Interview with Sonsombre by DJ Jason

Hello Brandon, thanks for sitting down with us and answering another round of questions for this 2nd interview with Absolution.

The new album, The Veils of Ending, has to be the best new American goth album in a very long time. It’s been fantastic watching Sonsombre catch on with new people everywhere. How does it feel to be an underground cult success with this second release?

I really appreciate the compliment!  It’s been amazing!!  The response has been overwhelming at times, but it’s very satisfying to know that the music is reaching people.  I’m hearing from people all over the world, 24/7, about what the music means to them.  It’s like a feedback loop… the more I hear from people that are loving what we do, the more driven I become. Hopefully we can keep pushing and turn the buzz into a roar.  In many ways I think Sonsombre was just in the right place at the right time, with a sound that was a little outside of what had been going on in the scene for a few years.  I honestly think Goth is undergoing a revival right now and I hope we are fortunate enough to play a small part in shaping that.

Sonsombre have become a 4 piece band and have started doing shows, since the last interview. Tell us about the new members.

Yes indeed!  We have a 4 piece going for live shows.  They are shy people, but I will tell you as much as they will allow :).  Bu is on guitar.  He and I have another project together and work very well together.  He’s a great guitarist, and brings a lot to the live sound and presence!  JP plays bass… She and I have also been in bands together before and work very well together.  Goth Rock is intrinsically a bass heavy genre in my mind, at least the good stuff, so we are fortunate to have her there!  Then in back we have The Velvet Darkness (Char) herself… She runs the sequencer and sound from behind the coffin and gets the crowd energized!!  You really must come see us live :). 

How has the change to a fully active band changed Sonsombre’s sound and vision of the future?

It has really opened many opportunities for us, and honestly has made it a lot more fun! We’re all great friends, so rehearsal day is my favorite day of the week.  We are working very hard on every aspect of our live performance and are planning for the future.

Tell us about the live show and how it’s been received by audiences.

Honestly the live show is one of my favorite things now.  With a 4 piece the sound is very big.  We all bring something unique to the stage, but it blends very well into a cohesive entity.  We are trying to create a total experience for the audience… I remember as a teenager I saw a band from Sweden playing live.  They used all white lighting (or at least that’s what has burned into my mind) and the fog had a scent.  It felt icy and cold… It was a completion of the vibe their music had always given me. This is what we try to do now.  When you listen to a Sonsombre record everyone will have a vibe as with any other record, but the live show will complete it.  Visuals, smells, sounds, lighting… We want you to remember what the show felt like, not just how it sounded.  Come and see us!

What is the most surprising thing that has happened during your recent live shows?

Well there were quite a few surprises actually… hahah, and a lot of firsts for me and the rest of the band.  Thankfully mostly good!  The most wonderful thing was how amazing the crowd in Nashville, TN was to us (it looks like we’ll talk more about that later), but I think the most surprising was being flashed in the middle of a song by some very enthusiastic fans and almost losing my place.  That was a first.  Maybe that’s something that old pros train for?  Not sure how I would incorporate that into rehearsal though 🙂

Have you been offered any really special gigs, and what do you have coming up?  Furthermore, are there any bands that you would like to perform with?

Yes, we have actually… I will leave some nameless because we are still working possibilities.  We were offered a spot at one of the European festivals, that happens in the late Summer, this year but could not attend due to conflicts with already agreed upon festivals in the US.  We will be playing A Murder of Crows in Brooklyn on 31 August, with a really outstanding line-up I might add, and are very excited to be a part of it. Later we’re doing San La Muerte Fest in Austin, TX… again with bands like 1919 and Pink Turns Blue… exciting!!  Then we’ll be doing a small festival here in the Washington, DC area (won’t name it publicly yet because it hasn’t been announced officially) in October.  The end of the year looks very exciting… we’re trying to line up dates with our friends in The Kentucky Vampires, and have a few other really amazing opportunities shaping up that I will reveal when I can.  As far as dream bands to perform with, either Nosferatu, The Wake, October Burns Black, Merciful Nuns (sadly their last show is in just a couple of months so that won’t happen), or dare I say it… The Fields of the Nephilim.  A lot of my heroes in those bands…  Closer to home, I would really like to play with The Rope!!

The video Fear was filmed live in TN. Would you like to tell us about the experience? Also, will you do more live videos for the new album, or will they be more conceptual?

It was incredible!  Nashville has an amazing scene going on right now.  The crowd was great… very energetic.  I told them we had cameras set up all around them and if they gave us all they had we would use the footage. They did, so we did 🙂  Seriously, it’s so much more fun to play when the crowd is in close and dancing.  We had fun, they had fun, it was a beautiful picture of how great the Goth scene is, and what I hope it becomes all over the world. Thank you again Nashville!  We probably won’t do another live video on this record, at least not an “official” video.  I’m sure we’ll put out some live footage from a few shows here and there, because I think people that can’t make it for whatever reason really appreciate seeing that.  The next video is underway, and it is a storyboard type video for Matte Black. Hopefully that will be out in a month or so.  We will keep everyone posted. 

What are your plans for Sonsombre over the next year. Will there be another release?

Well, I’ve started on the new album, so yes there will be more.  Hopefully with continued growth and depth.  We will continue to play live and work this record.  My goal is to have it out early in 2020, but we’ll see.

The label Post-Gothic is nearly sold out of your first album (they posted on social media that it was down to the last 30 copies, and it may already be sold out now). Will it be rereleased?

First of all, thank you to anyone reading this who purchased the record. That is amazing to me, and I really appreciate the support.  It moved incredibly fast, and Post Gothic wasn’t expecting quite that pace (nor was I). Very satisfying and very humbling honestly.  Oskar and I have discussed a re-release and we’ve discussed vinyl.  I suggest the readers let Post Gothic know what they would like to see??  Vinyl is expensive of course, so they need to see that demand signal understandably.  Long story short, I imagine it will be re-released in some format.

I’ve heard some rumors about a Cover EP happening. Any truth to this? If so, when might we expect it?

Well, I do have some covers recorded and this EP could definitely happen. My concept was to cover big songs by big bands that really had an impact on me… the pillars of influence if you will.  Then, I would put one new original song in the mix to pay homage in my own way to the legacy that these bands have left for us all.  I would need to secure rights to release these, but it’s very possible.  Those covers may include bands like The Wake, The Fields of the Nephilim, and Nosferatu… surprise, surprise right?  🙂

Is there anything that you’d like to add?

Thank you Jason for this opportunity, and for all that you do for the scene!! Stay Goth!!

Sonsombre on Bandcamp.  

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