As the sunny skies turns to a darker hue, The Sonnets reflect back on a busy year touring their record. ‘Western Harbour Blue’ is out now on Swedish label Depostz (The Deer Tracks, Twiggy Frostbite), a debut which casts a light-hearted glow on the more serious indie scene. The Sonnet’s deep appreciation of style also led them to launch their own fashion collaboration with Malou Palmqvist from Swedish London-based duo jojo&malou this year. Think stark white tees and preppy canvas bags for guys and girls, all subtly adorned with a nautical design emblem. The band’s drummer Mauri takes us through the band’s sunny, stylish year.
What have you been up to this year?
We started off this year with a European tour to promote the album that took us to some pretty cool places and some pretty strange ones too. It was an amazing ride that started in Germany, through Italy and ended up in Switzerland. We saw everything from the wild sold out clubs like Magnet in Berlin to rural Italian diners. Although our beloved tour bus had to be abandoned due to illness in an Italian vineyard (great local wine btw) we felt a little bit taller and a just little bit older when we got home. The trip really inspired us to start on our next album and we already tried out some new songs at this summers festivals.
Your new album is full of upbeat melodies and uplifting choruses. Are you as positive inside as you are on the outside?
Well, we are complicated that way. Let’s just say 7 months of snow every year is enough to drive you crazy, so we dream a lot.
In fact, these upbeat hooks put us in a Summer mood. Where do you find inspiration?
We are a very eclectic four-piece, everyone brings his personal ingredient to the table. Tobias (bass) has a soft spot for northern soul, Freddy loves the jingle jangle sun-drenched 60´s guitars, Per (vocals) reads a lot of British poetry and I’m (drums) a sucker for dance-tunes from the 80’s. Something that really unites us the love of the seaside.
We grew up in a small city I middle of the Swedish pine-forests and I guess we felt trapped. We have our rehearsal studio and base in the southern tip of Sweden which has an amazing coast line and we just love to hang around the beaches during the summer with a bottle of Pimms. We actually named the album after the harbour where we had some memorable midnight dips.
Name 5 things to sum up your music:
Sunny afternoons// Soul music on vinyl// Romantic 80’s films// The Swedish coastline// Nostalgic beat poetry
How do classic bands inspire you?
To say that we don’t have a lot of retro in us would be lie. There is really to many bands to mention and we tend to force ourself’s to forget as much as possible before we start working with a song. I guess we could say we admire the classic bands that where brave in their time. Bands like the Beatles, the Clash, or The Smiths….to name three big ones from our youth that have that big, epic and brave way of transporting you to a place above the clouds.
How did the collaboration for with Malou Palmqvist from Swedish London come about?
For us, fashion and music have always been tied together and we wanted to express that in a clothing line of our own, that could incorporate the whole thing. We had heard of Malou doing great stuff with Jojo&Malou over in London, her drawings are just amazing and when we met her after a gig we asked if she wanted to draw something for us. She got back to us after a couple of weeks with the double S in the nautical ropes and we just went, oh yeah!
You previously worked with the Très Bien Shop in Malmö for your ‘Sebastian Said’ (Montauk remix) video. Did you come up with the concept for the video yourselves?
Per and I where having a pint one evening discussing what we could do with this great remix that Montauk had done for us. I had previously done the bands videos and we wanted to develop that expression further. He was going through a tough personal period and I wanted to express that feeling of fighting you way back up and overcoming your problems. I wanted to help my friend and I wanted it be healing, to capture a turning point.
I had my camera with me. It was sitting on the table, staring at us and suddenly Per looked up from his deep thoughts. Let’s collaborate with our favourite Malmö clothing store!
We called Tobias who was keen on driving us to Pers summer house on the coast, we stopped by Tres Bien Shop, who always been good to us and picked up some cool new brands for Per and off we went. We shot the whole thing ourself in the afternoon and I got to give Per credit for all the running I made him do… healing or not, it was pretty exhausting.
Many other artists have collaborated with fashion brands, with money being the central focus. We can see something far more artistic with your brand tie ins. Did you consider the potential pitfalls of going into fashion as a band before you launched these collaborations?
Well yes and no, the game has changed and is changing, collaborations should be made across the lines if its creative and fun. Rappers have been doing this for a thousand years, we wanted in. I think we are the kind of band that never turns back to look at what has happened during the years, we look ahead. Having said that we never asked to be a fashion band, we wanted to play our music and be able to dress up. We didn’t know Vogue and Dazed and Confused would pick that up later. Just a couple of years ago Swedish indie bands could not be related to brands that way, we wanted to express ourselfs in all kinds of creative ways, music, film and good clothes.
Do you intend to create more collections in the future, and make a fashion brand for yourselves?
We have no plans for that right now, but collaborations is still something fresh in our way of working, and smaller citys like Malmö , the creative community needs each others support.
I don’t think we could ever totally agree on one style. We are as eclectic in choosing our daily outfits as we are in making our music, we go way back together and have probably gone through all possible styles as you grow up. From the teenage skinny jeans and leather jackets to expensive suits, hats and beards. Somehow it comes together and we inspire one and other all the time. The mixture is always what a band is about.