After pondering a name for his band, freestyle skiing champion Matt Reardon decided on Black Sunshine partly because he wanted to be on record store shelves right next to Black Sabbath. In addition to having marketing benefits, the name is a valid description of the duality Reardon has existed in since he acquired a severe staph infection in his leg that required 11 operations and put his extreme sports career on hold.

Dejected, he turned to his other love, music, for creative fulfillment. The path to success wasn't free of obstacles. After recruiting a team of top-notch musicians, including drummer Matt 'Toast' Young (Billy Idol) guitarist and multi instrumentalist Jeff Flannery (Van Zants) and bassist Christopher Serafini (Pollen, the Stereo), Black Sunshine recorded a batch of Reardon's emotionally expressive songs -- which blend the energy of '90s grunge stalwarts like Nirvana and Soundgarden with the commercial polish of more modern outfits like Nickelback and Shinedown -- and shopped them around. For a year, Black Sunshine played whatever gigs they could find and met with various record companies, who liked the band's vibe but repeatedly failed to offer the group a record contract for one reason or another.


Refusing to give up, Reardon hooked up with Grammy award-winning producer Bob Marlette (Shinedown, Seether, Filter) and recorded Black Sunshine's self-titled debut, which was picked up by Break Silence Recordings and released on May 25. Since that time, Reardon's life has completely turned around. His leg has fully healed and he's back on the slopes engaging in death-defying feats -- and Black Sunshine are on the charts.

The band's first single, 'Once in My Life,' a mid-paced, dynamic rocker about close friends in extreme sports who either died or were seriously injured doing what they loved, is all over commercial radio. And Black Sunshine's recent tour with Soil and Smile Empty Soul proved to any naysayers that the band is more than a celebrity studio project.

Before Black Sunshine left for their current tour with Cavo, Reardon stopped by the Noisecreep offices to talk to us about the ordeals he's experienced in the past few years, his background in music, the creation of Black Sunshine and recording the band's debut album. He also talked about juggling sports and music, his undying love for touring and why he doesn't mind being compared to Nickelback or Three Days Grace.

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