Suddyn, a band led by two brothers from Montauk, now has a new drummer, a new name — the Rebel Light — and a new gig: the July 28 and 29 Catalpa music festival on Manhattan’s Randalls Island. Alan and Jarrett Steil will fly home from Los Angeles this week for the show. With the new drummer, Brandon Cook, they will join headliners such as the Black Keys and Snoop Dogg.
“It’s more than a name change,” Alan Steil said by phone earlier this month. Having learned a lot over the last few years, working with many different producers, the band changed its sound, as well, he said. They still “take what we want from the past,” he said, referring to a heavily produced “anthem song” rock sound, but expand on it. It “sounded great but it wasn’t organic enough.”
While recording in-house demos that included vocals in a bathroom, the band enjoyed what they heard and decided to keep the tracks. Their new music is less guitar-based, Mr. Steil said. He played trumpet on a song for the first time, having learned the instrument as a youngster. He called the new, “totally different approach” real and honest. The two brothers tend to evolve musically in a similar way and “wind up in the same spot,” he said.
The Steils launched their career in Ireland a few years ago, releasing singles and hitting the top-20 charts a few times. Their music has also been played on MTV and VH1 television shows like “Jersey Shore” and “Road Rules,” which resulted in increased sales of songs and CDs.
The brothers grew up surfing and playing music in Montauk, where their parents still live. “It was hard, none of our friends played music or took it seriously,” Alan Steil said. Their preferred location is now Los Angeles, where they found a vibrant music scene and developed new friends.
The Catalpa music festival boasts more than 40 performers across the genres of blues, rock, hip-hop, electronic, reggae, and indie rock. For those who cannot swing a $179.99 general admission weekend ticket or $99.99 for one day (not including parking or the ferry to get to Randalls Island), Mr. Steil said he would give away four tickets on a local radio show this week.