All Apologies: Sorry Interviewed

All Apologies: Sorry Interviewed

The London group talk lockdown, snakes, and making their debut album...

It’s good for writing as I’ve got a clear mind so making music has been fun, but it’s hard when I’m just by myself,” Sorry’s Louis O’Bryen tells Clash.

Sat at home with the phone on loudspeaker, we casually chat about what we’re doing in lockdown. “Me and Asha (Lorenz) have been making music on our computers and sending it to each other, so that’s quite good to pass the time,” Louis sighs.

“Been playing some video games, doing some exercise you know the usual stuff that everyone’s doing. But also, I’m very bored!” he chuckles. “I feel like if I was 15 and I was in lockdown, I would be having the time of my life but it’s not quite the same when you’re 22.”

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Lauded as one of the most exciting and innovative new bands to emerge from the thriving London underground scene, schoolmates Asha Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen are the creative heart of Sorry. Meeting in school and later becoming closer through shared love of music, lead to the formation of previous project Fish. Similarly, newest drummer Lincoln lived on Asha’s road and Marco is also an old friend. Bassist Campbell was then encountered at the seminal South London sweat-pit The Windmill. 

After spending the past few years refining their DIY sound, Sorry have dived into studio life. Previously self-producing a lot of their own music, newest album ‘925’ sees producer James Dring offer a helping hand.

“When we first started recording music it was weird for us,” Louis admits. “We knew what we wanted it to sound like already if that makes sense, and so working with producers and going into to a room to record didn’t really suit us. But, for this album with James we would start a lot of it in our bedrooms on our computers at home and then take it to him and he’d flesh it out and make it sound like a proper song, suitable for an album, so it was kind of like a happy medium between producing it ourselves and having Jame there to produce it and also make it sound more proper.”

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Following many singles, mixtapes, and longstanding friendships, the highly-anticipated debut has been a collection of works throughout their musical career. “I guess since the start of Sorry because some of the songs on the album are really old and from the early stages,” Louis contemplates. “We also recently wrote a batch of new ones so I guess the songs range from being four years old to being like one year old. We wanted it to mirror us growing up a bit.”

Cleverly, the title ‘925’ is based around silver which in some ways has a metaphorical meaning.“Yeah we thought it would be cool to have it based on silver and the grading of it. When silver reaches a proper grade it’s at 92.5% pure so we thought it was a cool idea to use,” Louis explains. “In some ways we wanted it to represent our first album as being kind of perfect but also imperfect in a way.”

“It’s kind of abstract,” he adds. “We were trying to just lay the ground works and be-able to grow in different directions, and to do whatever we wanted songwriting wise. We wanted it to be weird and full of interesting stuff but for it to still be accessible and pop influenced. Our influences have come from a range of different places and it’s quite fun and interesting for us when we’re writing to try and keep it exciting and new to our ears, and then hopefully that corresponds to our listeners.”

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Continuing, Louis expands on what tracks he personally feels proud of; “A lot of our favourites are the newer ones I guess because they’re more exciting. I really like ‘As The Sun Sets’, that’s one of the newer ones and I really like the lyrics on that song. Or ‘Heather’, I’m really proud of that song because I like the way it’s put together and written.”

Track ‘Snakes’ offers an intriguing video where the two are holding and lying with a huge snake. Wondering how it was to film, Clash ask how the experience was. “Yeah it was super weird!” Louis agrees.

“I’ve always been really scared of snakes so that’s kind the idea behind that song. It was massive and quite scary but actually turned out to be quite a sweet snake. It was called Bertha and there was a lizard also there called Elizabeth,” he says, before we both break out into laughter. “It was really stinky,” Louis resumes, reliving the moment. “It smelt really bad that was the worst thing about it! I can’t really explain it, it was kind of sweaty. A familiar smell but I can’t put my finger on where I remember it from.”

“Towards the end of the day it started hissing loads, I guess it was unhappy or something so the guy that was there and looking after it was like we should probably stop soon. But they only eat like once a month and apparently it had just eaten.”

Ending on a more comfortable note, we talk about what music has been helping get us get through this tough time. “I’ve been listening to a lot of older stuff, a lot of Nina Simone. I’ve been listening to an album by her that had loads of covers on it like ‘Just Like A Woman’ by Bob Dylan and ‘Here Comes The Sun’ by The Beatles. Also the Randy Newman album called ‘Trouble In Paradise’, that’s a really good album, it’s got a good song called ‘Miami’ on it.”

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'925' is out now.

Words: Lauren McDermott
Photo Credit: Sam Hiscox

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