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The South of No North Interview

The South Of No North are currently playing anywhere and everywhere - including basements

The South Of No North Interview

Question: Could you discuss hometown Chicago?

SONN: You wouldn't know we were from Chicago. Last summer we played one in ten shows in Chicago. Lots of shows were out of town. It is kind of weird we ended up together. If you asked any of our old friends if they thought we should be in a band together, they would say we were crazy. We came together out of the fact that we didn't know a lot of people. It was weird at first. We knew each other from playing in bands. Now it's really cool knowing each other better and being together. Everyone moved to Chicago around the same time. From the get-go, we decided we wouldn't be a local band. We didn't want to play just Chicago. We recorded a demo after a month with Greg Norman. It was maybe our 13th time playing together. It sounded very fresh and spur of the moment. We are still finding our sound. It's reflective. If you listen to the demo and listen to us now, it's definitely different. But, there is a lot that is still the same too. We are still finding ourselves. We have been touring really hard. We are playing CMJ next week. We put out a seven-inch ourselves. We are on the Sound Org label now. We are four guys that have been in a lot of other bands before. We all just wanted to be in a rock and roll band and just do it and lose our money and our jobs. Were doing a good job of that so far. We were all in bands that were really good in the local scene but not otherwise known. The local scene is great, but real life is scary. Jack and Liam were catchier, and Dan and I (Nick) had the more rocky sound. We've got kind of a battle going. We don't want too much rock or too much pop. We aren't pop. We aren't indie rock. We are somewhere in between. It is ridiculous to slap a label on music. We mix a lot of sounds and listen to a lot of things.

Question: How was MobFest?

It was strange for us to play. We got to play because we knew people at the Metro where the show was. We appreciate what they are trying to do and what the whole festival means, but MobFest is a chance for bands who don't tour or do anything to get signed to a major label and get a big advance and break up. That's not us. We played. It was fun. And Fuck MobFest. It really isn't our thing. We did some soul-searching and we never will be on a major label. It's not what we want to do. We want to play on our own terms. In a way, we feel comfortable. That's not a bad thing. The CMJ is next week. We are really comfortable playing that. We want to work for our success. Our last tour was with Pilot to Bombadier from New Mexico. We made an effort to make the tour a basement tour. Our first tour was playing clubs and only 10 people would show up. We just said forget it. We always love basements. They are crazy. Basements get first. We book and do pr for ourselves. We would rather have more direction and control over what we do. It's part playing basements, part making money. And part losing our jobs.

Question: What are your plans for the CMJ?

As of today (September 2nd), we have officially been accepted. Although we still do not have a venue and a date. We talked on the phone with the people a couple of days ago. They said don't worry, you have a show. It's an awkward situation.

Question: How did you get the gig?

We applied as a joke. We made up a bunch of stuff and sent out applications. Six months later, they called. Out of 1,000's of applicants, they choose 200. It was very flattering. Last year, one of our goals was to do the CMJ. It was a Hail Mary pass that happened.

Question: How does SONN compare to your previous bands?

Liam and Jack: Our last band was very pop oriented. It was basically power-pop. There weren't as many intricate things; it was very straightforward. Dan: My tastes were reflective of where I was (Albuquerque). There was a lot of pop rock and band punk. Then I got here (Chicago) and everyone that was doing what I used to be doing in Albuquerque annoyed me. I wanted to start a band and just play rock and roll where you bleed, sweat, and knock amps over, and is still engaging. I played in this band called Pilot to Bombadier that we did a split with who are complete Satanists. They worship the devil. They don't care about anything good or pure. All they care about is evil. The whole time I was with them, everything was death and destruction. We are trying to bring the light back. Nick: I was in a band called Ng Kindheit. It was very Midwest punk touch and go. It was a lot more weird and experimental. Everyone in my old band hearing my stuff probably thinks I'm a complete loser. Any band that we were with before wouldn't respect us now. That's why I like this band. I think that's really cool.

Question: Could you talk about the upcoming record?

The EP we are recording is going to be full of new gems from the songlist. We're going to do that in about a month. We are probably going to go with Greg Norman again. He does a great job. It will be reflective of where we are now I think. It will show our experience recording. Hopefully that will get us rich and put us on MTV.

Question: What is your most memorable show?

We have many for good and bad reasons. We went through a string of really band luck with our equipment. We've never experienced anything like that before. Something broke every night. In the end it was a good thing for us. It made us have to go through that experience. Afterwards, we might fight a little, but we always come out with our heads up. Like a family. Our first big tour with Last Day Parade from New Mexico was really great. We are good friends with them. Every show was good. We played one show in Au Claire Wisconsin at like a Benigans. It was weird. There were 40 people in the bar. We drove out about 38 and Last Day Parade drove out the other 2. We also played with the Crush in Minneapolis. Every show we have played with them has been great.

Question: What is the recording process like for you?

We are interested in capturing the energy of the band. We have never done any overdubs. We mostly just hit record and play. We all record in the same room.

Question: How do you account for your quick rise? Success?

Working our asses off. A lot of it is playing constantly. We don't wait for things to come to us. We get going and do things ourselves. We aren't going to wait for someone to say it's OK to tour. I'm going to go out and play. We press our own records and that's the way we have always done it. If kids catch on, great. We have had experience in our past bands in touring. We have also had a lot of help from friends. We don't mess around.

Question: Who do you like to play with?

Last Day Parade, The Crush, Five-Dollar Foundation. We like to play with bands that are like us. Bands that tour and play basements. We don't want to play a place like the Metro because Island Records saw our stuff and then break up two months later. We don't want to have anything to do with that.

Note to fans:

There is a lot of stuff coming out within the year. We appreciate your support and help. We hope you like the music. We hope it speaks to you on some level. Thank you for being real. To the fans that are out there, just be honest. Tell us how you really feel. We go to any town and play, and kids show up to buy our records. It means a lot to drive several hours, load-in, and have kids come to see us.