This week, we introduce you to the blistering sounds of Brighton brothers SONS. Since arriving kicking and screaming on the scene in early 2016, this garage-punk two-piece have released four singles, clambered their way on to the Reading Festival line-up and scored a celebrity vocal cameo in the shape of Lethal Weapon superstar Gary Busey. Not bad for a couple of brothers who initially cut their teeth as teenagers experimenting in their mum’s garage.
Below, we catch up with frontman Lee Meldrum to find out more about the band and what they have lined up for next.
Can you introduce yourselves – where are you from, who does what and what are your roles in the band?
“Hey, we’re sons. We are Lee on guitar and vocals, and Nick on drums and backing vocals.”
How did you guys meet and start making music together?
“Being brothers, we met on the day my mum brought Nick home [laughs]. We started making music together in our early teens, when our mum brought us a guitar and a drum kit.”
What were your key influences/inspirations in getting the band together?
“We were always brought up around music; there always seemed to be something playing, mostly Queen, Prince, Michael Jackson, Supertramp, Dire Straits – things like that. But it wasn’t until we first heard Nirvana that we actually got the bug to create ourselves.”
How would you describe your sound in three words for people who’ve never heard you?
“Catchy, punky, energy.”
What makes you special/different to other bands out there?
“Hmm, that’s a hard one. I think being brothers with a love for the same kind of music and musical direction is good for us – that and my modified guitars.”
What’s the story behind the single Rise, and how did it come together?
“We had the music for Rise written out for a bit, with a vocal line in mind – that’s generally how we write. Then after watching a skit by [satirical fictional news reporter] Jonathan Pie, I came up with the lyrical content.”
What’s your favourite story/anecdote from recording so far?
“We had none other than American actor Gary Busey do backing vocals on our last single Zealot. Our manager John used to live in London and last year he went to a party through a friend of a friend. Gary Busey just happened to be at this party. Now, John being John loves a party and isn’t scared to get involved.
Knowing that Nick is a big fan of Gary (especially after being on Celebrity Big Brother), John went over to him and chewed his ear off. John phoned Nick and passed the phone over to Gary. Don’t think Gary knew what to make of it all, but John managed to get his agent’s details, and it went from there. A few days later, Nick suggested as a joke that we ask him to do backing vocals on a track. We all fell about laughing, but John actually got in contact with his agent and a few emails later, John actually got through to Gary and – somehow – he agreed to do them.
We had to send the track via email to the US and after quite a few goes, he eventually got it spot on and we actually used it on our track Zealot. That is our random Gary Busey story.”
What, in your opinion, is the stand-out track you’ve released so far, and why?
“Wow, hard question! For me personally, I would have to go with Reptiles, the main reason being it was the first song we wrote as a two-piece and our first single, so it kicked off this whole SONS journey.”
What do you hope people will take away from the single, and your music in general?
“I just hope people enjoy it. There are messages in the songs, but that’s mostly me just spitting out my opinions on certain subjects. If people feel the same, great; if they don’t, then that’s still great. As long as they enjoy listening, I’m happy.”
What’s been the highlight of your time in the band so far?
“Definitely playing the Reading Festival. Growing up loving Nirvana it has always been a dream of ours, so having it become reality was amazing.”
What can people expect if they come to see you live?
“I would say expect to be impressed that two people can make so much sound without all the cheating backing tracks. Expect catchy songs, sweat and a drummer that’ll blow your socks off!”
What are you most looking forward to about the future – what’s coming next?
“We’re looking forward to literally everything doing this will lead us to. Hopefully more touring overseas, bigger shows and meeting more great people along the way. Our EP will be out early 2018, so that’s going to be special, too.”