In the Middle with Sorority Noise

In the back of The Key Club, there is a room of concrete walls and nauseating, sterile lighting, in which three garden chairs had been haphazardly placed in the centre of the room, directly under one of the lights. I am with Cameron Boucher of Sorority Noise, who himself described this setting as “terrifying”.  This was the room we decided to hold the interview in.

Back in April, you told Spin Magazine “I’m really into using my instrument as more than just an instrument lately; I like to scream into the pickup, and we’re trying to bend guitars and make them do things that they’re not supposed to do.” Can we take that to mean the band is headed in a more experimental direction?

Kinda. I think you can experiment inside the realm of normality and just make interesting noises. Like, the guitar can just be pushed to be so much further than what it is; it’s just a microphone, really, and it picks up specific things. So like, I can use the distortion to sing through the guitar, which sounds so much cooler, and yeah, I guess in a way, it’s just a way of making more noises out of it – and I really like noise.

Well, it’s interesting that you would say that, because the EP from last April, It Kindly Stopped for Me, was a lot quieter than your usual work, so will we be seeing more of that style in the future too?

Yeah, totally. You’ll be seeing that it just gets louder and louder as we go on, so that was a kind of departure, and I think that with EPs and 7-inches, it’s a place to do something really different that you wouldn’t have been able to do on a record, since that would have been out of place. We’ve been working on a record that’s very loud, and so, it’s not gonna stay there, but we might go back to that at some point, but for now it maintains itself, and the band gets a little louder.

You recently covered a song by Twenty One Pilots, ‘Tear in My Heart’, what inspired that?

My brother loves the song, and I have a lot of friends who are big Twenty One Pilots fans, so I spent a big five-hour drive listening to them, and tried to realise what was making this band pop so hard. That’s where ‘Tear in My Heart’ came from; I listened to it like fifteen, twenty times, to try to realise why it was so killer, because it’s a really great song. It’s objectively good; even if you don’t like the band, you can’t say that song’s not good. You know what I mean? I know spoken word doesn’t do it for some people, and sure there are some aspects of the band that don’t flow well with people, but I think that song ‘Tear in My Heart’ is objectively good. Like my mom would say it’s good, and my grandmother would say it’s good. It had an interesting sense of dynamics, range, and volume, and I wanted to experiment around it, like, “would it still sound as cool if I didn’t do that?” And then I sent it to my friend Maria, who writes for some websites and magazines, and she was like “Hey, I’m gonna put this online.” And I was like, “oh no, I didn’t want that.” And now here we are, she said “please” and I said OK [laughs].

What artists would you say are influencing your music most at the moment?

Julien Baker. Also, David Bazan, who does Pedro The Lion, and Chet Baker, who’s an old jazz musician – I’ve been listening to him a lot. Alex G’s a great songwriter too. But Julien’s a really great friend, and I take a lot away from her music that she writes, and I think it’s almost symbiotic in that nature. She’s always impressing me. I’ve been listening to Pedro The Lion; David Bazan’s really excellent, and he has this project called Headphones, which is also equally as brilliant. I put it on for the band the other day, and someone complained that I listened to it too often, so that’s probably what I’ve been checking out the most. Also, the new Sidekicks album Runners In The Nerved World, which I just got around to checking out, is fantastic. So, I’ve been listening to that on repeat.

When can we expect a new Sorority Noise album?

Probably next year, definitely. I have a record with Old Gray that’s coming out in December, so that’s really exciting. The new Old Gray record is really heavy. Not much clean guitar, just really thick and distorted, and evil-sounding. The Sorority Noise record, not so much. It sounds much better than that. It’s much brighter.

Zack Moore

(Image: Upset Magazine)

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