Midlands-based Sonder may be some of the biggest Biffy Clyro fans outside of Scotland but that’s no bad thing.
Simple things first – where are you guys from?
We’re from Tamworth. It’s a small town 20 minutes outside of Birmingham. No one really knows it so we always just say we’re from Birmingham to make it easier!
How did you meet?
We met through music and playing in bands. Kraig, Andrew & Reece all played together in previous bands at some point and after deciding to start a new project, had to find a bassist. Luke joined after leaving a previous project, and following a chance meeting with Reece in the pub, agreed to come and play bass for us.
How long have you been playing as a band?
We’ve been a band for just under two years and been gigging for roughly 18 months.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Something we’ve already been asked a fair few times! It comes from The Dictionary Of Obscure Sorrows and is about the realisation that every person you pass by is living a life as complex as your own. It also means special in German, but we’d never claim to be that ourselves! Not yet anyway!
What are your influences?
Our influences as individuals are reasonably varied across genres, but as a band they tend to be grunge and alternative rock bands. Bands like Biffy Clyro, Reuben, Arcane Roots & Black Foxxes combined with us all having a huge love of Nirvana kind of landed us with the sound and style that we have.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We’re a big, noisy rock band! We try and write music that you can mosh and go crazy to but scream at the top of your lungs! We’ve always liked having big pop hooks mixed in with all the feedback and nastiness and we have a love of massive choruses.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
The lyrics are heavily influenced for the most part by my (Kraig) life, whether it be from events in years gone by or things happening to me right now. The themes are generally dark. Our newest single “A Wicked Place” is about how I’ve tried (and struggled at times) to deal with my depression and anxiety, and how even when asking for help, it’s still difficult to feel better about yourself and the effects that that cycle can then have.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Our live shows are very loud and very energetic (to the point we always end up having to bring a change of clothing due to sweat! Grim!). We got told by a sound engineer at the O2 Academy in Birmingham that we were “one of the loudest bands he’d engineered… and in a good way”. We’ve always had the ideal of trying to make our performance the best of the night, every night. And that’s not us being arrogant and saying “We’re always the best band at every gig” as that would be a horrid way to look at things, but we think that if we try and deliver the best set of every gig then we haven’t short changed anyone and will mean that anyone watching us will see just how much blood, sweat and tears goes into every set we do. It can be easy to hone it in when you play shows, especially to smaller crowds, but you certainly won’t get that from us!
How many shows? Lots! We’ve been lucky enough to play with some awesome bands that we’re big fans of this year too – shout out to our boys in Fangclub as well as the lads in Fizzy Blood & Sick Joy!
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Having people stop you and ask for photos and things like that is still such a surreal experience for us and one that we love but never really get used to. When someone comes up and tells you how much they love your music it’s really just the most humbling thing.
Other than that it’s the usual walls of death and everything else that goes with going mad on stage! Kraig almost broke his ankle jumping off his amp once
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
As we play in different tunings, we switch guitars during our sets for ease.
Kraig plays a Fender Jazzmaster Classic Player, Fender Duo-Sonic HS & Squire Stratocaster (Simon Neil signature model, being a Biffy fanbo,y and it’s a beauty of a guitar!) and plays through a Hayden Mofo 30, Orange Rocker 30 and sometimes through a Fender Twin.
Andrew plays a Fender American Standard Telecaster HH, Fender Stratocaster 60s MIJ and a Gibson SG and they’re played through a Fender Bassbreaker.
We both use a crap load of pedals (Fulltone OCD, Walrus Audio Jupiter V2, TC Electronic Hall Of Fame Reverb to name a few)
Luke plays a Squire Jag Bass & is currently sourcing an Orange Terror Bass 500.
Reece kicks the crap out of Mapex Drums, Zildijan Cymbals and Promark sticks.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We are plugging our brand new single “A Wicked Place” which is the 2nd single from our upcoming, self-titled EP which is out on December 21st. You can pre-order it digitally or one of our limited edition box sets on our Bandcamp page as well as it being available on all the usually digital platforms.
What are your plans for 2019?
We want to play more shows like we’ve played this year and keep making new friends both on and off the stage. The dream for us is to play 2000 Trees. It’s our favourite festival and always has the best bands on the bill. So, yeah, 2000 Trees is the dream gig for 2019!
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
We’d love to support Biffy Clyro! They’re one of the biggest influences on this band and a really driving force behind us even becoming a band. Plus they’re all such awesome people so we’d love to hang out before and after shows with them!
A band to open for us? Can we use a hypothetical and get Reuben to reform and open for us? Because Reuben, us and Biffy would be insane! If not magically reforming Reuben then definitely Black Foxxes. They’re absolute sweethearts. Fangclub are both awesome guys and one of our favourite bands! Go check them out before they become huge! You can thank us later!
Header image by Alex Blaby