When the Sun Sets is a band built on a mission: To connect with people and to help them. Past releases, like last spring’s “Transparency” EP, honed in on humanity’s troubles — both big and small — as dealt with by band members in a show of solidarity with others who might also be fighting them.
Zack Baumgartner, lead singer of the Huntley-based pop-punk band with Harrison Hoffman, Noah Evert and Tyler Dombrowski, said a fan approaching him to talk about her son’s depression inspired the direction of the band.
“That kind of influenced me personally to pull the trigger on When the Sun Sets,” he said.
Since then, the foursome has used their kinetic music to build outreach among fans, often partnering with Hope for the Day to bring awareness and help raise money to aid people struggling with mental health issues.
Friday, When the Sun Sets released a fun new song, “Inside Out,” and a new video shot by Alex Zarek. Baumgartner answered a few questions about the song and the band:
When the Sun Sets’ last EP, “Transparent,” was all about sharing your humanity — feats, flaws and all — and being honest about your struggles as people and as a band. What’s the message behind “Inside Out”? Or what inspired you to write it?
This song focuses on an aspect of mental health that is often overlooked, and that is the presence of eating disorders in our world today. Someone very close to me has been struggling with this, and looking back on my past, I have struggled myself with it, too. Mainstream media seems to make us feel like we have to be picture perfect, and the truth is, all you have to be is yourself.
How did you guys overcome some of the unique challenges 2020 presented in writing the new music and creating this video?
“Inside Out” was written in our traditional writing environment, that being our practice space. It was hard to capture some of these emotions that we wanted to display throughout the song in a completely virtual environment (which a lot of bands did during quarantine) so we stepped back into that comfort zone to ensure we made the music that people deserve at this crazy time. From a video standpoint, nothing was changed because we only had six people on set which made it even easier to get done than previous videos.
With most in-person performances on the back burner lately, what have you been doing this year to stay connected to your music and to the scene?
We have been releasing as much “Behind The Scenes” content as possible trying to stay connected to our friends and supporters. Human connection is such a huge thing in the scene, and I feel that letting our friends into the writing/recording process would make them feel like a part of it even though they may not be front row at a show right now. In addition, we are releasing a mini-Documentary Series called “When The Sun Sets: Rewind” which has already been half-released at the time of this interview. All episodes can be found over on our YouTube channel, so if you want to get to know us beyond the music this is the chance!
What are you guys working on now? What else is coming up?
We are currently in the process of writing our first full length record, and are aiming to release by the end of the year. Updates will be flying out from all of our social media channels weekly, and we are going to make sure that this is the best record yet.