Sinocence is a British band who just re-released their album Scar Obscura - a year after the original release. But this is just one topic I wanted to talk about. Thanks to singer Moro to answer my questions by email.
As far as I know Sinocence is around for almost a decade, but it seems that only in Ireland and the UK you made yourself known.. Mainly by playing live. Now with Scar Obscura you give it another try to get international recognition... What took so long to do the follow-up of your debut Black Still Life Pose which was released in 2005?
We all met around ten years ago, and played around with some different ideas musically. We had a couple of years of people slipping in and out of the band so we regarded the band as more a bit of fun in the early days. It wasn't until 2003 when we recorded the Acceptable Level Of Violence EP that we decided to push the band out as a fully functional and working entity with the idea to release a trilogy of EPs all linked thematically. Just as we were well into the writing process of the last EP we were approached by Casket Music who were interested in releasing a full length album and all pretty promptly too. So we recorded another two songs and made the trilogy into Black Still Life Pose then headed off to tour the UK and into Europe as much as a self-financed act could. The band had maintained a solid line-up for 5 years until cracks began to show and during the writing of Scar Obscura it spiraled into a few years of chaos, having to replace our drummer numerous times to finish tours and finally finish the album – however, we managed to do this without missing a beat. This resulted in the band fighting for survival as it wrote and recorded the Scar album, which was then released by another record company which didn't quite push the album as hard as we had hoped, thus leading to its recent re-release through Metalbox Recordings.
Many bands would have added some new tracks when re-releasing. You decided to add a kind of 'making of' and a photo gallery. Why?
We didn't want to change anything or corrupt the album musically so we avoided adding any more tracks and just included some little extras as we wanted to draw attention to the album as a whole and keeping in mind that it is paving the way for the next album which we are currently working on and aim to release in late 2011. We could have added more music, however we felt we wanted to concentrate our interests on presenting a brand new body of work. The idea to re-release the album was forged and implemented within only a few months with some tight deadlines we set to adhere to. The way we saw it was that yeah, people had the album and the reviews were great but in the grand scheme of things there were so many more people who didn't have it or had even heard of us for that matter, so the re-release was another way of re-focusing the attention on an album that undoubtedly has so much more mileage left in it than was previously granted. It also co-incided nicely with the work we are currently doing on the follow up album to Scar which we are hoping to release in late 2011.
How would you describe the sound of Sinocence?
Emotive, intense, aggressive and climatic as there is much emphasis placed on the story-telling aspect to the songs so it is colored with much more than only one genre can offer. We tend to concentrate on each song with as much attention to detail as the next and find it is important that the sound sits with the lyrics as perfectly as possible. So, rather than be pigeon-holed into some genre or sub-genre we have attempted to sound solely like ourselves.
Which bands influenced you in the past? What are you listening to nowadays?
As individuals we have a very diverse taste in music which is by no means limited to one genre. We do commonly have an interest in heavy music of all kinds coupled with some more unlikely choices. We collectively appreciate the likes of Machine Head and In Flames along with the classics and leaders of the thrash genre, not to exclude many of the classic rock bands. Recently I have been lending my ear to the Gothenburg scene and such bands as Engel.
What inspires you to write music? Lyrics?
Inspiration for music is firmly rooted in our own personal experience and everyday life. Scar for example was our own way of venting a lot of the frustrations and difficulties we were experiencing both in our personal and musical lives.
And have you had time to writing new songs already?
We have been working on a number of new songs and our intentions are to concentrate our efforts over the next few months and demo the new songs before entering Einstein Studios to record the full-length album this summer.
I know it's pretty tough for a DIY band to tour extensively, are there any plans to tour continental Europe? Other parts of the world?
We do intend to venture further afield in the future, and would like to arm ourselves with some new material from the new album to make the next tours feel fresh for ourselves. We will be doing a few shows in Scotland late February and doing some in Ireland during the writing process then we will look into touring further out in to Europe.
It's just one year since Larry Paterson joined the band, now he's out again and replaced by your original drummer. What happened?
We have hired many drummers since the departure of our original drummer Davy a few years back and have struggled to recreate what we had with him both live and in the studio. We have had a lot of good drummers along the way, but it is very difficult to have someone recreate a sound that the band developed through its own personal musical influences with people who have had most of their experience in different styles of playing. We regard Larry as a good friend and a talented musician, however over the last view years we have discovered we needed to reform the original band line-up to capture the sound we intend.
Different topic, since your debut came out things changed, these days internet and social networks are getting more and more important. As everything it has two sides.... More a blessing for a band like Sinocence? Or just making bands pop up every moment which means more competition?
The internet has been in some regards a double-edged sword when it comes to the music industry. Yes, it has increased the opportunity for bands to gain exposure whilst at the same time fragmenting how music is distributed. It is saturated with millions of bands so on the one hand it can cater for everyone's likes and dislikes, but on the other hand it does tend to make it a little difficult for bands to make a loud enough noise to turn heads. Ultimately it has damaged record company sales as it is impossible to police and has for all intents and purposes made music free, so it's not enough to release an album anymore and the days of the old record deal are for the most part dead and gone. Though the bands that struggle on for merely the love of music should to be admired.
It seems that in a way the re-release of Scar Obscura is a re-start for the band. Fans of Sinocence will be happy to hear that they work on new songs and others that chances are good that they plan to hit continental roads when the new album is out.