EMQ’s With Sovereign Council

EMQ’s With Sovereign Council

Hi everyone! Welcome to another EMQs interview, this time with Canadian Symphonic Metal band, Sovereign Council. Huge thanks to their Guitarist, Chris Thompson, 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?

I’m Chris Thompson. I play the guitar in Sovereign Council. The band formed in 2011 and have gone through several line-up changes over the years. Our sound has changed and grown as we have grown as individuals. We all hope that our fans will enjoy our new sound and that we will appeal to a larger audience. 

How did you come up with your band name?

I’m a history graduate and so our name is drawn from Canadian history. Our name comes from the Sovereign Council, a governmental body established by France in April 1663 for administering New France, its colony centred in what is now the St. Lawrence Valley of Canada.

What Country / Region are you from and what is the Metal / Rock scene like there?

Canada, Ontario, Kingston/Ottawa. The metal and rock scene in our area (and across Canada) is extremely supportive and inclusive. We are proud and honoured to be a part of it. The love, support, and respect we have received over the years is truly special. The bands and fans in our scene are truly wonderful people.  

What is your latest release? (Album, EP, Single, Video)

On March 29th we released our single “World On Fire” along with a music video from our EP “World On Fire”.  

Who have been your greatest influences?

Metallica, Lamb of God, Godsmack, Evanescence, and Linkin Park all inspired me to start learning guitar when I was 14 years old. My uncle Mark (Lisa’s father) was a huge influence and lent me a guitar to play until my parents bought me my first electric guitar. More recently, my influences are Devin Townsend, Gojira, In This Moment, Delain, Kamelot, Intervals, and Andy James.  

What first got you into music?

I’ve always been drawn to music in one form or another. I used to count the beats on the radio in my head in the car as a kid while driving home from the family cottage. Eventually I started learning instruments in elementary school (recorder, clarinet).  Then I found my love of guitar in high school.    

If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?

Honestly, I would just want to work with my Sovereign Council.  We’re truly a family and we love one another like brothers or sisters. We work extremely well together and it’s honestly a pleasure to be around these people. If I could pick someone to work with us as a group, I would pick Devin Townsend. I honestly think that he is arguably one of the most talented musicians currently.  

If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?

I think I would have to choose Wacken. I feel like that festival just has the reputation as a top tier festival. It would be a dream come true.  

What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?

I personally haven’t received anything that I would call weird, but some of the other band members may have some fun stories to tell. Usually, my experience with fans is pretty tame. People want to shake hands, hug, smile, laugh, and spend some time together. That is one of the best things about our local music scene. Everyone is so welcoming and inclusive.  

If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?

Follow your dreams – you only get one life, don’t spend it waiting for something to happen, make it happen.   

If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?

That’s a really difficult question because we’ve lost so many transformative and influential musicians.  I honestly wouldn’t be able to pick just one.  

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?

I mostly enjoy the emotional release and peacefulness that I feel when playing and creating music. It is therapeutic and I can’t imagine my life without it. I would have to say that I hate how extremely difficult it is to create a career in music.  

If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?

The music industry has gone through quite a few changes over the past few decades. Hoping it leans in the favour of supporting and highlighting hard-working artists. There are so many talented musicians out in the world that deserve more attention.

Name one of your all-time favourite albums?

Gojira – “The Way Of All Flesh”.

What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?

I think that depends on how you define ‘best’.  As a collector, I would say Vinyl or CDs. But as a band, I would say downloads are great. They have little to no overhead costs and no shipping costs. This makes it much easier for you to make some money and still sell your music to fans worldwide.  

What’s the best gig that you have played to date?

There are a few that come to mind for different reasons. Opening for Sonata Arctica was an amazing experience. Alestorm was one wild crowd, lots of fun. We made great new friends touring with Santuarium years ago. For me, the best shows are the ones where the crowd is most engaged and clearly loving it.  

If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?

If I wasn’t a musician I would most likely be a commercial pilot today. I was at a point in my life where I was deciding between starting a band and going to flight school. Sovereign Council was the result.  

Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?

Lisa, Joe, Shaun, Brandon… They’re like family to me and I would never pass up an opportunity to spend quality time with them.  

What’s next for the band?

Well, hopefully, this EP is well received. We plan to release another EP. It is mostly written at this point.  A tour would be nice but nothing is in the works at the moment.  

What Social Media / Website links do you use to get your music out to people?

Bandcamp: https://sovereigncouncil.bandcamp.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SovereignCouncilpage
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sovereigncouncil
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sovcouncil
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@SovereignCouncil
Spotify – https://open.spotify.com/artist/0auv3RG5OMr238s2hypDJV

Time for a very British question now. As an alternative to the humble sandwich, is the correct name for a round piece of bread common in the UK either a Bap, a Barm (or Barm Cake), a Batch, a Bun, a Cob, a Muffin, a Roll or a Tea Cake?

A bap. Or a crumpet. 

Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Thank you for the interview! 

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.