RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW FOLKSTONES SOPHIA SYNDICATE
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
I think the whole band can say that we knew from an early age as we all had it in us. It does sound so cheesy and cliche but honestly if it’s in you and you can’t deny it or escape it….even though why would you want to music is one of the best things in life. It’s our duty to communicate through the power of music. It’s our first language.
Introduce us to all to the members and your musical history.
Sophia Stutchbury Sophia’s ability to create the perfect topline to any melody, riff or song is unparalleled. Seriously, play her a melody and she’ll have the topline sorted before you finish playing. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first time or the millionth time you’ve heard her, Sophia’s voice is powerful, soulful, and reassuringly familiar, like an old friend. Sophia’s ability to be equally at home in the studio as well as on stage has enabled her to lend vocals to an array of songs by a plethora of artists/producers across the globe. Having played piano since a young age, Sophia brings a lot more to Sophia Syndicate than just her incredible vocals!
Colin Weir – If you look up the word “Versatile” in the dictionary you’ll simply see Colin staring back at you from the page! Whatever genre he finds himself in he plays with a competency and authenticity that few musicians can achieve. Colin has a seemingly endless arsenal of melodies and riffs. He also has an ear for sounds and tones often transcending his guitar beyond the realms of the archetypal guitar sound.
Technical Finger What this man doesn’t know about sound isn’t worth knowing. A bold statement, but spend time in the studio or at a gig with him and you realise that he not only lives up to the statement but that maybe, just maybe that statement is slightly insulting. A DJ and Producer, Technical Finger’s ability to hear the bigger picture is unrivaled. Whatever your sonic vision, Technical Finger has the skills and ability to bring it to life and make it bang. If you find yourself nodding your head or full-on dancing your arse off whilst listening to Sophia Syndicate, you owe it to Technical Finger. He’ll make sure you’re moving, smiling, and not overwhelmed by a wall of noise.
When Sophia Syndicate were looking for a drummer they knew they needed someone who was not only a solid timekeeper but also able to play the beats and mix acoustic and electronic elements together seamlessly, enter Harry. Forever trying to push his abilities and rise to any challenge thrown at him, Harry brings energy to Sophia Syndicate. You’ll get worn out just watching him, but he’ll make you want to dance don’t you worry about that!
When Scott first joined Sophia Syndicate he brought a chilled, calm vibe with him. After a few weeks, he found the volume knob on his amp and solidified his position in the band! Initially brought in to play electric bass, it slowly became apparent that he could not only play electric bass but also; Double bass and Synth bass. Scott is literally the gift that keeps giving. His playing is solid and his groove is deep! Much like Colin, Scott earns himself a place in the dictionary under the word ‘Versatile’. With roots in EDM and electronic music, Scott is the perfect fit to bring Sophia Syndicate basslines to life!
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?
It is a tricky industry and we have all had our ups and downs with it, to say the least. Individually and together we have experienced the highs and lows of this ever-changing industry. There’s a lot of fake BS and a bunch of phony, fake people but there are also some really good eggs and the talent out there is immense. Since the completion of the band (adding live drums and bass) I (Sophia) now feel like I have my band of brothers I’ve waited a long time to get to this stage but I feel the hard work is paying off now and the energy between us is electric. This year has been a lot of fun with all the gigs and support we have had. It makes me so happy to see us growing and progressing and we can’t wait for what next year has got in store.
We set up RGM USA and many other countries in the world to share music with America and the UK, good idea?
Fantastic idea. Share the love far and wide. We will always share socials etc as it’s all about helping each other. If the water rises then everyone floats!!!! Simples
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
Well, Sophia and Tim are quite interested in conspiracy theories. They are theories after all and it’s very interesting to hear different angles. Colin doesn’t agree with them and he and Sophia have to agree to disagree about those matters. Harry and Scott are always interested in other sides of the story and I think being open to what is/could be possible is always mind-expanding and interesting. But as with most of these things……we’ll never know!! I mean, I did read something about the Queen dying being a hoax ……..OK now, this is beyond my realms of belief….that would be rather difficult to pull off, wouldn’t it!! You gotta draw the line somewhere haha. Is Elvis on that Island with Dianna…I doubt it but do aliens exist….more than likely.
Lets share the love, what bands are doing really well in your Town / City?
We are ALL about sharing the love…It’s what a lot of our songs are about! There’s a tonne of talent in Folkestone…It is officially “The World’s First Music Town” after all, (awarded in 2019) and it really is home to some top-tier talent. A few of our favorite bands at the moment are “Hot Smoothie”, “Citrus Blue”, “Pleistocene Megafauna” and “The Bearing” check them out.
What advice would you give other artists starting out?
Don’t give up…Write from the heart and don’t be afraid to be a bit weird. It’s tough out there and it’s not all about your talent….be persistent and believe in yourself…Do it for the love and not for money and fame. Those come as a bi-product of being great at what you do and being in it for the right reasons.
Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?
No, we needed ALL THE WINE haha! Harry got a girlfriend he didn’t need. Luckily he didn’t pay for her tho!! Although he paid emotionally as she wasn’t quite right. Colin’s sticker addiction got worse..He loves a sticker for his guitar case. Scott is too sensible with his money so probably bought an aloe vera plant to make his own cream knowing him.
What was the worst experience on stage?
Oh gosh, well we’ve all had those “moments” haven’t we!? I asked the guys and Harry said his worst moment was when he forgot the song halfway through and then had the whole audience staring at him waiting for him to bring it back in…I was staring at him too haha! We had an incident in July at The Forum in Tunbridge Wells where we headlined and the DI for the bass blew up and I tried telling jokes to the audience whilst they sorted the bass… don’t know what I was thinking as I’m a really rubbish joke teller!
Tim said his worst stage experience was when he was Dj’ing and he took the needle off the wrong deck!!!! Glad that was pre-Sophia Syndicate!
Tell us something about you / each member that you think people would be surprised about?
Sophia has never seen Finding Nemo, Frozen, A Star is Born or Game of Thrones! Harry doesn’t smoke, drink or do drugs but everyone thinks because of his tattoos and scruffy look that he’d be the party animal…nope you’ll find him out jogging or in the vegetarian aisle of the supermarket. Scott is actually Lord Willie and has a certificate to prove it as he owns a piece of land in Scotland! Colin knows all the cars and characters in wacky races by heart. Tim has an encyclopedic brain like a sponge and remembers the most ridiculous details.
If you had to describe your band/music to an alien how would you describe it?
Va chol jabqu’! hahaha! No probably something like; LUSH, RHYTHMIC ANTHEMS (but in an alien language of course)
What makes you stand out as a band?
Our versatility…Many people have commented/complimented us for that! We really do change up the set and keep it interesting and the crowd seems to really like that. I think these days people have short attention spans and gone are the times of people listening to whole albums. People seem to prefer playlists with a mix of artists/genres. I think that our selection of songs being quite varied goes down really well.
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.
Yes yes yes!!! Our new track is called “Weightless” and it’s all about freeing yourself from your troubles and worries and letting go of the stress and pressure. Many of us could do with letting go of a bit of the extra stress of life and it’s a great feeling when you do. The single comes out on 11.11.22 at 11.11 am. Can you tell I’m a bit obsessed with double digits?
Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.
Our whole next album is being written with a positive theme. We all truly believe that you get out what you put in and the World needs a little more love in it. One of my favorite sayings is “if you think you can or if you think you can’t, you’re probably right” Many people have to stop and think about that, and to be honest everyone should take that on board. It all comes down to you! If you have the belief and trust that it’ll happen then it most likely will. If you think it won’t happen then it most likely won’t. It’s important to spread love and positivity into the World and to try and make it a better place. When you do good things and appreciate yourself, good things come back and you get appreciation.
What was the recording process like?
We flipping love a recording session. I get to bring cakes and everything. Tim can’t eat most cakes so we don’t have them at home. Plus Tim and I don’t have kids…We have cats. Cats don’t really like cake!! I love feeding people and seeing the joy from food so I often take treats to the studio and on recording days we need extra…We do!
Tim – aka Technical Finger does all our recording and production and is known as “The Wizard” he’s fast, efficient, and knows exactly what’s needed to make a track pop. He has a tonne of experience and we all leave that part to him and just get out of his way.
We all do our bit and then over to Tim until he’s ready to play the first draft to us. Sometimes we listen to the first draft together in the studio if we are all still there or Tim will send it to us later and we all listen at home and message our thoughts on the group WhatsApp
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
Everyone has an opinion! Haha! You know what? I learned that it’s really flipping nice to collab with others. If I write alone then the tune comes out one way…If I write with others it comes out another way and seeing that creative process take form is lovely. And sometimes, less is more. When you first start out writing you feel that you gotta be all frills, bells, whistles and complicated jazz chords….well you don’t. Sometimes the simplest is the best and the most important thing of all is……SONG IS KING…Serve the song and do what’s right for it…Not for you.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
You could spend ages tweaking things and believe me, we have done this in the past. But we have got a lot better at being able to decide when it’s done or we are happy and when to stop tweaking. Sometimes you make it worse. And yes, maybe you could change this or that but would it make it better or just different?
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Music, Cats, and Wine should be in everyones life in abundance…It’s all you need…Oh, and Love – share the love man!! There will be a video for “Weightless” one week after the song release. So, the song release 11.11.22 at 11.11am, and then the video will be one week later on 18.11.22 at 11.22am.