Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to start the band?
Valerie: For a long time Rocco and I have dreamed of doing a pop duo project together – we’ve thought about it pretty much ever since we got married. Around 5 years ago we went to a concert of one of our favorite artists, Sarah Reeves, who performed with her husband. We left her show saying, “We would LOVE to write pop songs together!” And, here we are, 5 years later, doing just that. 2020 was actually a year of growth for us – having all our other music events cancelled gave us the opportunity to focus on this dream. All the dominos fell perfectly into place to make that happen.
Introduce us to the members and your musical history?
Valerie is the voice of the sunset + mine. She started songwriting and playing guitar at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, where she led music for events on campus. After college she honed her craft as a worship leader. Valerie also plays acoustic and electric guitar and has been picking up a few other instruments during the pandemic.
Rocco has been playing keys for most of his life. Before Rocco and Valerie started dating, Rocco would invite a group of friends over for jam sessions, when he really wanted to hang out with Valerie. One night, Valerie was the only one who could make it. Perfect! After that, Rocco stopped inviting anyone else, and the rest is history!
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
One of our favorite shows was playing at Jammin Java in Vienna, Virginia. It’s a popular venue in the DC area and we went to shows there when we were dating. Getting to play at that iconic spot was a dream come true. The place was packed, the crowd was amazing, and the energy the entire night was incredible!
What was the worst experience on stage?
Valerie: Rocco and I were volunteering at a service event for 500 high schoolers and they needed a female singer on stage to help lead an impromptu song. I grabbed a mic, ran to the front, jumped on stage, and promptly face planted right there in front of everyone. How embarrassing! I got up and tried to pretend like nothing had happened while I led the song. Afterward, I hobbled my way off stage. LOL!
Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about?
Rocco: 15 years ago, you would have never caught Valerie singing in front of anyone. She’s super humble and hated public speaking, let alone singing in front of people. It’s ironic that this is now what she does for a living.
Valerie: When Rocco was in high school, he created an online game that became one of the top played games on the internet at the time.
Rocco: Oh, and we LOVE yard sales. During the spring/summer, we wake up super early to get the best deals! Our favorite find was a Moog MG-1 analog synthesizer from 1981 in a barn that was getting torn down. It sounds AMAZING!
If you had to describe your band/music to an alien how would you describe it?
Hmm. Maybe the best way to communicate it would be as an equation: husband + wife + love + music + joy + hope = sunset + mine!
What makes you stand out as a band/Artist?
We want to make music that is uplifting and full of love and joy. We want to put a smile on everyone’s face who hears our songs! There are already enough breakup songs out there and we want to provide a breath of fresh air to give everyone something to laugh and smile about. Our relationship and marriage has been the joy of our lives and we’re privileged to be able to write such a personal song for the world to hear – it’s intimidating but so exciting!
What’s your favourite song to play live and why?
The song “Fix You” by Coldplay is my favorite song to sing live. It’s a ridiculously beautiful song and the lyrics are so moving and raw. It’s always a crowd pleaser and just super fun to sing. We haven’t been able to play any of our originals live yet but we can’t WAIT to play a live show with those included in the set!
I hear you have a new single, what can you tell us about it?
“Honey Let’s Go” is our debut single and is our love story – it starts out with our first date, travels through our engagement and marriage and now us doing life together. It’s a carefree, sing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs, road trip song that we hope puts a smile on your face!
Talk me through the thought process of the single?
We want to write a song about our love story and show how amazing marriage can be. We love sharing about our relationship – it’s such a crazy fun adventure! Our marriage feels like a journey – we don’t know what’s around the next bend in the road, but that’s part of the fun in it, knowing that whatever we discover along the way that we’re on this roadtrip together! Also, we love traveling and discovering new places together so we definitely wanted to include that in the song. Our favorite adventures have been in the Arctic of Svalbard and the South Island of New Zealand. Wherever we go, it’s awesome to just get to spend quality time together!
What was the recording process like?
It was incredible! Getting to work with the amazingly talented LA producer Ian Charlie was such a blessing. He’s a musical genius and also a super genuine, positive guy. We would get into the studio most evenings and just let the creativity flow. There was no such thing as a bad idea and Ian gave us license to let the creativity flow. Oh, and we all had a BLAST doing it together!
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single?
The biggest learning curve would be being willing to be vulnerable and personal with the song lyrics at the same time writing a song that would be accessible to a lot of different people. Sharing a lot of personal details with “the world” took some getting used to but we’re so proud of the song that we created!
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
We wouldn’t change a thing! It was an amazing process creating this single and we’re super excited for the world to hear it. All the decisions musically and sonically were made for a specific reason and we’re thrilled with how it came out!
What are your plans for the year ahead?
We have a bunch of songs in the works that we’ll be releasing throughout 2022. We’re not done yet with our workout in LA. And of course, we’re looking forward to performing these songs at live shows!
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
We are so grateful for the support of everyone who helped make this dream a reality. This whole journey of starting this project was both a total shock and at the same time a dream come true! We’re enjoying the process along the way and we can’t wait to see what 2022 holds! We don’t have too many expectations – we just hope that as many people as possible hear our songs and have a brighter day as a result! We’re so thankful for everyone who takes 3 minutes and 53 seconds to listen to our debut single! LET’S GO!