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Fingers Of The Sun

You just can’t fight chemistry. Fingers Of The Sun’s Suzi Allegra and Nathan Brasil discovered that shortly after dissolving their songwriting partnership in The Pseudo Dates. The breakup was a short one, and the duo—and four other members—quickly delved back into the songwriting magic of their previous band. This time around, Fingers up the psychedelic content, though the band’s self-titled debut full-length isn’t reliant on paisley nostalgia, dropping in a love for all things pop. Before the band marks Fingers Of The Sun’s release with a show Saturday, Feb. 12 at Hi-Dive, The A.V. Club spoke with the duo about rekindling that songwriting magic.

The A.V. Club: Did you know that you wanted to keep working together as soon as you split up The Pseudo Dates?

Nathan Brasil: It became clear, to me anyway, after a couple months.

Suzi Allegra: I think we needed a little break, but in general, I feel like we’ll always write together in whatever project we will do. After a couple months, we got together and had a drink at the Skylark, and said, “Okay, let’s play together!”

AVC: Fingers Of The Sun is obviously heavily influenced by ’60s psychedelic pop, but it isn’t stuck trying to recreate that. Is updating that form high in your mind when you’re writing?

NB: I don’t think so—not for me, not consciously. The bottom line for me, the way I’m approaching it, is I’m trying to write stuff that I like, that I would want to listen to. Then everyone adds their two cents to it.

SA: I just write what I want to hear, too. I guess I just write, and see what comes out. I know how it needs to be—sort of classic psychedelia, sort of ’60s-influenced, because I do like a lot of that stuff. 

AVC: Although most of rock history has been rediscovered by younger generations, there hasn’t really been a huge resurgence of classic psychedelia during your lifetimes. Do you feel like you have a cleaner slate because of that?

NB: It’s interesting to me that people younger than us are into it, too. There’s this weird resurgence of guitar-based garage-rock, psychedelic [rock]—more so than us in a lot of ways—that’s happening right now with a lot of people who are like 19, 20, or 21. That kind of blows my mind. A lot of bands like that—at Astroland up in Boulder—they’re these younger people that this stuff wasn’t happening, at least on this scale, when I was a teenager. Not around anywhere I was, not in Boulder. It is now, in Boulder, even, and around the country. 

AVC: Classic Nuggets-style garage rock and psychedelia’s always been tucked away in parts of the underground.

NB: Absolutely. All the time that people are saying that “it’s over, it’s done with, rock ’n’ roll is dead,” and all that shit, there’s always this core of people doing it. What we’re doing may not be the big moneymaker at the moment, but it’s far from dead; that’s for sure.

AVC: Does rock stay alive because kids like to adapt it? You’ve certainly heard these 50-year-old blues preservationists, who have no business pretending they grew up on the Delta picking cotton, trying to play classic blues, and essentially killing the form.

SA: I feel that those guys are probably doing the same thing as a lot of people, just playing what they like and playing what they want to hear.

NB: The only real difference from playing what you like is when you say, “You can’t do that chord progression because that wasn’t happening then.” We don’t have a system like that. There’s the 12-bar, and there’s the Chicago blues. We could get into that if we wanted to. There are some other bands that get into that in the context of what we do.

AVC: Fundamentally, you seem just to be drawing on a huge chunk of pop music from the ’60s on.

NB: We’re in debt, where it’s not quite as obvious, to people like Beat Happening or like The Rondelles, [rather] than psychedelic bands.