Interview: The Sonnets – Bringing 80s Music to 2010
by Daniel Haim
The decade of 1980 saw the emergence of teen pop, new wave and glam metal. While In the years 1980 and 1981, the original New Romantic scene, with a David Bowie influenced camp look and a punk rock sound influenced and interacted with the late 1970s punk scene at CBGB’s, creating the New Wave scene that would define the ’80s.
The decade of ’80s saw the reinvention of Michael Jackson and the emergence of Madonna, which arguably were the most powerful musicians during the time. Their videos became a permanent fixture on MTV and gained a worldwide mass audience.
The Sonnets (2010) wanted to make something that bright and pure. A pop music still blue-eyed, naive and and oh so young at heart. They were inspired by the things that brought them back to that feeling. The Style Council. The first summer with Charles and Sebastian in “Brideshead Revisited”. Prefab Sprout. Tom Cruise stylish Ray-Bans and Levi’s 501:s in “Risky Business”. William Blake. Jimmy Connors’ last serve game against John McEnroe in the Wimbledon final in 1982. Godard’s “Breathless”.
I had the pleasure of talking to Per, lead singer of the band and asked just about everything from who his influences are to what he can tell us about their upcoming album with DESPOTZ.
While there is no exact release date for The Sonnets Western Harbour Blue the much anticipated single Sebastian Said will be released sometime around March.. For now, you can listen and enjoy their heavily ’80s influenced video and sounds that will bring you back in time, maybe even give you chills.
Daniel: Tell us about yourself, where are you guys from?
Per: We are from a small, boring town in the woods of Sweden. After trying different places, like Stockholm, Rio and London we settled down in the seaside town of Malmoe. It’s the Riviera of Sweden. I live in the harbour and Tobias, our bass player, bought a boat. Her name is Yesica. It sounds a bit like a Toto song title, doesn’t it?
Daniel: How did you get into this industry?
Per: We got into music to escape from things such as industry. Being in a band, for us, has always been a place to reach some sort of higher feeling, like being on a constant holiday.
Daniel: When I heard your music it gave me chills, it felt like I was listening to an old song I used to love in the ‘80s not that I’m saying it resembles something it just really felt genuine and hope that originality in music is back. Who are your major influences in music? Who are your major influences in general.
Per: Oh, thank you. We love all kinds of music. But for this record, our main influences has been soul pop from the 80’s, like The Style Council and Prefab Sprout. We’re also very fond of the TV series ”Brides head Revisited” and the film ”Risky Business” with Tom Cruise. But above all, inspiration just comes from life, really. From going surfing, playing tennis or just sipping a Cappuccino in a cafe. We like to think of our music as something positive, yet melancholic.
Daniel: Have you always been influenced by the ‘80s culture and its music? What is it that you think we are missing the most these years from those years.
Per: No. We grew up with indie guitar bands in the 90’s. But we were born in the 80’s. That’s when we had our very first romances with pop music. And that’s the kind of feeling we’re trying to capture. The moment you first fell in love with, say, Madonna’s ”La Isla Bonita” or Wham!. Before the end of innocence.
Daniel: What keeps you motivated to write music?
Per: Everybody tells you what to do in life. First your parents, then your teachers and eventually, your boss. Writing songs is your very own idea, and that’s the beauty and the magic about it.
Daniel: You’re signed with the very best Despotz Records. How does it feel to have them as your home label? Can you share with us the story how you got signed?
Per: I think they saw the video to ”Sebastian Said” and became kind of mesmerized. And then it was just one of these showcases we did in Stockholm at their club night. Not too long after that we opened a bottle of champagne and put our signatures on a piece of paper.
Daniel: Your album is about to drop. What are your hopes for the release?
Per: We’re not afraid to say that we want to become a really big band and make a lot of good records. This is only the beginning. Could I be more specific? I know our drummer Mauricio is really keen on sound checking at a French festival in his tennis shorts with a glass of rose wine in his hand. I think that could stand for all of us.
Daniel: In your own words, can you describe to our readers what they can expect from the upcoming album?
Per: It’s a quite smooth soul pop-record. Blue-eyed, naive, with a summer feeling, still painfully aware of that a summer in the north is shorter than we ever thought.
Daniel: Where do you see yourself in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years?
Per: Wimbledon, Southern France, Miami.