Here’s our brand new artist spotlight on Sheffield’s 2020 metalcore standouts, Sobriquet to talk visual impact, new music and more.
S] How are you guys?
(Ludo) Pretty great all things considered! In my case I’m experiencing the miracle of being able to go outside vicariously through Animal Crossing at the moment, so (despite the very real danger of Vitamin D deficiency) I’m thriving indoors for now.
(Tom) Going a little bit stir crazy stuck indoors, but regular walks and runs are helping!
S] How important is the visual aspect of what you do?
(Michael) Pretty important, and not just at aesthetic face value, though it is important to be quite evocative, our visual aspect is very much tied up with the music and individual songs we write.
Particularly when it comes to working out what we want out of a music video we spend a lot of time creating something distinct that really underlines the raison d’être of the song. Take Higami as the most recent example, we wanted to do a performance video but given the context of the song we worked really hard on adding in visual mirroring and other effects to reflect Higami’s theme of self-conflict. For us it doesn’t just have to look good, there also has to be a reason for it.
(Ludo) We’re a pretty melodramatic band so the visual aspect is not something one has to think about too hard when it kinda goes hand-in-hand with the music. Our philosophy is that if you’re gonna go all-out in terms of self-expression musically, you might as well look the part while you’re at it!
S] What are the greatest challenges that you face as a band?
(Michael) Recently it has simply been trying to organise a tour for our EP while the lockdown continues and hope that our new plans can actually go ahead.
More broadly I think it is writing, we are real perfectionists and take a lot of time to get a song right. We have been known to throw out fully fledged demos after spending days on them!
(Ludo) When you come across some kind of creative block – whether it’s an inability to adequately articulate what you want a song you’re writing to become once it leaves your brain, or whether it’s something more banal like a budget/equipment limitation, it can be quite frustrating. A large part of the fun in creating stuff involves coming up with ingenious solutions to those problems however, so more often than not most challenges end up a net positive for us in terms of experience.
S] What fuels your passions outside of music – think specific people, places and things?
(Ludo) While nothing quite gets me as creatively pumped as making and/or consuming music, I’ve got a few other hobbies I’m definitely passionate about, mainly the ones that expose me as an enormous nerd – D&D, games, anime, that sort of thing. I’ve recently developed an appreciation for street fashion, the really out-there experimental stuff, which was probably triggered on a trip to Harajuku when I was in Tokyo. I’m really drawn to off-beat examples of self-expression and that’s probably partially responsible!
(Tom) I’m really getting into the technical side of things at the minute. Being stuck indoors and having loads of free time has allowed me to dive head first into improving the production of our demos, and teaching myself to code our website from scratch. That’s certainly kept me occupied!
S] How do you define success as artists?
(Tom) Personally, I’d define artistic success for a particular project as fulfilling the idea in your head of what that project is. I’d definitely say that the idea of what Sobriquet is is still quite murky for me, and part of what makes the band so exciting is that discovery process – discovery of what the five of us put together naturally creates. I think it’s much harder to define that success in a group situation as all five of us have different perspectives and see the band differently.
(Michael) I would agree with Tom, looking back on our previous stuff the success for me comes from being able to step back with the benefit of hindsight and being able to see how all our songs work, both on their own and within their respective EP’s.
S] What does ‘A Hundred Thousand Tongues’ represent to you, as a body of work?
(Tom) I see it as a consolidation of everything we’ve done up to now. Higami is as old as the tracks on our last EP from 2017, but Epiphany was only finished maybe a couple of months before we recorded it, and the other two tracks fall in between those in terms of when we wrote them. As a result, it touches on more musical territories than the last EP did, and proves that we can stretch our musical boundaries further than before. Benighted, for example, goes towards post-metal at the end, but Epiphany and Eros are aiming for a more catchy alt-metal sound.
(Michael) Similar again to Tom, it feels very much like a crossroads, and (knowing what comes next) both a reflection of what we have learnt so far and also where we are going with our next project.
(Ludo) We’ve had these songs kicking about for what feels like ages now, so while we love them to death and are incredibly proud of the record, more than anything we’re just relieved we can finally say we’ve seen it to completion and can move on to new music, which at this point in time we feel confident in saying is gonna be the best thing we’ve ever done.
S] Thanks for your time!
Thanks for having us!