Bringing a progressive edge to the post-rock instrumental genre, Sons of Alpha Centauri’s guitarist Marlon King sat down with Overdrive to give a background on the band, their influences and more. Get stuck in and open your mind to new music with Overdrive Discover.
OD – Give us a brief background on the band and the particular sub-genre that best describes who you are?
Marlon King (Guitars) – SOAC formed back in 2001 on the hottest day of the year, both Nick and I had already been in previous bands together and thought it was time we started on a new project with similar musical interests. The project was left quite open at first, however, we found a tendency to write more instrumental tracks with riffs and big build ups. We have had various influences and whilst we have initially been classified in the Stoner Rock/Desert Rock genre I believe Alternative Rock describes us better as we have a tendency to go darker than the desert at times.
OD – With reference to a discography, what exists already, and do you have anything coming out in the near future?
MK – We have the self-titled debut that we released back in 2007, following on from that we recorded a split album “Last Day of Summer” with Treasure Cat featuring Will from Karma to Burn.
This contained tracks from both bands plus they come over to the UK and recorded 3 tracks with us – featuring members from both bands. From there we have been working on a special set of vinyl splits with Karma to Burn. We have now finished that series and released the complete works as a Box-set with lots of extras. As for new releases, we have our new album “Continuum” coming out in June 2018.
OD – Was there any one particular band/musician that inspired you to get involved with music and if so, who?
MK – I grew up listening to lots of classic rock so no doubt had lots of inspiration there but I would say that Thin Lizzy’s Jail Break was one of my favourite albums that spiked my interest to write rock as it had all the elements.
OD – How supportive has the local underground scene been for you and has it helped the band in any way?
MK – When we were first starting out, the local scene was really buzzing back in Kent, England and we played shows all over the county supporting and being supported by various other local bands. I think that scene very much lost its way during the recession and hasn’t quite recovered fully. Since then, DesertScene has done a great job of getting the stoner and sludge genres back on the map and we’ve played several shows with them including opening the first DesertFest London at the Underworld.
OD – With the dramatic change in the way the music industry has evolved, how are you experiencing the current climate with being a band starting out and what would you like to see change in the future?
MK – Thankfully we write more than we gig these days so I don’t think the change to the industry has affected us too much but definitely has had an impact on when and how we release our albums. The way things are going with music being provided as a free service is a problem in the long run as it inevitably devalues music and means the musicians that have invested time, money and energy in owning their craft can no longer make a living from it.
We will see over time a drop in the level of musicianship over the next decade unless streaming services up the amount they pay back to the musicians.
OD – With regards to the process of writing material, is there a particular method that works, and if so, please let us know?
MK – As a band, we tend to write in a few different ways; When we first started out, it used to be Nick and myself joint writing the tracks and it used to take ages as we both had ideas of which direction the track could go in. Writing as a complete band never quite worked for us as we found that whilst we had good jams we never came away with the killer tracks.
Our new approach tends to be either Nick or myself write the basis of a track for the other to hear and then we embellish or learn accordingly. This way means we see one complete picture so its easier to understand the direction.
OD – If there was one band that you could tour with, who would it be and why?
MK – Fatso Jetson have some cool new tracks out at the moment and we are good friends with Mario Lalli so I think that would be a cool band to tour with.
OD – Tell us your favourite album and why it’s so important to you?
MK – My Favourite album is never the same for too many years, at the moment I have really been digging “The Bends” by Radiohead. I love going back to this album, the reverbs and places it takes me when listening.
OD -What are the plans for the remainder of this year?
MK – We already have some ideas for new material which we plan to start working on after the release of Continuum.
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