THE SOURHEADS

 How do your fans describe your music?
 
We are high energy classic hard rock. We have elements of Stoner Rock, Garage Rock, and take influence from the great bands of the 70’s such as ZZ Top, Black Sabbath, The Doors, Iggy Pop and Alice Cooper. We like to feel we are straight forward and give that locked in AC/DC groove off in our musical delivery.  Our fans tend to compare us to bands they like.  We often get compared to the above but we have also been told we fit in with modern bands such as Clutch, Queens of the Stone Age and a number of up and coming bands such as Red Spektor and 1968 both of whom we have toured or played with. 
 
How has your music changed from when you first started?
 
Initially I wasn’t in the band as I replaced founding member and guitarist Sid Coxon. Up to this point in 2014 the band had more indie roots and weren’t as powerful in the delivery of the music. I work as a producer and did a number of the bands early demo’s and noticed that they could give a lot more in dynamics and delivery so when I joined we set about fine tuning the songs that already existed by streamlining them and making them tighter. The newer songs that I had input writing we made more heavy blues and built on the intensity but still maintaining melody. 
 
 
If you could pick any music festival to perform at in the world, what music festival would you pick and why? 
 
There are a number of great festivals throughout the world that showcase all different kinds of bands. We feel that festivals shouldn’t be genre specific and that variation is the key to winning over new music fans. In the past bands like Slayer went down great at more indie festivals such as Reading and Leeds so really anything varied in bands. Hellfest in France is a big one, Lollapalooza in the states, Download, some of the up and coming smaller ones are also great like the Hard Rock Hell series of concerts. Really anything that exposes us to a larger audience.  
 
What bands influenced your style of music?

 
Obviously we are influenced by Iggy and the Stooges and The Doors but we all love different styles of music. Part of the chemistry of the band is that we all look to different places for influences. I look to bands such as The Cult and AC/DC as well as the Coverdale/Hughes era of Deep Purple, Ben likes Radiohead, Lamb likes The Charlatans and Shed Seven and Jake likes The Doors and Oasis so influentially we have a different mix of styles. I seem to make it more rock though because my guitar style is heavier. 
 
What brand of instruments do you use?
 
We are a standard four piece band but we add extras in the studio. Ben our bass player added congas and percussion, I added organ parts to certain songs and our Roadie /Driver Andi added backing vocals to Mad Dog and gets up with us for one or two songs live.  As for what instruments we use I use Dean Guitars the 79 explorer type. Something about the shape of the body and headstock adds a real amount of attack and sustain. At the moment for amplification and using the new Seymour Duncan Powerstage 170 watt power amp with a 2 channel tube preamp called Le Lead made a wonderful French company called Two Notes  Audio. My whole amp fits on my pedal board. We use Xvive effects and Ben uses Squire Jaguar basses and either his Ampeg or TC Electronic bass amps. Lamb Uses Mapex Drums , Sabian Cymbals and Vic Firth sticks. 
 
Have you always wanted a career in music or was it unexpected?
 
In the 80’s in the UK channel 3 used to turn into a music channel at night called Music Box. I used to set up the VHS recorder to tape the shows so I could see new music coming out. I remember Ozzy Osbourne Shot In The Dark and thinking that’s so cool. I was 10 at this time and it stuck with me. I saved my pocket money for years and went to the local pawn shop and bought a Kay Les Paul copy for £50 I played it till it fell to pieces. I actually lecture music now at University when I’m not on tour. I can’t speak for the rest of the band, but Ben comes from a musical family. His dad plays and his brother is Simon of INME.
 

If you could win any awards which one would you choose and why?
 
The Rock and Roll hall of fame would be a good one but I think we would have a long way to go before that happens. Any reward is great but we don’t work on the principle of getting awards. The people who listen to us and who we write the songs for are the most important, All that rewards and recognition does that is positive is open doors to other avenues. This can help because sometimes the music industry works like a snowball effect. The more exposure you get the more opportunities you get. This is why the industry can sometimes be corrupt because people offer to give you that leg up for a cost but then don’t actually do anything. You have to be on the ball at all times. 
 
Where do you see your band sound in the future, are you looking for a similar sound or are you going to go in a different direction? 
 
We just write what we want in rehearsals. We tend to stay pretty similar in certain aspects but we always add different styling or little extras to add to the sound. Recently our song writing has taken a more 60’s UK blues rock turn not too dissimilar to The Rolling Stones but at the same time Ben came up with a really simple heavy groove for a track called Killing machine that is a kind of tension and release hypnotic style. Our sound and song writing is ongoing so I could answer this question better when the new album is finished. 
 
What personal advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue this career?
 
Stay true and strong to your beliefs, Don’t listen to older people who grew up in different times telling you to get a job. Don’t let girlfriends and wives, boyfriends and husbands control you. Show them respect but let them know it’s different than controlling you.  Play all over the country not just in your home town. Do everything professional. Build your money from gigs and get a PR company to do your press and magazine coverage. Gig Swap with other bands. One that really annoys me is these young kid bands who play covers bring their mates and then go home. If a band you are playing with has an album out and is touring you should stick around or at least talk to them. Chances are you could learn a hell of a lot. Learn how to play your instrument and take time to get the sound you want. Save that bit extra and get better equipment. 
 
What challenges have you overcome as a band?
 
Gaining exposure in the mainstream press is always a challenge as there is so much competition and sometimes corruption throughout. Bands shouldn’t need to pay £800 for a quarter page advert just to get a review. Not saying everyone is like that but there are some. Luckily up and coming publications such as HRH and a lot of the internet based webzines are all run by people who care about music so things are changing slowly but surely. If you keep on keeping on people will start to notice. There is  a new facebook page called The New Wave Of Classic Rock that helping a lot of us new bands out. 
 
What type of music have you listened to growing up?
 
I grew up listening to Disco and Elvis. It’s funny as a child what stuff sticks in your mind. I remember listening to Barbara Streisand and Barry Gibb in Torquay in 1983. Weird stuff like that. Boney M and stuff like that. My friend’s parents got me into KISS and Alice Cooper in the mid 80’s and then the imagery of OZZY and Iron Maiden along with horror films pretty much shaped who I am today. 
 
 
Do you have any CDs/merchandise for sale and where can your fans buy it?
 
Our Debut album The Sourheads ‘Care Plan for The Soul’ is out now on Oakisland records on Vinyl, CD, and digital streaming/download. Our website is thesourheads.com and our label site is http://shop.bilocationrecords.com/index.php?k=1072&lang=eng