Exclusive Interview: Sobriquet talk writing and recording “Apotheosis”!
After last weeks little chat with Sobriquet vocalist Ludovico Fahey and guitarist Tom Green-Morgan we join them once more for a conversation about what went into making the Hardcore bands new EP “Apotheosis” and we just hope that Ludo doesn’t like sugar in his tea given his gummy bear addiction. If you haven’t had the pleasure as yet, then rest assured it’s one that we highly recommend, a turbulent and emotive offering that finds a unique balance between Post-Hardcore, Black Metal and Hardcore that represents a white knuckle ride from start to finish…
How did your previous experiences writing and recording 2017’s “Akeldama” and 2020’s “A Hundred Thousand Tongues“ help to smooth the path for “Apotheosis”?
Ludovico: “You’re always learning from your past experiences and mistakes. In our case, we knew after the last EP, which was closer to a random selection of singles we had lying around, that we wanted Apotheosis to have a more specific theme & voice. We put a lot of thought behind the sequencing & the ‘feel’ this record would have and it definitely has a more fluid momentum than any of our previous releases as a result”
How does the writing process of a new track start? Melody, riff or rhythm first? How does it evolve from there before you consider it the finished article?
Tom: “Usually it stems from a riff. Sometimes it can be a couple of verses and chorus, or just a single section, but it’s then worked on by all of us until we have a finished song. Sometimes one of us will bring a full song to the band”
“Apothesis” was recorded with Lewis Johns at The Ranch (Employed To Serve, Bailer) near Southampton; how did you come to choose to work with him and how did you find the overall experience? The mix he put together is absolutely immense
Ludovico: “We’re enormous fans of the albums he’s done with some of our favourite bands – to this day his work with Rolo Tomassi is up there as some of the best production I’ve ever heard – and we knew that for the record we wanted to make he was the only logical choice. When we heard the finished product, it definitely vindicated that decision for us – we were completely blown away. Recording at The Ranch was without exaggerating one of the coolest experiences we’ve ever had as a band and we’d leap at the opportunity to return to record there again”
How much of a challenge did you find it to write to the concept (or theme) which you laid out for the EP with the narrative arc of metamorphosis, from doubt and frustration through newfound passion to the journey of enlightenment as the reason for living reveals itself? Did you look back at any points and realise you’d strayed from the path, go back and re-write?
Ludovico:“Looking back on it, it’s pretty much an allegory for the lyric-writing process. I personally struggle a lot with procrastination and needing a pressure of a deadline to get anything accomplished, and the deep sense of frustration and hopelessness that comes with seems to have seeped into all of the lyrics I was writing during this time. I feel although each of the songs have a specific starting point and inspiration behind them, when it came to assemble the songs we had into a complete body of work, I recognised that unifying thread that tied the whole thing together was there all along”
Each of the cuts has a real emotive quality and despite being concept or theme based feels raw and personal; how much of a challenge was that to record vocally? Were there any struggles with the sentiment of what’s behind the lyrics?
Ludovico: “The recording process for my vocals this time was really smooth – once I’m in The Zone I’m pretty much locked in to the feeling I really want to grasp. Lewis was spot-on in offering the occasional suggestion but besides drinking a LOT of cups of tea and drawing up a few images on my laptop to direct my singing at, I had most of it done in the first few takes you hear on the record and I was only in there for a little bit compared to what our drummer had to go through to get the meaty whacks you hear on the record “
For us gear nerds out there, can you tell us what you’re using gear wise (pedals, strings, drums etc) to get your sound?
Tom: “My main guitar sound is a Jackson Soloist into a Diezel VH4. That was what was available to us in the studio, but usually I use an Orange Rockerverb. There’s also a healthy amount of Boss HM-2 on the record too”
What difference would it make to you as a band if you could land an endorsement from a gear manufacturer?
Ludovico: “Not gear necessarily, but if anybody from Haribo is listening, I enjoy your confectionary products tremendously”