The Sheffield-based quartet show no signs of slowing down
Shannon COTTON
10:31 16th August 2019

Sophie and the Giants are swiftly carving out a reputation for themselves as purveyors of millennial power pop with a rock bite. Today (16 August) the band have released their latest single ‘Break The Silence’. Following on from ‘The Light’ and their Adolescence EP, the new number rises like a phoenix from the ashes of our hostile and uncertain social and political climate. Wistful keys and delicate harmonies transforms into a solid track with gargantuan percussion and infectious riffs. 

We spoke to vocalist Sophie Scott, guitarist Toby Holmes and drummer Chris Hill to find out more about their rapid rise. 

Gigwise: Can you talk me through ‘Break The Silence’ and how it came about?

Sophie Scott: I felt like I really wanted to write a song that said something that I felt like needed to be heard. I feel like right now is such an important time for everyone and there’s just not enough being said about anything. So the song is basically just empowering people to talk more and have a voice more than anything but I think a lot of people are really afraid of speaking because they don’t want to be judged or be rejected after giving their opinion and I don’t think enough people realise that it’s not about having the answers or being ashamed if we don’t, it’s just about the conversation of it and without talking about stuff there’s just no progression to help find a solution. There’s big things at stake at the moment and I wanted to write something that would empower people who feel like they don’t have a voice, and if they do they just need to shout about it to be heard.

GW: Are you starting to develop a format or habits in the studio or are you still very much experimenting with new things?

SS: I’m constantly trying to develop, I don’t think I ever stick to one thing. We’ve spent so long figuring out what we want to write about and how we write and all this stuff and although we’ve gotten a lot better at it, every time I’m in the studio I learn something new or I find a better way of working and I think it’s just constant, all the time you’re figuring it out and figuring out how you want to do it personally and what works best for you.

GW: How is festival season treating you?

SS: It’s been fucking amazing. Last year was our first ever year of doing proper festivals and this year we didn’t really know what to expect and we’ve kind of achieved everything a lot sooner than we thought would. We’ve got Reading and Leeds next week which is just insane for us because I used to go to Reading every year when I was younger and I didn’t think I would already be playing it by the age of 21 and also to play Glastonbury is just mental. It’s all really hard to come to terms with, I don’t think we were expecting for us to get these opportunities so soon, but it’s been so much fun. It’s been the best year for us.

GW: Do you have set milestones that you’d like to achieve?

SS: I think we all have personal goals. Mine was to play Reading Festival for a long time because I’ve seen so many of my favourite bands play there and now I’m playing on one of those stages, that was a massive goal for me and Glastonbury as well. More than anything though it’s just seeing what gets thrown at us, I’m sure we’ll probably do things that we never expected, it’s exciting. 

GW: Do you have any pre-show rituals?

Toby Holmes: There’s one we do which is like a minute before we go on stage and it’s a synchronised clap, and we’ve got to get it just perfect.

SS: I just sit in the corner and have a drink [laughs].

GW: What songs have been going down the best live?

SS: We’ve got three completely new songs and we’ve been getting really good responses from them. 

Chris Hill: One thats always worked is ‘Bulldog’, it’s just the most impactful live, I don’t think it gets enough credit on record, but live it definitely has an energy about it.

GW: How would you personally describe the live experience?

SS: Amazing! [Laughs] I think it’s interesting, what we get told a lot is that it’s interesting to watch us because everybody on stage has their own thing, we all move in our own way but in sync, we’ve all got our signature thing.

TH: People always mention the energy.

CH: It doesn’t mater how many people we play in front of, if it’s 5 or 1000, we always put in the same amount of energy 

GW: After you’ve played do you go on social media and watch all of the videos back?

All: Yeah

SS: Ysually we don’t do it straight away, we’ll go downstairs and hang out with people for a it but yeah we’ll all be in the van watching different videos at the same time [laughs].

GW: You studied at ACM in Guildford, do you think there’s a bit of a scene coming out of the ACM alumni?

SS: I hope so because when we were there, there were so many good bands that never got the recognition that they deserved. It’s quite boxed in and people don’t know that it’s musical place apart from the people that are there at the uni, but there are so many good bands there. I reckon there’s going to be a few people that we went to college with that are going to make it big.

GW: Would you say that John McClure [Reverend & The Makers] has been a bit of a mentor to you?

SS: massively, he’s like my second dad.

GW: What advice has he given you?

SS: His advice is to be real and to be honest.

TH: Even in a practical way, he’ll give us advice on our rehearsing.

SS: The biggest thing with John is, without him giving us the advice, the first time we ever met him we were invited to his house and we got there and him and his wife Laura started making us tea and the biggest thing was how down to earth he was and it made us think, ‘we want to be like that’ the way he’s helped us as starting out musicians is great.

GW: Is it important for you to have that kind of connection with people you’re collaborating with as well?

SS: Definitely it’s cool because people always say don’t meet your heroes but John was one of mine and we work loads with Findlay and Natalie was such an idol for me and I was so worried about meeting her and she’s helped us out massively.

Sophie and the Giants play Reading and Leeds Festival on the Festival Republic stage, 23-25 August 2019. 

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Photo: Press