With “Anywhere but Here,” Sorry Londoners present themselves with a second disc with a crazy sound, forgoing jazz effusions to better dig into their acoustic recesses. Meet the group’s singer and poet Asha Lorenz.
Like Shame, Goat Girl or King Krule, Sorry is one of those children born under the X in a young English scene that stunned the 2000s. London and through concerts without a marketing plan in Windmill, a very dirty port located in Brixton in Boycott, Asha Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen’s squad landed the major leagues in 2020 with 925, the first record with distorted guitars and charitable indifference, the kind that embraces rage. In 2022, Sorry is still working on polyphonic rock, sometimes associating it with jazz and often covering it with weird sound effects.
from exit anywhere but hereTheir second album, On the UK Political Situation, through the writing process, creating a countdown record, collaborating with Adrian Utley of Portishead or The Importance of Daydream, Asha Lorenz, singer and author of the majority of songs, takes us into the folds of Sorry Stories. meeting in Paris.
Les Inrockuptibles Infamous second albums. It is often said that this is a difficult turning point. How do you feel about the release anywhere but here ?
Asha Lorenz – I’m so excited! But I try to keep a distance. I feel the songs on this album reflect my current state. There is something honest. I hope people will relate to it.
first song Let the lights light up, has a postpunk appeal, very attractive, which one finds no more than that on the album. why ?
We designed it to be an introduction with a side… How do I put it on? comic. So yes, it is different. It’s more cheerful, more upbeat. I would even say it’s one song. We made it into the opening because it doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the album. It is good to have a separate and very attractive title. as if Let the lights light up The credits were at the beginning of the movie.
The rest of the album is more intimate. Was the goal?
I think it came naturally. The lyrics, and even the music, are totally personal but I don’t know if we’d do that. We started like this without thinking about it. But we always try to find a balance between the intimate and what people will be able to match.
You write the majority of texts. Your sentences are short and quick, but also illustrated. How are your writing sessions going?
It comes to my mind all of a sudden, often, when I think of a particular thing or when I have an idea that just came up. Sometimes it just takes someone to say something and opens up to you a full text. It’s coming to me right now, it’s so deep. Moreover, I happen to miss some rather certain sentences. It makes no sense to me. Most of the time I make a draft, which looks like my idea and write everything down step by step.
on this anywhere but here, all of your songs refer to the “I” who is always thinking of someone else, more or less real. Are you guided by some form of unity?
It is undeniable that these songs reflect those past years. Admittedly, the character I’m describing feels lonely. But he has very close relationships with people and has a hard time dealing with closeness. In fact, despite this sense of satisfaction thanks to his intimate surroundings, the character has a robotic side in the sense that he can understand the world but struggles to make sense of human relationships.
Who does this character refer to?
I do not know. It could be anyone. In fact, it refers to the feelings that we experience more than a particular person.
There is some kind of concern in this disc. Are you worried?
Sometimes I feel anxious. Well, I’m worried but it’s like I’m trying to be. As if there was some hovering in anxiety.
Song lyrics are just as important as music, in your eyes?
Words can almost have more potential. But I feel the two, the songs and the music, work together. They are so close that it is as if they need to cooperate with each other. Sometimes the sound is an integral part of the words, sometimes it is just an extension of the text.
Do you write before composing music with the other members of Sorry?
Most of the time, yes. However, each song has its own creative process. If someone has an idea or wants to start playing something, he or she is free to do so. Either I imagine a sound and the writing comes with it, or the words I wrote lead to the melodies. It all depends on our mood.
Where does this song about Baltimore come from?
Oh, it’s an old childhood memory. This path has a peculiar structure, possibly related to the collapsed past. or in a dream. But I don’t want to say more so that people can make up their own story.
You evoke the dreamlike side that runs through my Sorry album. Do dreams inspire you?
Yes, sometimes ! Besides, the album cover comes from one of my dreams. I dreamed of a world like this, with two moons on either side, and a young man jumping between them. There was no more oomph. The character was only shaking in the middle.
Going back to this new album, why did you abandon the jazzy influences of 925Your first album?
There are still some traces of jazz, in the very structure of the songs. Some even become more attractive than expected. But yes, there is less jazz anywhere but here This is on 925Probably because there is less saxophone.
925 He was co-produced by his regular Gorillaz collaborator James Dring. for anywhere but hereI’ve worked with Adrian Utley from Portishead. What did these two products bring you?
We wanted the album to be more cohesive in terms of sound. But it’s been done a little backwards, because we love to do post-production. We prefer to have a little pre-production. That’s what makes our music specific, those details and those sounds a bit random. We injected these bits of post-production directly into the song in question rather than making a lot of recordings and layering them. It was great working with Adrian, because he gave us his opinion on using such-and-such sound in a song. Sorry, we’re not very technical, but here’s Adrian’s technical side that gave us the consistency we were looking for. Ali Chant, our mixer, is a very cool guy too. Both helped us keep our focus and get to the point.
Why did you choose to work with them?
These are the names that I get regularly. Also, we wanted to have an old sound, somewhat similar to those recordings that have become classics, but with current production. We wanted a mix of old and modern.
How do you see the young English rock scene, with Goat Girl, Shame, or even Black Country, New Road?
I don’t spend much time with them anymore. I haven’t seen them for maybe five years. I’m glad it works so well with these bands. But it’s not necessarily the music I listen to. Although I really like these people. We haven’t seen each other for a long time.
You are a bit of the community in London?
That’s right, we were. But I think new faces have taken their place at this point. I’m sure there are a lot of new groups, younger than us, that in turn make up a community. From our side, everyone is flying alone now.
With Shame, among others, she started in 2010 in Windmill, a dirty pub in the Brixton area of London. What memories do you have of this period?
It was really funny because there were a lot of young bands starting and no one was signed to a poster or anything. We were just kids talking and drinking pints and helping each other. It was great to have a place like Windmill to discuss music with people who have the same connections as you.
Is it also a place that allowed you to experiment with music?
Yes exactly! Come and play whatever you want. Tim Perry, the programmer, loves to watch bands play. Surely you have heard how wonderful this man is. We were completely free.
Does it bother you that we’ve been sorry we reduced to “rock band”?
yes. Well, I don’t even know if that bothers me. People say what they want. We are not a rock band. I think we combine several styles. We have a more artistic and experimental side, which is sometimes a form of rock.
anywhere but here It contains very quiet songs. Have you been looking forward to reconnecting with Bedrooms Early pop?
In fact, we always start our songs at home, in our bedrooms. You can’t start this way in the studio. We always start like this, between us. Like when you go to school and after, you develop.
Is the bedroom an important creative space for you?
It’s not necessarily the bedroom but it’s at home. I don’t live with Louis [O’Bryen, le guitariste de Sorry]Neither do the other members of the group, but we each have our equipment in our own living rooms, which really allows us to compose together at home.
We were talking about London earlier. How do you view the current situation, between Brexit, the succession of Conservative prime ministers, or even improvement?
This sad. In London, there is no more authenticity because people cannot survive. The people who live there now are ambitious, people who can afford it and really don’t have a soul. These people impose a way of life in which money is king. My sense of community is collapsing because I feel that people are more afraid of others. However, as we said earlier, society creates a very large space of trust and freedom. London is known for being a melting pot of some diversity and tolerance. But I find that the city has become hostile because people no longer interact. They stereotyped this or that person and no longer talk about what is going on. The atmosphere is really strange.
What is the impact of the current music policy in London?
Many rooms are closed. So there are fewer places where people can freely express themselves and compose music. People are afraid and silent on themselves. And things continue this way. Unfortunately, we are not a political group in the strict sense of the word. We don’t mention it directly in our words. I think the criticism has more to do with who we are, that is, the fact that we are musicians and doing concerts. It is a way of resistance.
Interview by Juliette Boleyn.