EMQ’s with WE ARE SOVEREIGN
Hi everyone! Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview, with East Midlands, UK based Metal/Synth band, We Are Sovereign. Huge thanks to all of them for taking part.
What is your name, what do you play, and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
To start off with thanks for having us Ever Metal!
Laura: My name’s Laura Russell and I’m one of the two vocalists of We Are Sovereign. The scary one who screams and makes devil noises haha.
Ash: I’m Ash Ho and I’m the clean vocalist.
Sebastian: I’m Sebastian Foster and I play guitar for We Are Sovereign.
Sam: I’m Sam Maltby and I play the bass for We Are Sovereign.
Alfie: My name’s Alfie Wickham and I play the drums for We Are Sovereign!
Laura: I started creating the band back in 2019 in a tiny apartment bedroom in Chaddesden, Derby. After being in bands since I was 15 drumming and screaming, along the way, I felt I never got to express my creativity or ideas freely or to their full potential. I also felt I was always around the wrong people or people I couldn’t relate to or felt I was around people who saw it as more of a hobby than a serious potential career. I decided to start from the very beginning and get everything written and ready to go alongside my childhood friend Arran Bee. The next step was finding members to get on board who were as passionate and committed to the vision of the band as I was. That was the start of We Are Sovereign being created.
In April of 2019 I then went on to find Ash through an advert on join my band. We both began working on vocals for a good year with the foundations I had before we then came across Sam, Alfie and Sebastian in 2020. We also found Sam and Alfie through join my band and Sebastian was introduced to us through Alfie’s Dad. We have a lot to thank join my band for haha! It was only really in 2020 that things really started to get moving and we found a majority of the members. We recorded all the instruments in September 2020 and that’s when things started to become real and we knew we finally had movement. The pandemic held us back quite a lot and we had a lot of mad stuff thrown our way to overcome but on a positive we had more time to really put our heads down and make sure the music and vocals were the best they possibly could be for us.
We recorded the vocals for our debut single in April this year and filmed our first official music video in June with Loki Films. We can’t wait for you to see and hear it!
How did you come up with your band name?
In the very early days of forming We Are Sovereign Laura and a potential member at the time sat down and wrote down loads of band name ideas and that one was the final one chosen that stood out and represented the band’s story. The band name idea evolved from the concept of being in loads of bands previously and with us all getting older this realistically is our last shot of making our dreams come true as musicians. We Are Sovereign stands for the representation that this band we feel is the highest we’ve ever felt musically and visually amongst everything we’ve ever been a part of.
Where are you from and what is the Metal & Rock scene like there?
Laura: I was originally born in Blackpool but now I currently live in Derby in the East Midlands and the Metal and Rock scene is not too bad you know. We have The Hairy Dog which is a really good venue and place to chill. There’s a few venues and bars in Nottingham that are decent. It’s nothing compared to London or Manchester but it’s pretty cool for what it is.
Ash: I’m from Derby in the East Midlands, there’s a lot of fans of the scene, just not so many bands, not that I know of anyway, but I hope to see a few more come out the woodwork.
Sebastian: I’m from Nottingham and the Metal & Rock scene is really good, we have a fair few metal and rock bars!
Sam: Nottingham and it’s quite small, we’re hoping to change that.
Alfie: I’m from Nottingham, I don’t really know what the scenes like here, pretty quiet I guess? It won’t be soon though…
What is your latest release?
Our latest release is called ‘Bridges Burnt Lessons Learnt (Betrayal)’ featuring Ryan Tuck O’Leary from Fit For A King.
Depending on when you read this it’s released on the 20th August at 9am (UK) alongside our first official debut video premiering on Youtube.
Here’s the link to come join us for our video premiere:
Who have been your greatest influences?
As a band every single member has such broad influences and music taste. If we had to give band influences based on the music being written it’d be Blessthefall, A Day To Remember, Eyes Set To Kill and early Bullet For My Valentine.
Laura: I’d say for me it’s such a broad thing. One minute I’ll be listening to AC/DC ,next it’ll be Motionless In White, My Chemical Romance (“Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge” album), Chimaira, A Day To Remember, to 90’s Dance music to Biggie Smalls and then to Chris Stapleton. I absolutely love all kinds of genres of music and feel they all have an influence. Vocally I’d say my massive influences growing up were Oli Sykes, Mitch Lucker and also Brody Dalle. The song that made me want to pick up a microphone and learn how to scream properly was ‘Tears Don’t Fall’ by Bullet For My Valentine the line “LETS GOOOOO” I used to spend hours in the music room at college until my throat was sore trying to get it. I remember going to the Kerrang tour, I think it was 2005 and seeing Bullet live and I knew, at that point, I wanted to really be a vocalist. I’d also say Blink 182 the self-titled album, Panic At The Disco, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out and My Chemical Romance Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge really influenced me to experiment a lot more writing vocals and instruments as those albums are absolute masterpieces. I also absolutely love my Pop Punk!
Ash: Growing up the first ever band I ever listened to was Linkin Park. I began listening to bands like Blink 182, Sum 41 and softer stuff like Busted. I slowly began to venture out of rock into different genres like rap and grime but always found heavy music to be my true love and truly found love within Metalcore. Bands that potentially influence me vary from different stems of Rock and Metal. I’ll listen to A Day To Remember but flick to All Time Low, I think there’s nothing more sonically pleasing than clean vocals back to back with filthy screams. Cleans and Screams and the vocal harmonies truly cut the soul. I also love to jam out bands like Blessthefall, Too Close To Touch, Sleeping With Sirens, and Coldrain.
Alfie: Bring Me The Horizon were the first heavy band I properly got into and inspired me to get into the whole genre. Slipknot and Joey Jordison are the main influence in making me want to be a drummer and also a massive influence on my style of playing and fills I write and use. I then got into hardcore, which I was instantly attracted to, because of the pain and trauma constantly projected within their songs, not forgetting the simplistic heavy as breakdowns that just make you want to tear the place up. I love to listen to BMTH, Slipknot, Infant Annihilator, Knocked Loose, Asking Alexandria, Code Orange and Silent Generation they’re proper edgy and different. I’d say now my style is a blend of all of the above and I just love to bang drums like a mad man.
Sebastian: My music influences are AC/DC, that’s where my passion for music truly began. My Mum and Dad were always blasting Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Metallica so, of course, I now love all those guys. I’m also a huge Slipknot fan and take a lot of inspiration from them when writing riffs to jam to. Growing up, the bands I felt myself going back to, were Megadeth, Bullet For My Valentine, Metallica, BMTH, Lamb of God, Pantera and many more. I just fell in love with the fast chugging and brutal riffs that make you insanely bang your head and for me all those bands made be a better guitarist.
Sam: My influence that got me into bass was Blink 182, specifically Mark and Tom. I started on guitar then moved to Bass. I learned to play in the style of Blink even down to my pick strumming. Enter Shikari is the biggest influence on my music, always changing and never becoming predictable which is what We Are Sovereign are aiming to achieve. AC/DC, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin were the bands that made me listen to music as, before that, I dismissed it. I felt without purpose as I don’t like sports and had little in the way of hobbies. Music filled that hole and I started playing it and writing my own.
What first got you into music?
Laura: I was surrounded by music at a very young age, my parents were always playing it in the car, in the house, my older brother was always blaring his music out from his bedroom. It was when I started secondary school that things really started. I remember seeing a drum kit in the music room and I was like I want to play that. I self-taught myself how to play the drums then eventually over the years transitioned to a vocalist as I knew that’s where my heart was at. It was just the feeling it gave me. I was just so fascinated by every song I heard from a very young age. No matter where I was I just always wanted to listen to music.
Ash: Singing in the halls of Primary School I guess, used to sing every Wednesday and I used to love it!
Sebastian: My Mum and Dad listening to bands like AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Motorhead, Electric Light Orchestra.
Sam: Initially it was because I really wanted to play the songs I listen to!
Alfie: I started playing the drums in year 5, but my sister got me into heavy metal from as young as I can remember.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Laura: For me it would have to be Bring Me The Horizon. I listened to all their albums growing up and Oli Sykes was a huge influence on me vocally. I’d love to sit down with them and write a song. I’d be so fascinated to see what we’d create as it seems Oli’s imagination is as crazy as mine. It’d be a dream come true! Maybe one day, you never know.
Ash: Most likely be Bring Me The Horizon, they’re really diverse so would like to mix the bands together for a jam or something.
Sebastian: If I could collaborate with a musician it would be Slipknot because they are very creative and I really enjoy their music.
Sam: Definitely would have to be Sam Carter!
Alfie: Enter Shikari, they all seem like the soundest geezers and their style of music would work so well with ours!!! We could have some mental dubstep breakdowns.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
Laura: For me it’d definitely have to be Download Festival. I’ve been a few times and it’d be an absolute dream come true to be up on that stage. It’s literally up the road from me as well!
Ash: Download, it’s close to home and all my friends and family could be there so I could do the show, watch the other bands then go to my own bed. Awesome!
Sebastian: Download Festival because I’ve been going ever since I was a little kid and it has always been a dream of mine.
Sam: Download festival.
Alfie: I would love to play Download festival in my hometown, I love going there and it would be an honour to play for my city, plus it was the first time I ever saw Slipknot live which was insane.
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Laura: I haven’t actually received anything weird as of yet haha…watch me receive a pube in an envelope next week! When I was in my old band I did receive something that will forever stay with me. I got a message from a girl who said she wanted to write to me because my lyrics really resonated with her and helped her through some tough times. I was then sent a drawing of myself which was absolutely incredible and a really long personal note explaining what she’d been through and how much the lyrics/music helped her get by. It really hit me hard and meant so much. I’ve still got it framed and stored safe. It definitely wasn’t weird but something I received from a fan and will forever cherish.
Ash: Unfortunately, I’ve never had the honour of receiving anything weird.
Sebastian: The weirdest thing I have received from a fan is a hip flask.
Sam: Some flowers because I’ve never asked or been interested in flowers haha.
Alfie: I’ll answer this question again when I have some, does my girlfriend count?
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Laura: I’d say please stay true to yourself. Be proud of who you are and don’t ever change for anybody! I’m gay and I’m proud I had an operation to have my chest removed because it didn’t feel like me and I’m proud, so you should be proud of who you are no matter what it is. I’d also say don’t ever give up on what you believe in. No matter what life throws at you, you have to keep going. I had to overcome so many obstacles before and in the making of We Are Sovereign and I got there, so can you!
Ash: Love to those who support me, thanks to those that doubt me, each add fuel to the growing fire.
Sebastian: Never give up on yourself!
Sam: Try all music, don’t be close minded to one genre.
Alfie: Don’t change the way you are for anybody, always stay true to what you believe in, regardless of your environment. People are easily influenced.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Laura: It’d have to be the legendary Mitch Lucker from Suicide Silence. I sadly never got to see him live so I’d do anything to bring him back to witness that.
Ash: Damn straight it would be Chester Bennington.
Sebastian: If I could bring back someone from the dead it would be Dimebag Darrel.
Sam: Chester Bennington without a doubt!
Alfie: Joey Jordison!
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
Laura: Top of the list has to be playing shows and having fans relate to your music. That’s the best feeling on earth. Being able to write lyrics about what you’re feeling inside and what you’ve experienced and to then be able to scream them from the top of your lungs live is a different kind of therapy in itself. I also love seeing everything come to life from the demo process to the big studio. I’ll be brutally honest. I secretly love but also hate filming music videos. I get so nervous because you have to look your best at all times and have cameras so close to your face there’s no hiding anything hahaha. You can’t pick a filter or have complete control over every clip so you have to just kind of accept what comes back.
Ash: Singing obviously, I just love to sing and there’s not much I’ve really grown to hate yet.
Sebastian: I enjoy most the way playing the guitar can change my mood instantly, the thing I hate is stereotypes.
Sam: I love to see fans lose themselves in the music! I hate some of the toxic behaviour in the crowds.
Alfie: Being able to create music in my head and then put it into real life, I love the feel you get when you’re performing with your band mates too, the spiritual connection is mad. I hate getting sweaty, I hit so hard.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Laura: It’d definitely be the way female vocalists are perceived. I feel before anybody hears my vocals they automatically presume the worst just because I’m female. From speaking to many people over the years it always comes up in conversation that they have a bad perception of female screamers and that they never expect them to be decent. I want to change this! I feel I can give a lot of guys a run for their money and probably have a bigger pair of (imaginary) balls. There are some incredible female metal vocalists in the industry.
Ash: Buying and reselling tickets. Imagine trying to buy tickets to see your favourite band but you can only find tickets triple the price? You really won’t pay that and it’s not fair on the fans.
Sebastian: If I could change one thing it would be the price of things, e.g., concerts and festivals.
Sam: Make it so bands have equal or more say than labels as they dictate everything a band can do a lot of the time.
Alfie: People should have no judgement, listen to everything without jumping to conclusions, think about the deeper meaning and the genuine creativity that’s gone into it.
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
Laura: One of my favourite albums has to be Bullet For My Valentine – “The Poison”. It’s the reason I started screaming and it goes without saying every track on that album is incredible! I remember hearing ‘Tears Don’t Fall’ for the first time and I spent forever trying to do the legendary line “LETTTS GOOOOOOOO” until my throat was sore, I even puked once I screamed so hard haha (warming up back then was a mystery to me haha I had no idea it existed)! Another one that has to be mentioned is My Chemical Romance – “Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge”. Absolute masterpiece. I feel the same listening to it as I did 17 years ago.
Ash: “Hybrid Theory” by Linkin Park is just god tier…
Sebastian: “Dark Side Of The Moon” – Pink Floyd.
Sam: “Common Dreads” by Enter Shikari definitely.
Alfie: “Count Your Blessings” – Bring Me The Horizon.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Laura: I’d have to say all three. I’m a sucker for wanting the physical copies. I tend to go more for vinyls as I have a vinyl player in the house but no CD player haha. I’m a huge A Day To Remember fan and have all their albums on limited edition cassettes and just looking at them makes me happy. Is that weird? probably hahahaha!
Ash: Downloads, probably the cheaper way to go but you’ll never have the nostalgia of owning a CD or cassette.
Sebastian: Vinyl for me!
Sam: CD’s all the way for me.
Alfie: CD’s, only because I used to spend all my pocket money on CD’s from as young as I can remember. Still have most of them now and I still listen to the same albums too.
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
Unfortunately, due to us forming and completing the line-up in the midst of the pandemic we haven’t actually played a live show as We Are Sovereign yet. We’re currently working hard in the practice room on our live set to bring you the best performance we can. We can’t wait to see you all on tour!
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Laura: If I didn’t have We Are Sovereign I’d go back to being a drum teacher for a rock school which was an amazing job I had, or I’d definitely have gone down the path of being a videographer or something in the video/film world. I have so much fascination on how tv programmes, films, music videos are made haha I can’t just watch things normally like everybody else. I’m like…wow, I wonder how they made that look so real or wow, I love how they cleverly edited that. I’m such a geek for it haha.
Ash: An alcoholic because my dreams wouldn’t come true.
Sebastian: If I wasn’t a musician I would be a mechanic.
Sam: I’d be a Police officer.
Alfie: I’d be extremely unhappy, I would be at university still but I wouldn’t have my hobby, and everybody needs to be happy!
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
Laura: It’d have to be Oli Sykes from Bring Me The Horizon, Angus Young from AC/DC, Travis Barker from Blink 182, Jeremy McKinnon from A Day To Remember and Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance. I’d also invite Julia Davies (Comedian) she can sit on my knee hahaha.
Ash: Chester Bennington, James Hetfield, M. Shadows, Ozzy Osborne and Oli Sykes. What to feed them is another question.
Sebastian: Ozzy Osborne, Angus Young, Robert Plant, Guy Martin and Corey Taylor.
Sam: Rou Reynolds, Tom Delonge, Keith Richards, Liam Gallagher & Carl Barat.
Alfie: Juice WRLD, Lil Peep, Joey Jordison, Yolandi, Ninja.
What’s next for the band?
At the moment we’re currently polishing up our next single which we’re going to be heading into the studio very soon to record vocals for. All the music is done, it’s just vocals that need recorded going forward so we’re really excited to get moving with that! We’re also working behind the scenes creating the plans and foundations for the second music video. We can’t wait for you to hear what we’re coming with next. Let’s just say no We Are Sovereign song is the same!
Behind the scenes we’re also rehearsing hard and working on our live set ready for shows!
We’re going to be releasing as much music as we can and playing as many shows as we can to spread the word and music of We Are Sovereign.
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Here’s the link to pre save our debut single if this interview comes out before release on the 20/08:
If you’re reading this after the 20/08 get yourself to youtube and watch our debut video now:
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Laura: I’m a northern spruce so I’m 100% saying it’s a biscuit hahaha. If you wouldn’t put it in front of somebody on their birthday, with a candle in it, then it’s illegal to be called a cake. Jaffa cakes are something you’d have with a cup of tea. A cake is more like a granny Battenburg or whatever they’re called hahaha If anybody says it’s a cake send them to me. They have to use one as a wedding cake to prove me otherwise.
Ash: Bruuhhh it’s a cake! Chocolate, orange jam/jelly thing then sponge at the bottom, biscuits are hard and crunchy and I hope you give the same reasoning!
Sebastian: Jaffa cake is a biscuit sized cake hahahaha.
Sam: Cake, it’s in the name.
Alfie: It’s a cake in biscuit form.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Thanks for having us and thank you to any fans that support our music. We love you!
If you’re reading this after the 20/08 get yourself to youtube and watch our debut video now. If you’re reading it before, hit that subscribe button and set yourself a reminder.
Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.