not in front of their audience. They’re simply too busy having fun. You can just tell by their ridiculous facial expressions. They’re preternaturally good-natured, rough, goofy and replete. It was a complete-feeling set of clean, hard-edged translations of his studio recordings that still retained their “stoned-on-a-leaking-waterbed-and-hey-perhaps-it’s-the-80s vibe.” They also pulled off a loud, shrieky cover of the Beatles’ “Blackbird” lead by bassist Pierce McGarry in a string of admirably insincere classic rock covers. All in all, DeMarco proved on Thursday evening that good music can make fun of itself and be better for it. (Ape School Photo by Leslie Burnette) - Leslie Burnette - The Deli

"Mock Suns bring highly conceptual Santander/All that I Knew to life with ambitious recording and video production"

A piece of art starts with an idea. That idea turns into a concept as the artist begins using his or her craft to create a message. And that’s exactly what the four like-minded guys in Mock Suns have done on their new album, Santander / All that I Knew. They’re self-releasing the record tomorrow, and celebrating next month with a show at Kung Fu Necktie on May 24th.

The album is an ambitious, twelve song effort divided into two movements and is done justice best by listening to the whole album from start to finish. Which seems to be Mock Suns style – approaching everything as if with the mindset of all-or-nothing – whether musically or visually through their videos.

According to singer, guitarist and songwriter, Greg Puglese, Santander / All that I Knew was written in the succession that its songs are sequenced. It proves his intention behind it being a complete album with a single concept.

“The underlying idea is sort of about chasing this dream but you never get a hold of it,” Puglese says. “As if it’s your life goal and it’s always there and you can never fully get a hold of it. As your life goes on it’s always there taunting you.”

Even though Puglese is the primary songwriter and concept laid out cleanly, the rest of the band has their own idea behind the message of the album. Bassist Steve DiRomualdo says it’s about feeling a “lack of fulfillment in your day-to-day. Or it’s like you don’t know what you’re looking for, whether it’s the love of your life, a person, or maybe you just want to be somewhere else.”

Guitarist Tom Magliaro sees it in a similar way, saying the album is about romanticizing a place so much in one’s mind and that finding out upon arrival, that it’s not quite what was expected.

The album references multiple modes of transportation, from planes to trains, and “The Bend,” seem to be about a pensive bike ride, functioning as a perfectly placed intermission-like segue track. However, it may not be an actual bike ride, as Mock Suns seem to think of most things they produce rather deeply. Santander is a real city in northern Spain, but is never actually referenced on the album. Matt Giordano, drummer in the band’s live setting, says Santander is a metaphor for trying to get to that place. Puglese agrees, but says the album’s first four songs are “about the dream state of traveling to that place” of solace and it’s never actually about physically being there.

Metaphorical or not, the album clearly has two distinct sections. As it starts with “Past the Wing,” a song in three that twinkles and flutters along an expanse of vocal tracks, right into the sparse “Just Like in the Pictures,” before the band sticks their head into the clouds, during the skipping title track. At the beginning of its second half, All that I Knew, “Years Since Nightfall,” and “Rarely Present,” bring eerily reversed vocal tracks and jagged drum beats that immediately reveal the next movement of the album before the standout psych-pop bounce of “Last Time.”

This is when the album falls into the “headphones album” category. The extra layers of tracks, particularly in Puglese’s singing, aren’t easily audible without a finely tuned ear, at least a couple passes through the album. Mock Suns recorded it by themselves and reached out to Bill Moriarty at Waking Studio to assist with mixing, which may help bring out some of those layers underneath.

“All of our albums we’ve done were self-recorded,” Puglese says. “This time we really wanted to get someone professional, but a lot of his role was just mixing. But since we were working with him, when he was mixing it he still gave some suggestions that we applied for some added textures.”

But the album also features some non-musical sound bites that come as nice surprises throughout.

“Greg did a lot of subtle textural things that seemed minute but are in there,” DiRomualdo says. “And we all had a lot of fun adding things like on the song, ‘As It Is; As It Was,’ with the sound of the bottles. We had a lot of fun throwing those around. And we were at the beach over the summer, Greg and I, trying to get some beach sounds. We were sitting on the beach looking like idiots with a little Tascam phone mic.”

That explains the waves on “Last Time,” placed appropriately after “Sunburnt and Drunk.” Although getting clips of waves is minor in comparison to other sounds Puglese has gone out of his way to get.

“I was in the airport walk around trying to record intercom announcements and stuff,” he says. “I thought I was going to get flagged and in trouble for looking like was trying to set off a bomb or something.”

A designer by trade and Tyler School of Art graduate, Puglese isn’t afraid to go out of his way to get his craft exactly as he intends. But that goes beyond writing, recording and performing with Mock Suns and into the band’s video production. Puglese truly revels in making their videos with his bandmates, calling this band a “blue sky project,” with genuine intimate emphasis.

But putting such an effort into making their videos presents its own dangers and expenses as well. When making their most recent video for “Last Time,” a video that features a reflective 1920s high diver climbing high into the sky recalling all those he’s met along his journey, Puglese accidentally cracked the windshield of his car with 4×4 piece of lumber when moving materials.

“There’s always something that goes wrong with the videos,” Magliaro says. “First it took us a long time to figure out how to get the conveyor belt to move and then it was the pool.”

He means the conveyor belt found in the video for 2013’s “Brilliant Colors,” off of Here Nor There Remixes where the band built a makeshift room in the basement of DiRomualdo’s parents’ house. They eventually just had friends move the belt by hand.

Back to the problem with the pool Magliaro mentioned. His friend had let them use a warehouse space to shoot the video for “Last Time,” but warned them to not bother the computers he had stored there.

“We got this giant pool from Amazon for only sixty bucks,” Puglese says. “And apparently you have to watch it as it fills. It filled completely and nearly ran over and we had to bail it out, like actually bail it.”

Luckily for Magliaro’s friend, no computers got ruined.

“We’re good friends,” he says. “But I don’t know if we’re such good friends that he’d let me ruin like hundreds of his computers for his business.”

The band was able to shoot the “Last Time” video, green screen and all in a single weekend. Mock Suns’ creativity seems boundless on screen and on record and Puglese speaks for the group collectively when he saying, “I couldn’t even tell you where the ideas come from. It’s just so much fun.” - WXPN/The Key

" Weekly Concert Picks"

Your fave new band! Philadelphia psych-pop foursome Mock Suns write warm, wiggly, vintage-tinged charmers that will surprise you with their creativity and depth. The songwriting vehicle of Greg Puglese, a designer by day and auteur by night (and by day too, we suspect)—Mock Suns set themselves apart thanks to an impressive and overarching sense of artistic cohesiveness—from their sun-drenched cover art to the beautiful, blustery video for “The Last Time.” It’s no surprise coming from Puglese and co., who established their affinity for shattering expectations years back—to celebrate the release of their first LP, Here Nor There, in 2012, the band hid copies of the record around the city, with redemption codes that could be traded for chocolate sculptures of their faces. And while we’re pretty sure there’s no chocolate involved in this Saturday’s show (save the metaphorical sweetness of their tunes), we definitely expect some vibes. The show doubles as a release party for their new record Santander/All That I Knew—a two-part suite that explores questions of self-fulfillment and possibilities. Before you go: stream Santander/All That I Knew for free via Soundcloud, and be prepared to be swept away in the fantasy. -

"Here Nor There"

Languid and hypnotic, with a sumptuously serene and soothing kind of laid-back droning’n’dreamy jazzy psych-rock sound, this debut album from a Philadelphia three piece immediately wins the listener over on the basis of its sheer uniqueness and originality alone. The gradual tempos and relaxed beats merge together to create a pleasingly mellow vibe. The smooth vocals and rich arrangements likewise hit the yummy sonic spot. Moreover, there are nifty sudden shifts in the mercurial and melodic music that give everything an additional tasty, surprising, and even occasionally rousing buzz. A really solid and worthwhile album. - Jersey Beat

"Mock Suns: The Dark (Video)"

I love videos like this, videos that start out seemingly normal then take a turn for the bizarre. Rock band Mock Suns do a great job taking something as simple as getting ready for and having a dinner party and turn it into something a bit unusual, and a hair disturbing.

According to member Greg Puglese, what they’re eating is made of white chocolate and corn syrup. Doesn’t sound all too appetizing to me, but it sure looks good.

Let’s see; what else do you need to know? “The Dark” is off Philadelphia band Mock Suns’ new album, Here Nor There, which comes out April 3. - FensePost

"Mock Suns; Thoreau, Chocolate and BBQ's"

How fun would it be to make a chocolate mold of your face? Well that’s exactly what the Mock Suns did to promote their debut album, Here Nor There. Check out our interview below with this trio right out of Philadelphia. They let us in on the meaning of their name, the recording of the new album and plans for the future. Hit up the links below to connect, listen and download.

How did you decide on the name, “Mock Suns”?

Steve: We were in our practice space one day coming up with all kinds of strange names and stumbled upon a Thoreau novel. We found a lot of great two word phrases and we felt that with the general motif and philosophical subject matter of the band that Mock Suns really fit well.

What does the phrase mean?

Tom: The illusion of more than one sun in the sky- we really dug the concept. We figured graphically, it would have a lot of potential in terms of posters, promotion for shows, etc.

How did the band come together?

Steve: We originally started out as Giant Mind which was a 5 piece. One of our former members Andy Hagerman knew Greg from home and we all went to college at Temple (Greg went to Tyler when it was off campus). Greg was looking for a band to not only back his individual recordings but to also move forward and write new material. Giant Mind definitely became more about our own new material than the original Greg Puglese stuff. After we lost two members of the band to Brooklyn we decided it might be worthwhile to see what we could do as a 3-piece, and well, here we are

Tom: All three of us really blended together pretty well in terms of creativity and continuity within the songs so we all wanted to keep playing music and really liked the idea of looping and exploring what we could do with a three piece.

Tell us about your marketing campaign for the new album? How has the fan feedback been?

Greg: Well, I think that in this era of internet media overload, it’s hard enough to get your friends to listen to an album, let alone attract new fans, so we really wanted to try to do something tangible and bizarre to promote the album. The biggest thing that we did was place about 250 advance copies of our album around the city. Some copies had special redemption codes on them that allowed you to log on to our website and claim a custom made chocolate face. Overall, the reaction to the campaign was very positive, a lot of people loved the album, and if they didn’t, they enjoyed the candy. We want to continue to do more interesting, guerilla advertising like this, as it’s proven to be our most effective approach to standing out from the crowd and promoting the band.

Steve: Greg came up with a fantastic idea of making the chocolate faces into different flavors like Chocolate Tom Tom, Cookies and Steve and of course his signature brand Dulce de Greg. We've had some success with it I think. We've definitely have taken steps in the right direction now we can only hope to push forward with it.

Tom: They seemed to really enjoy it. One person said that the faces were and I quote "Much larger then [she] expected and the best chocolate [she] ever ate." It's been really cool, but kinda creepy with the idea of someone eating our faces. It's been also a nice theme to incorporate for the album. Also, a lot of respect for AKA records, who let us use their facility for people to come pick up the chocolate faces. By and large, the promotion has been awesome and the feedback has been all positive.

How was it crafting those chocolate faces?

Greg: The candy faces were a process to say the least... They were actually the last component in a bigger concept that we’d created for Mock Suns. We started out with the idea of taking photographs of plaster molds of our faces; we liked the idea of the photos being kind of like a twice-removed version of ourselves. Anyway, we had to use this stuff called alginate, (the stuff that dentists use to make molds of your teeth) and smear it all over our faces. Then we backed it with plaster strips, and made plaster casts from the alginate molds. Then, from the plaster casts, we made food-grade silicone molds. Making the chocolates in the silicone molds was a trial and error process, but we’ve pretty much got it down to a science at this point. We were told by one person that it was the best chocolate they’d ever had.

Tom: Cookies and Steve was by far the easiest to make because it was just crushing up oreos and melting the white chocolate, combining it and freezing it. That in mind, The "Greg's" and "Tom-Tom's" were tough because we had to pour the top mold, let that send, put the filling in the middle, let that freeze and set and then make the boxes for all of them. It was really fun though, seeing all of these faces take form.

When I first sat down to listen to your new album, within the first 30 seconds I thought: Pink Floyd and Fleet Foxes. Where would you say your influences come from on this album?

Greg: I am definitely a big fan - Indie Monster

""Here Nor There" Album Review"

Hey Philly! We’re bringing you some new local jams today from Mock Suns. Alexis is sitting down with them this week for an interview so this is actually a precursor to her post you’ll get in the next couple of weeks!

Wow. I feel like I should be grabbing this on vinyl, throwing it on a record player, and just laying down and listening to this journey of an album. This was my first time ever hearing Mock Suns and this album definitely won me over as a supporter. First off, the cover certainly nailed the album vibe. "Here Nor There" feels like the kind of music you’d want to experience somewhere out in an open forest. The 60s psychedelic influences, offbeat rhythms, and floating harmonies travelling throughout the tracks make you feel like you’re going on quite the nature trip.

The opening title track hits you right off the bat with the 60s rock influence with the haunting vocals and echoing, same with the harmonies in the second track An Admirable Hue. The way the vocals are matched up with the offbeat rhythms and grungy guitars definitely give you that raw rock music feel. The way that they pair off that psychedelic rock with harder accents like the arena-style guitar and drums in Fervor and Brilliant Colors is just crazy, they blend it so well. I think the most interesting track to me is the final one, Down. It’s definitely the most different. Between the spiraling and chilling beat pounding in the background, the haunting lyrics, and the floating melodies of the vocals, the whole song is just so weirdly epic. This is the kind of song you hear on an album and think ‘wow, I need to see that played out live’.

This is definitely an album that you wouldn’t be able to classify as any genre since the styles range all over—60s psychedelic, arena-style, grunge, and even throwing in jazz influence here in there. Mock Suns definitely brought us a trip worth taking if you’re into hearing something a little different, which I am always down for. But don't sit here and listen to me go on, take the trip for yourself! - Indie Monster


Mock Suns is an airy lo-fi drone pop three-piece from Philadelphia that has a sound perfect for the background of a summer day. They have been doing some unique things to promote their fourth coming album ‘Here Nor There’ which we’re lucky enough to have this exclusive stream of.

One tactic they’ve been using is leaving advanced copies of the new album throughout Philadelphia. This same tactic was used by another artist we’ve covered, Adam Neate, and it’s what first started to propel him into the spot light.

Another unique form of promotion they’ve been doing is selling they’re faces. If you’ve seen the video to the single (watch), you saw the eatable faces in action. The first 25 people to redeem the download code for the new album were entitled to their choice of 3 candy faces:

Cookies ‘N’ Steve
Dulce De Greg… Che
Chocolate Tom-Tom

Check out more on their site and make sure you go buy this album today from their bandcamp . - Guilty People

"Mock Suns Add Dreamy Beach Boys "Cabinessence" Cover to Their Repitoire"

Are tractors in a barn the first thing you think of when you hear The Beach Boys‘ “Cabinessence?” In case you actually thought about it for a second the answer is no. Philadelphia-based Mock Suns, who are known for playful antics such as giving away chocolate masks molded from their faces, decided that maybe you should think of tractors when listening to the dreamy 20/20 jam.

If you take the chance to listen to some of Mock Suns original work, it is easy to see that surreal 1960s music – such as Brian Wilson’s more daring work – is an obvious influence. The band works through the cover in an almost effortless manner, making it seem all the more organic. - Cover Me

"New Video - Mock Suns : Cabin Essence (Beach Boys Cover)"

Philly’s Mock Suns have a knack for making music that sounds like it should be heard in the great outdoors. Wearing their 60s psychedelic influences on their sleeve, melded with offbeat progressive jazz like rhythms and playful floating harmonies, the band can make you feel as though you’re about to embark on a summer excursion, exploring open spaces…or, the beach. Tt should come as no surprise, then, that Mock Suns have found a comfort zone covering The Beach Boys ( in particular, the more experimental work of Brian Wilson, post Smile). This week, Mock Suns released a live rendition of ”Cabin Essence”, by The Beach Boys. Check out the video after the jump. - Discosalt

"Watch Philly’s Mock Suns cover a Beach Boys nugget"

Playful Philadelphia psych trio Mock Suns have thus far been known as the band that made candy sculptures of their faces for Easter, and who self-released a delightfully nonlinear pop record titled Here Nor There. If you listened to their album (or snacked on their faces), it should come as no surprise that these guys gravitate towards the surreal / bizarro end of the 60s musical spectrum, especially the more adventurous work of Brian Wilson. This week, the band released their cover of The Beach Boys nugget “Cabin Essence,” a post-Smile song originally found on the 1969 album 20/20. You can watch a video of their cover below, and keep tabs on Mock Suns at their Facebook page. - The Key

"15 Must-See Indie Music Videos of 2012"

Remember that wild zombie case in Florida? This band posted on Facebook that (paraphrase) they ate faces before it became cool. Not long before that incident took place, they release (and I covered) this video. Tell me: does it make you hungry? - FensePost

"The Weekly Listen"

“Here Nor There,” the new album by Philadelphia power trio Mock Suns is a great melding of classics influences, tipping its cap to 60s psychedelia, heavy rock and jazz. At one moment the Mock Suns are a full on lounge act in space, with clean guitars and off-beat rhythms floating in the same ether as Beach Boys-like harmonies. The next they are pounding triplets on the drums with grungy guitars, arena-rock style. “Here Nor There” is a little bit like “Innerspeaker” by Tame Impala, except that Mock Suns tend to focus more on jazz progressions and builds than their contemporaries in strangeness. “Here Nor There” is one of those music for musicians kind of albums that is totally loveable if you can appreciate the textures and prowess going on. I am loving this. - Modern American


Santander/All That I Knew LP (April 29 2014)
Here Nor There Remixes EP (March 5 2013)
Here Nor There LP (April 3 2012)



Mock Suns are Philadelphia musicians Greg Puglese, Tom Magliaro, Steve DiRomualdo, and Matt Giordano (live). They have never once performed ’O Sole Mio, instead focusing on a unique brand of psychedelic rock; Think Grizzly Bear meets Tame Impala on a camping trip to Assateague Island.

The band’s first full-length album, Here Nor There, debuted on April 3rd, 2012, “tipping its cap to 60s psychedelia, heavy rock and jazz” (Chad Huffman, Modern American Weekly). The band’s first single, The Dark, and the accompanying music video garnered much praise from blogs like Discosalt and FensePost for it’s bizarre originality, while much of the record made it’s way into rotation at over at XPN2 and iRadio Philly.

Here Nor There’s peculiar promotional efforts also turned heads, from the likes of Guilty People, to packaging design blog The Dieline. Specially marked albums, placed outdoors city-wide, were redeemable for 25 custom-packaged, life-sized Mock Suns candy faces, (as seen in their video, The Dark). With distribution help from local record store AKA Music, the unorthodox promotion gave the band a favorable local presence, not only for the music, which one fan claimed helped him get laid, but for the chocolate, which another stated was “Much, much larger than I expected, and absurdly delicious. Possibly the best chocolate I've ever had.”

Mock Suns have performed at almost every venue in Philadelphia, sharing the stage with the likes of Mac DeMarco, Nurses, A Lull, Indians, Dominant Legs, Electric Guest, Hey Marseilles, Secret Mountains, and more. Their sophomore LP, Santander/All That I Knew, is due out in Spring of 2014. 

Band Members