Electric Sun: Bursting Out of The Gilded Cage

Based out of the legendary NYC music scene, Electric Sun is a collective destined to rock your world.  Their debut EP The Gilded Cage features five dazzling anthems that will jangle through your senses and remain there long after the music spins to its conclusion.  Lead vocalist Vlad Holiday was once with Jet Lag Gemini, an outfit who released music on Doghouse Records and spent some time on Warped Tour.  And incidentally, did you know that Electric Sun recently opened for the mighty Guns N’ Roses?  In the interview, we talk about their experience with GN’R, adventures on Warped,  their stunning musical tapestries, and many other topics of interest.  Let’s burst it on out of the gilded cafe and get to know the stimulating sensation known as Electric Sun!!!

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Electric Sun, and how long the band has been together.
My name is Vlad Holiday and I’m the singer, songwriter and guitarist of Electric Sun. I started the band on October 1st, 2011.

Where is the band based out of and what is your local music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?
We’re based out of the NYC area. There’s no shortage of music history around every corner, and the music scene here reflects that. On any given night there can be 20 different genres of bands playing, all sweating the same sweat.

Is there any story or concept behind the EP title The Gilded Cage?
Electric Sun is a vision I’ve been working on for the past 2 years now. The Gilded Cage represents all of my goals and dreams being locked up in my head, and the struggle of trying to break this “cage” open – materializing the vision into reality.

Select any two Electric Sun songs and what inspired the lyrics.
The overlying theme of The Gilded Cage EP is hope and optimism. Although the songs derive from personal stories, friends or experiences, I like to keep that specific information to myself. I like when people create their own meaning to a song, and feel as though when they hear the writer’s perspective, it sometimes skews their image. That’s also why I like to stay a bit metaphorical with my lyrics.

What is a live Electric Sun show like for those of us who have yet to see you play?
An ES show is fusing energy with ambiance. All the songs stripped down have an ethereal quality to them, and when the big guitars, synths and drums come out to play, that’s what makes ‘em tick. There are many ways to rock out, but when you do it on top of the right chords, it just feels right. The songs and solos are written for the live performance. Oh and also, expect lots of crazy lights.

How close are you to recording for a full-length album?
Pretty close actually. I’m constantly writing and demoing in my studio – trying to perfect the un-perfectible. Experimenting with a lot of different sounds, which is really new and exciting for me. This EP is only a small glimpse into the direction we’re headed in.

What was it like opening for Guns N’ Roses and did you get to meet and hang out with any of the members at all? Were you nervous at all opening for such a big crowd?
It was an amazing experience. I did get to briefly hang out with a few of the members, and they were extremely nice and welcoming. The second show was by far the biggest audience I’ve ever been in front of, so of course I was a bit nervous. Not to mention I was extremely sick and on a ton of prescription drugs, but somehow managed to pull it off and work the crowd. I gotta say, working a GN’R crowd has prepared me to play in front of anyone.

When you look back on your work with Jet Lag Gemini, what do you think of it now and the time you spend with the band? Why did the band wind up breaking up?
Jet Lag Gemini was my childhood. I grew up with those guys and learned so much so fast. People have change of hearts and there’s only so much you can do. As bitter as I was when the break up was happening, I now look back at it as just another chapter. I’m a firm believer of things happening for a reason.

What was your experience like playing the Warped Tour with Jet Lag Gemini and what advice would you give new bands about to attempt Warped for the very first time?
Warped Tour was one of the wildest times of my life. Hell, I even have it tattooed on my ankle. It’s almost inhumane doing it in a van, but it’s the ultimate test of drive and passion. All I can say to new bands is, work your damn ass off – laziness is not tolerated there.

Any chance we may see Electric Sun on Warped Tour this summer? If not, what are your touring plans for the summer?
Electric Sun is looking to take the show on the road very soon. My managers and I are in the middle of building the perfect team around the band to make sure everything clicks appropriately.

What is the most unusual or scary story from the road that you could share?
I saw a lady get killed in…Utah, I believe. Got hit by a car just a few feet in front of me, spun in the air, and hit the ground like a sack of potatoes. Pretty gruesome stuff.

What would you like a listener to remember after hearing Electric Sun’s music for the first time?
I would very much like the listener to remember the way their brain hit the floor as their mind was blown.

Any final words of wisdom?
For all the people out there who are moved and influenced by music as much as I am, cheers, and I’m comin’ for ya!.

Electric Sun is Vlad Holiday (Lead Vocals/Guitar), Amanda Carl (Keyboards/Backing Vocals), Steve Kellner (Bass/Backing Vocals) and Dave Tantao (Drums).

(Interview by Kenneth Morton)

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