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SORRY The X-Press Interview

London’s Sorry have been generating a heap of hype lately, with a steady diet of killer singles released in the last year or so, all leading up to their debut album. Co-produced by James Dring (Gorillaz, Jamie T, Nilüfer Yanya), the stunning 925 is out this week on Domino and is tipped to make a big splash in the indie rock scene in 2020. Sorry are essentially a duo, with Asha Lorenz on lead vocals and guitars and school friend Louis O’Bryen on guitar, with a more fleshed-out line-up live. PAUL DOUGHTY caught up with O’Bryen to chat about the new album. 

The incubation period for 925 has been quite long, as it’s nearly been two years since you’ve been releasing singles. Was this part of the overall strategy to perfect your sound, or were you waiting for the right label to come along and get behind you?

It was a strategy to a certain degree. We wanted to build up the Sorry world a little, and release music in different ways to create this world, i.e. the mixtapes and a load of singles. We always set out with the idea of releasing loads of music. It’s a good way to way to build personality I think, and also we wanted people to be able to track back over our catalogue when the album came out and find the mixtapes etc. We also wanted to make sure we were ready and had the songs, so that took some time as well.

One thing that comes out from the songs is a real confidence and swagger to your performances. You sound like you’re having fun. Were you always so confident, or was there a turning point from wallflowers to Bowie-esque stage strutters?

I’m not sure where that comes from, we always wanted our music to have a definitive style. If the genres were moving around, we wanted our style to always be constant. We also love show music, and Talking Heads and David Bowie, the idea of fame (whether that’s a dream of a rock star or holding someone you love in high acclaim) was also prevalent when writing the album, so I guess naturally that comes across as a sort of swagger. I think if you met us in person we are quite the opposite of that – it’s easier to be confident within the music.

You yourself turn in some pretty great lyrics and singing Louis, tending to be a more deadpan spoken word counterpoint to Asha’s more emotional delivery. How do you know when to pen yourself into a song, and when to let Asha have free reign over the track all to herself?

Thanks a lot. I guess just when we think it’ll sound good in the song. We like to use our voices as instruments in a way, and having a higher voice and a lower voice can add layers to the music. Asha and I have known each for so long, so we trust each other with songwriting. I kind of know when to let her do her thing with the singing, or when I think my voice would sound good. It depends on the vibe of the song.

The live footage I’ve seen of you as a five-piece looks like a strong line-up. Who are the other three blokes, and have you worked together for a while now?

Yeah, we a five-piece band: Campbell on bass, Lincoln on drums and Marco our newest member plays electronics and samples. We’ve all been together for the whole thing, excluding Marco who joined last year.

I’m sure you guys are totally bummed about not being able to support the new album. The big question – what are you doing now that the pandemic is cancelling all the live arts and music performances?

It has been sad, we’ve been waiting years for this album and working hard towards it. In a way I feel like the celebration has been ripped from our hands by the almighty powers that be. But since the world is in crisis it’s hard to care about that too much since the bigger picture is much more important. I’ve been finding comfort in the idea that people are using our album to take their minds off all the craziness, and I think our music is quite suitable for that purpose. We are really looking forward to it blowing over, that’s for sure.

What will you NOT be doing during the enforced pandemic hiatus?

Loads of things, mainly drinking beers at the pub sadly…

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