Tuesday 1 June 2021

An Interview With SOMNURI - Discussing Their New Album - Nefarious Wave

Sludge/Stoner Metallers SOMNURI made an impression with myself back in 2017 when they released their excellent self-titled debut album. I loved their fast-paced Sludge/Stoner Metal grooves matched against a ferocious vibe but still maintaining that melodic style of music to standout from the crowd.

If you dig bands such as High On Fire, TORCHE and Mastodon then SOMNURI are worth discovering.

The band will be releasing their even better follow-up album NEFARIOUS WAVE on June 4th 2021 via Blues Funeral Recordings.

I caught up with the band to discuss the making of the new album and what people can expect.

Hi guys. Thanks for doing this interview. How are things with you today. For people not in the know. Can you give a brief history of how the band came together and where it is today?

Thanks for having us! For those who don’t know, the band was started by Justin Sherrell and I (Phil SanGiacomo). We are both drummers that play guitar and when Justin decided he wanted to start a band playing guitar, he didn’t have to look far. We had played shows in our other bands together, but we actually shared a wall in a rehearsal space, so all he had to do was come knocking. We started working on song ideas and eventually Drew Mack joined to play bass. Drew left the band after a couple years and Philippe Arman replaced him shortly after. We’re certainly a different animal now with Philippe’s bass playing ability to sing and add harmonies.

We’re here to talk about your thrilling new album – Nefarious Wave. What can people expect from this album and what’s the concept or story of the album?

This record will definitely show our evolution sonically. People can expect the unexpected with this album. We really like to turn a song on it’s head and take the listener in different directions, sometimes all in one song. There’s other tracks, like the title track ‘Nefarious Wave’, that are slow burners and really settle in on their grooves. Both approaches are present here. There’s a few themes going on for this record but the main idea is that trials and tribulations can seemingly come in never-ending waves and subsequently, there’s a lot of elements of perseverance and resilience in the lyrics and themes on this record.

Was this a hard album to write and record for. Especially during COVID-19 still being around us all.

We actually had the record done and ready to release in early 2020 but thankfully we waited. It would have been really tough to do it justice. Luckily, it seems we’ll be back to live shows soon enough.

What influenced or inspired you when making this album.

Trying to get as much influence from within is always the goal. We all have such different musical influences, there’s so many riffs, grooves and song ideas floating around and it’s just about harnessing it and capturing the special moments. There’s some more personal lyrics on this one but they still seem like universal concepts to most people.

What formats is the album is being released upon.

Vinyl, CD, Digital mainly. Possibly tape at some point!

Blues Funeral Recordings are releasing the album. How did you hook-up with that cool label and did you have any other offers to release the album on?

We had worked with Blues Funeral’s founder, Jadd Shickler, for the release of our first record through Magnetic Eye Records. He’s always been super supportive and complimentary of the band and he said if nothing else panned out, he’d gladly put our record out. We’re very excited about it. 

 We had interest from other labels but the timeframe was the biggest challenge. Because so many records were pushed back to 2021 or 2022, it would have been another year or more before we could release the record. We know we wanted to put it out in 2021 and Blues Funeral was the perfect choice for us.

Who designed the fantastic artwork for II. And how much input did you have into the final design of it all.

The artwork was done by Danielle Otrakji. She’s such a rad artist, everyone should check her stuff out. We actually had another design drawn up but it wasn’t coalescing with the music as much. We got a little more involved in the themes and color schemes and the result was perfect. It’s hard to think about these songs with any other artwork at this point. She did an amazing job!

You released your debut album back in 2017. Did it surprise you how well it was received by the Stoner Metal community.

Not really haha, although we’re very grateful for all the praise we received as an unknown band. Not to sound arrogant, but we know we have something special with this band and it’s just about continuing to push ourselves and the music to different levels. We really try to eliminate boundaries and explore all different kinds of heavy music.

COVID-19 has pretty much put a stop to all life as we know it for the time being. How big of an impact has it affected the band. And how are you surviving in this stressful time.

It was very difficult for all of us but it’s almost harder to watch friends and family struggle. Not even just financially, but mentally and physically. Some of us were lucky to keep making money but it just doesn’t matter when someone else is hurting so bad. We’re glad to see a little bit more energy and positivity coming back to NYC.

After everything is back to some sort of normality. What does the future hold for the band. Will you be touring the record if possible?

We’ll definitely be getting out on the road in the late summer/early-Fall. Venues are starting to book, people are getting vaccinated and seem more comfortable with the whole thing and we’re very excited to play shows asap.

Thanks for doing this interview. Before you go, do you have any words of wisdom that you want to say to your fans.

Be nice to each other, motherfuckers!

Words by Steve Howe and SOMNURI

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for arranging the interview and for SOMNURI for taking part.

Nefarious Wave will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl from Blues Funeral Recordings from June 04th 2021


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