Interview By: Pete Mutant
Interview With: Harris Sopovic, Vocalist/Lead Guitarist for Sodomisery
You’re a recent band and only began 5 years ago. How did your recent lineup all meet? Is there a story as to how the band’s name came about? Have you been in bands previously?
While I was on the road with Diabolical on a session gig in 2017, our bus driver Paul (which is now our bass player) convinced me to form a band after hearing the songs in the bus. I then managed to get a hold of my old friend Viktor which was the drummer in a previous band I played with called Lamia Antitheus. With him on board, it felt like we had a solid ground. We later had some auditions to fill the rhythm guitarist spot. But I ended up calling my old friend Magnus which I knew was a good guitarist and had touring experience. The name Sodomisery just came to me one day when I was bored at work. After some extensive research (a few google searches), I realised that it was pretty unique and easy enough for people to remember?
When did you first start getting into music and know you wanted to join a band?
I got into music when I was about 5-6 years old. Started off by hi-jacking my brothers keyboard and learning to play some simple songs. Later on at age 11, I got my first Metallica album. It was at that point I knew that I wanted to play guitar and dedicate my life to music
You’re about to release your debut full release. What is the concept behind the album?
The general message I had in mind with the artwork and concept is that we are all a bunch of sick sheep following the shepherd to wherever he points. We need to wake up and start stepping out of the flock if we want to survive. That’s what most of the lyrics reflect.
How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it?
Imagine an old man screaming to the top of his lungs at his washing machine that just broke while being on full speed. Top that off with some catchy chorus made by a chainsaw.
Who does your artwork? Is there anyone you’d like to collaborate with, be it an artist/photographer or producer etc?
We contacted Khaos Diktator Design to do the artwork for the album. And we were very happy with the result. There are so many great artists out there that make some amazing art. But the most important thing for us is to find someone that’s into the music and can translate the ideas we have into art. We feel pretty happy working with Khaos so far.
What is the procedure of producing a new album? Do you have a set way of doing things ?
It’s pretty straight forward really. I usually come up with ideas for new songs by trying out some random chords on the acoustic guitar. When I find a solid chord progression that I think sounds interesting, I record it with distorted guitars and add drums. I check with the rest of the band and get their opinions while writing the rest of the song and finishing it. If everyone thinks it sounds good, we keep it. Otherwise it ends up in the bin.
Do you have a favourite track from the album?
If I were to pick a song based on energy, lyrics and groove it would have to be “Arise”. I think that’s the most energetic song I’ve written so far.
Where do you draw your influences from when it comes to producing new music/lyrics?
The biggest source of inspiration was a near death experience I had back in early 2017. It opened my eyes and made me look at things in a new way. I like to create lyrics that have some sort of meaning and can be interpreted by the listener in many different ways.
Is it difficult balancing out being in a band with a ‘normal working life’?
Yes it sure is. I haven’t had a proper vacation in many years. I usually save all my vacation days to be ready in case a tour opportunity pops up, or if we need to record in the studio. But the moment you step on to a festival stage with a few thousand people in front of you, you know it’s worth it.
What do you think of the music scene like where you are based in Stockholm, Sweden?
I’m not really too happy to see what it has become to be honest. Many venues that were important to the scene have shut down in recent years. Stockholm is considered by many to be the capital of death metal, but there is not much going on at the moment.
Do you think image is important when being in a band?
Yeah, I think it’s important to have a good image both on and off stage. We do our best to look credible on stage while performing this kind of music. And, it’s equally important to act professional and be kind off stage to the fans, promoters, sound guys etc.
Are you guys looking to tour and if so, what are you mostly looking forward to?
We are very eager to get out on tour. The best thing about being out on the road is playing music, seeing new places and meeting new people every day. It feels very weird at the moment not being able to tour or do a show after an album has been released.
Is there anyone or anywhere you would like to play and haven’t yet?
There is a ton of places we’d like to play. We’ve only done a few gigs in Sweden with Sodomisery. So we are very eager to get out there and ravage across the continents.
Is the music industry how you thought it would be when first starting a band?
I think I started my first band about 20 years ago. Back then, the music industry was a lot different. I think getting a record deal meant a lot more back then than it does now due to the fact that a lot of people were buying CDs.
Do you think it’s important for a band to be signed to a label to be recognised in today’s society?
Not really, no. I think it plays a bigger role amongst the musicians than the rest of the world. The only way before to get your music promoted was to play live a lot and have your label do promotions. But nowadays anyone with some brains can successfully promote and grow their fan base on social media, YouTube and Spotify.
What are your views on bands who give away their music free on social media? Do you think this is a good beneficial marketing idea, or should fans be paying to purchase tracks?
You reach a lot more people by giving your music away for free on YouTube and other platforms. Selling CDs, Vinyls or MP3s is really a very small income today for most bands. But by growing your fan base, more people will come to the shows when you’re out touring. And more people will buy merch to support the band. I think more and more people have started supporting their favourite band by buying CDs, merch etc. over the last few years because they see and understand how much it helps the band.
What genres of music do you like to listen to personally? Any new bands that have caught your attention recently?
I don’t listen to music that often oddly enough. But when I do, it’s pretty much anything in the metal genre. Katatonia, Old Man’s Child, Twilight Force, Bloodbath are a few of the bands I’ve been spinning on Spotify.
Were you given any advice from other bands before starting out?
Not really except for: “Don’t do it! It’s a hassle” 🙂
What are the pros/cons of being in a band?
The biggest con being in a death metal band is that it takes a very long time to get some recognition in the scene and grow your fan base. It’s a bigger challenge than playing pop music, sure. But on the other hand, if you manage to release a few good records and get somewhere, you will have the world’s most dedicated fans out there.
What do you like to do outside of music? Any hobbies?
When I’m not working as a web developer or making music, I usually do quite a bit of long distance running. I did my first marathon last year, and a few other long distance trail runs and got totally hooked. Apart from that, I also enjoy being out on the gun range in the forest.
What are your plans for the rest of the year?
Our plan for the rest of the year is to promote the record that we just released as much as possible. And, also, continue writing material for our second album. We have a gig booked in August, but it’s looking pretty grim right now I would say. I don’t have any high expectations that we will be able to play live much this year sadly.
Thank you for your time, is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?
Thank you for the great questions and good interview. To all of you reading this: stay safe and take care of each other! And support your local death metal scene 🙂