We’d heard great things about Bristol three piece SOEUR and invited them to take part in our famous ‘Intro’ section which hundreds of bands have enjoyed being a part of in the past. We caught up with them after their recent show in Torquay where we chatted about dream festival lineups, Bristol and what people can do to help keep independent music venues doing what they do to keep music alive, read on to see how we got on….
You’re called Soeur and you’re based in Bristol, that’s about as much as we know about you, tell us something fascinating about the band or a band member? (e.g. I have a Blue Peter badge for organising a ‘Bring & Buy’ sale at my primary school in 1978!)
We're all in the 100 club….
Anya got 100% on her Biology GCSE exam
Tina has a 100kg deadlift
Jim has been at 100 miles an hour
You list loads of bands and artists that have influenced you but which one would you say you all share a mutual love of?
QOTSA, we played Reading & Leeds last year and they ended up doing a secret session!
With my worldly knowledge and expert language translation skills, I worked out that ‘Soeur’ means ‘sister’ in French (not bad for a Sunday morning after a heavy night), excuse my lack of knowledge about the band but are Tina and Anya sisters? If not, how did the name come to be
We wanted a name that was positive first and foremost. We're not sisters but we love the idea of family and so we might as well be, even Jim!
I checked out a few of your tracks on Spotify this morning (including the incredible ‘Fight’), I honestly do love your sound, really angsty, gutsy and punchy, did it take you time to settle on this style?
Not really, we're never really looking for a style. We always intended to write short, catchy, pop songs that people can relate to but with a heavy, angsty, riffy edge.
I wanted to ask what to expect from your live shows? Is it a conservative affair with people tapping their feet and nodding their heads along to your music or an all-out mosh fest?
It's really varied. When people haven't seen us before it can be a lot to take in, our songs aren't always the easiest listen but when people know our songs in tends to turn into a bit of a mosh fest yeah. But we encourage people to enjoy our music in whatever way they want.
You’re based in Bristol where some very fine bands have cut their teeth (IDLES, Massive Attack, Portishead), what do you think it is about the city that creates such incredible bands?
Besides it being a vibrant and exciting city for everyone that lives there, Bristol's collection of venues means that bands can develop and progress through different stages of their careers.
I see you did a bunch of live dates in September to promote your new single ‘Fight’, how were you received from place to place? Do you feel you made some new fans along the way?
Every time we play we get a good response. Playing live is where we really win people over.
Have you always been a three piece band or have you experimented along the way with extra musicians?
Always been a 3 piece.
If you could name the three headline acts for Glastonbury 2019, who would you choose and why?
Daft Punk because that would be sick.
Bjork cos she is Bjork
Basement Jaxx would bring the party
Tell me more about the BBC Introducing Live event that takes place at Tobacco Dock in London on November 8th? How did it come to be? Is Steve Lamacq a big fan?
Steve Lamacq played 'Fight' a few times on his show and then we were asked to play that show shortly after. We don't want to speak for Steve but he's been giving us a lot of love recently so that's good enough for us!
We listen to a LOT of new music here at musomuso, tell me 3 bands or artists that we should be checking out and why?
No Violet - another Bristol band that we've gigged with and they're great.
Buke & Gase - they've inspired us a lot even though our genres differ
The Guru Guru - another band we've gigged with whose debut album PCHEW has become a firm favourite.
If you were stranded on an island with a record player (it’s solar powered so no issues re power!) and only one record, which would it be and why?
Chris Staples - Golden Age, It's just an album that we'll never get tired of.
What are your views on the closure of independent music venues closing down and what can be done about keeping them open and thriving?
It's grim. It's really important for bands to have venues where they can hone their craft. Yesterday we played Moles (Bath), where the likes of Ed Sheeran and Radiohead have come through. Without these venues, bands wouldn't be able to develop themselves let alone their fan bases.
Music Venue Trust said:
"Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar could have been saved for the price of just 2 days (TWO DAYS) worth of the grant given to the Royal Opera House every year. Think about that….. Two Days! The average level of subsidy these venues get in Europe is 35% of gross turnover. The average level of subsidy UK venues get is 0%. Nothing. Last year, these venues faced an average Business Rates increase of 38%."
Funding would go a long way. Raising awareness and encouraging people to go and support live music would also help. Go to a gig and buy some merch!!
There are millions of bands out on the music scene right now, why should people take the time to listen to Soeur?
Because you might just like it!
Lastly, what three items can’t you live without?
Jim: knife, fork and spoon
Tina: toothbrush, good book and guitar
Anya: grapes, Gaviscon, guitar
We’d like to thank Jim, Tina and Anya for taking time out of their hectic schedules to chat to us and we wish them every success for the future and CANNOT wait until the ‘Fight’ EP drops on November 17th….
Keep in touch with the band at the following sites;
Interview by Steve Muscutt