Soley Mourning are a melodic hard rock band with a soulful blues edge. Hailing from the Black Country, Soley Mourning have built up a huge following around the midlands as well as in Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Holland.
The band released their third studio album ‘Zaire’ to great reviews in 2011 and are currently working on their fourth album as we speak. We sent our intrepid reporter Alan Bennett, to talk to the boys about ‘Zaire’, their bizarre European tour with Magnum and Tone shitting his pants….
TBF: Hello Soley Mourning and welcome to Black Flag.
Even though you’ve released 3 albums so far, we first heard you guys when we saw your video to a song called Zaire, which had a good amount of hits on Youtube, nearly 20,000 I think. It’s a great video, Black Flag devotees should check it out, was that the first video you’d done?
Andy: ‘Zaire’ was the first video to support our 3rd studio album, also called ‘Zaire’. It was recorded and edited by the band. (like many of our other videos). After releasing ‘Zaire’ we were then approached by a truly amazing company called frogg and peach (www.froggandpeach.co.uk). They had heard our music and had ideas for another track of ours ‘Deadman’s Town’ . They are an awesome team that produce some outstanding music videos.
Our first video however, was for a song from our debut album ‘Mambo County’called ‘Easy Life’ which was recorded in 2006. Since then we have done quite a few self made videos including live tour footage.
TBF: You did a European tour with Magnum, was it in 2007? We hear that was quite a bizarre experience. Would you like to share any of it with us, our readers like a good rock n’ roll story.
Tone: Well I don’t know if it qualifies to be a rock n roll story but heres the short version…
we left on the Saturday, the tour bus broke down on the Sunday, we were given a tiny little van but made it to the first gig in Copenhagen on the Monday, I shit myself in Hamburg on the Tuesday, our guitarist andy joined us on the Wednesday but we left all his clothes in Copenhagen on the Monday. Got kicked out of a bar cos we were English in Osnabruck on the Thursday, our old drummer ash fell down a steel staircase and fucked his hand up on the Friday, we drove round for an hour and a half looking for the venue that was 100 metres from our hotel on the Saturday, we had to do a 320 mile round trip to pick up the repaired tour bus on the Sunday, we played the last gig and all fell out on the Monday. We drove 16 hours straight and got home Tuesday!
Despite all that the gigs were awesome and there was never a moment where we weren’t getting to the next gig, we all pulled together and it is still to me one of the best experiences we’ve had as a band, we certainly earned some stripes that week.
Andy: you earned a brown one in your pants! (laughs)
Tone: You had to borrow those pants remember?
TBF: What we find refreshing about your band, is that apart from having a feel of true class about you, you seem to really bring a blues feel to rock music and it has a lot of depth to it. Is that something you feel came naturally or is it a direction you wanted to achieve?
D: We have all grown up listening to different styles of music ranging from Rock, Blues and Funk. As a result when it comes to writing new music we all tend to bring our past influences together and see what happens.
Andy: To be honest, we never really set out to achieve anything in terms of style of music. As D said We all have very different influences ranging from Blues and Motown, through to Grunge and Metal. When one of us comes up with an idea that we like we just work on it. We all add our ideas into the track and sometimes they come out heavy, sometimes they come out bluesy. With album 3 though, we feel we have found our ‘sound’ in terms of the songs that we write and the style. If it has groove then we believe we are onto a winner!
Tone: blues definitely is the common ground we all share, I have always loved bands that embrace that into a heavier sound.
TBF: Is your 4th album due for release anytime soon?
Andy: We are currently writing album number 4 and will be back in the studio September to record it. We have recently been signed to a great management company Sanctuary Music Ltd. This has worked out great for us as its the first time we have been able to concentrate purely on the music and writing an album rather than having to arrange gigs, sort out merch etc.
D: Yes and its gonna be fucking class!
Tone: We hope so anyway!
TBF: You’ve not played live for a while, we hear you’re playing Wolverhampton in April, what can people expect to see and hear?
Andy: Yep – April 19th at the Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton. Tickets are £5 and are available from the Wolves Civic website or through ours www.soleymourning.com Whether you have seen us before or not, you can expect a high energy performance with songs ranging across all 3 albums and will be road testing some new songs!
Tone: Yeah Im’ really looking forward to getting the chance to play some new material, our fans are always mental at the Slade Rooms and they really make it feel like a home town gig, to me it’s the best job on the planet.
You can find Soley Mourning at their website www.soleymourning.com
Words: Alan Bennett