Meet the North London band doing it all by themselves.
Every time we listen to Sorry, the four-piece rock band from North London, we can’t help but feeling as if what is blaring through our headphones is unlike anything we have heard before. The music is rock, grunge rock, with strands of electronic coursing through it, and deliciously moody vocals from lead vocalist Asha Lorenz completing the circle. It’s not that simple, though. There is something about Sorry that doesn’t quite add up. They are young, and effortlessly cool, but they give little importance to social media and public image. Their music is rock, but there is a DIY, patchwork-ey nature to it that transgresses the genre. They are even influenced by Pro-Era for God’s sake (“It was only Joey Bada$$ when they started, with Capital Steez and stuff, but now he’s left. Just to clarify!”)
It is this unique, elusive, contrariness which makes Sorry one of the most exciting bands in British music at the moment. With two mixtapes and a host of excellent singles on their resumé, the end of 2018 sees the band poised on the cusp of something extremely special, with a debut album and many new visuals on the cards for next year. It will be fascinating to see where they go from there and, if these are anything like what they have been doing so far, there is reason to be very excited about Sorry.
We chatted on the phone to Asha, who is currently on tour with Shame along with the rest of the band, about performing live, her inspirations, and the (surprisingly practical) reason behind the band’s name.
Tell us about the name Sorry, and the transition from your previous name, Fish.
Basically, there was a guy called Fish already, so we were gonna get sued if anything happened with the band being successful. So it was to avoid troubles down the line really.
Have you always known you wanted to go into music?
We’ve always been set on doing music, but I don’t think we ever thought it would be, like, career vibes. I guess we just started playing and it took up most of our time, and then it just kind of caught on.
You’ve talked about listening to Pro-Era, Joey Badass’s collective, are you guys influenced by hip hop and other genres as well as rock?
Yeah. It was only Joey Bada$$ when they started, with Capital Steez and stuff, but now he’s left. Just to clarify! (laughs.) We like anything that’s good really, we listen to loads of stuff. But yeah, Hip-Hop definitely influenced me, Louis makes quite a lot of beats and that’s how we bonded over music a bit. Brockhampton are pretty cool, I liked their first album.
Can we expect another mixtape or album soon?
Hopefully an album – we’re going to try and do that in January. We’ve got loads of tunes, but we’ve just been deciding who we want to do it with, which is taking a bit of time. I think we’ve picked someone now, so it’ll probably be out in May or June next year.
You often mention north London in your interviews; a lot of people say that London has helped influence their sound – would you agree, or do you think that’s just a thing people say?
We actually only say that because people think we’re from South London – we don’t really care about our roots that much! It’s nice, because we hung out with other bands, and that encourages you to do well…I guess it has influenced us a bit, but not the music that much.
I love your video for “Starstruck”, and actually the visuals for all your singles are really nice. How much creative control do you guys like to have over that side of things?
We like to try and keep it ours; we did the mixtapes all at home, and then, with our first single, we didn’t and…it wasn’t pressure, but you have to stick to the deadline and stuff. We worked with other people, and I feel like it didn’t work out. I think we’re going to keep doing the visuals from now on, for all the stuff.
You’ve said you aim for every one of your songs to have a video? Would you ever think about releasing a sort of visual album?
That’s probably what we’re going to do for the album actually, that’s what we were getting at with the mixtapes. I don’t know though, depends if it works out I guess! But that’s the aim.
That sort of DIY collage-ey style of your videos and artwork sort of translates into your public image, you guys are quite refreshingly un-manufactured and natural when a lot of up and coming artists are very social media driven. Even your name is difficult to google. Is this a conscious decision?
I don’t think we really ever wanted to be like that anyway. Also, Louis and I are just really lazy, and quite bad at trying to organise things. You can’t take working too seriously though, if you’re gonna do well, you’re gonna do well. Unless you’re shit.
But shit people do well and good people don’t do well sometimes.
Yeah, but that’s because they’re being pushed, it’s more about the public image than the music. That sounds moist but, if you’re good – not saying we’re good – but, if people actually like the music rather than you being shoved down their throats, that’s better.
Saying that though, you have been receiving praise and hype from just about every music publication around, has this changed things at all for you guys?
We’ve been doing the same thing for the last four years now (laughs), but we do get more gigs. It’s exciting, it’s nice. It makes you feel like you want to try hard, so I guess that’s good.
Do you enjoy performing live?
Yeah, we like performing live. If it goes well then I like it, if I feel like it’s not good then I sort of hate performing live. On the whole though, I think the whole band likes it. The London show on the Shame tour was good! Last year in Paris we had a good show, I remember that one particularly.
Who are your musical inspirations?
We went on tour with Alex G, which was one of my biggest lifelong goals, ever. Elliot Smith, Morphine, all of those old bands. But then new stuff as well – Frank Ocean…loads of shit.
What’s the ultimate aim?
I guess we just want to make a good album really. Just keeping making music that people hopefully like!