INTERVIEW: SondorBlue Talk New Music and Their Growth as a Band
It's hard not to feel inspired by Charleston, South Carolina quartet, SondorBlue. Whether it's their positive outlook on the music that they write or the current theme of brotherly love and a sense of family on their newest single, "Ashley Ave" and upcoming EP, SondorBlue are quickly garnering some well deserved attention.
Made up of four musicians who cut their teeth early with older projects and found the perfect home within their current band, SondorBlue finds Andrew Halley, Connor Hollifield, John Sheehan, and Drew Lewis at their best. With an EP coming soon (details TBA) and tour dates planned to round out the year, SondorBlue is name you're going to want to know before diving into 2018. Read more about the band, their upcoming EP and new single, "Ashley Ave" below.
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about SondorBlue for any readers who might not be familiar?
We’re a semi-psychedelic, harmony infused rock n’ roll band from Charleston, South Carolina and we have devoted our lives to making art / music.
What first inspired you to get involved in the music scene?
To be completely honest, it was seeing cool people expressing themselves in a way that felt authentic and not-put-on… people just making art for the sake of art. I guess I’m talking about both the universal “scene” and the one here in Charleston, SC. It was weird because myself and the rest of the boys had been making music, but it was very “meh” and introspective, almost fantastical and not relatable in a way. But, and I remember when it happened, about two years ago we all kind of fell into a groove and started making stuff together that we felt was accessing and expressing a side of us we hadn’t voiced through our songs yet.
You’ve mentioned that you each used to each have your own side projects, but came together to create music as SondorBlue. What do you feel makes you a strong group of songwriters?
The last answer sort of segways into this answer, but (and thank you for the compliment, by the way), it is all about getting on the “wave,” as John likes to refer to “it” as. I don’t know what it is, but when we write—the four of us together—in a room, early in the morning, with our instruments plugged, we all get in touch with our subconscious because we feel safe from anyone criticizing us in our emotional state. Thus, we feel confident.
How do you feel you’ve grown as artists since first coming together as a band?
Growing as an artist is just growing, really. So, I’d say we’ve all just had more real, collective experiences as a band than when we first started out. We’ve been learning and listening more, which has really helped us cultivate our collective taste as a band as well.
Recently, you guys released your new song, “Ashley Ave.” What inspired the track?
Living together as a band for a year inspired the track. It was conceived towards the end of our time at Ashley Ave and there had been a lot of times, both joyous and not so joyous. But, when it is all over, it’s the love and joyous times that are going to be most vivid and picturesque inside of our minds. “Ashley Ave” is an ode to our times there. Well, I guess it’s an ode to love then, too.
In addition to “Ashley Ave,” you guys are getting ready to release a new EP later this year. What can you tell us about those songs?
Much of the songs on the EP deal with the same memories that “Ashley Ave” touches on and the times, in terms of social matters—songs like “I hate living like this,” a track off of the new EP, if you listen closely, are commenting on the doomed dichotomy of a bunch of people living in one house and the social tension we’ve all felt prior to and since the election.
Did you have any major goals in mind when you first started working on the EP?
Yes, just to get exactly what we wanted. With our first EP, we were young and were much more inexperienced in a studio setting. We went into this recording process as students of the studio and made sure we knew what we wanted before we recorded anything.
When it comes to your new music, what are you most excited for listeners to hear?
Well, we live tracked a lot of it and we’ve grown up a lot and, this might sound like a paradox because you typically have less fun when you “grow up,” but I want people to hear how much fun and how much passion we put into this EP. We have the most fun and passion in a live setting and I think much of that was captured in this EP.
Do you have any other big plans for the rest of 2017?
We’re doing a substantial amount of touring in 2017 (all of the dates can be found on SondorBlue.com), so I’d say our big plans consist of playing a lot of shows in cities that allow us to reach new listeners.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
And thank you for taking the time to interview me! I’d like to add that we’re working on the album now and we’ll be test driving some of the new songs out at shows… So come see us!