Sonitus Kleptocracy Interview
North East London rockers Sonitus have just released their compelling new EP Kleptocracy. The seven song offering reveals the depth and diversity of the band. Their music is impossible to classify in a neat little bucket, but it’s good stuff and interesting as hell. Listen to the album stream below, but first learn how the band themselves classify their sound, and gain some more insight into the new release.
Cretin: Kleptocracy means ruled by thieves. Is the album a social statement about politics in this country, the UK, the world, or more focused on big business?
Russell: The world
Nate: I suppose it is. This was written about a year ago actually (and originally it was an acoustic song, would you believe!) Strangely enough, considering the current political state of the world, particular of recent… I’d say it’s relevant.
Dein: Yes the EP is a big statement, especially considering where the world has been heading for a long time now. I’m a big George Carlin and Bill Hicks fan, i remember streaming all of their stand up online thinking man I wish I could’ve seen these guys live, but the message stuck with me. In some ways the current political state of the world was a blessing for when we chose to release too, so it all stayed relevant. As the writer of the songs lyrics myself, it was very Important to drive a specific message home for each song.
Rom: The music in this EP is a release from all our daily struggles, as citizens of the world. I suppose it’s about all the madness that is going on in the world right now.
The Band’s Sound
Cretin: The music on Kleptocracy is so hard to classify. How would you characterize it?
Rom: Introspective rebel rock n’ roll of revolt.
Dein: We’re still struggling with that ourselves but it was important for me to develop a flavour that was ours; that almost couldn’t be mistaken for someone else. If you allow me to be a little self indulgent, I believe we did just that. I’m happy to stay with the very loose definition of Alternative Rock though, That (for now) suits us best.
Russell: Neo Rock Journal
Nate: Hmm… musically speaking, I remember one of the first times we jammed it out with the whole band, it felt like a freight train going full steam ahead smashing through whatever it is in its way. In a way I suppose Trump is a bit like that, huh? Its unfortunate that the society in the US has becoming a prime breeding ground for someone like Trump to be president, let alone actually exist! Whilst change is the only constant in the universe, the weather could change, the rails could buckle and that freight train full of thieves will come off the tracks. At what cost to the humanity… we’ll just have to wait and see, now won’t we?
The Recording Process
Cretin: The songs generally seem complex and multi-layered. Was the production process particularly long and challenging?
Rom: It was a long process and there’s a lot of hard work in there. Part of the production and mix was done at my place. Nathan moved in for a while and worked on a lot of it there. I don’t even know how many times we listened to these tunes and tried different things until we were happy with the way they sounded. In the end we were pretty pleased with the results. The essence of the band is there.
Nate: Just loads of experimenting really. Coming from a classical background, particularly having studied composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, I think I tend to have an inherent disposition towards thinking orchestrally, so to speak. It was quite a long process, but you know, we all know how long it took for them to build Rome!
Dein: I take a lot of the responsibility for that haha, but Nate is the best ‘right hand’ I could’ve asked for when it comes to developing the tracks into what they have become. Raw ideas and song/ lyric writing from myself then Nate made it make sense. (His music knowledge is far superior to mine). It also helps that Rom, Scott and Russ are absolutely world class at what they do. We’ve already started writing new stuff and it’s shape has proven exciting.
Russell: Yes it was very challenging, like being on a emotional roller coaster but listening back to the EP now makes me wanna do it all over again. Long hours and constantly creating new ideas in so little time was difficult but worth it.
Cretin: Is there a favourite track off of the album that you enjoy playing live?
Dein: For me it’s “Alleviate” and “Predators”, but especially “Predators.” That track gets people going. I remember writing it for the first time and it was the opening guitar bit that I thought was really cool. For ages I didn’t know what else to do with it but that just stuck. I introduced it to Russ and Nate. I just remember saying ‘guys, I don’t know what it is but this is my favourite already.’ “Alleviate” is a monster track too that I wrote in one go and it felt right from the beginning to end, which is cool (and I predicted it will probably do the best publicity), but It doesn’t have that lustful sin that predators is drowned in. Live Russ really, really brings this one to life and it’s different every time he performs it. (I’ll make another prediction that the band will say “Infinite” and Scott’s really into “Kleptocracy”)
Russell: my personal favourite will always be “Autumn Leaves” but I think as a band its gotta be “Infinite.”
Nate: I’ll tell you, one of my all time favourite moments, is when the groove really kicks in on “Infinite”. Rom delivers some of the sloshiest hi hats I’ve ever heard hahaha!! “Predators” always goes down a treat, though. I’ll never forget the time we played it in a wrestling ring set up at the Fountayne Rd Open Day festival back in 2014 and watching the hundreds of people lunging back and forth in front of you absolutely losing their sh*t!
Rom: Personally I really enjoy playing “Infinite’.” It’s a groovy heavy hitting tune, a lot of fun to play live.
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Check out the album stream below.
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