SOBRIQUET (from l-r): Tom Green-Morgan (guitar), Michael Chilton (bass), Ludovico “Ludo” Fahey (vocals), Jake Askew (guitar), James Turner (drums/vocals)
INTERVIEW by ZAK SLOMAN
Describing themselves as “the Steel City’s bastard child“, Sobriquet have taken their home city of Sheffield‘s rock and metal scene by storm in recent years with an organic and relentless post-hardcore sound, which has also won them a devoted following across much of the UK.
Having recently unveiled ‘Eros‘ – their new single – the five-piece’s frontman, Ludovico “Ludo” Fahey, spoke to us about that, the band’s journey up to now, supporting the likes of Black Peaks and King810, and much more.
How did the band initially form?
We all went to uni in Sheffield, and we all just gravitated towards each other out of a mutual love for all things heavy, but also a bit odd.
How did the name Sobriquet come about?
We each came up with a list of five names that we liked, attempted to vote on them, and then realised it was a completely pointless exercise after about two hours of arguing and getting nowhere.
I think it was our drummer James who suggested Sobriquet next, and we had basically given up by that point, so we were all like, “Yeah, sure, whatever, let’s just go with that“, and I was happy to go with it at the time, because it’s a word I heard in The Mars Volta song once, but it’s definitely grown on me further ever since!
What would you say was your approach to songwriting?
When the band began, it was me who would write the majority of the music, mostly by hacking away at riffs and putting them together on computer until they became something resembling songs, and we would then chip in on the lyrics together, but these days, it’s a whole lot more collaborative and organic, as we tend to jam out our new ideas in practice rooms a lot more than we used to.
Writing lyrics is still the hardest thing in the world to do though, as it takes forever compared to the rest of the process.
What inspires the band lyrically?
I can’t speak for everyone in the group, because most of us have contributed lyric ideas at some point, but for me, it always starts with a particular image or phrase that gets stuck in my head that I just want to find a way to express.
The trigger that inspires it could be anything – something I’ve read or watched, the news, a dream or nightmare etc, and often, it’s only when I get to the end of something that I realise, “Oh, I’ve written a song about [insert song topic here]“, so it’s a bit of a Rorschach test, basically!
You recently brought out a new single, entitled ‘Eros’. How was the recording process for that?
We’d been playing it for over a year by the time it came to record the song, so you can imagine the relief we felt when we’d finally got it all finished! We could play it in our sleep by the time we entered the studio, but it gave us a chance to sit back and approach the song from a different perspective, which was nice.
The only problem is living up to the studio version when we’re playing it live now that people can actually hear how it’s supposed to sound!
And how has the response been to the track up to now?
Our fans seem to really have taken a liking to it! It’s something a bit more polished than our earlier material, and I’d like to think it is a bit more of an indication of where we’re heading in the future.
It’s not as straightforward a direction as this song might imply however, but definitely something a bit more refined, and we just hope everyone is ready for what is coming next!
The band recently performed at the Tramlines festival in their home city, and have also supported the likes of Black Peaks and Palm Reader. How were they as experiences?
As enormous fans of both of those bands, the times supporting them were both absolute “Holy crap, we’re onto something here” moments. Not only were they great shows, each was an absolute milestone, letting us know how far we’ve come since we started.
When we supported King810 last December, it was just absolutely surreal, “Here’s a band I saw in an arena supporting Slipknot, and we’re playing a show with them tonight? Nahhh mate, you’re pulling my leg, as if!”
Since it’s our hometown, Tramlines always feels like a bit of a victory lap whenever we play a show there, and it’s especially great, because sometimes in the middle of the day at a festival like that, you’re playing to an audience who have little concept of the world in which our niche little band occupies, so it’s fun to see if we can either win them over or terrify the shit out of them!
And how is it overall playing live on stage?
In equal measures exhausting, sweaty, cathartic, and ludicrous amounts of fun.
When the makeup comes on, it’s like I’ve been given a license to go absolutely fucking feral for 30-45 minutes at a time, it’s terrific. The only thing is – because I’m so short – there is a constant danger of being smacked in the head by wayward instruments, which in fact has happened more times than I’d care to admit.
What are your plans for the near future?
We have just got out of the studio, having recorded three brand-new singles! We’ve not quite got a release schedule in mind for them yet, but hopefully we can get something out by the end of this year.
We are just so stoked on them, we can’t wait to get them out, as soon as they are ready!
And lastly, what is the band’s long-term aim?
I suppose it would be nice to quit our day jobs at some point, so we can do this full- time, but in this economy? It’s not happening. We’re keeping our goals short-term and just slightly realistic at the moment, like getting a slot at a nice festival or something. Arctangent or 2000Trees, maybe?
‘EROS’ – THE LATEST SINGLE FROM SOBRIQUET – IS AVAILABLE NOW, AND FURTHER INFO ON THE BAND CAN BE FOUND THROUGH THE FOLLOWING SITES: