May 22, 2019
In celebration of our Barbour International store opening in Meadowhall, and ahead of their Barbour International Session, we spoke to 'Sophie and the Giants' about their music inspirations, how they prepare for peforming live , and what they love about motorcycle style.
What kind of music can those tuning in to your Barbour International Session expect from you if they are not familiar with your sound already? How would you describe your sound?
Sophie: The best way to describe ourselves is probably Left Pop, or alternative pop. But I don’t think we specifically sound like anything, we take a lot of influences from all over the place and we just want to make great, real music!
Toby: We give it our all when recording so that it’s perfect for your lovely ears. When we play live you’re in for a treat, that’s all I’ll say.
Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music? Is there anyone in particular who has influenced your sound?
Sophie: Debbie Harry for me, I grew up listening to her and she’s definitely an idol of mine. Such a strong, driven woman and I was obsessed with Blondie from a young age.
Toby: For me personally, I had a lot of inspiration from Jeff Buckley as an artist. His raw talent and ambition trumped everyone. Unfortunately, he passed away before continuing a legacy which I think the music industry is going to lack with contemporary artists.
Chris: Honestly I can’t pick one person, I’d say a large part was Jamie T with his band, as I just loved his music and he was the first artist I was truly passionate about. Also I would say a drummer that influenced my sound would be Ian Matthews from Kasabian.
Barbour International has its roots in motorcycle clothing, why do you think motorcycle style is so often adopted by musicians?
Toby: Leather and wax jackets are badass.
Chris: I personally think it has been adopted mainly from the Rock side of music, I think it was first adopted in America as bikers would go to rock bars, after that it’s just been passed down.
Who is on your playlist at the moment that you just can’t stop listening to?
Toby: I’ve been listening to the new Foals album, ‘White Onions’ is a favourite.
Chris: Phantogram I can never get out of my head and Twenty One Pilots, also Vampire Weekend's new music is great.
You play a lot of gigs, and performing live requires confidence – how do you prepare for playing live?
Chris: Honestly I just panic, I can’t stop running around and just waiting to get on stage, but once I’m on stage I just forget all about my worries and just go for it.
Toby: I listen to music to pump me up. Cut and Run by Slaves is currently my pre-show anthem.
Can you tell us a bit about your latest music? What inspired it and what is the story behind it? Is there anything from you in particular we should be listening to or that you’re most proud of?
Toby: I think there’s definitely a prominence of empowerment and learning from your mistakes. Growing out of being dependent on others for your happiness is definitely a theme Sophie focuses on.
Sophie: It all about expressing yourself and the more you feel yourself, the more confidence you have, so hopefully it encourages other people to do the same. Embrace who you are. That’s what our music is all about.
Discover more about Barbour International Sessions here.