Monday, 24 January 2011

Sounds From The Seaside.

Amongst the faded Victorian grandeur of Brighton something is stirring....

Amongst the ear splitting noise of a hundred bands and their trademark ironic tinny electronica sound. Amongst the grey drudgery of yet another thrash metal band who wouldn't know a melody if it tapped them on the shoulder and introduced itself to them saying -  "hello, I'm a melody".
Amongst the clubs and bars playing The Who and The Jam to middle aged Mods who have parked their scooters outside for the day trippers to photograph and yearn for 1965 again.

Amongst all this there is a band emerging who grasp the concept of the 'song'. A band who understand how to hit the listener with melodies and hooks. A band who understand that the only way to become truly great is to play live. A band with a front man who is one part Liam Gallagher, one part Johnny Cash and two parts George Best and who brings a dash of West London style to proceedings. A band who pay no attention to what some spotty, fresh out of college journo from the NME says is this weeks 'must listen'. 

This band have Fire & Skill. This band is Sun Of Souls. 

I've known front man Pete Jones for a long while now. I even used to manage one of his old bands Model Citizens, who split mainly because of a smack head bass player, a lead guitarist with stage fright and a difference of opinion over whether they wanted to be The Libertines or Buffalo Springfield....but that's a different story for a different day.
I've always been a staunch believer in Pete. He's always had a passion in his belly for making music and even when various incarnations of bands he's been in have imploded he's never lost that fire in his gut. Band split up? Pete would say "fuck it I'll go and do some solo acoustic gigs." There are a million bands and artists out there today who would do well to summon up just an ounce of Pete's belief. If you've got a tale to tell, a message to share or a song to sing then get off your arse and do it!

Hard work's the only way.

So, on hearing that Sun Of Souls had finally been signed i thought I'd speak to Pete and check out how the land lies for 2011....

Sun Of Souls then, can you give us a brief rundown on what you're all about?

Sun of souls are about making good music that don't just appeal to one audience, it's about turning someone on to something they can relate to. A voice for the Everyman..... 

Nice. Music for the people by the people. 

A bit of a history lesson for the reader, how did the four of you arrive at this point together? Previous bands etc?

Me & Nick are the founding members. We played in a band together here in Brighton called The Black Flowers, it was an average band but the songs weren't particularly strong, so we left it and started writing songs for six months on our own in my basement flat. Nick then brought his mate Gareth "George" down the studio to help out on bass until we found someone... we hunted high and low for a bassist, but no one wants to be just a bassist and sit in the corner with four strings. So Nick decided the best thing to do was to play it himself, which left the spot open for a lead guitarist which George fitted nicely into, which worked well as both of them are great guitarists. Sometimes it's like you've got two leads except one of them is playing it on a bass... All that was then left to do was to find a drummer, someone who could hold a beat, yet fill out the song when required... So we started calling all our old drummers we knew from different bands, auditioning new ones... But it just didn't feel right... Except for this one kid that just kept popping up, we played with him in The Black Flowers for a while, then he left only to return and leave a further THREE times before we finally nailed him down now he's in and in for good, The job was always his, enter Phil...

So seeing as you've just been signed by a decent indie label what is the plan of action for this year?

Gig, gig, gig and then gig some more. We've got shows lined up until May, with promo bits and bobs in between and radio shows and reviews coming up over this next month, which will be to plug the first single launch due for the 1st of March the track is called Given The Chance and then keeping up the buzz with a second shortly after at some point in April which is also being launched on an EP produced by the label.... By the end of summer we are looking to finalise dates for a UK tour.... And in between all of that writing and recording more songs...

And the grand masterplan? World domination and a complete escape from the day to day drudgery? Or just making music that you like and sod the world?

Its all about writing tunes for yourself to start with, because you never want to  write a tune that you think is shit. If you don't like it then no-one else will... All you can do is hope that what comes out at the end and played live is well received...

Lets go back in time. Early days, what first turned you onto music and wanting to make it yourself?

Oh God, what turned me on... Well my very first memory of music was sitting on the front room floor in front of a Hitachi three speed record player, you know the full stack with the double tape decks, the lot... It was mega... And putting on some big old bins on my ears and sticking on the old mans vinyls of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson and Leadbelly... It wasn't until around '97 though until I really worked out I wanted to be a musician... For me that was the best year for music. Oasis released Be Here Now, such an underrated album when it came out. The Verve had Urban Hymns, Prodigy had Fat Of The Land... I was just discovering life that summer going out getting pissed and what ever else and all I knew I wanted to do was to be in a band for the rest of my life, nothing else made sense to me back then.

So who would you say are your musical influences or icons either past or present. What music always flicks your switch?

If you said the name 'Gallagher' most people would answer, what Noel? But for me it's always been Liam... He's a fucking legend, he looks cool, he is cool... But keeping to my roots Johnny Cash is also an icon for me. The bloke is like gold to my ears, there's something hypnotic about his vocals... But others that I'd never leave off my iPod are... Bowie / The Stones / The Kinks / The Small Faces / Rod Stewart / The Doors / Pink Floyd / Stereophonics... And to obviously save the best until last... The Beatles, you can't top their work, no one can, they are almost God-like... Gotta say on that point though have you heard the new Beady Eye b-side to Four Letter word its called World Outside My Room and it's epic.... I'm digging that at the moment, I'm wearing the needle out on my record player at home on that one!

On the flipside of that musical coin, what bands / artists aren't you digging? 

I couldn't tell you band names because i don't pay enough attention to them but its the generic soulless, faceless indie pop... It's grates my teeth, kids in tight jeans pulled down below their arse, in bright coloured t-shirts and a cap jumping up and down, with spiky guitar sounds and loads of synths... Why the fuck have you got a synth player in your band??  It's a lazy fucking piano players job... Jog on. Enough said.

That sort of contrived shit is enough to almost make me hate music. So what are your views on the state of the music industry in general today?

Well I don't think it's screwed like most would have you believe, it's just different from ten or fifteen years ago. The sooner people realise technology has moved on and you have to start looking at selling records in other ways the better... For example give your CD away for free at gigs, I know I'd go to more gigs and pay the ticket price if I was getting the hard copy of the CD in your hand for free or a couple of quid or whatever, you know what I mean?

Anything that gives the paying punter value for his hard earned money has to be applauded. 

Any advice for kids starting out in bands nowadays?

Yeah, always make sure you have a laugh doing it and don't take yourself too seriously. Leave that to someone else to deal with... whatever way you look at it its all just luck of the draw anyway.

Absolutely, there are more decent bands that fail than make it. 

Would you like to leave a message for the masses? A Sun Of Souls manifesto if you like....

Cheers for all the support so far to new and old friends but keep on keeping on because the band is nothing without anyone to play to.

Peace & love.

From small acorns mighty oaks do grow. If anyone deserves to be fronting a 'mighty oak' of a band then it's Pete Jones. Catch this lot while you can.

Upcoming Gigs:

19/02/2011- Hoxton Cell, Hoxton

25/02/2011- The Hydrant, Brighton

18/03/2011- The Roadtrip, London

25/03/2011- Prince Albert, Brighton

08/04/2011-  229, London

24/04/2011- Purple Turtle, Camden, London

Pictures by The Brighton & Hove Studio Ltd/ 07792308722

No comments:

Post a Comment