Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Interview with Sofy Major

Sofy Major are great,...lets say noise hardcore band from France. Lot of things are going on theese days in SM so we decided to present you theese guys. Interview by Nenad


HC: In this issue we have an interview with a guy who said that he looks at the noisecore as more intelligent, and more mature than other kinds of hardcore subgenres. What is you oppinion about that.
Manak :
Saying that kind of stuff would be too discriminating... How can you judge that a kind of political music (or non-political) is more interesting than any other genre ? I also listen to crust stuff, sludge stuff, punk rock stuff, folk stuff : I don't feel dumber ! As
you know, each music has its own way of presenting feelings and of spreading political ideas. All those musics are just Punk Rock and Punk Hardcore... You know I've already heard some Folk stuff which was more radical than any other crust punk band huhu... If you talk about music, I just think this is a different approach of Hardcore, not usual and not "natural".
Bastien : Why should some kind of music be more or less intelligent than another ? Every kind of music or hardcore is different.
Seb : I don't care about that. To me, that is bullshit, how can someone say that...

HC: I asked you previous question because you play "noise hardcore" and maybe you can give me argument why you choosen that way. Of course you have screamo, emo, sludge influences…
: I really like Noise Hardcore, but I listen to a lot of other musical stuff.
Manak : Yup, when we began playing together with the first line-up, we used to play what we could now call Screamo Hardcore (Bastien doesn't like to call things like that). I just think we love that music more than any other, it's just a question of feelings, I think it's the best way to spread our main ideas for now. As I told you, none of us is narrow minded. As far as I'm concerned, I listen to several kind of musics (except Ska, Reagga and all that hippy stuff huhu), but I love to play Noise.

HC: When we talk that you sound walks between many genres can you explain me track "Stalk" because it is the most different of all tracks on this release?
Manak :
It's our friend from our town, Gheat who's playing in a one-man-band called Stalk : something between Post-Rock, Electronica... We really appreciate the man and his music, it's an old friend of Bastien so... How could we give him such a better tribute ? He also did all the additional effects on the EP, between all the tracks. That guy is really incredible, and I'm glad to know him, I know his music is pretty far from ours, but we have the same feelings, the same political ideas, he could have been part of the band.
Bastien : Stalk is a friend of us who used to work in electronic music, he made sound between our tracks . We really like his sound , and he's a good friend so naturelly we work together. Check his page .

HC: Maybe you can explain concept of this EP, because it looks like all tracks are connected and represent one bigger picture and impression.
: We didn't prepare anything, except our tracks for the studio. I don't think we had a concept, the only line I wanted to follow with all that EP was to make people feel our vision of humanity : the most disgusting thing in that crappy world. I didn't have any additional concept in my head when we released that CD and that vinyl, Maybe the others thought about something, but that wasn't my case.

HC: The CD cover of EP is brilliant. Who did it and how different it is form vinyl cover?
: It's a friend of mine, called Jüül ( He began to draw some gig posters for me about one year and a half ago. He always told me he never had any talent, but since he began drawing stuff for the shows I promoted in my town, some eople contacted him, asking if he could make some posters for their own shows or for their own records. Since that first show (I think it was Daïtro / Sofy Major / Le Massacre du Client de 15h), I think he has drown dozens of posters and released about 5 or 6 record artworks, including ours. We were so fucking happy when he told us he accepted to draw our artwork, and I think he was too. I met him 5 years ago in a parisian underground, we were drunk and playing Black Metal... The vinyl cover is the same, the CD's inlay is just pretty different.

HC: Interesting thing is that vinyl cover includes DIY mini zine. What is it about? I think it's not about music but more activistic, art and politicly and socialy engaged. Am I right?
: I've always been pretty radical concerning politics. In fact, I had this idea when I was promoting shows in a squatt located in my hometown : when people got there, they didn't care about the political involvement of that place, so I decided to write a little text, to give it to the people who came in the squatt. They've never understood... France is quiet different from the other countries in Europe... It's more about art than political involvement... I decided to copy it and to put it in our EP, in fact I just copied a hundred of those texts, so it's a kind of "limited edition". I stopped to put those inserts, because I understood that we were five people in that band, we have a common political line but our feelings are sometimes divergent if we talk about special subjects. There are two veggies in the band, some of us are really next to anarchist movements, and some just think about art and about DIY. But I really think that JUST "making art" is also a kind of political action. I also think that being involved in squatt and more radical movements is essential. We take so more pleasure to play in little places, without stage, with nice people... I had my best shows in places run on a communal basis. I met my best friends during squatt shows. I think politics is a part of our music.

HC: Now I remembered. The elections were just few days ago and right wing candidate won. What is you oppinion about that?
: Majority among us didn't vote. We all have shitty jobs, some of us are also studying... I don't think that the act of voting is something good : left wing is the same as right wing, except that left wing is hiding its fascist face. The problem is Democracy, not right or left wing, if radical left wing passed, I really think the problem would have been the same : there would have been misery in the streets etc... I just regret that people here didn't react with much more protest... There weren't so much riots (hahaha Bastien...). I fucked my vote twice.
Bastien :: My opinion : fuck that shit ! I'm not for the act of voting and I don't believe in it, but I think that Sarkozy is a kind of Bush-like and we're preparing ourselves to live in a fascist way during five years but we'll keep our fist in the air !
Seb : French people voted for a man who's avid  of power, he's also one great friend of that Bush asshole. You know, we've been pretty fucked up and we're waiting for his first new laws with a lot of apprehension.

HC: I forgot, from which part of France do you come from? And how does you enviorment effects your life and music?
: We come from Clermont Ferrand, in the center of France. An industrial city. Some of us work or study or make the revolution by killing old people. We try to make our days better than the crap we support around us everyday..
Manak : It's a 350.000 inhabitants town, if we count the suburbs. That city is pretty curious, it has always been a left wing town, because there were many factories here, mainly working class people. We live between volcanos, I'm glad to live there, the countryside is not so far. DIY gigs have always been booked here, we have few squatts, but that is pretty new. Some of us live in a town called Lyon, about 200 km far from here, it's also a great moving city (but with more police...), with great bands etc...

HC: Do you have some kind of youth centres that support young people to express themselves? Do you have support of you local authorities /town council, NGO, etc/?
: Nothing. And even if we could have some support, I don't think we would accept. I don't want my music and my opinions to have relationships with those institutions. It's not my ethic. The main problem is that local authorities will never help Hardcore / Punk / Noise bands... In france there are not any youthcenters, people always say that french culture is so "mature", but in fact, contrary to Germany, Scandinavia, Benelux, that is absolutely not the case... Squatts are being kicked out, there are not so many places to play in... That's really difficult, so we just try to build our own stuff..

HC: If you make tribute songs, what band would you choose and why?

Manak : haha, that's funny you're asking that, we're going to record a tribute song for a band called Tantrum. I have much respect for those guys... Noise Hardcore heroes from Montpellier.

Bastien : I've always wanted to make a tribute to Def Leppard but I guess I am the only one in the band who want to do that

HC: What do you think about MTV(2) bands etc. Does mainstream necessairly means bad?
: Not necessairly bad. But I just prefer indie bands who are not looking for money and glory... Just for the pleasure to play music, to meet people...
: I don't think mainstream means bad. Some mainstream bands manage to play nice music, that's quite not the point in fact... I think it's so far from my ethical and musical way of thinking. I don't watch television, I don't care about those bands, that's not my world. I just think they're making people more stupid than they already are (including me... that's why I stopped watching that huhu)

HC: Of what release are you assamed of and you have it in you collection :)?
: A friend of mine gave me a mixtape with about 30 crusty songs, they are all good except one which sounds horrible... each time I listen to that tape, I try to "fast forward" this song. And in my "official" discography... I don't know... I have a Stevie Wonder LP between a Snowblood and a Sunn LP... I fucking love what he does huhu !
Bastien : I'm proud of each release I have in my discography even my Kiss records.
Seb : Hahaha, I don't know, maybe that old Rancind / NOFX split which I used to play freesbee with. Or maybe some Choking Victim stuff.

HC: Let's get back to Sofy Major. What it is? Is it a personal name or some kind of medical term, or some kind of…what ?
: ... of monster.
Manak : That is a kind of personnal name. I'm not a former member, I can't really tell. Jules, the first guitar player took the history of that name with him when he left the band... Bastien have an explanation. For me, it's just a kind of « Horsewoman », the fifth one of the Apocalypse which will decimate Human Being. Sofy Major means End of Being.
Bastien : Sofy Major is the girl we never want to meet for the reasons Manak told you.

HC: Is there any chance for you to visit Balkan countries, cause here there is a bih hunger for that sound you play.
: Are you inviting us ? When you want dude !
Manak : That would be a pleasure for us to get there. Maybe for our next recording, I don't know... Some of our friends got there when they were touring, it seems to be a nice place to play.

HC: When we talk about Balkan countries, have you heard about Analena, or Entreat that had some European tours and play something like you do.
: Sorry but I don't know those bands, but when I played in Slovenia with my old band we toured with a croatian Oi! band called Tito's Boy's, that was pretty good.
Manak : That's funny you talk about Analena, I really appreciate that band, as a matter of fact, it was the first gig I promoted... I don't remember, maybe it was two or three years ago. Unfortunatelly the band cancelled its tour... It was Analena with Sons of Saturn. I'd really like to see that band live !

HC: Before the end I think you should say a little biography to remember.
: I'm the bass player of Sofy Major, I also do some back vocals. Sofy Major was born in 2005, we released one 12" and one CD, which can be described as an "EP" (not to say a "debut album"), we've toured across France last april. And we're going to record a 10" split with a french band called One Second Riot (some kind of Noise, you should listen to it, they released a split with Neptune). We're going to tour again in western Europe in october / novembrer, then record our first album and make a bigger tour across Europe.

HC: For the end. Did you achieved everything you wanted with this EP, did you say everything you wanted just for now?
: Record stuff and come to Balkan countries !
: I've always had pleasure (and stress with that band), I'm totally happy to play with friends I love. I think I've always done what I wanted with Sofy Major. This band is a part of my life. To finish : play music, play loud, play fast, involve yourself in politics or not, but always try to protect your right to MAKE CHOICES.

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