Up and coming band Social Room are here to save you from the perils of pop with their guitar-driven, arena-worthy anthems. Hailing from Sunderland, frontman Matty Smith and drummer Adam Jefferson talk heroes, hates and growing up in the North East.
It’s unusual to hear of an indie sextet, how did that happen?
A: We wanted to be more than just an indie band and having a keyboard player gives you so much more depth.
M: It was also to do with having an extra guitarist. In my last band I used to play guitar and wrote all the songs on my acoustic, but in this band I just wanted to be the frontman and concentrate on the performance.
Saying you sound like the arctic monkeys feels like a lazy comparison, besides, your music has more dance and soul. Who are your influences?
M: I love all the good songwriters: The Doors, Bob Dylan.
A: I’ve always been invested in drummers, since I was a kid, and my first hero was Animal in The Muppets, I worshipped him! I also love Keith Moon, and The Small Faces, Stone Roses and Oasis. Any kind of rock music that has a dance beat behind it.
How has being from the North East shaped your music?
M: It’s definitely working class, there’s not many upper class people in the North East so that’s shaped it straight away… That slang and way of talking.
A: It’s not a hard environment, everyone in the North-East is really friendly, but at the same time, we haven’t got a lot. You go to work and at the weekend you let off steam by going to the football or by going out and getting wrecked. There’s not a
plethora of other culture…
Where’s the best music scene in the UK?
A: I love Newcastle, especially the O2 Academy. I’ve seen some great bands there and we would love to get on the mainstage there.
M: Manchester has a great scene right now. Bands like Blossoms are really making a name for themselves.
What’s your opinion on the current state of the music industry?
M: Absolutely terrible to be fair, I can’t stand most of the bands, especially the boybands. I hope guitar music starts coming back because I’ve got nothing to listen to.
A: People might say that it’s bad because of all the pop and things like X Factor, but it’s always been like that. Everything goes in cycles and it’s about time that a working class rock band broke out like Kasabian did.
Your songs hark back to those glory days of indie. Was that intentional?
M: I’d love for those days to come back. When I first started turning out all that music was on the radio and it’s time guitar music came back around and with bands like Catfish and the Bottlemen it feels like it’s happening.
A: Sunderland is a very working class city and in the band we all have jobs alongside music. Matty works in a car factory and in the same way that people relate to working class bands like Oasis, because they grew up in that environment as well.
What’s planned for the rest of this year?
A: We’re playing a few small festivals, Stockton Calling. We’ve just recorded some new songs so we’ll finishing those…
M: Putting as much energy as we can into our live gigs as well because that’s where we’re strongest and then we’re releasing two more singles this year which we’re putting out ourselves. We’re just going to tour as much as we can and hopefully get
Credit: Karen Anne Overton
Social Room will be playing the main-stage atThe Willowman Festival on June 18th.