At a brunch in October at the Eastern Oregon Film Festival in October, film legend Bruce Campbell delivered a carpe diem speech. Amber Pollard, the vocalist/slide guitarist/bass synth player for Boise band Sun Blood Stories, who was in attendance, took note.
"The speech that he gave was, to me, so inspiring. It was so strong. He was talking about, 'Just do it,'" she said.
The band wouldn't wait long to use his advice. SBS was scheduled to perform that evening with another band, but when the second group was unable to play, the manager asked if SBS could stay and fill the schedule gap.
"We will, because Bruce Campbell said we should at brunch this morning," Pollard said, echoing her words at the time.
In a Dec. 21 artist release, Treefort Music Fest announced SBS would make its eighth appearance at the festival in March 2019. While Treefort has steadily grown, however, SBS has whittled from a large shoegaze/psychedelic band to a trio. The 2019 festival will be the second year in a row that it has performed at Treefort with its current lineup: Pollard, Ben Kirby (vocals, guitar, bass synth), and drummer and keyboardist Jon Fust.
The festival and the band have changed together, Treefort having become a kind of mile marker for SBS.
"It's pretty much what we organize our entire year around," Kirby said. "Really, it's provided this thing that everyone can work towards, prepare for."
SBS' sound is one of the most distinctive in Boise, its tracks blowing through audiences and speakers like solar wind. Its latest release, It Runs Around the Room with Us (self-released, 2017), landed positive reviews in Northwest Music Scene, Rosey Music and The Obelisk, not to mention Boise Weekly. In 2018, SBS returned to the studio to record an album it plans to release in September 2019.
The new work, Pollard said, is about the bruises and bumps of personal history, politics and just being in the world, but with a new sense of collaboration and the raised profile of Fust, who wrote several songs.
"It's still real weird," Pollard said, "but it definitely has a more accessible sound to some people."