Digital Femininity Identity Interview

‘People Often Think I Don’t Really Know How to Play Bass Until They See Us Live’ – Julia Cumming: We Interviewed Brooklyn Trio Sunflower Bean

We interviewed dreamy-psych-rock trio Sunflower Bean

DtL: What has been your proudest moment so far?

Jacob: For us, releasing our first record Human Ceremony has definitely been one of our proudest moments. To have completed a full length album and put it out into the world feels pretty good.

DtL: Have you ever experienced bullying? If so what happened and how did you deal with the experience?

Jacob: As someone who grew up liking and playing music in school, I was always getting teased for it. I think back then I would take it pretty personally. I remember the summer going into high school; I was begging my parents to let me quit band so other kids wouldn’t see me walk home with my saxophone everyday! But as I got older, things got a lot better, and I started to realise that music was my passion and that I shouldn’t allow myself to be affected by other kid’s unwarranted judgements.

DtL:  Our research revealed that 35% of teenage girls believe that their gender will have a negative effect on their career. What are your thoughts on this, based on your experiences in the music industry Julia?

Julia: It’s extremely complicated. When I was a kid, I noticed that all the songs I liked were written by men, about women, and I wondered why when I sung along to them, I always had to sing about girls. I wanted to sing about boys. But that didn’t stop me from becoming a musician, you know? I still went on to try. I think it’s important to try and take care of each other, and let each other know that it’s not a negative thing to be a woman, it’s a gift.

DtL: Have you ever experienced sexism/stereotyping in the industry based on gender? If so, how did you deal with it?

Julia: People often think I don’t really know how to play bass until they see us live, or they say they’ve “never seen a girl play bass like me”. I just want to keep pushing myself as a musician, songwriter, and artist. I think the more women are viewed as “normal” in the world of music, instead of this “other” thing, these comments will lessen. And my way of doing that is to keep working and growing.

[full-width-figure image=””]


DtL: What advice would you give to young people who might want to get into the music industry?

Jacob: Practice. I think as a musician the most important thing is to keep GROWING and LEARNING. A lot of times you may feel like you have hit a wall and that’s okay; maybe you just need to step back from whatever it is you are doing for a little bit and come back to it with a clear mind.

DtL: What is the most exciting thing you are working on right now?

Jacob: We just made a music video for our song Come On and other then that, just touring. We’ve been on the road solidly since Human Ceremony came out.

DtL: What are your most prominent challenges, and how do you overcome them?

Jacob: The challenging thing about doing what we do is probably the constant travelling, and managing so many different kinds of situations that come with being in the music industry. But we all care about each other and that helps a lot. Respecting and appreciating each other’s skills is really important.

DtL: If you could go back in time, what one thing would you tell your younger self?

Jacob: I would say, keep on rocking! You’re gonna find some kids to play music with and everything is gonna be alright! I would reassure him that he CAN follow his dreams in life if he works hard enough.

DtL: What tends to inspire your writing?

Jacob: We are inspired by the world around us, time, and getting older, space, the universe. The human range of emotions.

The track we have on repeat here in the DtL office: 


  • Confused
    So I posted something saying feeling better. And asked how do I tell my bf that I rather go by a different set pronouns. But now I keep hearing him talking to his ex. We will call her Lilly. Lilly is bi and has a girlfriend now. I am jealous bc she can pull both […]
  • My vent 😭😭😭😭
    I just want to be skinny without people controlling me telling me to eat, threatening to take me to the doctors if I'm poorly. Well well done because I'm in this unit thingy. Honestly let me live my life leave me alone. I'll be dead If you'd let me do my thing. Leave me the […]
  • Paying for the first date...
    So who pays for the first date. I've heard a many mixed things... The man should pay, the woman should pay, bill should be split, the person that asked should pay as they are then "taking them out"... What are your guys' thoughts?
  • Post your thoughts on Christianity, do you think it's homophobic?
    God says to love all as He has loved you, love your neighbor as thy yourself... Yet he also says adultery and same sex relationships are not His way, that is if you are to love Him. It is very nuanced, but do you think Christianity is homophobic?
  • I don’t know what to do
    Weird things have been happening to me, I don’t know why this is happening to me especially when I finally get the opportunity of a life time. I can’t even sleep an night anymore because this is happening. I could really use a little help right now.
  • How do I convince my mom to let me keep my short hair?
    Its been like 2 years since I had short hair , but like my parents did not have a problem with it because it was a "feminine" length. I honestly always hated having long hair and love the way short hair looks and so, I made a huge decision and I have always been convincing […]