Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
WAS: Hey! First off thanks Pete’s Rock News and Views for having us!
We’re a band that has musically taken a blend of many genres and influences from growing up, mixed the elements together and are bringing back that early 2000 alternative nostalgic feel back on the scene. We’d describe our music as a mix of raw story telling real life emotion accompanied by music created from every genre you can imagine blended together. It’s not just music it’s a real life story for us but instead of being read out it’s being sung and screamed out. We have synth, we have emotional guitar solos, we have screams over pianos, electronics and no song sounds the same. We’re a band with music you can listen to and walk away and think, I’ve felt that, I’ve been at that point in my life. If you imagine a mix of 2000 metal core, elements of pop punk and post hardcore along with synth strings and choir you’re about there. We feel our first single doesn’t define the full sound of We Are Sovereign yet as there’s so much more to come!
We’re also the type of artist that isn’t scared to express ourselves in and outside of our music just to play it safe. We’ll shout from the rooftops what we believe in and we’ll express that through our art and you’ll hear that through our songs and see it visually in our music videos.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
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!
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
We Are Sovereign: As a band every single member has such broad influences and music taste. If we had to give musical influences based on the music of We Are Sovereign being written it’d be Blessthefall, A Day To Remember, Eyes Set To Kill and early Bullet For My Valentine.
Laura (Vocalist/Screams): For me musically and vocally it has to be Angus Young, Oli Sykes, Mitch Lucker, Jeremy McKinnon, Gerard Way, Travis Barker and Brody Dalle. Non music influences would hands down have to be my parents because I don’t know where I’d be without them. Also would have to be Julia Davies and Daisy May Cooper, they’ve really taught me to embrace my weirdness haha!
Ash (Vocalist/Cleans): Musically is probably Chester Bennington as Linkin Park was the first band I really got into and non-musical would be Bruce lee.
Sebastian (Guitarist): My main musical influence is Angus Young because he was the reason I started playing music because I love AC/DC and their music and non musical influences would be motorcycle builders/racers like Guy Martin, Craig Jones, John McGuinness and many more.
Sam (Bassist): Enter shikari/blink 182 are my musical influences and non musically I’d say Ryan Reynolds because of his humour. I also love Andy Warhol and the pop art and style he created.
Alfie (Drummer): Rick from Rick and Morty, Joey Jordison, Dickie Allen, Catherine Tate, Bring Me The horizon, Die Antwoord and Bodysnatcher
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
Laura: Dreams and goals for the band would be to tour absolutely everywhere and be able to do music full time. I want to be able to scream in every country you can imagine and meet all our fans along the way. I would love to be able to look back in 10 years time and We Are Sovereign are still achieving!
Ash: World dominance! But literally play shows all over the world!
Sebastian: I want to get to a point where I do music full time and just enjoy every second of every day and get the most out of life
Sam: Touring the world!
Alfie: I want We Are Sovereign to blow up because we all deserve it so much, we’ve put so much work into this band and we want to create music that hurt people can relate to, you are not alone and we want to create a fanbase of people who reinforce this.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
Laura: The songs are written by myself and my childhood friend Arran Bee I grew up with and went to college with. When I started We Are Sovereign Arran was properly excited to get involved and really helped pull together the ideas I had. Once the music was written I laid down all the vocal ideas, lyrics and melody’s I had. I used to get random melody ideas or scream patterns at work and have to sneak into the toilet to sing into my phone haha. I met Ash in April 2019 and we both put our heads together to finish off all the vocals and create a sound we were happy with. We had musical chemistry straight away and everything happened so naturally.
Interestingly some of the songs are very remains of songs from years ago that me and Arran used to play together which I’ve matured and put a We Sovereign stamp on. I brought to life the concepts, vision and knew I wanted a strong synth/sample presence when I started writing. The songs sound nothing like they did back when we were younger but they’ve definitely had a big influence on the writing process and outcome!
All our songs are created and fuelled from real life experiences I went through. Every song is based on a true story and emotion that I experienced in order to get We Are Sovereign off the ground. After suffering for years with gender dysphoria since being a teenager and spending many years battling mental health, I had a life changing operation to feel comfortable in my own skin. The emotions my experiences at that time are where a lot of the inspiration for the music, concepts and lyrics come from. It’s all about taking you through the walk of life and what we all go through along the way starting with Betrayal, and future records are set to cover Loss, Heartbreak, Torment, Reflection, Acceptance and Resilience.
We feel as though we all go through everyday life surviving but never truly stop, think and reflect about the emotions and chapters we all experience. Life is a scary and unpredictable journey and we set out to cover all aspects of it in our records.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
Laura: We’re on all social media platforms so any news on upcoming releases and shows will be posted out on those! If you’re not following us on everything, what are you waiting for? If you don’t follow us on everything by midnight and keep scrolling, a giant badger with a curly wig will sneak into your bedroom tonight and take a tinkle on your phone. Up to you. Here we go:
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:
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
Laura: I think it’s amazing how you can have songs/artists you discover at the click of a finger and have them on your playlist within seconds. I do wish artists were rewarded more for this though especially from Spotify haha but it is the future and it’s exciting how easy it is to discover new music and also make yours available as an artist on so many platforms. I grew up in the era of going to HMV to get your favourite album on cd so it’s mad how much things have changed over the years!
Ash: Online music, I believe is the future. Everything these days is literally in the palm of your hand! You can literally listen to music from different creators and genres for such a small fee. Long gone are the days of physical copies unfortunately.
Sebastian: I think that downloading music online is a good idea because it’s more eco friendly and easier for people to access so it opens up to a wider audience. I think artists should get more of a reward from this.
Sam: I think music and the internet have evolved together. Now in this time it’s easier and more accessible to listen to not only your favourite songs but trying new ones as well.
Alfie: It’s the future man! Allows you to download absolute bangers and discover new artists.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
Laura: This is such a hard question haha you’ve got my brain thinking now haha it would have to be Dayseeker – Burial Plot. The song, concept and vocal melodies are just insane. I could never get bored of that song.
Ash: Every ADTR song ever?? A Day To Remember brought me out of some dark times when I was younger and probably influenced me the most out of all the other amazing bands but if I had to pick a song it would most probably be “it’s complicated” very hard question though indeed!
Sebastian: I wish I had written is Shine on you crazy diamond by Pink Floyd because it is a very diverse song and uses so many elements of music. The music inspires me
Sam: What’s my age again by Blink 182. The song cemented blink as one of the founding artists of pop punk, it’s catchy but simple and can be played anywhere from clubs to your work office.
Alfie: Hunt the Dinosaur – Destructo. Have you heard that song?!?!?! It’s an absolute monstrosity and the vocals and world play is insane, would be mental performing it live. Not to mention their drummers an absolute BEAST.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
Laura: People with no manners or respect is a huge one for me! Also people who think they’re entitled to judge and have a say on other people’s personal lives and choices when it’s none of their business. I’d say the toxicity/bullying I see all over social media, that really grinds me and lastly has to be people who automatically say songs/bands are sh** because it’s not their taste. You don’t have to like everything but you can still appreciate the talent involved!
Ash: Personally, People smacking their lips when eating. Easy! Hands down this is the most infuriating thing to me in the world! In a band environment though it has to be instruments being played whilst mid conversation at a practice… (You know who you are guitarists)
Sebastian: Some of my pet peeves are fake musicians who are money driven and don’t show any affection to the fans and you end up losing the feel to the music.
Sam: People judging others based on their likes and dislikes. Yeah we’re all human but that means we like different things. It’s ok to be different and no one should shut you down for that.
I get annoyed with people’s arrogance today. Always picking sides, never having decent discussions. People blindly following what they believe and shut people down who they perceive as wrong.
Alfie: Two faced people, I’d rather you tell me my drum kits shit to my face 🙁 Also I don’t like judgemental people, get to know people first and try to put yourself in other people’s shoes before you make assumptions.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
Laura: For me it has to be realising that I made the right decision of building We Are Sovereign, watching my vision and concepts come to life and realising it was all worth it. Watching our music come to life in the studio and watching the music video as it came back made me cry! I couldn’t believe it was real. I’m so proud of us all! I’d also have to say getting coverage in Rock Sound Magazine, Big Cheese Magazine (in America) with my old band was also a really cool moment.
Ash: The creation of “Bridges Burnt Lessons Learnt” honestly ecstatic at the way the song turned out and I’m sure everyone who listens to it is gonna have to get a new pair of socks cause the ones currently worn will be rocked off.
Sebastian: My most proudest moment in music is joining We Are Sovereign and our first single being played on the radio.
Sam: One of my proudest moments is playing my city’s home venue of rock city. I can’t wait to play there with We Are Sovereign.
Proudest moment so far also has to be this band coming together and completing what we’ve done in such a difficult time.
Alfie: Finishing our first ever music video with We Are Sovereign. It was the first official music video we’ve ever done as a band, we created a full narrative, found venues, costumes, my amazing girlfriend Esme as the main actress stepped in, and I drummed my a** off for about 5 hours straight, Must’ve played through the song 20 times. Most productive day of my life.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
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. Lets 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!
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
WAS: Our debut single called Bridges Burnt Lessons Learnt (Betrayal) featuring Ryan Tuck O’Leary Fit For A King. If you’re reading this before 20/08 it’s available for pre save now and our video will be premiering on youtube on the 20th August at 9am GMT/BST.
If you like what you hear share it with everybody and anybody you can and we’ll see you a show soon