Band of the day: Sonance

By on 6 March 2013

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NAME: Sonance
THEY ARE: Sludgy, doomy, droney metal
FROM: Bristol
FOR FANS OF: Khanate, Mogwai, Neurosis, Bohren & Der Club of Gore, Abandon
LATEST RELEASE: ‘Like Ghosts’
Sonance on FACEBOOK

Always on the prowl for anything slow and crushing, I was pretty thrilled to receive an email from Ben of Bristol sludgy, droney 5-piece Sonance.  As they had no recordings at the time, I had to listen to rehearsal tapes and see them play a live show with French doomers Monarch! to get an idea of what they do.  Thankfully, they released their epic 2-track record ‘Like Ghosts’ late last year and it’s everything I had hoped for: majestic, beautiful and utterly crushing in equal measures, it hasn’t been off my iPod for months now.  I spoke with Ben and Will from the band to see what makes them tick…

Can you introduce yourselves and tell us a little about how SONANCE came to be?

Will:  We are 5 piece band, I am Will, I play guitar and sing bits here and there.  We got together a year and a bit ago through a mutual interest in making something slow and low, then slogged away in a small room with the occasional gig until we arrived at the recording that you can now hear.

Ben:  My name is Ben and I play guitar. I also tend to manage the band a bit, so I normally take care of shows and general day to day stuff. We’re just five guys wanting to make music and it turns out we listen to slow/dark music – so what you hear is just that. The record is being put out on vinyl by Doognad Records in Norway (http://doognad.com/) and on tape by Victim in Russia (http://victimdistro.blogspot.co.uk/)

You’ve just released your debut record – can you tell us a bit about it?

Will:  It was recorded in continuous takes at SOA in Bristol, then I carted the session around doing overdubs in big stone rooms and using a string section to track some droney sonorist like things. It wasn’t a pleasant time whilst working on it, but very cathartic to finish.

Ben:  We had a rough plan and that was to record the drums in a studio and then Will would do the rest. Will and I have been making records together for years in other bands and we always use this process; I always find I have a level of confidence in what Will is doing and it’s always efficient. We didn’t plan Side B, the end of it is an idea we had and just recorded whilst we had the studio booked. The drone before it was something we’d been playing live and we ended up sticking the two together. There’s never been an agreed goal with this band other than to write and record an interesting and heavy record, so far we’re meeting our objectives.

What is the local scene like in Bristol? Who do you consider to be your peers?

Will:  Locals worth checking out are Pohl, Big Naturals, Sons of the Sand, ANTA. Other than that the local scene is fairly centred on hardcore and has a regular turnover of bands like that.

Ben:  I’ve not really seen many heavy bands I’ve been impressed with recently. Saying that, although we are labelled a Bristol band, only two of us actually live there. I’d second Pohl and Big Naturals though.

Has the digital ‘revolution’ helped or hindered you as a band?

Will:  Helped, to an overwhelming degree. We seemed to have hit bandcamp at just the right time; all we did was upload it and then everything seemed to come our way.  One thing I wasn’t really understanding was why people had put up zip files of mp3s on file sharing sites, when you can get any digital format from our site for free if you’re so inclined.  I’m not too fussed about people sharing it as they like, but making money via advertising on your page from doing so is pretty fucking low. It seems way worse than getting screwed out of royalties because you’ve signed some dubious contract with a sketchy record label.

Ben:  Helped. Without the digital release I doubt I’d be answering this now. Physical releases have their place and will always be superior, but you’d have to be fairly ignorant not to realise the benefits of the digital format and the benefits it brings.

You get to curate and play a dream gig – who else is playing?

Sudden Infant
Wraiths
John Wiese
Pan Sonic
GSYBE
Fugazi
Marat
Grails
Unlocking the truth
Doug Stanhope with the London Philharmonic
Oval
Slint
Biosphere
Neil Young with the London Philharmonic
Jeff Wayne’s The War Of The Worlds
Martyrdod
Monarch!
Dying Fetus
Anaal Nathrakh
Neurosis
Black Sabbath
Khanate
Today Is The Day

What’s currently playing on the SONANCE stereo?

Will:   Halloween: The best of John Carpenter
Pimsleur: Learn Norwegian
Voyage of the acolyte – Steve Hackett
The Flock Descents Into the Pentagonal Garden. – Toru Takemitsu
Homage to Giacinto Scelsi – LONTANO
Aliens, The Deluxe Edition – James Horner
Reign Supreme – Dying Fetus
Heritage – Opeth
Ben:  Les Savy Fav – The Cat And The Cobra
Mare – S/T
Pygmy Lush – Bitter River
Yob – The Illusion Of Motion
Slint – Spiderland

Any final words?

Will:  The young perish and the old linger.

Ben:  Don’t be so desperate. It shows in your smile.

 

Words: Matthew Rozeik

 

 

About Matthew

Die humans.

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