Hearing about SondorBlue and by listening to their music, you may get a mixture of feelings – joy, sadness, and excitement – all happening at the same time. It’s this Charleston-bred group that delivers the vocals, all while being down-to-earth. The alt-band drummer, Drew Lewis, recently talked with The Young Folks. We were able to speak about their new EP released on October 13, the band as a whole, and their artistic inspiration.
The Young Folks: What would be three adjectives to describe SondorBlue’s style, or sound, and why?
Drew Lewis: Conscious – It has always been important to us as human beings to stay connected to the world around us. Staying informed and aware of our surroundings is vital if we want to create relevant art.
Versatile – SondorBlue’s sound is made up of a collection of musical influences across several different genres. The four of us grew up listening to classic bands and artists that range from the Beatles to Miles Davis. These influences are a part of us and they will always find their way into our songwriting.
Hungry – As musicians we’re always searching for more. There’s no greater experience than being a part of a team of people who want to push themselves and grow. Every show feels better than the last and we’ve been working hard to be the best sounding band we can.
TYF: Your new EP has just recently been released; what part of creating it did you find most fulfilling?
Lewis: The most fulfilling part of recording this EP was our search and discovery of tones and sounds. Tones are so important because they create the world and environment in which the song exists – they add sonic context. It was such an inspiring experience and we just kept riffing off of each other until the songs felt whole.
TYF: What would be the one take-away you would want listeners to have after listening to your EP?
Lewis: I hope this EP will give listeners the same feelings of joy and inspiration that I experienced when recording it. There was so much love and positivity involved in the writing of these songs. I hope those emotions shine through to anyone who happens to hear them.
TYF: Southern rock and country are embedded in the culture in South Carolina. Have any aspects or musicians from these genres influenced you, and if so in what way?
Lewis: Definitely. The alt-country band Susto is also based out of Charleston and their music has been a huge influence on us as musicians and individuals. There’s an honesty and simplicity in the songwriting and lyrics that speaks volumes
TYF: Your music video for “Ashley Avenue” is now on YouTube. The choice to film it live is an interesting artistic choice. What made you decide to do it live and what was that experience like?
Lewis: I think at our core we are a group of musicians who love to perform. Our live show has always been one of the greatest aspects of this band, so we felt recording a live video for “Ashley Ave” was the right choice.
We shot the video at sunrise with the help of our longtime friend Christian Steinmetz. It was a little nerve-racking; we had a short window of time and it all had to be done in one take. Luckily we had been touring constantly so falling into our groove was pretty easy – after the second take we knew we had it.
TYF: How did you come up with the band name “SondorBlue”?
Lewis: The word sonder is defined as, “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own”. This really resonated with us and it became a theme that’s stuck with us since. For the word blue we all have different interpretations of the meaning.Oddly we haven’t come up with a consensus.
TYF: You sing about “finding love on Ashely Avenue” and creating and “finding yourself.” Did you have a certain place in mind when writing this song? Was there a certain feeling you were trying to capture and share when you envisioned these lyrics?
Lewis: For about a year Andrew, Connor, and John lived together in a house on Ashley Avenue in downtown Charleston. I was living in Charlotte at the time, but I spent more nights sleeping on that red couch in the living room than I did in my own bed. We wrote the EP while living in that house so a lot of the lyrics reflect what life was like during that time in our lives and what we were going through as a band and as individuals.
TYF: To end on a high note, here’s a fun question: If you could have any celebrity or other artist in the world listen to your new EP, who would you pick and why?
Lewis: I would pick The Beatles. They were a huge inspiration for us while we wrote and recorded these songs. We even worked out of “Recording the Beatles” while in the studio for inspiration. Their art has always been special to me so to share this EP with them would be a huge honour.