Foto-© Sebastian Madej
Sophie and the Giants hatten ein aufregendes Jahr 2019! Die Single The Light lief in der diesjährigen Vodafone-Kampagne rauf und runter, gefolgt von Auftritten auf legendären Festivals wie dem Glastonbury oder Reading und Leeds sowie einem umjubelten Auftritt beim Reeperbahn Festival 2019 in Hamburg! Wir trafen die Band aus Sheffield um Frontfrau Sophie Scott in Hamburg und stellen euch die Newcomerband heute ausgiebig im Interview vor! Auf jeden Fall ein großes Versprechen für das nächste Jahr, ergo auf dem Newcomer-Radar behalten!
– Name: Sophie and the Giants
– Band members: Sophie Scott, Chris Hill, Toby Holmes, Antonia Pooles
– Founding year: 2016
– Location: Sheffield
– Single: Break The Silence
What is your first memory of a contact with music? And when did you start to play music?
Sophie: I’ve always sang, harmonising to Blondie records as a kid in the back of the car and written very naturally, started with poems and then started writing melodies for them A capella till I learnt to play guitar and piano at around 13 years old, then I also started writing music. It’s just always something I’ve done, I don’t remember it starting or doing much else as a kid.
Antonia: I always enjoyed singing as a kid but it wasn’t till my mum encouraged me to pick up the guitar when I was around 8 years old that I started playing music. I played my first gig at 12 years old and told my parents in the car back home that “I would dedicate my life to music”. With a lot of hard work, it seems to have worked out pretty well so far.
Toby: When I was younger my parents would get me to listen to artists and I didn’t have a much interest in it. Then my brother introduced me to his favourite rock bands and I couldn’t go anywhere without listening to them. Hyper imaginative mind of kid when listening to good rock music makes you feel like you’re in a movie scene. Then I remember my dad bringing home an electric guitar and a bass guitar and told me to choose which one I’d like to learn. I picked bass..but eventually I fell in love with electric guitar instead.
Which was the first band that really struck an impression on you, why and what did you think about them at the time?
Sophie: Probably Queen, my parents played them a lot when I was a kid and I was amazed by all the layers of vocals and the way the music would suddenly take a new direction so quickly and being so elaborate, I thought it was mad but super catchy! I thought the same about The Beatles. Really fascinated me. I always thought music was just about what comes out of your head, didn’t think it’s needed much thought, but these bands put their life and soul into their music and worked days on end making what was in their heads into a masterpiece and it made me wanna do the same thing and work really hard to make amazing music.
Antonia: My parents would play a lot of Madonna and Pink Floyd while I grew up so I had very mixed influences but I remember listening to the Scissor Sisters first album and being totally mesmerised by the vocals and instrumentation. The lyrical content didn’t hit me till I was much older.
Toby: Foo Fighters, Queens of the Stone Age and Muse were all of my favourites and I loved being able to learn the guitar parts and play along with it one album at a time.
How did you meet and in which situation did you form the band?
Sophie: We met studying music! I only went to meet likeminded creative musicians and to start a band, non of us were looking to become session musicians. Even though some of us didn’t finish college, I think we all got what we went there for! We are very lucky to have found each other!
How did you come up with the band name, what meaning does it have for you and is there a story behind it?
Sophie: People always compared everyone as being Giants compared to me because I am tiny and I thought I’d embrace that. Even though the band members are actually not that tall now, so its quite ironic. But the name stuck and we say it means “Giant sounding”.
After college you moved to Sheffield – from the outside not the obvious move for a young British band. For what reasons did you choose the city, how would you describe the music scene of the city?
Sophie: A few reasons. We went up a few times prior to do some writing with Jon McClure the Sheffield legend, who introduced us to the city and the Peak District which is so beautiful. We also had no money at the time and Sheffield is a much cheaper place to live than London. Although London’s the obvious place to go, it actually made no sense as we’d have to get full time jobs in some bar and have no time to actually make music and we wanted to put everything into it. It’s so hard nowadays to get noticed by anyone we needed to make a big impression on the world which meant putting everything into it. We were really serious about making it happen and we are slowly!
How would you describe your music and which influences do you have?
Sophie: We describe it as Left-pop. Which is basically Pop with Alternative influences. My personal influences are Blondie & Siouxsie and the Banshees, but modern influences come from Lorde, Arctic Monkeys, The Kills, Angel Olsen and Sharon Van Etten.
How did you make the way out of the practice space to sign a major label deal to play festivals and tour the world? Which were the steps and how does the time feel for you looking backwards:
Sophie: We spent about a year or maybe half when we first started just writing and practicing, we wanted to nail a sound we loved and thought was real and fresh before showing the world. I think this was really beneficial for us because we just came out of nowhere and made a huge impression from the get go, with a solid set of really kick ass songs and people were shocked I think. We worked really hard! After that word got round really quickly. Then a year later we signed to Universal Germany!
Toby: It’s been very important to keep up the momentum and positivity by looking out for each other. Nothing gets done unless you’re productive, happy and enjoying it. We have also been very lucky to have a great team behind us.
You’ve released an EP and several singles up to now – so how far are you in working on the debut record and what can we expect from it?
Sophie: We have more songs coming very very soon! In regards to an Album I’d say definitely in the next year or less, we have enough material it’s just whether it’s the right material. We want it to be amazing and we’re perfectionists to an extent so we want to get it right! Trust us it’ll be worth it, we promise!
In which situations do you usually write the lyrics for the songs and is there a special surrounding / atmosphere that you work best in?
Sophie: Everything that I’ve written about is from personal experiences or things I’ve witnessed other people going through. It’s all driven from very real, raw emotion and that’s how I write best. So when I feel like I’m gunna explode or cry or when I’m dancing, that’s when I write.
We love the song The Light – could you tell us a bit what it is about, if there is a story behind it and how it came into life?
Sophie: That song came from being very lonely and young and discovering how to be in charge of my own happiness and not depending on anyone else to create / control if for me. I had just came out of a long term relationship with someone a bit older than me but I’d been living with him since I was only 17 years old and I was 18 going on 19 when I finally left. I didn’t realise how sad I was during this time and how bad for my health it was. I wanted to write something to empower myself and anyone else going through similar feelings. After that I was the happiest I’d ever been, felt like I could take on the world. I wrote ‘Waste My Air’ around the same time.
The song is also part of a Vodafone campaign – what do you think about that, what does it mean for your career and your artistic freedom?
Chris: Honestly it’s crazy, we can’t believe that we are part of the Vodafone campaign and how well it fits in the advert, couldn’t be happier, hopefully this will help push our music out to a wider audience and help create a bigger foundation in Germany!
Toby: The bigger outreach our music has and the more ears listening to us to the better. This encourages us to give a clearer message in our songs and that changes the game when playing live. The reaction our fans give us when we play songs they know live makes everything so fulfilling.
You’re one of the hottest newcomer bands from UK at the moment – which other newcomer bands/artists would you suggest to give a listen to?
Chris: Definitely Childcare and Orchards they are both amazing and such a fresh sound from both the bands!
Antonia: Have a listen to China Bears or Blossom Caldarone if your heart needs some musical therapy. Great artists, beautiful songs!
Toby: Childcare, China Bears and Orchards!!!
Sophie: All of the above!!!
Whats next on your schedule?
Sophie: We haven’t announced anything yet, but we have a lot coming! Can’t wait for people to hear and see what we’ve been working on…
What should we know and what shouldn’t we know about Sophie And The Giants?
Sophie: Sometimes bands really don’t get along or actually dislike each other, but we seriously have so much fun as a band, we love being together and we bring out the best in each other. We’re like a family. One thing you shouldn’t know…Chris becomes a monster when he’s sleeping, he makes demonic noises and terrifies us all, we’ve compared he’s sleepy state to Gollum. Also the boys hold in their farts and the girls don’t.
Toby: What you should know is we are not very tall at all. What you shouldn’t know is that we are actually slowly shrinking.
What are you doing when you’re not doing music?
Chris: Skateboarding, going to gigs, and maybe a lazy one down at the pub.
Sophie: Watching Thriller films, spending quality time with my loved ones, solo dancing in my bedroom, drawing sometimes and meeting Chris at the pub.
Antonia: I daydream a lot so I’ve started to write out basic storylines which I later try to develop when I have down time. I’m not an aspiring writer but I find it very therapeutic. I also love to do yoga and I try to go on walks to find cute doggos.
Toby: Serving drinks in a bar and drinking far too much coffee. I love video games and films with a good story too.
What was the last record you brought?
Antonia: I bought the latest Kanye West album Ye on vinyl a few months ago. It’s a very short record but it hold a special place in my heart.
Toby: China Bears – I’ve Never Met Anyone Like You E.P.
What did you learn in 2019?
Sophie: I turned 21 and have struggled with a lot of anxiety but I’ve calmed down a lot, trying to teach myself that life doesn’t have to be as scary as we perceive it to be, life’s short and we need to have fun with it and take every experience as it comes as long as we look after ourselves and each other. Not to mention we need to take care of our planet a lot more!! It’s actually mad how it’s taken this long for people to seriously start doing something about it.
Toby: I actually like Olives.
Antonia: I learnt that everything happens for a reason and to never stop working towards your dreams, even if it seems futile. If you believe in yourself and those around you and love what you’re doing, it’s hard not to be ultimately happy. The phrase ‘no pain no gain’ sums up my year pretty well.
Which song makes you dance every time?
Sophie: The Kills, “Getting down”.
Antonia: September by Earth, Wind and Fire.
Toby: Daffodils- Mark Ronson
How would your Bedroomdisco look like?
Sophie: Lots Of tequila and Blondie. Everyone has to dress up like an icon, as over the top as they like, if you’re underdressed, you can’t come in (this is not determined by how many items of clothing you’re wearing, just how impressive they are!). No bullshit! Only positive vibes.
Antonia: It would probably involve a lot of coloured lights, dress code would be dress to impress elaborate glam and the music would mainly be from the 60’s, 80’s and 90’s. Of course there would be a dance floor, singstar and no killjoys. I’d get every wallflower to dance or sing just enjoy being human.
Toby: Lots of Arcade Fire, craft beer, smoke machines and lasers.