Interview: SunStroke Project on visiting the night clubs of Ukraine, making babies and being an epic sax guy

In a year of bad news from various countries in the East, some messages are more appreciated than others. Like the fact that SunStroke Project are back for Eurovision! What a joyous moment in GEE headquarters when this was first announced. And in spite of a rather disturbing music video, we are still eager to see these funky guys hit the grand stage again. But first a little chat, of course. Delivered directly to you from the dark corner offices of Chisinau.

These days SunStroke Project are trying out new and exiting things. Like looking really grumpy whenever there is a photographer around.

– Guys! Congratulations on a fabulous win in Moldova! We are extremely happy to see you returning to Eurovision! What happened in your career since you left in Oslo in 2010?

– Thank you! Since we left Oslo in 2010 we have finished working on our second album. We have opened our music label Ragoza Music, opened our own sound recording music studio and of course made children.

– How great! Are you working as artists full-time? Only together or also separately?

– We dedicate all of our free time to music. In principle we are not able to do anything besides making children and music. At the moment we are only working together and we don’t plan any solo projects! This the power of our team!

– Indeed! *picturing you making children together as a team* What is it like being an artist in Moldova? Are you huge over there? What is the music scene like?

– Frankly speaking, you need to deserve it to be a famous actor and do your favorite things in our country.With the conditions of our market that is not a simple task, but we cope with it! Frankly speaking, in our country we are known practically by all. And as for the musical industry in Moldova, unfortunately, today, it is limited to performances on office parties. Seldom there is an opportunity to act on the open air and musical festivals.

– The Moldovans must be missing out on a lot. Or spend a lot of time in offices. We heard that you played in Odessa? What is your relation to Kyiv?

– In the history of our collective there were moments when we often acted in night clubs of Ukraine so we can brag about always being well accepted there and it is always pleasant for us to come there.

– So, Epic Sax Guy. We know you had a huge career as a meme on the internet. How is that going? Did you make saxophones great again?

– Unconditionally it was very pleasant for me to receive various regalia as to the most popular Internet meme from 2010 up until today. I am sure that our performance on the Eurovision in Kyiv, will give new breath to this direction and will give the new movement which will become popular in the whole world.

– Still no sense of modesty, we see. Keep that up. And we know there is an interesting history behind you name. Plan on bringing your sunglasses to Kyiv?

– Anton did military service and dreamed of becoming rich and well known. And once, when we tried to think up the name for our collective, Anton told us that he had had a sunstroke at that time. We thought that was a sign and decided that it would be very original at that time. As for my sunglasses: Certainly. It is my scenic image, only this year they will be black.

SunStroke Project. Switching color for sunglasses since 2010.

– We also love your suits! Plan on wearing the same in Eurovision or glamming it up a notch?

– We are personally very much pleased by the fact that we constantly can surprise fans in new ways with our creativity. These suits are very expensive and we will put them on for the performance

– Oh, we can’t wait for your fashion show in Kyiv. By the way, What happened to Olia Tira? Did she get fired?

– As for our friend and the famous singer Olya Tira, we don’t plan joint tracks these days, but we continue to be on friendly terms, communicate and to cooperate within Ragoza Music label.

Any plans on bringing with you Pasha Parfeny and his leather slacks instead, knowing we would approve 100 per cent?

– We are connected to Pasha Parfeny by long-time friendly and creative relations, but we aren’t going to take him in Kiev with us.

– What do you miss the most from your time in Oslo? Apart from us, we mean?

– Frankly speaking, that stay in Norway remains in our memory as one of the brightest impressions of our career. We always remember with pleasure how Norwegians were friendly to us and how all of us spent time on the parties devoted to the Eurovision.

– We remember you excelling in partying in Oslo. What are your plans for Kyiv? Surely not being home before sunrise?

– The power of our collective is positive, music brightness and of course a good mood, which we load up on in public. Therefore in Kyiv we will apply the same trump and we will come off as last time.

– Where do we apply for being part of your entourage? Will you host an audition?

– To become a part of our unforgettable party, you need to have a good mood and not be afraid of a hangover.

– Guess that’s settled then. Where did you learn your moves, Epic Sax Guy? Any chance for some private tutoring in Kyiv?

– In the childhood mother drove me on dance classes and I did not like it at all. The irony is that while I have been playing a saxophone since I was 13, I became well-known thanks to the dance moves.

A significant part of SunStroke Project’s training for Eurovision consists of hunting down Moldovan celebrities to take selfies with them. That’s what Eurovision is about, isn’t it?

– Do you like Eurovision even when you are not participating? Why? What are your favorite entries throughout the years?

– For us Eurovision became a big family holiday. Even when we don’t participate, all of us equally watch and worry. We remember the performance of Lithuania’s Inculto “Eastern European Funk”. And of course our friend and the performer from Norway, Alexander Rybak will always be in our hearts and memory.

– You have a video that would be instantly PG rated in Norway. Is this usual family entertainment in Moldova? Why did you choose this story?

– If you attentively listen to our song, then you will understand that there is a story where the guy tries to convince mother of his future darling that he is a good guy and that he is worthy her daughter. We think that for any people getting to know a mother is a very disturbing moment. And we decided to imprint this situation in the clip.

Our verdict:

So, are these guys still up for the game or did all the baby making kill their party spirit? After all these reassurances we’d opt for the former. While this year’s contest isn’t as much of a lulling ballad fest as former years, we still need all the funk we can get, and there’s nothing like a saxophone to secure it all. Also, artists arriving already educated in Ukrainian nightclubs and ready to party are much appreciated, and we’ll be happy to load these guys up on whatever they need. Except for those babies, we reckon.

Watch SunStroke Projects entry for Eurovision 2017, as shown in the national final, below or watch the official music video here.

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