Sunk Loto

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Sunk Loto
Also known as Messiah
Origin Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Genres Nu metal, alternative metal, hard rock
Years active 1997 (1997)–2007 (2007)
Labels Sony
Past members
  • Dane Brown
  • Jason Brown
  • Luke McDonald
  • Sean Van Gennip
  • Adam Cox
  • Rob Kaay

Sunk Loto were an Australian metal band formed in Gold Coast, Queensland in 1997. The band's members were vocalist Jason Brown, guitarist Luke McDonald, bass player Sean Van Gennip, and drummer Dane Brown. Sunk Loto signed a recording contract with Sony Music Australia when the average age of their members was 16 years. They released two studio albums, Big Picture Lies (13 October 2000) and Between Birth and Death (17 November 2003), both reached the ARIA Albums Chart top 50. The group disbanded in December 2007.


Sunk Loto formed as a heavy metal band in Gold Coast, Queensland in March 1997 by Dane Brown on drums, his brother Jason Brown on lead vocals, Luke McDonald on guitar and Sean Van Gennip on bass guitar.[1] Originally named Messiah, Jason and McDonald had met at a local music store, Jason brought his younger brother to practice sessions and McDonald's school mate, Van Gennip, completed the line-up.[1] A year later they changed their name due to another band of the same name: Jason explained "we looked up Messiah in the dictionary and one of the meanings was 'liberators of the oppressed" and we took the first letter of each word to form LOTO and SUNK from sinking."[2]

In April 1999 the group signed with Sony Records when Dane was 13 and the band's oldest member, Van Gennip, was 17.[1] In November that year, they released a five-track extended play, Society Anxiety, which was produced by Phil McKellar (Silverchair, Frenzal Rhomb)[3] It peaked in the ARIA Singles Chart top 40.[4] Justin Donnelly of Blistering described their early sound "it was predictable. There wasn't much in the way of pushing the envelope song wise, and while the nu-metal angle is now a bit contrived, it was a sound that typified the time."[5] The administrator of Beatdust felt it "pays homage to its inspirations – elements of both Evil Empire era RATM and Deftones Around the Fur are heavily evident both musically and sonically throughout."[3]

From 2000 to 2002 Adam Cox joined the band's live roster as their DJ, sampler and keyboardist.[3] For six weeks in 2000 Sunk Loto recorded their debut album, Big Picture Lies, with McKellar as producer, at studios in Sydney.[1][3] It was issued on 13 October and reached No. 30 on the ARIA Albums Chart.[4] Undercover's Tim Cashmere previewed the extended two disc version "No points for guessing where this sound has come from. The most recent single, 'Make You Feel' is just as obvious. If you've ever seen them live you'd think you were watching Korn. I shouldn't be too harsh though, they're a very young group (all but one under 18 I believe), and it's good to see them having a go."[6] He found the bonus disc to have "some of the most difficult to navigate, contentless, jerky piece of horse poo I have ever had the displeasure of browsing."[6]

The album's lead single, "Make You Feel" (August 2000), peaked at No. 33 on the ARIA Singles Chart and was followed in December by "Sunken Eyes", which reached the top 100.[4][7] On 17 November 2003 they issued their second album, Between Birth and Death, with McKellar producing again.[8] It peaked in the top 50 on the ARIA Top 100 Albums, No. 13 on the ARIA Australasian Artists and No. 4 on the ARIA Heavy Rock & Metal chart.[4][8] Its lead single, "Everything Everyway", had appeared in October 2003, and reached the top 50 on the ARIA Singles Chart.[4]

In 2006 Sean Van Gennip departed the band due to creative differences. He was replaced by Rob Kaay. The band finished a short Australian tour at the end of 2006 and planned to finish writing and recording their third studio album. McDonald had wanted to "taking their sound down an even darker path."[3] Dane, Jason and Kaay met together in May 2007 and decided to work on a new project without McDonald.[3] Sunk Loto played their final show at the Hard Rock Hotel on the Gold Coast on 14 December 2007. Kaay recalled "the guys made me learn a bunch of death-metal songs with every intention of recording a new album, but things suddenly ended before we got to record it."[3]

The Brown brothers and Kaay wrote songs, five days a week over a six-month period and formed a new band: The Flood, The Flood.[3] Jason and Dane Brown later created Electric Horse with ex-members of fellow Gold Coast band, Limp.[3] They issued an EP, Translations (2010), and a studio album, Venomous (2013).[3]



  • Big Picture Lies – Epic/Sony Music (13 October 2000) (AUS) No. 30[4]
  • Between Birth and Death – Sony Music (SMA 5139052000) (17 November 2003) (AUS) No. 48[4]

Extended plays[edit]

  • Society Anxiety – (29 November 1999) (AUS) No. 40[4]


  • "Make You Feel" – Sony/Epic (August 2000) (AUS) No. 33[4]
  • "Sunken Eyes" – Sony/Epic (December 2000) (AUS) No. 76[7]
  • "Everything Everyway" – Sony/Epic (October 2003) (AUS) No. 46[4]


  • "Chameleon (Messiah Demo)"
  • "Cloud 9 (Messiah Demo)"
  • "We Are The Disease"
  • "Empty and Alone (Demo Version)"
  • "Kill Your Soul"
  • "This Violent World"

Note: The second track is a demo version of "Empty and Alone" from Between Birth and Death. The other three tracks are songs which were to be recorded for their next album before the band broke up. They are not on an official release.


  • Jason Brown — vocals
  • Dane Brown — drums
  • Luke McDonald — guitar
  • Sean Van Gennip — bass
  • Rob Kaay — bass
  • Adam Cox — dj / keys / samples


  1. ^ a b c d Nimmervoll, Ed. "Sunk Loto". Howlspace. White Room Electronic Publishing Pty Ltd. Archived from the original on 29 January 2003. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  2. ^ O'Gorman, Ros; Rachel (23 November 2000). "Transcripts: Sunk Loto". radioundercover. Undercover Media (Paul Cashmere, Ros O'Gorman). Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j administrator (17 March 2015). "Mixed Media Slang: Sunk Loto – Between Birth & Death (2003)". Beatdust. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Hung, Steffen. "Sunk Loto Discography". Australian Charts Portal. Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  5. ^ Donnelly, Justin. "Review: Sunk Loto – Between Birth and Death". Blistering (Blistering Media). Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Cashmere, Tim. "Sunk Loto – Big Picture Lies". Undercover. Undercover Media (Paul Cashmere, Ros O'Gorman). Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "The ARIA Report" (PDF) (566). Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). 1 January 2001. pp. 4, 8, 14, 20, 27. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 February 2002. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "The ARIA Report" (PDF) (718). Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). 24 November 2003. pp. 2, 5, 10–12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 December 2003. Retrieved 27 September 2015. 

External links[edit]