Sorry on “925” Perfectly Impure Interview | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Sunday, September 20th, 2020  

Sorry on “925”

Perfectly Impure

Mar 25, 2020 Web Exclusive
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Schoolmates Asha Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen are the creative heart of Sorry, a band that are being lauded as one of the most exciting and innovative new artists to emerge from the flourishing London underground scene in recent years. The duo met when they were at secondary school and later in their teens their shared love of music led to them forming a band in 2016 under the moniker Fish.

However, it was pointed out there was already a hulking great 6-foot, 5-inch Scottish singer who went by the name of Fish (frontman of ’80s neo-progressive rockers Marillion) and rather than offend this man-mountain the band quickly changed their name to Sorry. “There’s no great romantic backstory about how we came up with the name,” explains Lorenz, “we just randomly saw the word on a poster and decided to use it.”

They began to release lo-fi demos and creative bedroom mixtapes and soon caught the ears of Domino Records. Joined by drummer Lincoln Barrett, bassist Campbell Baum, and latterly old friend keyboard player Marco Pini, the band’s debut album, 925, takes their sound to a whole new level and perfectly showcases their innovative, restless creativity.

In the current rapidly changing COVID-19 landscape it must be a strange time to release your debut album. For us the idea of not being able to tour the album is a sad one” admits O’Bryen, “but COVID-19 is obviously very scary in general, so we hope that the album can bring people some solace and comfort during these unprecedented and trying times.” 

Under the Radar had a chat with Lorenz and O’Bryen about their influences, the album, and their approach to creating it.

Andy Von Pip (Under the Radar)Congratulations on 925, you’ve really developed a unique, somewhat disorientating style and an instantly recognizable “Sorry sound.” How do you go about writing songs together? Do you have a particular sound in mind at the offset or is it a question of experimentation until it gels.

Asha Lorenz: Thank you, yes we obviously experiment quite a lot, but usually, we have an idea first and develop it together before we bring it to the band.

Louis O’Bryen: Yeah I’m glad you said disorientating, we wanted to make interesting, engaging music and that kind of led us to want to embrace a lot of styles that interest us. But we did want to also keep the overall cohesive sound that came naturally to us. In the past, we have done a lot of experimenting with songs and sounds on computers so I think perhaps that approach maybe makes our songs sound a bit different.

How was working in the studio with James Dring? As you’ve self-produced much of your work in the past, was it hard to give over some of the reigns to James?

Louis: We always thought working with a producer would be hard, but working with James was totally different as he was keen to work on the stuff we’d already done on the computer. He understood where we were coming from and wanted to collaborate rather than record it himself or stamp his mark on it like some producers try to do. He was a fan of what we’d started and just wanted to add to it and bring some of the big pop moments out. 

Asha: Yeah he understood exactly what we were all about and we all got on really well so it was good fun. 

What sort of software, recording equipment do you have at home and how different a process was it recording in a studio

Asha: I normally use Pro Logic.

Louis: I use Ableton to record demos. 925 was recorded in a small studio and with just the three of us, it had the same sort of vibe as it does when we recorded our demos in our bedroom. That was another thing that made it so enjoyable working with James—it was a similar atmosphere to working at home really. 

What’s the significance of the album title 925 

Asha: It’s actually about sterling silver, which is 92.5% pure silver. We wanted a bit of an abstract title, it’s got a few different meanings for us. It marks the first album we’ve done that’s bigger and bolder than anything we’ve been able to do in the past. But it’s not quite pure silver. [Laughs] It’s also referenced on our song “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star.”   

We live in a world where labels often expect a rapid-fire release but since signing to Domino you’ve taken your time with your debut. 

Asha: Yeah they were really nice and supportive about it, we didn’t feel quite ready when we signed to make an album immediately or indeed to record one that would make an impact.

Louis: Yeah they agreed that we should wait and do things more gradually and carry on with the development of our sound rather than jump in straight away. We wanted to build up a bit of momentum first.

Regarding your demos and the mixtapes that kind of got you noticed—will you still carry on doing that as well as more traditional studio recordings?

Asha: Yeah, definitely, we are writing music all the time and we still want to keep releasing the demos and mixtapes but we’ll wait until the album’s been out for a while, give it some space before we release anymore.  

Louis: Yeah as Asha said we’ll keep writing and releasing stuff, it’s nice for people who want to find out more about us and the techniques we use. It helps people to connect with us, listen to more music and delve a bit deeper into what we do. I think it shows the character of the band.  

What sort of music were you exposed to as kids? Are your families avid music fans?

Asha: Mine weren’t really huge music fans, although I remember my dad was really into Earth, Wind & Fire and also had a thing for the Cabaret original movie soundtrack, he loved show tunes. As I got older I started listening to bands like Nirvana and Radiohead.

Louis: Mine were similar, my dad loved Neil Young and my parents both loved Nina Simone. And my older sisters got me into rock music when I was about 12. But the really weird and interesting stuff we discovered ourselves as we grew up and found our own music to relate to.  

You’ve actually just released a new video for an album track “Snakes,” featuring a whopping great snake, were you a bit nervous working with it in the video?

Asha: [Laughs] Yeah, I’m a bit wary of snakes, but for some reason, it wasn’t quite as frightening when we were there with it. The snake actually looked way scarier on camera, it was called Bertha. [Laughs] It was a bit weird working with a snake, especially when she hissed and came close and breathed on you. Yeah, that bit was quite scary!

Louis: And she did smell like really bad, a weird kind of familiar smell but horrible. And she felt really strange in your hands, yet in other ways, she seemed quite sweet. She was probably called Bertha to seem less threatening. [Laughs 

Five words to sum up 925. 

Asha: Emotional, swervy, sad, beautiful, big!  

[Interview edited for clarity and flow.]

www.sorryband.co.uk

 

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