Hail the Sun

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Hail the Sun
OriginChico, California, U.S.
Years active2009–present
Associated acts
MembersDonovan Melero
Shane Gann
Aric Garcia
John Stirrat

Hail the Sun is an American post-hardcore band from Chico, California, formed in 2009. The band currently consists of lead vocalist and drummer Donovan Melero, lead guitarist Shane Gann, rhythm guitarist Aric Garcia, and bass guitarist John Stirrat. The band is known for their eclectic progressive rock and math rock styles fusing them with traditional elements of screamo and post-hardcore. They released their debut studio album, POW! Right In the Kisser! (2010), and EP, Elephantitis (2012), independently before signing to Blue Swan Records the following year. The group released their sophomore studio album, Wake, in 2014. In 2016, the band departed from the label, signing to Equal Vision Records and released their third studio album, Culture Scars on June 17, 2016, which charted at number 38 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums chart.[3]

In 2017, the band released their second extended play (EP), Secret Wars, on November 10, 2017, which was met with critical acclaim and was noted for the group's heavier and technical post-hardcore sound. The band released their fifth studio album, Mental Knife, on September 28, 2018.[4]

Hail the Sun has toured with various other musical groups including Dance Gavin Dance, I the Mighty, Circa Survive, and Silverstein, among others. They have also performed a numerous music festivals such as Chain Fest at the Chain Reaction, South By So What?!, Horns Up Festival, and most recently, Swanfest.


2009–13: Formation, POW! Right In the Kisser, and Elephantitis[edit]

Originating in Chico, California, members Donovan Melero, Shane Gann, Aric Garcia, and John Stirrat formed Hail the Sun in 2009 whilst in college.[5] They wrote and recorded their debut full-length studio album, POW! Right In the Kisser!, over the course of three months, which was released on May 21, 2010.[6]

The band released the EP album, Elephantitis, on July 3, 2012.[7] The creative process was heavily influenced by other post-hardcore musical groups the Fall of Troy and Hot Cross, and was dubbed "a sort of paradigm shift in the way post-hardcore can be played, combining a progressive hammer-on-pull-off heavy style of guitar playing and more free range drumming with a huge decrease in riffage, conventional time signatures and simplistic song structures resulted in a spastic, technically savvy sound which fit right in with the high energy mood and feel post-hardcore was known for."[8]

2014–17: Wake, Culture Scars, and Secret Wars EP[edit]

After three years of extensive touring, Hail the Sun became acquainted with Sacramento, California-based post-hardcore band Dance Gavin Dance, eventually signing to Will Swan's independent record label Blue Swan Records.[9] Hail the Sun released their sophomore studio album, Wake, on September 23, 2014 through the label, to critical acclaim.[10] Throughout 2014 and 2015, Hail the Sun toured extensively on respective tours from I the Mighty, Too Close to Touch, Dance Gavin Dance, A Lot Like Birds, the Ongoing Concept, Stolas, Polyphia, Our Last Night, Palisades, among several others. On December 3, 2015, it was revealed that the group had parted ways with Blue Swan Records and signed with record label Equal Vision Records, releasing a new demo version of the song, "Paranoia".[11] On March 25, 2016, the band released the official version of the single, "Paranoia".[12] On April 27, it was announced that Hail the Sun was set to release their third studio album, Culture Scars, on June 17, 2016.[13] The band is touring on the 2016 Vans Warped Tour.[14]

Speaking about the band's third album, Culture Scars, guitarist Shane Gann said "Culture Scars is a term we came up with to refer to those scars, both physical and emotional, that come about due to certain things that society deems as normal and acceptable. We don’t normally put much thought into the amount of pain that may be caused by dirty politics, found within a family with a 'problem child', or existing behind the scenes of an adult entertainment shoot. These themes are so commonplace in the world, and yet there is often so much trauma and hurt that is brought about by all these scenarios. We wanted to shed some light on the darker side of what we think of as normalcy."[15]

On November 8, 2017, Hail the Sun released the single "1109" and announced their extended play (EP), Secret Wars, which was released on November 10, 2017.[16]

2018–present: Mental Knife[edit]

On January 2, 2018, Hail the Sun published a statement confirming that they were recording their upcoming fourth studio album with producer Beau Burchell of American post-hardcore band Saosin.[17] The band released two new songs from the album on June 20, 2018, with the entirety of 'Mental Knife' later releasing on September 28, 2018.

Music and influence[edit]

Donovan Melero's vocal style has been often compared to that of recording artist Anthony Green of Circa Survive and Saosin's vocal style.[18] Hail the Sun has been labelled as a post-hardcore band using elements of screamo, progressive rock, and math rock in its music.[19]


Current members
  • Donovan Melero - lead vocals, drums, percussion (2009–present)
  • Shane Gann - lead guitar, backing vocals (2009–present)
  • Aric Garcia - rhythm guitar (2009–present)
  • John Stirrat - bass (2009–present)


Studio albums


  1. ^ "Hail the Sun". Last.fm.
  2. ^ https://www.sputnikmusic.com/bands/Hail-the-Sun/34024/
  3. ^ https://www.billboard.com/music/hail-the-sun
  4. ^ http://www.equalvision.com/news/hail-the-sun-release-new-full-length-mental-knife/
  5. ^ "Hail The Sun - Equal Vision Records". www.equalvision.com. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  6. ^ "POW! Right In The Kisser!, by Hail The Sun". Hail The Sun. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  7. ^ "Elephantitis, by Hail The Sun". Hail The Sun. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  8. ^ https://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/55485/Hail-the-Sun-Elephantitis/
  9. ^ Jensen, Ryan. "Blue Swan Records Making a Name for Itself". Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  10. ^ "Wake, by Hail The Sun". Hail The Sun. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  11. ^ "Hail The Sun join Equal Vision, premiere 'Paranoia' - Bombshellzine.com". December 3, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  12. ^ Equal Vision Records (March 25, 2016). "Hail The Sun "Paranoia" (Live Music Video)". Retrieved June 13, 2017 – via YouTube.
  13. ^ "HAIL THE SUN TO RELEASE 'CULTURE SCARS' ON JUNE 17 - Equal Vision Records". www.equalvision.com. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  14. ^ "Vans Warped Tour". Vans Warped Tour. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  15. ^ "HAIL THE SUN TO RELEASE 'CULTURE SCARS' ON JUNE 17 - Equal Vision Records". www.equalvision.com. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  16. ^ https://www.altpress.com/features/entry/hail_the_sun_1109
  17. ^ https://twitter.com/hailthesun/status/948288489652674565
  18. ^ "UTG INTERVIEW: Donovan Melero of Hail The Sun - Under the Gun Review". underthegunreview.net. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  19. ^ "HAIL THE SUN". Progarchives.com. Retrieved June 13, 2017.