Today’s BOOM! comes courtesy of London art-rockers Sonïtus with their explosive single ‘Alleviate’. A truly unique prospect, the five-piece have a multicultural background and boast a wide array of influences, ranging from Kendrick Lamar to Radiohead, Foo Fighters to Incubus. The result is a dynamic and textured sound that bridges a number of genres; bringing urban sounds together with alt-rock and progressive metal.
Their debut EP ‘Kleptocracy’ came out on 18th November and displays their radical songcraft and willingness to push boundaries. ‘Alleviate’ makes for a promising introduction; a teasing slow burner which comes to life in explosive fashion with metallic rage. GIGsoup caught up with the band to hear more about the track and their influences.
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Hi guys, can you tell us about ‘Alleviate’ and what inspired it?
Russell: For me ‘Alleviate’ is telling us to WAKE UP. You can either be apart of the problem or be apart of the solution.
Nathan: The mad drum fills at the end. The absence of mad drum fills at the beginning.
Dein: As the writer of course I had my own definition, but it kills the stories that develop around it, it’s your own puzzle really… what do you think?
Scott: Mountains of mesmerizing melodies, suitably scrumptious style, and bucketloads of bad-assery!
What can listeners expect from your upcoming EP?
Nathan: Poetry. Guitar solos. Mad drum fills.
Dein: Something bold, bombastic, unapologetic and unafraid to deliver on originality…
Russell: Nearly every song has its own genre and a pulse-racing energy that will high jack your emotions. They’ll all send you on a trip while listening our EP. Best heard with a really good set of headphones and your eyes closed.
What was the writing/producing experience like? Any challenges?
Dein: We all had our roles to play when it came to this and that’s what kept it focused. I like it liken it to wine making; its a slow steady process. The raw ideas came from myself so I essentially sowed the seeds, had a plan of attack and found the location. Nate nurtured the whole process to ensure that we got the right grapes and making sure nothing was out of place, while everyone else took that and refined it into wine…
Nate: Yeah, quite a few! I was in the middle of full time study for a masters degree at the time, and having to manage the workload and getting the guys together to make this record brought me to quite a few ‘what am I doing with my life??’ moments! Getting by with on average 3-4hr sleeps whilst living in the house from hell (the personality clashes between seven students who’d never met each other before we started living with each other resulted in some rather traumatic experiences.)
Russell: Recording the EP wasn’t easy, loooooooong ball breaking hours, Exciting emotional roller coaster. If I was to describe the recording experience in one word it would be bipolar. When arranging the vocals, I like playing with loads of ideas in the studio. Im not a technical / trained singer so I run alot on emotions. Creating the songs with four amazing live musicians was a huge lesson for me. Taking myself out of my comfort zone and pushing my vocals to a new level is always a challenge.
Scott: The majority of this E.P. was recorded prior to my late joining, but making the bass end my own was fantastically fun.
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How would you describe your music for those who haven’t heard it?
Scott: A roller coaster. You’ll be deep in thought, joyous, feeling rebellious, and then you’ll just rock out! Try to keep up.
Nathan: This is what music making sounds like when the music you make is the music you love. Haha, maybe I’m a little biased; I’m fortunate to be in a band with great musicians and its always a gas when we get together and play.
Dein: I’m not sure I want to define or describe what we do, the influences of genres are there and obvious but it is (rather selfishly) very indulgent in our own creative minds. What’s more important to me though is that you remember it.
You seem to be influenced by a number of different genres… how do you bring these together?
Russell: Five dudes, five genres, four musicians + one singer, let’s make band! At the beginning Sonitus was an acoustic duo. Myself and Dein only had ourselves to bounce ideas from. I was heavily influenced by RnB / Neo Soul and Dein’s two influences were Rock and Hip Hop, so our sound was soft and bitter sweet. Then we went from a duo to a five piece and our influences widened. We’ve learned so much from each other.
Scott: I think everybody in the band has their own thing to bring in. We’ve all got a lot of cross-over, but have slightly different perspectives on music; it seems to help to make something unique.
Nathan: I don’t think there was a conscious decision between any of us – in the sense that ‘we’re going to make this kind of music and this is how our it’s going to sound’, but we all seem to carry a mutual love and respect for each other’s musicianship and taste in music. So when we get together and someone brings an idea to the table, we just jam it out and ‘feel’ our way through it pretty much!
Dein: We’ve drawn from so many genres and personal preferences; I wouldn’t know what to tell anyone where the process begins and how it ends. We have a very distinct sound and style of doing things though that is our own and you can feel that in the music.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Dein: Kendrick Lamar, Denai Moore (my sister), Sample Answer, Leyendekker, Animals as Leaders (always), Drake (don’t judge me) and random playlists from wherever there is something new (Soundcloud, Spotify, Tidal etc…)
Russell: Sampha & Foo Fighters.
Scott: Primus. They suck.
Nathan: Karnivool / D’Angelo / Gojira
What are your ambitions for the year ahead?
Russell: I would really like to start hitting the festivals and then eventually widen our horizons into touring outside of London.
Nathan: Finally getting these songs out and getting production started on some new material!
Scott: To play music of course! There are projects a plenty planned for 2007, and I’m sure that a full length follow up to a certain E.P. isn’t off the cards…
Dein: Revolution, leadership-dictatorship, swiftly followed by world domination… Small stuff really…