Interview with Gary Ramon from Sun Dial.

Sun Dial were founded 1990 by Gary Ramon.  The new album “Science Fiction” is a great album, a even more electronic album, with 13 tracks 

01. Hangar 13 / 02. White Stone / 03. Mind Machine / 04. Saturn Return / 05. Space Travel /06. Alien  / 07. Rise Of The Robots / 08. Airlock / 09. Aftershock / 10. Ghost Ship /11. Infra Red / 12. Starwatchers / 13.Hangar 13 (Long Version)

Thank you so much for accepting this interview. To start, tell us how is born Sun Dial and who is who since 2012 ?

The idea of the band started in 1989 after I finished with my previous band modern art. I’d somehow done all I could with it as it had started in the early 1980’s from electronic sounds and by 1988-89 was more guitar orientated and how you could imagine sun dial to be. The band has gone through a few line-up changes since those days, and since 2012 the band also includes Scorpio, and Joolie Wood. Both of whom have been involved with sun dial for many years. I’ve worked with Scorpio since the late 1980’s.  Sometimes there are other people who come in to play for example my daughter cleo played some synth on science fiction.  

Have you a favorite track from this album and if so, which and why ?  

Hangar 13 I like because it’s it has some demented sounds within, some almost accidental. I have a busted old powertrain transcendent 2000 synthesizer that I had last used circa 1986 and dusting it down I plugged it in and suddenly with this archaic 80’s technology it had a mind of it’s own. Almost like it was playing itself – and this became a main part of the song actually. I almost don’t want to get it repaired now.

What are your projects ? Concert plans ? European Tour ?

We stopped playing live in 2008 almost by accident really. We didn’t think okay let’s now stop, but it just happened and so we have no tour plans, but plenty of recording plans. We get asked all the time to play, but it has to be the right thing and right moment. There is already a new sun dial album underway, also working on a reissue of our second album “return journey” and also I’m working on another solo project as quad.  Quad has existed since 1993 and the last quad album was 1998 and last time I played live as Quad was 2002 and so it’s exciting return to this one. A return journey.

Where and what do you need to find your inspirations ?

Sometimes digging up my own past can give inspirations. In 2014 I re-launched my old label Color Tapes that I started originally in 1983 and started reissuing some of that material on vinyl as opposed to cassette that was the original format. But the way I worked back then suddenly came into focus, and some of those ideas was inspired on Made in the Machine and on Science Fiction.  Listening to some of those old tracks from the early 80’s gave some new ideas to incorporate into how sun dial sounds now. I like this way of working. It’s good to mix things up. We don’t want to stand still.  

Apart music, what are your other passions ?    

As you can tell by science fiction I enjoy watching films. Even films I don’t like sometimes can be inspirational by the way atmospheres change and create scenes. Mostly are sci fi films, and even the cheap budget film variety can offer some interesting things. Apart from this as explained in the previous question, if it’s a passion, I am  currently digging deep in the archives of all the materials recorded during the 1980’s, many of which were never released during those days. At the time I wanted Color Tapes to be a bit like 4AD, Mute or Factory Records. I had no budget or experience to run a label (being only 17 at the time), so we made it up as we went along. many albums were recorded, and some were released on cassette but it was a limited market. Now after all this time, with the interest in my old recordings from those days, we are making some of that material available on vinyl and CD and so in a small way, the vision of those days are finally being realized. Apart from Modern Art, there were other Color Tapes bands I would like to mention including Lives of Angels, Mystery Plane, The Lord, Berserk In A Hayfield, Disintegrators, Body Electric, Silicon Valley, Stereo Machines and Kinesis, Holy Garden, Echophase, Void and the Beatmixer. 

And it almost comes full circle with science fiction, because talking about Color Tapes, it was predominantly an electronic label. and with our latest album science fiction being mostly electronic and less guitars. I think it just worked out like that. 

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 Interview by Julie Aras