London-based band Sorority are constantly surprising. Their music is a blend of rich vocals, poetic, humorous lyrics and organic, percussive melodies which are both nostalgic and beautifully fresh.
The band of three – brothers Elliot and Max plus friend Joe – are close friends and housemates.Their surreal perspective on life and their love of each other’s minds and talents is clear in their music, artwork and stage presence. We became big fans when we heard their first record, Live at The Drive, especially when we saw the comic-book-slash-graphic-novel that they released alongside it. It’s full of odd kind of creativity that gets you described as “treading a line somewhere between The Beatles, Seal and idk, Ren and Stimpy?”
Deliberately cryptic and bizarre in their communications and online presence, the only way to get the full Sorority experience is to see them perform – which you can do at this year’s festival! But first, get to know em a bit…
For those who aren’t familiar with Sorority yet, can you paint us a picture with some of your favourite bands and biggest influences?
Primus, Haruomi Hosono, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Grace Jones, Pantera, Barney Kessel, Ry Cooder, Steely Dan, Pulp, Joni Mitchell, Robert Palmer, PJ Harvey, Sly & The Family Stone, Ween, Kate Bush, Missy Elliott, Moloko, Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers, The Stranglers, DJ Qu, Iggy Pop, Joey Anderson, Pulp, Aphex Twin, Drexciya, Beatles, Bowie, Beach boys, Beefheart and Zappa etc.
What are Sorority working on at the moment?
We’re currently putting the finishing touches on our debut album Legalise Love, and are hoping that global superstardom will swiftly follow.
Other than that we’re just playing shows and making music with bands we like. We’ve just finished producing a 2 track EP for our friends Horsey which is set to be released soon.
You made a beautiful graphic novel to accompany your previous record, Live at the Drive. Tell us about it?
Our rhythm guitarist and co-writer Joe Kessler helps run the independent comics publisher Breakdown Press. We’ve always loved the way records are an opportunity for great artwork that complements the music. We sent the tracks to a few of our favourite Breakdown artists with an open brief to create something based on a song of their choice. The comic is the result of that and a few of our own noodlings. We actually released ourLive at the Drive EP though Breakdown, so anyone itching to get a copy before the festival can get one on their website.
Can you tell us the story of the Calamari track from that record?
Calamari is a love song to a very beautiful transexual lady. It’s also the first ever Sorority track!
Here’s a picture of us recording it.
You all live together in London – has it had a big influence on your music?
We’ve been lucky enough to live in a relatively cheap flat thats big enough to fit all our studio junk so that’s definitely had a big influence on our ability to make music. We’re also lucky to be part of an encouraging resurgence of live music that’s happening in the city at the moment, with bands like Horsey, LL Burns, Jerkcurb, The Mantis Opera, Woom and others doing cool things.
How do you balance your creative work with making a living? Any tips for how to do this successfully?
We all have jobs so we have to spend a lot of our spare time on music to get anything finished. That said, it’s not something we consciously think about, it’s just something we’ve always done. You do have far fewer moments to spend sunning yourself and drinking beer but if you love what you’re making then that’s worth it.
Sorority play Saturday afternoon at Brainchild Festival 2018.