INTERVIEW: The Sourheads
Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Great Thank You. Really excited and full of life actually. Thanks for taking time to speak to us.
Can you talk to us more about your new song “Morally High”?
We try to merge different elements and styles into our music and the riff at the start of the song has a kind of classic rock ZZ Top vibe. You get the groove for the verse and then the chorus opens up into lavish open chords. Kind of like a tension release thing. It was one of the later songs we wrote for our album and I think we wrote it together at rehearsal. Sometimes we each have individual ideas and sometime we Jam stuff this was the later. The music is always first then Jake chants and howels over the top of us playing it until we all say Yea!! That’s it.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
We have always taken inspiration from the arts in general and Jake was painting a lot around 3 years ago. He kind of found inspiration in different places and one of the people he read up on was Jackson Pollock. It’s hard to understand that sometimes such talent can be fuelled by torment and in Pollock’s case Alcohol addiction. So Morally High is about achievement through natural sources feeling a high from achievement and life being good. Tapping into the things that feel good and appreciating them. It’s very easy to feel sadness and remember it but not as easy to feel happy and remember it.
How was the film experience for the video?
We were playing a show in our home town of Wakefield that we booked 6 months before we got a record deal. The idea was that if nobody liked the album we would self release it and have a launch party. The Gig was supposed to be the launch but we signed a deal so delayed the release. We knew we had a lot of people coming and The Snooty Fox club had just relocated to another venue with great Lighting and a bigger stage. It seemed natural to film it here so we got there early, Filmed about 6 takes and then a few pickup shots at the actual gig. Steve Horsefall who did the video had just retired from education and was starting his media company. We were the guinea pigs so to speak. Turned out nice and old school.
The single comes off your new album Care Plan For The Soul – what’s the story behind the title?
The news and media can sometimes be deceptive. I really noticed it earlier this year when watching TV in LA. Depending on what political views the stations have the news on the channel can be completely different sometimes causing panic and disorder. This along with constant stories of disaster, war, crime can numb us. We wanted a record that dips in and out of subjects but is ultimately saying ‘Hey people look after yourselves- Listen to this story but remember it is a story. Take time out with your Kids, dog, and partner whatever’. The album cover is actually Jake on a beach with his Daughter and dog really far in the distance. Separated from bad things. Having a special moment.
How was the recording and writing process?
In the past we have recorded everything separate but this time all of the music was written and rehearsed beforehand. Our producer Matt Knee suggested that we play live and take the best recordings. The set up was great. We had mirrors strategically positioned so we could be in different rooms but still see each other. I had a room full of amps, Ben was in another room and drums in the main live room. We hit record, 4 count and in. Jake then came back and tweaked his vocals over 3 full days. I overdubbed some lead parts and a second rhythm track as well as keyboards. We all had great fun playing congas and tambourines and our Roadie Andy did backing vocals on Mad Dog.
What was it like to work with Pete Maher and how did that relationship develop?
The secret to a good recording can often be the mastering process. The biggest mistake a band can do is ad compression and effects to the main recording. We knew that we needed it mastering for all formats and we needed someone with a track record. Pete is the man and is the go to for U2, Noel Gallagher, Linkin Park, even Katy Perry. He works a lot with unsigned bands to help develop their careers so we emailed him and were ecstatic when he said yes.
How much did he influence the album?
Pete had a lot of input on what we should send him so he could optimise our sound. Because he is an extremely busy man we did everything via email and internet transfers and to be fair to him he was very professional and gave us a lot of his time. We knew that by attaching his name to the project we would get people to listen and have the best possible product. It took two weeks to get the record deal and we did that by sending a private Youtube of the album to people. I truly believe that having someone of his calibre attached it opened doors for us.
How has The Stooges and Guns N’ Roses influenced your writing?
The early Guns N Roses stuff had a really cross genre appeal to it and that influenced us in a sense that we don’t want to be a metal band or a stoner band or a glam band. We want to be a rock band. We want to be liked by everyone and if it’s a metal crowd then great, indie crowd great. When we wrote the album it was lets get the groove of guns and at the same time lets get some intricate guitar like The Smiths. Jake has the Mojo of Jim Morrison. The Stooges influence is again in the rhythm of the songs and live Jake would give Iggy a run for his money. Every live show is ‘What’s he doing now! Oww he is in the crowd or on his back or dancing with someone at the back of the club’.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
We are a rock band at the end of the day and on the top of it we sing about the old Sex Drugs And Rock and Roll but if you listen carefully the words are poems and often have duel meaning. One of my favourites is ‘Take my Money, Kill the Dog, Take my Soul but you’ll never get your hands on my Rock and Roll.’ A song about Divorce, but still a cheeky wink to the rock gods. Our song ‘Rag and Bone Man’ which predates the singer by the way is about imagine if someone like the old men with horses and a cart who used to collect peoples junk actually went around taking parts of peoples souls. Like a gatherer of life. The other songs cover Demonic Possession, War veterans, Love and Hate, Adrenalin Junkies, and relationship meltdowns and the odd bit off death for good measure. lol
Any plans to hit the road?
We are constantly out and about and are looking at various festivals and maybe a tour with fellow label mates and friends. Europe possibly USA. We have a few in store shows too to push the Vinyl release of the album. You can find out where we are on our Facebook and website.
What else is happening next in The Sourheads’ world?
We have actually nearly finished writing a blues EP Mik was playing some deep 60s inspired dirty blues and we thought it sounded great so we said lets do a few songs like that and make it a themed release. We think we may release it as a digital only e.p. and maybe do a different genre e.p. next year. In the mean time the albums will stay in the same style which is a bit of everything. We like to think we are a band for the people and we want to give to everyone so we just do what we like. If you like Rock, blues, pop, ballads, metal, Indie, desert rock , garage rock, electronica… whatever. We are here for you.
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