On the Road with: Sonic Boom Six
Manchester punk band Sonic Boom Six are just finishing up their “For the Kids of the Multiculture” UK tour. We caught up with Laila K and Barney Boom to discuss their most recent single and what they love about playing live.
Sonic Boom Six have a very unique sound, incorporating various genres including ska, punk, hip hop, pop, etc. Were you aiming for such a diverse sound, or did it develop by itself?
Laila K: It was definitely calculated. We were aware that we wanted to create a mixture of music, and we were fortunate that we knew that was the road we wanted to go down.
Your lyrics feature a lot of social commentary. Can you choose one song and tell us about the message you were trying to send?
Barney Boom: Our new single, “For the Kids of the Multiculture” is a good one to talk about. It’s our ode to multicultural Britain. We think it’s a really cool thing that the UK draws from so many different cultural backgrounds. The song was influenced by a speech Prime Minister David Cameron gave earlier this year, where he was saying multicultural Britain wasn’t working, and I thought it was very unfortunate that he chose to speak about it at that time. The fact that there are so many cultures in Britain makes it rich and exciting, and we’re proud of it. We’re not a political band, we just use our observations of society and draw upon things we have conviction for.
You’ve toured in the UK, North America, Europe, Japan, India, and so on. What has been your favorite place so far, and where do you still want to go?
B: It’s great touring in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland because the culture opens up to bands really well, in terms of how you’re treated backstage and the amount of respect that exists. We really want to play in Australia. The culture is easily identifiable with the UK and it’s somewhere we really have our hearts set on touring.
You’re currently headlining the UK tour, “For the Kids of the Multiculture.” How’s it been going so far?
B: Awesome. It has been our best headlining tour ever. The interaction between the band and the audience has been huge. We worked really hard last year to get our name out there, and the audience has really reflected that on this tour.
What’s the best part about performing live?
B: Getting to see the spark of what you’ve created reflected back at you. We put so much time and effort into recording to reap the rewards live. Making eye contact with someone in the crowd who’s screaming your lyrics back at you…if I didn’t have that in my life, I don’t know what would replace it. On a fundamental level it’s very, very satisfying and rewarding. Playing live is what we’ve always been about.
What’s your favorite song to perform live and why?
B: At the moment I’ve been enjoying “For the Kids of the Multiculture” because it’s our new single and it’s really satisfying to see the response it’s been getting. In terms of the crowd, “Piggy In the Middle,” because we know we can pull it up at any point in the set, and the energy is going to multiply.
Since the band formed, what have been some of your greatest achievements?
B: When we started we didn’t have aspirations apart from creating a band that emulated our heroes. It was never about “making it” in the music industry or getting signed. Touring the world several times, going to Japan, putting out our records, putting out our label…each of these milestones has been bigger than anything we ever conceived would happen. Playing at Sonisphere earlier this year was a crown moment, and once we get the new album out, that will be a big achievement.
If you could tour with any band, who would it be?
B: In history, The Specials or The Clash. We have an enormous amount of respect for The Clash and they have a major influence on our music.
What’s next for Sonic Boom Six?
B: We’ll follow up with another single probably in February, and then release the new album around April of next year. Hopefully all our hard work will prove us to be a force within the music industry, and we’ll be able to show people what we’re about and spread our message.