Sacramento-based Sunday School comes to Bottom of the Hill on Wednesday to make an impression on the Bay Area. They will be accompanied by two other Northern California groups, Primo Major and headliner Hobo Johnson.
Sunday School is in the midst of a transformation within the band. Since the release of their self-titled EP early last year, they have added two new members. Coming into the band is new guitarist Neal Hydrick, as lead vocalist/guitarist Will Heimbichner decided to step back from guitar to focus on singing, and new bassist Michael Gompers, who replaces Zac Green, who left to teach kids in South Korea. Filling out the rest of the band is drummer Cameron English and lead guitar Alex Giddings.
The band was started by Heimbichner and Giddings. They first met in high school where they shared a common interest in the Beatles and would jam together, the two said reminiscing of their beginning.
They would go on to play in other bands before coming into their own as Sunday School.
“We had a bunch of names we came up with. We chose the one that least sucked,” Heimbichner said laughing.
“The alliteration with Sunday School helps too,” Giddings added in.
Heimbichner is the primary songwriter, drawing from influences such as Paul Simon and Elton John. Giddings focuses on the group’s sound, and he said their earlier stuff had a bit of a ’90s grunge feel.
With new band members coming into the fold, both expect a different sound for future songs. Giddings said the band is heading towards more rhythmic and catchy sound, describing something similar to the Strokes.
With the new direction, Heimbichner expects the band to bring a new style and process to studio this month, as they go to record their new album.
“I hope everybody doesn’t hate our new stuff and is willing to give it a try,” he said.
Both Giddings and Heimbichner said their upcoming show at Bottom of the Hill is big for them in hopes of establishing their audience beyond their native Sacramento into the Bay Area. Beyond that, they hope to tour along the West Coast once they finish their next album.
Hobo Johnson, Sunday School, Primo Major
Bottom of the Hill
March 21, 2018
9pm, $10 (21+)