Published May 2013 in Issue 2 of ALT-MU Magazine . . .
Sonic Boom Six are an explosive 5-piece band from Manchester who have reached global success over the past 6 years. They have toured the UK, Europe, the US and Japan while managing to record and release three albums on their own label Rebel Alliance Recordings past released on Random Hand and The Skints! Their latest album is being released by the mighty Xtra Mile Recordings! Ruby Rebelle our Deputy Editor is excited to present to you Laila from Sonic Boom Six…
We have read many reviews and quotes about SB6 that can’t seem to define you to a specific genre, what genre do you think best sums you up?
That’s a hard question to answer. I see us as a rock band with elements of dance music and hip hop thrown in. Our roots lie in punk but as we’ve evolved our sound has gone more rock with ‘pop’ vocals.
Who have been your influences, musically and aesthetically?
Musically, it’s always been bands that progress and don’t stick to the norm – bands like The Clash, The Streets. Aesthetically, I’m not really sure. We kind of have our own style; we come from inner city Manchester so we’re normally rocking street wear with a hint of alternative thrown in there!
Who is the main songwriter?
With this new album the song writing dynamics changed a lot. Nick Horne and I started writing a lot more. Ideas come from all of us, whereas it used to be mainly Barney and our old guitarist Ben. Things were written a lot more organically, on acoustic guitars than they are now. Now, one of us will have an idea and stick it in the band Dropbox and then we’ll have a play around with it in rehearsals. Barney’s always written all the lyrics though.
Your track ‘Sunny Side of the street’ received mixed feedback from fans (which we loved by the way) why do you think that was?
I wasn’t aware that it did! If it had then I can imagine it was because it was slower and maybe a bit more pop but any fans of ours know that we’ve always done the reggae/ska thing on every album we’ve done and when we play acoustic so I’d be surprised if an existing fan would have been shocked by the sound of it. Whenever there’s a new release people always have an opinion, that’s just the way it works.
Who gets to decide the overall look and sound of SB6?
Me! Ha-ha! Looks wise, mainly me but the sound is all of us. Whilst you were starting out, did you have many rejections?
How did that affect your confidence?
We’re getting rejected on a daily basis even now, that never changes when you’re in a band. At first it was difficult to take ‘cause when you’re so close to something and you work so hard then it’s difficult/impossible not to take things personally and it often used to make me look at myself and make me doubt if what I was doing was good enough. But, then you get to a certain point and just think, whatever. I love what I do and I have complete faith in myself and the band so we keep doing what we do and get on with it and try and have as much fun in the process!
Looking at your bio you had a very busy year in 2011 and 2012 headlining Sonisphere amongst other things, has 2013 been as busy for you?
Yeah, 2013 started with a tour with The Blackout. We had a week off and then did a headline tour of the UK so that was Jan and Feb done. This month, personally, I’m very busy as I tutor at The Warren in Hull and there’s a big event on this week for young females to get involved. The workshop covers confidence building, writing songs, recording and I really love being part of it. I’ve never had any formal music training, no one ever told me I could do what I’m doing successfully and I had no guidance whatsoever when I was growing up. I fell into doing this but I was lucky. I want to be able to guide young women and make them feel like they can do anything regardless of their backgrounds and I feel I’ve been given this opportunity with being involved in the workshops at The Warren.
Being so busy you must struggle to take time off, how do you relax whilst on tours and gigging?
Exercise! Me, Barney and our tour manager, Toby, love to work out and we make sure we do this on a daily basis when we get to a venue. Even though you’d think it would have the opposite effect, it actually helps to chill me out and give a better performance than if I just sat
backstage all night twiddling my thumbs.
You’ve shared the stage with some of this generation’s greatest artists and bands; do you ever get star struck?
YES, all the time! Barney makes fun of me because I go into giggly girl mode whenever I see anyone that I respect or admire. When we met Serj from System of a Down, I nearly fainted!
How do you cope to be constantly surrounded by men? Does it ever get tough for you?
I’m lucky because the guys I’m surrounded by aren’t regular guys. They’re all really sensitive and completely get where I’m coming from most of the time. Also, both of our merch people are girls so it balances it out a lot.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Right now, I’m listening to Freaks Like Us by Straight Lines. Amazing band and I’ve completely fallen in love with the singer’s voice and lyrics. They remind me of Muse crossed with Stereophonics crossed with Crazy Arm.
We hope you’re not having any ideas of splitting but what would life be like without SB6, do you have any plans for life after SB6? Would you plan a solo career?
Oh God, not at all! Sometimes I think, what I would do, if I wasn’t in the band but it depresses me so much I stop thinking about it! I’m not too sure, I’m not one that waits around for things to happen so I’m sure that I’d get stuck into something else. I’d like to try TV presenting. I’m trying to put some stuff together for a solo album – the stuff that I write is way too camp for SB6. Think Girls Aloud meets Kylie meets La Roux!
What is next on the cards for SB6?
We have a new video to record and then it’s festival time. This year we seem to be playing all our favourite festivals so I’m really looking forward to the summer.
Interview by Jennifer Le Roux