Comprised of current and former members of Blackout, Hull and Family, Brooklyn based Somnuri are set to release their self-titled — not easy to tag — debut full length later this week. And so far, this year has seen its fair share of bands defying easy categorization, this one is no different. Their sludgy stoner grooves are elevated greatly by technical song structuring as well as an inherent ability to shape-shift from galloping destruction to a slow rolling pace in an instant. Ahead of the album’s release, Somnuri were kind enough to answer our set of Profile questions so head inside to see what they had to say and stay tuned later in the week for a full rundown of this album.
How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the success that you hoped?
I think we all started playing at a fairly young age. We’ve all gained some notoriety playing in local bands over the years but success is obviously relative. Somnuri is very new and I don’t think we’ve even come close to reaching our full potential.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, debased and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)
I think I can speak for the band when I say that none of us are into begging for anything, whether it be a show or press. We’re persistent and confident in our music, which hopefully speaks for itself. My former band was offered a spot on the Howard Stern show. The stipulation was that our singer had to do “Cocky-oke,” which is a bit in which you sing your song into a guy’s dick that’s painted like a microphone. The idea was hilarious but artistic integrity prevailed.
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
The blurring of genre lines always keeps things exciting and it’s probably one of our strengths as a band. At the same time, there’s some great pure and authentic music being made in the realm of thrash, death metal, hardcore, etc. As far as the worst things in metal go, the formulaic, cookie-cutter shit isn’t even worth talking or complaining about. It’s not even on our radar.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?
Each one of us is passionate about certain issues and as a whole, we don’t put up with hateful rhetoric. That said, we don’t intentionally insert social issues into our music or lyrics. We’re not trying to be divisive at all, the idea is to bring people together, now more than ever.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
We’ve all been into metal since we were kids. For me personally, it started with friends sharing their older sibling’s records and seeing videos on MTV. I personally received more scrutiny about my taste in music from other kids than my family, but worrying about what someone else thinks defeats the purpose of listening to extreme music in the first place.
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
Recognizing and understanding your audience would be my main advice. Music blogs and similar outlets are today’s tastemakers but it’s just as important for fans to engage with the ones that are doing it the right way and not just the one’s posting click bait all day. It’s a two-way street, we’re all responsible for quality control.
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
World domination sounds a bit imperialistic and saving a continent sounds a little pretentious… In a way, we have started our own little cult and would like to brainwash as many people as possible. The more the merrier.
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
We’re all over the place when it comes to personal taste but I will say that post-show listening usually consists of some funk and soul music, i.e. Barry White.
Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the final publication.)
Many thanks to Somnuri for their time!