Sun Blood Stories’ latest album, It Runs Around the Room with Us (2017), features a song written by Amber Pollard titled “Burn.” It was inspired by a time when the singer-guitarist and her son George saw a Confederate flag hanging from a parked truck.
AP: I was working at the time, and I was at the [Ada County] Courthouse. There was a burn ban in the city, and it was 110 degrees outside. We were standing at the courthouse, and we just lit it on fire in the parking lot.
The song served as the climax for the Boise-based rock group’s set at the 2016 Treefort Music Fest. As singer-guitarist Ben Kirby and drummer Jon Fust bashed away at their instruments, Pollard ran around the stage howling out the song’s single lyric: “BURN!”
It was the first time SBS had played the song live, and it hit the audience (including me) hard. My friend Jax Perez would tell me much later, “I cried. And I don’t publicly cry. I was raised to not publicly cry. But that show – especially when that song closed everything out – I was fucking bawling.”
Amber Pollard has that effect on people. On stage, she can hit an intensity level that few others in the Boise scene can match. In her everyday life, she’s thoughtful and outspoken on race, gender, sexuality, abuse, and many other issues. Her passion and forthrightness have earned her a number of fans, particularly among young women.
Amber and I met up recently to discuss her life and music.