Sun Valley Gun Club
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Sun Valley Gun Club

Oakland, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Oakland, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Indie




"The members of Sun Valley Gun Club know everyone's a critic"

Times are good for local indie-rock quartet Sun Valley Gun Club. Its track “Hey Collapser” got some radio airplay last year on various San Francisco and Sacramento radio stations, and the band is now on the cusp of releasing its sophomore LP on the S.F.-based 20 Sided Records, as well as a cassette on Pleasant Screams.

Things weren’t always so great, however. In fact, they got a scathing review after playing an early show at a sushi restaurant in Natomas.

The review came via Gary’s Reviews, a YouTube channel in which its host—the aforementioned Gary—critiques music, books, movies and food. Gary’s take on Sun Valley Gun Club: “This band won’t be around for very long,” and “I hope they all get hit by a car.”

SVGC singer Evan Bailey doesn’t deny that it was a particularly bad gig.

“It was a really weird vibe because it was a sushi bar. I was probably being a dick and he picked up on that,” Bailey says. “If people aren’t paying attention, I become a toddler and I start picking at them on stage. But his review was pretty extreme.”

That show happened in early 2012, and was technically the first show they’d played as Sun Valley Gun Club; previously they’d just played under the name “Evan Bailey.”

Rather than wallow in the negativity, however, the band posted the review on its Facebook page.

Now, unlike the reviewer’s prediction, Sun Valley Gun Club has lasted, and it’s earned a buzz around Sacramento and the Bay Area— the band claims both Sacramento and Oakland as its hometown, as guitarist Justin Butler lives in Oakland, while the rest live here in town.

The band’s upcoming self-titled LP, which it plans to release in August, is technically its second, but the band considers it to be more or less their first. That reasoning works like this: When they first started playing together, they were mostly performing songs Bailey had written prior to SVGC’s formation. They wanted to get an album out as quick as possible, so they recorded some of those songs, and even took recordings Bailey had previously made, titled it Into the Valley Sun and released it in 2013.

Since then, the band’s original bassist departed, replaced by former Der Spazm member Ashley Maiden. The new record’s music was all written, arranged and recorded by the current lineup.

The result is a better album, the band’s members say.

“It’s more concise. The first album had songs, some Bailey had for years before the band formed,” drummer Travis Quinn says.

The foursome has also taken the ’90s inspired heavy-alt rock sound they’d been crafting and refined it. A lot of their influences include “slacker-rock” bands such as Pavement and Superchunk, but rather than imbedding a loose, lazy, apathetic energy to the songs, the musicians craft the complex arrangements, trilling guitars, arpeggios, shifting dynamics and driving rock ’n’ roll beats, and play it all with precision.

Their influences aren’t exclusively ’90s alt-rock but they don’t deny the genre’s significant influence. In fact they are set to release an homage to the year 1994—a mixtape (on cassette, no less) of cover songs from that year, each song collaborating with a different musician. The artists covered run the gamut and include Madonna, Cake, Blur and Ween.

“[The compilation is] our fucked-up version of being an elementary school kid and making a mixtape of those bands,” Bailey says.

The group is also excited about its upcoming album. In the years since they’ve started, they’ve made some more radio station connections they hope will get the record some traction. There’s even talk about reaching out to that guy at Gary’s Reviews.

“He could be a really nice guy,” Bailey says. “We should probably get him to review the record. I’d be down with that.” - Sacramento News and Review

"Sun Valley Gun Club and Special Explosion Take Your Back to a Time Before the Internet"

Sun Valley is a real place in Idaho, and there really is a gun club there. For $9 you can rent a Beretta and destroy some sporting clays. The band of the same name isn't from Sun Valley; they're from the Oakland area, and for just $1 more than a gun rental, you can buy their latest full-length, Into the Valley Sun, which has warm, guitar-driven parts that will pair very well with Special Explosion's own ode to mid-'90s guitar rock. Both will take you back to a time when you would buy the latest issue of CMJ, when it was a tall, skinny magazine with a CD tucked inside, and then hide out in your bedroom reading every single word on every single page because the internet didn't exist yet. - The Stranger

"Sun Valley Gun Club Releases New Single"

First, let’s get this out of the way: Congratulations to Sun Valley Gun Club for winning The Deli Magazine San Francisco Artist of the Month Poll! Every month, a band comes out on top and this month is no different. This band won the poll by a landslide and we’d like to thank all the readers for voting! We hope you continue to support hard working bands like Sun Valley Gun Club. Congrats guys!!

Sun Valley Gun Club has released an awesome new single called Hey Collapser. This track is a grungy indie rock song that sounds like a nice mix between The Shins and a California drenched Modest Mouse. Hey Collapser has well placed driving guitar riffs, milky vocals and a tightly composed style. Not all songs can create clean pauses and ebbs and flows that dramatically build and fall while still keeping its underground rock and roll integrity, but Hey Collapser does this. Very cool. This track proves you can be an underground band and still have great production value and a coherent sound. -je - SF Deli

"Sacramento News & Review Featurette"

“Sacramento’s Sun Valley Gun Club obviously has a sense of humor. It received a bad review online and decided to post it on its website. The reviewer, Gary, said the group didn’t sound like Weezer (as the band claimed), but more like a Weezer CD in a blender. That’s not really fair; a better description would be that Sun Valley Gun Club sounds like Weezer blended with Dinosaur Jr.—with elements of ’90s power-pop in the vein of Fountains of Wayne. The singer’s voice sounds a bit like John Linnell from They Might Be Giants—perfect for his clever lyrics of heartbreak and loneliness.”
— Aaron Carnes - SN&R

"Into The Valley Sun Review"

“Sun Valley Gun Club are making the kind of music that’s sure to be seen as gloriously unhip. The Sacramento five-piece’s debut, Into The Valley Sun, sounds like it was ripped from the body of a time-traveling slacker circa 1995, but it doesn’t have a whiff of ironic hipster smugness to it. This isn’t some post-ironic homage to Weezer or David Bazan, but rather a fully genuine record that engages on its own terms. There are alt-rock ballads (“Millions of Bands”), distorted punk meets grunge (“Engine Gave Out”), and even some energetic Pixies-esque indie rock (“Curse The Woman”), but mostly, Sun Valley Gun Club succeed at making the unhip seem invigorating again.” - Symbiotic Reviews

"Weezer In A Slow Blender"

"I hope they die in a car crash..." - Gary Reviews



Sun Valley Gun Club is a Northern California band that has arguably listened to way too much Pavement. Known for “endearingly loose” guitar-rock (San Jose Metro) and wall-of-sound live shows, their second studio album finds the band expanding their references. The eponymous LP draws on decades of rock-and-roll as broad ranging as guitar tones lifted from 1960's psychedelia and folk rock; the concept albums of 1970’s art rock and an up-front, sometimes aggressive vocal delivery reminiscent of early 2000’s indie rock.

Sun Valley Gun Club, LP, has been hailed as “nuanced and innovative” (SF Deli), and “shifting and complex” (Sacramento News and Review). Lyrically the songs are narratives inspired by film, classic Science Fiction, and the Bible, without being "buried in symbolism. It sounds like a person making sense of life." (Submerge) It is a record about cultural and religious fixation on the apocalypse, self-fulfilling prophecy, Will Smith, and the imperative of people to forgive, if not their loved ones, then at least themselves. Get it March 21st, 2016 from Transplant Sound / 20 Sided Records.

Band Members