Thursday 30 August 2012

Interview with Sorry For Nothing

Today I am interviewing a cool band and one of the best bands my native North East of England has to offer. SORRY FOR NOTHING

I have featured these brilliant Blues Stoner Rockers a few times and they’ve recently been mentioned on two of the best blogs around. Heavy Planet and The Soda Shop, so you know these guys are good when mentioned on our respective blogs.

I have known John (the drummer) for about 8 years now, and the rest of the band Rob on Vox and Guitars and Stu on Bass for a few years. (John is now part of the Sludgelord Team AKA Furious).

These guys are one of the tightest units I have seen. They kick arse (ass/butt for Non UK Viewers) wherever they go. They have supported Fu Manchu, Truckfighters and The Answer.

If it wasn't for this band The Sludgelord Blog wouldnt be around. As John asked me to do a review of their brilliant 2011 album – Psycho Monster Resurrection. So I created this blog just for them. To make the blog look good I put a few free download articles together to make it look impressive. And the rest is history.

People actually took notice of me and its gotten better and better. But it's all down to these guys. If they didn't ask me to review their album then Sludgelord would never of happened.

So with this in mind I asked the the guys could I do an interview with me.

Stu, John and Rob working hard as usual

Q1 – For people who are unfamiliar with your band, can you tell them little bit about the history of the band? Where you're from, band members, when you formed?

(Rob) The band has been together for over ten years under various names but with the same line up of me on vocals and guitar, Stu Sewell on bass and my brother John on drums. We all live in various places in Northumberland with me living in the most rural place, a small village near the fishing town of Amble.

Q2 – How would you describe your sound?

(John) Pretty much the same as you’ve described it. Blues Stoner Rock is a good enough description for what we do. 

(Stu) Like a lot of bands, we aren’t that bothered about how folk describe us, it’s more important that they just listen and they can form their own opinion of what we sound like. 

(John) Plus, the name of the band is more a statement of intent rather than being an indicator of the style of music we play. That frees us up to move around between genres perhaps more than some bands, and at the end of the day, we make no apologies for the music we play.

Q3 – I know you have regular jobs to support Sorry For Nothing. Is it a struggle to combine the two when it must cost a lot of money to do?

(Stu) Yes it’s a struggle. To be honest, it’s not so much a money thing, more of a time factor and logistical thing due to our location. Rob’s the worst off. He works a 9 to 5 job, which, on a good day, is an hour drive from his house. That makes it pretty tough for getting to gigs further a-field than our immediate area. 

(John) We used to run a covers band along side SFN for a while, just so we could get some money together as the covers pay a hell of a lot better than doing your own material. That financed the first album. We luckily sold enough copies to then record the second album. Hopefully if enough people read this and think we’re cool, they’ll check us out, buy the latest album and then we’ll be able to finance doing another one! 

(Rob) Like Stu said, it can be a right royal pain in the backside for me if I’ve got to go home, get my gear, and then travel out of the area. We try to keep gigs further away for the weekend. We just can’t do it through the week. If the venue/promoter wants you at the gig at 6, I’m sometimes not even home then so it’s a physical impossibility. 

Q4 – Are your families supportive of what you do?

(John) Yeah, they’re all very understanding. We just try to steer clear of booking gigs on our wives’ birthdays or on wedding anniversary’s and stuff like that – it’s more than our lives are worth! 

(Rob) They do try and support us the best they can, coming along to gigs and that. Plus, as we’ve been doing this a while, our parents have all helped out one way or another at some point, like loaning us cars to get to gigs and stuff like that.

Q5 – Your profile has got a lot bigger recently due to online game Super Crazy Guitar Maniac Deluxe 4 using your track “Swallow Your Soul”. How did that come about?

(Stu) Well we got a random email from the creator of the game series asking if we’d like to be included on the SCGMD4. He’d come across the track while scouting for unsigned bands to feature on the latest instalment of the game. It seemed like it might be a decent way to raise the profile of the band so we said ‘hell yeah’. 

Q6 - You have received a lot of great praise for that one. Local newspaper interviews and YouTube videos as well. Plus more fans from South America. I bet you all thought What The Fuck is going on.

(Rob) Too right. We figured we might get another couple of dozen fans or something. We never expected things to kick off like they did. The video that Stu created for Swallow Your Soul had been on YouTube for a year or so and only had a couple of hundred views. Within three weeks of being on the game we’d seen the number jump to over 15,000 views and had a boat load of positive comments. 

(Stu) Yeah, and one twat that disliked it just for the sake of it ha ha!

(John) It’s bloody great like. We’ve past 30,000 views now and there’s even been folk posting lyrics to the song online. It’s pretty mental like.

Q7 – Are you pleased with the recent exposure. Especially on Heavy Planet, Soda Shop Podcast and our good selves of course?

(John) Nah, it’s shite. We’d love to remain totally unknown with no exposure! 

(Rob) What John’s trying to say is it’s pretty amazing. Being featured on Heavy Planet, Soda Shop and your good self’s blog is awesome. They’re all well respected blogs with a great audience so it’s much appreciated.

Q8 – How has the reaction been like to your music overall?

(Stu) Very positive. In fact, I think we’re yet to get a rubbish review!

(John) That’s only because we haven’t sent it out to many places for review. Good reviews are great, but we much prefer it when someone has heard us, liked us and takes the time out to tell us what they think.

Q9 – Do critics reviews bother you as a band or do you just care what the fans think?

(Stu) We’re very lucky that all the reviews we’ve had have been good. Naturally if a bad review came along we’d be a bit pissed off seeing as we work hard on creating good music. But, at the end of the day, if someone doesn’t like what we do it’s not going to stop us writing the songs we write, or playing the way we play. It’s their opinion and they’re entitled to it and we can’t help it if they have no taste! But fans opinions are usually the best.

Q10 – What is the song-writing process like in the band? Is there one main songwriter or does everyone contribute to all the songs?

(John) Around 90% of the time Rob will come up with an idea, riff, or pretty much whole song. We’ll jam the ideas through, add bits, take bits away, shave a bit off here, add a bit there and then the song evolves into something that’s pretty much impossible to dance to. 

(Rob) The whole process is quite organic really and works well for us. It might take a bit longer to come out with a complete song but you can be assured we’ve put a canny bit into it.

Q11 – How is the Metal Scene in your home town or surrounding areas? Are there a lot of places for bands like yours to play at on a regular basis?

(Rob) Well there’s not much of a scene that we know of. Certainly the individual places we live there’s absolutely no places to play at all, but in Newcastle, which is the nearest city to us, there’s a decent amount of venues that’ll put on original bands. They’re usually run through the same promoters though, and I guess if you were a new band, you’d maybe find it difficult to get a gig. 

(Stu) We’ve been around the block and there’s a decent amount of folk who know who we are and we still find it difficult to get gigs. There’s still a shit load of venues that are stuck in that ‘cover band’ mindset.

Q12 – Do you tour on a regular basis. What has the reception been like to the band performing live?

(John) We wish! No tours to speak of just yet. We’ve tried to sort it out before but it’s an absolute nightmare for us to all get the same time off from work together for one thing. 

(Stu) Even though our families are all supportive, we’ve all got commitments and as none of us are teachers, we don’t get anywhere near enough holidays from work to be able to go out on tour and spend time with our families. Weekend jaunts are a definite possibility but even those are a pain to sort out. 

(Rob) We always give it our best shot when we’re performing live and that’s (usually) reflected in the reaction we get.

Q13 – Have you toured with bands who you didn't like but did it anyway?

(Rob) We’ve played with a few bands that were arrogant and thought they were better than they were, but we’ll not mention any names.

Q14 - How do you feel about blogs and websites giving music away for free? As when I originally did articles I was asked to provide copies. Told them no of course. Buy from the band themselves.

(John) It’s probably been said a million times before, but it’s a double-edged sword. It’s brilliant that people are listening to your music, writing about it on blogs and facebook and whatever, but it does cost a canny bit of money to record and put a CD out there. As long as we’re not in serious debt then it’s all good. 

(Rob) At the end of the day, Henry Rollins said it best, and I quote “I’d rather be heard than paid”. If someone can’t afford to buy our stuff, then we’re cool with them downloading it free from somewhere. As long as they love it and then leave a nice comment on our Facebook page!

Q15 - What are the most/least rewarding aspects of participating with the band?

(Stu) Working with two brothers – what a nightmare! 

(Rob) Having to have a bass player! 

(John) Working with two fucking children. 

(Stu) We all agree that getting a good reaction to CDs or gigs is the most rewarding, and that buzz you get from being onstage – it’s pretty special. And there’s not a lot of things better than someone coming up to you and telling you what you do is great. It’s nice to get your ego stoked from time to time.

Q16 – What are the future plans for Sorry For Nothing?

(All) Another album! 

(Rob) We’ve been writing some new songs with the view to putting another album out. It’s still early days in the writing of it but things are shaping up quite well. Watch this space!

I want to thank you for participating in this interview. And can you tell John I want my £7 for reviewing your album. Most bands send us promo copies to review free of charge. But not John. Nope. He charged me and got me to design and run this stupid blog as well.

So thank you Sorry For Nothing.

Check These Cool Rockers Below: