Leon from SomaHigh on the Album and Local Gigs

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Ahead of the release of their debut album Secrets That Didn’t Happen and playing Frequency on November 14th, we talk to SomaHigh bassist Leon Azor. Find a review of their album in The Edge magazine, due out on November 7th.

Hi, how are you?

Not bad, just in the middle of a FIFA game which I’m getting trollied on, but all good mate.

Sorry to interrupt! I was gonna ask you some questions…

Fire away!

How would you describe how you sound to someone who had never heard you before?

[Distressed noises]

It’s a difficult one…

We’re a fuse of riffy guitars and electronica, I’d say. It’s like Queens of the Stone Age with a dance element in it. I like to hear what people think we sound like. I think everyone has a different opinion. Riffy guitar-driven rock fused with dance synths – how’s that?

Pretty accurate.

We started off as a punk rock three-piece, but myself and Sean [Strugnell, lead vocalist] are really into dance music and we wanted to incorporate that. We have a wicked keyboardist now called Paul Wolf, who plays a lot of the stuff live. It’s great to have that sound on record, but playing it live is what it’s really about.

Your debut album Secrets That Didn’t Happen is due out November 7th – who has influenced this record?

Queens of the Stone Age, Massive Attack, Radiohead, to some extent. I could go on… we all have different backgrounds. Our keyboardist is into Led Zeppelin and Queen, but Sean listens to a lot of Jeff Buckley, Aimee Mann, Beatles

The artwork’s quite bleak – how come?

The cover is supposed to make you think “what happened there?”. The front cover has this vibe of “you did this the other day, but we don’t remember it so it’s fictional”. It represents when Mike [the cover artist]was in Amsterdam and went on a massive session. They went out and came back, it looked as if something mental had gone on but nobody could really remember!

It’s quite a nocturnal album…

There’s a party vibe to it, particularly on ‘Flashback Tuesday’ which is about binge-drinking round Southampton and not remembering what’s happened until the Tuesday after.

When are you coming back to play in Southampton?

We love playing Southampton Uni, and we have a Frequency show on November 14th. It’ll be our third time and it’s always really, really cool. We’re really looking forward to coming back. We played our launch party at The Joiners a few weeks ago which was pretty epic. It was buzzing and there were pits kicking off, and we want to follow from that at the uni on the 14th — put that in big letters, mate!

SomaHigh are familiar with Southampton – what’s your favourite venue to play and to go to?

We love playing the university because all the students put the stage together and are really committed, but The Joiners historically is where we’ve had some really great shows. The sound system in there is pretty cool. I really like The Talking Heads, but they’re all so different! The Joiners for a sweaty night; The Brook for the big stage.

The launch party for your album was at Joiners and you played alongside Arp Attack – what South Coast bands are you into at the moment?

We had a band called Stone Them Crows that we played with, who were awesome. There’s a kind of Southampton supergroup called Cabin Fever – they’re really good. Also Mr. Tom, who share our studio with us. They’re a cool band to check out.

Cheers, thanks for your time.

A pleasure.

SomaHigh play Frequency at The Union on November 14th, and can be found on Facebook here.

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