Sunburned started as a 4 piece group by John Moloney, Robert Thomas, Chad Cooper and Rich Thomas. They played social music. Informal music, unshaped, unstructured, but completely shaped by modern culture, the cultural after-effects of world war 2, and our socio-religious backgrounds. The band spent an equal amount of time, if not more, making films with Rich behind the camera's eye. These were unscripted, absurd interpretations based on surreal urban dialogue and scenery. The name of the band was born from one of Rob's film monologues. That was 1996. From then up until May 2006 Sunburned has been based at their Charlestown, Massachusetts Loft. The building served as a meeting place for open ideas and open music. Shortly after the band's inception more people joined the group giving what time they could. Everything got recorded, everything.
Sunburned never really had an official membership, the band were mainly centred around John Moloney and Rob Thomas. Like the Moon, Sunburned has phases. Like the Sun, Sunburned generates energy and life. Life generates connections. Sunburned supported Four Tet for a 2 week tour in the spring of 2004. They became friends. Fast forward to March 2006. Kieran “Four Tet” Hebden asks the band if they would like him to record them in a London studio with the idea that he would take the recordings and construct his vision of a Sunburned record. And here it is.
As a leader and original gangster in the 'new weird movement' Sunburned has been at the forefront of a constantly growing and interesting music & art scene. Sunburned has been passed the torch of tradition through exploration and expression and have shared the stage with heavyweights such as Sonic Youth, John Fahey, Sun City Girls, Michael Hurley, Michael Chapman, Julian Cope, Dinosaur Jr., Mission of Burma.
If the foundation of the 'new building' were composed of bricks, the load bearing stones would be Sunburned, No Neck Blues Band, Vibracathedral Orchestra, MV-EE, Six Organs of Admittance, Charalambides, Double Leopards, Wolf Eyes, Hair Police, Comets on Fire, Chris Corsano, Paul Flaherty, Dredd Foole, Joshua, Black Dice, Lightning Bolt, Jackie O' Motherfucker, Acid Mother's Temple, Jack Rose, Sunn O))), Sunroof!, Magik Markers, Hush Arbors, Wooden Wand and Four Tet. All of whom Sunburned has shared the stage with and have shared members on occasion.
Sunburned has been putting out a regular stream of recordings mostly on their own label - Manhand / Sunburned Records. From time to time, Sunburned has teamed up with like- minded labels to release records such as Smalltown Supersound and Thurston Moore`s Ecstatic Peace.
Sunburned, as an 'entity', is an artist and its medium is recorded music and to a lesser degree, film. Sunburned records are like paintings of sound, mostly hand-packaged and sometimes limited to the interest in that particular 'piece' would demand. In 2005/2006 Sunburned members branched out, John Moloney joining Six Organs of Admittance and Howlin Rain. Paul Labrecque & Valerie Webb releasing an LP for Eclipse, Athyr Myth'd (Ron Schneiderman, Paul Labrecque & Joshua Burkett) toured the Benelux. The Michael Flower Band with Sunburned members john Moloney and Chris Corsano (also known for his work with Bjork, both live and on her new album) hit the stage, and United Light was formed with John Moloney, Mick Flower from VCO, and Jackie O' Motherfucker's Tom Greenwood. Also in 2006 Taylor Richardson, Hush Arbor's Keith Wood, and VCO's Michael Flower and Bridget Hayden joined the group and toured extensively through the US, Canada and Europe. Sunburned also teamed up with poet/filmmaker, and photographer Ira Cohen for the recording of an alternate soundtrack to Cohen's psychedelic film masterpiece, "The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda" which was released on Arthur Magazine's Bastet label.
On Fire Escape Sunburned consists of an all star line up, all of whom are members of the movement which is Sunburned Hand of the Man. Sunburned is not a band in the traditional sense, Sunburned is a collection of like minded artists and musicians gathered together for the purposes of group exploration and an undying search for the 'ecstatic truth' which fuels us all. Led these days by John Moloney, Sunburned is whoever you see on stage, whoever you think about when you listen and the sound of that feeling you get that is closer to the bone and closest to the truth whether you want to believe in it or not.
Sunburned Hand Of The Man on Fire Escape are:
Kieran Hebden (Fourtet) - Piano, Production & Mix
Robert Thomas - Bass
John Moloney - Drums, Beats & Vocals
Ron Schneiderman - Guitar, percussion & winds
Marc Orleans - Guitar, Casio, Winds
Michael Flower (Vibracathedral Orchestra) - Trumpet, Guitar, Percussion
Bridget Hayden (Vibracathedral Orchestra) - Voice, Viola, Piano
Keith Wood - Guitar, Percussion, Winds