LADIES & GENTS… OUR 5 YEAR WORLD TOUR IS OVER! And what a ride it’s been.

When we sold our things & left Australia in 2010 we had no idea what we were in for. I still remember our first day like it was yesterday… We turned up jetlagged & clueless in Berlin with nothing but our suitcases, instruments & enough savings to last a year.

The last 5 years have been the most exhilarating, challenging & rewarding experience of our lives. We shared an apartment for a while, ran out of cash & decided to live on the road instead of quit. And that’s when the real adventure began.

We’ve played in a ruined castle, crossed the Swiss Alps & drank beer at a Belgian monastery. We’ve marched against Nazis, toured Route 66 & driven through Scottish blizzards. We’ve ended up in secret underground bikie clubs, played at Morgan Freeman’s blues bar & spent 3 nights in a Polish jail (well, to be fair that was just me…). So many crazy adventures.

Don’t get me wrong- being nomads isn’t all fun & games. Not seeing family & friends for years at a time is heartbreaking. Relationships? Forget it. And while sleeping on air mattresses is fun for a while, doing it alongside 3 sweaty dudes every night ain’t pretty.
But it was all worth it for one reason- you guys. You opened your homes to us & gave us places to crash (every night!). You taught us how to deep fry an entire turkey & make moonshine. You cooked us amazing meals & gave us the local experience in every country we toured. Our fans have become our best friends & I don’t know any other band that can say that.

5 years ago no-one even knew who The Sunpilots were. I’m incredibly proud of the people we’ve grown into, our amazing fans & what we’ve achieved together since then. A whole new chapter is about to begin for us & we can’t wait to share it with you.

Peace & love,


New bass player joins the family


Everyone, please welcome our new bass player Stefan Bielik to the family!

We had an awesome jam with him after our Vienna show (yes, another Austrian dude…). He brought a crate of beer to the audition, so we were sold. He also lays down a KILLER bass groove & can translate German parking tickets for us.

Being in The Sunpilots is more than just a gig- it’s a lifestyle. Stefan is leaving his job, apartment & friends in Vienna to live on the road with us full time. That takes commitment. Welcome to the club mate!

PS. We head to Berlin in June to start work on our new album!

After 3 awesome years with us, Adil is stepping down as bass player


After 3 truly awesome years with us, Adil Baktir is stepping down as bass player for The Sunpilots. He’s heading back to Vienna to pursue other musical directions & we send him all our love for the future.

Adil joined the band in the middle of our 2012 European tour. Our last bass player had quit unexpectedly (overnight) & we were booked to play a festival in France the next week. We’d just moved out of our apartment & were living on the road for the first time, so cancelling the tour would have meant no place to stay. Needless to say we were super stressed.

The A-man learned all our songs, quit his job in Vienna & saved our collective asses. We had the audition over Skype so the first time we met him was when we pulled up outside his place. Luckily he wasn’t a serial killer & turned out to be an awesome dude who will always be one of our bros. 

 Here’s one of our fave photos from the US tour. Thanks for all the memories mate! Looking forward to sharing some beers & cheese-filled sausages next time we’re in Austria.

PS. We’re announcing our new bass player tomorrow!

REVIEW: The Sunpilots – King of the Sugarcoated Tongues

English translation of our album review in Austrian magazine Demonic Nights.

Demonic Nights

When The Sunpilots were founded in 2009, they swore to do things without a major record label on their backs and to tour relentlessly instead. After the release of their debut album “Living Receiver” they were pulled from Sydney to Berlin to take advantage of the German capital as the new base for their endless tour schedule.

King of the Sugarcoated TonguesIn the meantime, the quartet led by singer Raj Siva Rajah created new material that mixes the 70s prog approach with even more alternative rock sounds. “King of The Sugarcoated Tongues” is available as a free download, but is available on CD from the band’s online store.

In eight chapters, the Australians tell a story about the human desire for security and the sacrifices we have to make to earn it… The Prologue “3 Minutes To Midnight” opens at a relatively temperate pace, but quickly climbs in clear proggerie to a Led Zeppelin-impact. The showpiece is certainly Raj Siva-Rajah’s extravagant voice, sounding like an equal fusion of classic Carnartic vocal styles (Siva Rajah’s mother is from Sri Lanka) and classic rock. It’s Robert Plant, Matt Bellamy and Brandon Boyd rolled into one- even the falsetto works and has substance. One of Bob Spencer’s many passionate guitar solos gives the song a certain retro touch.

I’m currently playing one of the longer Sunpilots tracks and it’s musical brilliance. “The Captain” lurches from a classic American alternative rock bridge to a Floyd vs. Muse chorus, rounded by a epic solo, bombarded by British hard-rock elements before the rhythm section of Adil Baktir and Kay Ketting turn the grand finale into a veritable Groove-bastard:

“Sex And TV” makes grand gestures somewhere between “You Shook Me” and “Citizen Erased” with a middle section that has vibes of Muse’s “Origin Of Symmetry”:

In “Exodus” we’re blessed again with some Origin-style riffs. The Sunpilots even a drift a little into the metal realm with this track, which finally converges the threads of the record and in an almost jazzy moment, links back to the first notes of the album:

“King Of The Sugarcoated Tongues” continues the dance of outstanding Australian bands. Whatever swims in the water Down Under would do the local music scene some good. With their extraordinary indie way, fascinating storytelling, sophisticated retro songwriting and a terrific singer The Sunpilots supply an Alt-Prog treat of the highest order. Free download action aside, there’s also a lovingly made Digipak with all the lyrics and purchasing the CD is definitely worth it to support the DIY ethos of this exceptional band.

Rating: 9/10

“King of the Sugarcoated Tongues” available from:
The Sunpilots store

Visit The Sunpilots at:
Twitter (@thesunpilots)
Instagram (@thesunpilots)


Our story

*Article from MyCraft magazine, Issue 103

Live at Besser Als Nix festival, Germany Hailing from Sydney, Australia, The Sunpilots have quickly earned a reputation as a killer live act and one of the hardest working independent bands in the world. They left their home Down Under in 2010 to begin their ‘Gypsy Tour’ and have been living on the road ever since. The boys have no fixed home and have been staying on fans' couches for the past 4 years.

So far The Sunpilots have toured the USA, UK, Germany, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Raj (SO36, Germany) “On average we do around 4 to 5 shows and 2000 to 3000 kms of driving a week,” says Raj Siva-Rajah, who is both frontman and manager of the band. “The first van we bought in Europe was a 20 year old shitbox with no airconditioning. Yeah, that was fun in summer…” he laughs. “We run our own record label, do our own booking. It’s been intense.”

Formed by Raj and guitarist Bob Spencer in 2008, The Sunpilots have always been fiercely independent. The band released their debut album ‘Living Receiver’ in 2009 to rave reviews, a MusicOz Award, an ‘Indie Album of the Year’ and two ‘Indie Album of the Week’ awards from Australian street press. The single ‘Spotlight in the Sun’ became the #1 most added song on Australian radio and Apple featured another track as an iTunes Single of the Week. The band also became a North American college radio favourite and won ‘Best International Artist’ at the Toronto Independent Music Awards and ‘Single of the Year’ at the LA Independent Music Awards.

Life on the road But it wasn’t long before The Sunpilots began feeling the limitations of touring a huge but sparsely populated country like Australia. And so came their decision to embark on a full-time tour of the rest of the world. While the plan might seem slightly insane, it fits with the band’s do-or-die ethos. “If you’re not on a mission, you might as well be dead,” says Spencer with a smile. “We’ll keep doing this till we make it or kill each other, what ever comes first.”

King of the Sugarcoated Tongues The Sunpilots’ latest album ‘King of the Sugarcoated Tongues’ is an epic 8-chapter story about the human need for security and the freedoms we trade for it. The record sees the band’s sound evolve into a kind of Zeppelin-meets-Radiohead progressive rock that has been critically acclaimed by reviewers. Raj’s unique singing style comes from being raised in two musical worlds: from the age of 8 his mother (a classical Sri Lankan singer) instructed him in the Carnatic music of the east while he simultaneously fell in love with all things rock. When the passionate vocals and storytelling lyrics collide with with Spencer’s ripping guitar solos the result is explosive. Especially on stage, where the band shines brightest.

The Sunpilots have made the decision to let fans download ‘King of the Sugarcoated Tongues’ for free. “We just want people to hear our music, so we let them download it,” says Raj. “All we ask in return is that they share it, and donate something if they can afford to.” It seems to be working since the album is downloaded several hundred times a week and that number is growing daily.

Bob Spencer (Prog Sud festival, France) So what’s next for The Sunpilots? The boys have just finished a 35-state tour of the US and are now en route to Berlin to start work on a new record. “It'll be great to be in one place long enough to write again!” Raj says. “We’ve started demoing ideas and we’re really pumped about where it’s going.” With a new album around the corner and more US & European touring to follow, The Sunpilots are set to achieve big things next year.

Long live independent rock.

*Live photo credits (in order): Gabi Henke, Domenico Perri, Arthur Obédia