Gear Talks: An interview with London band Sorry ahead of their Australian tour

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Gear Talks: An interview with London band Sorry ahead of their Australian tour

SORRY band london
Words by Isabella Venutti

In wonderful news for fans Down Under, Sorry are headed to Australia and New Zealand for the first time this October.

The first time I heard London’s Sorry, I was struck by how deeply their sound resonated with me – as a person whose youth straddled the beginnings of Web 3.0 (and the increasing embrace of electronic production that came with it), and a widespread nostalgia for the halcyon days of 90s slacker rock, the band’s eclectic blend of hardcore, synthetic textures and beats, and endlessly tender chord progressions/diaristic lyrics, perfectly captures the sonic palette of a generation who are both more connected to music – more plugged into an infinity of referential springboards, yet also more isolated by the sheer scale 0f the available noise.

Read all the latest features, columns and more here.

Sorry’s music is as undefinable as the culture from which it was borne; at moments, brash and sleazy, and at others, soaring and blissfully optimistic. Their records have been the perfect companion to the throes of my 20s, and if you haven’t listened to them yet (which I urge you to do) perhaps they will walk seamlessly beside yours too!

Read all the latest features, columns and more here.

In wonderful news for fellow and potential fans Down Under, Sorry are headed to Australia and New Zealand for the first time this October. Ahead of this string of dates in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Wellington and Auckland, Sorry’s Louis was kind enough to divulge some of the secrets behind the band’s workflow, favourite gear, and where it is that they glean inspiration.

To start things off, I’d love to ask whether you made a conscious effort to expand your sound when approaching the writing and production of your last album – I’d love to know what kind of sonic/thematic palette you were working from when you began this body of work? What was the vision?

Louis: I think it was a conscious effort yeah, I think just to keep us entertained, we like to keep things moving you know, and by evolving our sound that keeps things fresh and exciting. Being excited by the music you’re making is so important. We were listening to a lot of stuff back then, stuff like Carly Simon and Randy Newman at the time it felt like that informed the music but now I’m not so sure.

Tell me about your songwriting process – is it a collaborative affair, do you each tend to tinker alone and build from those skeletons, or is it a combination of both? 

We don’t have one process really, again to keep things fresh and exciting, sometimes we’ll write together, or sometimes with the band and then yeah, sometimes we’ll write apart and collage a song together. 

Sorry’s eclectic blend of harder, hip hop and industrial inspired sonics and slacker rock felt truly fresh to me when I first started listening to your music – so I’d love to know how your sound developed! Would you say that growing up on the internet with a wealth of influence at your fingertips influenced the genre transcendent nature of the project? Have you always worked with beats or did you start out writing more down the line rock and then begin to experiment?

I think because of computers suddenly becoming available to us, when we were in our teens they naturally became how we write, at that time it felt like a video game, fl studio was the first one I downloaded and so growing up we used them everyday – write a song then record it or even write a song while recording it, so the stuff you have at your fingertips informs the music your making.

Talk me through your recording workflow from demo to track completion. Do you begin in the bedroom or head straight to the studio? Any preference of DAW/special or demo setup that goes the extra mile?

Yeah usually we’ll begin with a demo, I use ableton, Asha uses logic (both have their perks and flaws) and then we’ll play it with the band usually, and it will grow from there and then finally finish it a proper studio!

Which pieces of equipment are the most integral to you when it comes to translating your project’s essence from a recorded to a live context? Are you trying to replicate your studio sound when you perform, or do you prefer to let the songs breathe and find their own live groove? How do you work with your (amazing) band to bring it all to life?

We kind of try and find a middle ground, we want the songs live to flourish and become something different whilst still keeping the key elements in there. It takes a bit of experimentation but we like to make sure there two separate things.

 Are there any pieces of gear you’ve acquired, be it something cheap that punches massively above its weight, or a less-wallet friendly splurge, that have tangibly influenced the way you write and record music to this day?

I’m massively into buying guitars when I can afford it, recently have really been into this Epiphone Sheraton from Korea that we used on a lot on the last album. Also love this microphone, the Beatles used it for their snare drums I can’t remember it’s name, but it has a special place in my heart.

What are the visual mediums that you find best allow you to express yourself as an artist outside of music – is it important for you to be able to display your creativity in every aspect of this project’s output? 

The videos are really important to us, having a correlation between the videos and the music is imperative. Asha is incredibly talented visual artist in a way, I’m not, so I leave it to her.

How do you recharge your creative batteries? What in your life inspires your music that isn’t music? It could be as logical as watching a film or listening to records, or as obscure as gardening or taking a long walk.

Listening to music is really crucial for us, being inspired by people, movies are also really important. I think with appreciating other peoples art and not comparing it with yours is really important as well! Recently been obsessed with the Adrienne Lenker solo albums, I think she’s a once in a lifetime songwriter and it’s incredibly inspiring. 

What’s on the horizon? What exciting things can we expect from you for the remainder of the year?

We’re gonna do a new album, carry on creating and then also going to Japan and then Australia next week so are very excited and blessed to do that!

Grab tickets to Sorry’s AU/NZ tour here!