As is often the pleasure of being a creative person, I know some talented people – and one of the most talented people I know is in a band called SOFIAHH.
SOFIAHH are a band built from the ashes of tragedy. After the devastating loss of their guitarist from their previous band Harthiem, SOFIAHH are a lesson in how to pick yourself back up again and keep creating. We spoke to them about creative process, musical influences and songs they wish they had written.
1. SOFIAHH is the reformation after the terrible loss of one of your band mates from Harthiem. What advice would you give to someone trying to create something new whilst grieving?
I wouldn’t like to pretend we’re in a position to advise realy – as we’ve barely made it happen ourselves. I guess you have to stick with it, and *cliche klaxon* be true to yourself. It’s a natural response to want to create something when grieving – I guess it feels like a way to truly deal with what’s happening around you. You’ll know what it is you want to achieve, and try to stick to that. You’ll fail like fuck on your way, but at least you’re on your way.
2. Where does your band name came from?
It was a long discussion as to whether we should change the name, but it felt like the proper way to move things on. Sofia – as a city – has a history of being carved up and brought to it’s knees just when it was most prosperous time and time again. It also sits in the balkan states, an area that uses a sort of mixture of Cyrillic and English language due to it’s geographical location. That’s where it got really interesting for us… two languages of two separate cultural things, forging together to be understood on both sides. There felt like there was a lot of things we could play with, so we added the HH to give a nod to Hartheim and here we are.
3. What do you all do when you’re not performing?
We’ve got a mixture of full-time musicians, designers, photographers and gas salesmen in the band. They all bring very different things to the table. We get our money for practices from the pounds we’ve saved having all switched our energy suppliers from the big 6.
4. Our readers love inspirational women in music – tell us who some of your favourite female musicians are.
ALL of our favourite musicians are female. Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Elizabeth Fraser, Kate Bush, Joni Mitchell, Beth Gibbons, Bjork, Gina G, Angel Olsen, PJ Harvey, Tammi Tarrell, Grimes, FKA Twigs, Sharon Van Etten. We could be here for days.
This time round it’s much more collaborative, and we’re open to working with as many different people as we can.
5. What’s your creative process like? Do you work collaboratively or do you go away and work in isolation and then build together?
A bit of both I guess. We write best when we’re altogether, and that’s when anything good comes out. But we come with our own ideas, demos, sections etc. It’s not like a jam from the ground up, nor is it The Fall. This time round it’s much more collaborative, and we’re open to working with as many different people as we can.
6. Each of you – what’s one song you wish you had written?
Mike: Who Knows Where The Time Goes – Nina Simone
Nic: Lay All Your Love On Me – ABBA (Mike: Great shout)
George: In Da Club – 50 Cent
Abbi: Army of Me – Bjork
DB: KM Ion – Monk
There is nothing but art in your pale tearful shakes.
7. When you’re stuck for ideas, where do you go for inspiration?
Any, every, and all of the pubs. Mainly for the hangover inspiration. There is nothing but art in your pale tearful shakes.
8. What was the last book each of you read?
Mike: Peter Camenzind – Hermann Hesse
Nic: Intimacy – Satre/How to be a vegan and still love cheese by Asda books
George: Unreasonable Behaviour – Don McCullin
Abbi: The Power – Naomi Alderman
DB: I have bad eyes so I have to use a kindle. It’s a first edition so doesn’t save past reads.
9. What do you hate and love the most about 2017?
Hate most – People. Again, we could be here for days.
Love most – Bundobust Manchester.
10. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Just shut the fuck up lads and get it done” – Martin Hurley (every fucking week).