Sumac performing at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, UK, 2017
|Origin||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Vashon, Washington, USA|
|Genres||Post-metal, sludge metal|
|Labels||Profound Lore, Thrill Jockey|
|Associated acts||Baptists, Mamiffer, Isis, Old Man Gloom, Russian Circles|
Sumac (stylized as SUMAC) is an American/Canadian post-metal band that formed in 2014. It features the Vancouver, British Columbia-based Nick Yacyshyn (Baptists) and Vashon, Washington-based Aaron Turner (Mamiffer, Old Man Gloom, ex-Isis). Sumac released its debut album The Deal through Profound Lore Records in 2015.
Musician Aaron Turner started working on new material that would eventually become Sumac with the intention of writing some of the heaviest music he'd ever created. After creating the skeletons of a handful of songs, he turned to Kurt Ballou of Converge and asked if he knew of a drummer that would fit well with the music he wrote. Ballou, who worked with the Canadian crust-punk band Baptists in April 2014 to record their second studio album Bloodmines, recommended Baptists drummer Nick Yacyshyn. Turner and Yacyshyn jammed together and clicked, and Yacyshyn commented that the music they were working on was, "a pretty dense, heavy experience and kind of out there, I'd say. I've never been in a band that sounds like this." Even though both members were a part of other projects at the time, Turner announced that Sumac would attempt to be a full-time band that would continue to write, record and tour, instead of being just a side band. After only playing together twice prior, Sumac performed their first show on stage in December 2014 opening for Deafheaven in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Sumac released its six-song debut album titled The Deal on February 17, 2015 through Profound Lore Records with Turner's own SIGE Records handling the vinyl pressing. Turner invited Brian Cook (Russian Circles, ex-These Arms Are Snakes, ex-Botch) to be a session bassist for The Deal, and also to be "an auxiliary/intermittent member for live performances when possible." The album was recorded by Mell Dettmer (Sunn O))), Earth) in Seattle, Washington and mastered by Ballou in Salem, Massachusetts. To promote the album, Sumac released the tracks "Thorn in the Lion's Paw" and "Blight's End Angel" for online streaming prior to its release. The band will embark on a short North American tour in support of The Deal in March 2015.
In February 2016, one year after the band released its debut album, Sumac announced they had signed to Thrill Jockey for the release of their second studio album. The new album, titled What One Becomes, was released on June 10, 2016 and is said to examine Turner's "internal and personal struggles with anxiety." On December 9, 2016 the band released 4-track EP titled Before You I Appear which featured remixes of songs from What One Becomes by such artists as Samuel Kerridge, Bleed Turquoise, Endon and Kevin Drumm.
In November 2017, Sumac announced the release of a collaborative album with Japanese multi-instrumentalist Keiji Haino titled American Dollar Bill - Keep Facing Sideways, You're Too Hideous To Look At Face On. The album was recorded in summer 2017 in Tokyo’s Goksound recording studio as "a series of unrehearsed, completely non-premeditated sessions" and was released on February 23, 2018.
A live album recorded at Brian Turner’s WFMU radio show was released on February 2, 2018 through SIGE Records as cassette edition limited to 200 copies.
In June 2018 the band announced their third album Love In Shadow to be released on September 21, 2018 through Thrill Jockey.
- The Deal (2015, Profound Lore)
- What One Becomes (2016, Thrill Jockey)
- Before You I Appear EP (2016, Thrill Jockey)
- WFMU Live cassette (2018, SIGE)
- American Dollar Bill - Keep Facing Sideways, You're Too Hideous To Look At Face On (with Keiji Haino) (2018, Thrill Jockey)
- Love In Shadow (2018, Thrill Jockey)
- Brian Cook's status as an official band member has been ambiguous. When Sumac formed, the band was described as a duo and Cook was described as an "auxiliary/intermittent member" who would participate in recording sessions and live performances when his schedule would allow. However, the press release for their signing to Thrill Jockey described the band as a "powerhouse trio".
- Geist, Brandon (January 26, 2015). "Hear Dave Grohl's Favorite New Drummer on Sumac's 'Blight's End Angel'". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
- Heaney, Gregory. "Bloodmines – Baptists". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
- Adams, Gregory (November 4, 2014). "Baptists Drummer Nick Yacyshyn Sheds Light on New Sumac Project with Aaron Turner". Exclaim!. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
- Adams, Gregory (September 4, 2014). "Former Isis Frontman Teams Up with Baptists and Russian Circles Members as Sumac". Exclaim!. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
- Noisey Staff (December 18, 2014). "Aaron Turner's New Band, Sumac, is Heavier Than a Bag of Hammers; Listen to a New Track Here". Noisey. Vice. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
- Adams, Gregory (January 26, 2015). "Sumac: 'Blight's Light Angel'". Exclaim!. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
- Adams, Gregory (February 23, 2016). "Sumac Sign to Thrill Jockey for Sophomore Album". Exclaim!. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
- Adams, Gregory (March 21, 2016). "Sumac Announce 'What One Becomes,' Premiere New Track". Exclaim!. Retrieved March 21, 2016.
- "Sumac - Before You I Appear". Thrill Jockey. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
- "Keiji Haino & Sumac - American Dollar Bill - Keep Facing Sideways, You're Too Hideous To Look At Face On". Thrill Jockey. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
- "Sumac: WFMU Cassette". SIGE. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
- "Sumac - Love In Shadow". Thrill Jockey. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
- Adams, Gregory (February 11, 2015). "Sumac 'The Deal' (album stream)". Exclaim!. Retrieved February 23, 2016.