Interview: Sonic Boom
PTV talks to the former Spacemen 3 leader ahead of his April 10th show with Magnétophone, at Malé Nosticovo Divadlo
Born in Rugby, in the English Midlands, and educated at the town's prestigious boarding school, Kember has since dedicated his musical career to coaxing cosmic sounds out of the simplest compositions.
Currently touring with young British band Magnétophone, Sonic found time to discuss technology, techno, and "punk soul."
Darrell Jónsson: Your press release quotes you as saying one of your ambitions is to "use technology to free the spirit." Can you tell us more of this goal?
Sonic Boom: I believe music itself "frees the spirit." By using equipment that enables complex creation of new sounds I believe it is possible to perpetually continue the evolution of music. This can't be an especially original process, but is perhaps not pushed as far in the general field of popular music. Technological advances and unexplored avenues make possible an amazing array of possible sounds - many of which I believe are created specifically to "free the spirit."
DJ: What, if at all, do you see as the failings of techno and what is called "ambient"?
SB: I'm not sure I'm qualified to really evaluate techno or ambient music. I don't especially subscribe to either type to start with, and it's very wide a subject to be able to generalize in. Like most music forms - jazz, blues, etc. - there are always brilliant exponents of the form but they are often drowned in a deluge of less "interesting and worthy" artists.
DJ: As a former resident of Detroit, I've a personal interest in your reference to "Punk Soul". What groups do you associate with this sound and why do you find this style of music so powerful or interesting?
SB: I used that in the past to describe the Spacemen 3 oeuvre in particular. The street attitude of punk allied with the emotion of soul music. I guess there are other bands I could apply that too also. While we're talking Detroit let's mention the Falcons - the raw early soul/R&B band that included Eddie Floyd, Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, Diana Ross, Wilson Pickett, Joe Stubbs and Mack Rice - pretty much the seeds of Stax and Motown. Also, the MC5 could equally be accredited in this way, though they enveloped jazz and rock elements too. I find it interesting because it is at once honest, emotional, powerful and intense, with equal mind paid to all the elements.
DJ: Has there been a strong following for your music in Central and Eastern Europe over the years?
SB: I have no idea. It is something I find hard to gauge. The prime method of distribution there is probably tapes and CDRs from the internet and word-of-mouth. I hear there are pockets of interest. It will be interesting to see. I haven't been east of Berlin since 1989 when Spacemen 3 played in Budapest.
PTV Event Listing
Video on YouTube
The Pigeon Detectives will investigate in Prague by Fource - Prague.TV
24. 3. 17 @ Chapeau Rouge, Prague
Alter Bridge to play Prague in June by Andres Bermudez - Prague.TV
The band is supporting their latest album The Last Hero
O.R.k. to play Lucerna Music Bar by Andres Bermudez - Prague.TV (Foto: O.R.k. FB)
King Crimson meets Porcupine Tree in a prog-rock supergroup
Metronome to feature Sting, Kasabian by Andres Bermudez - Prague.TV
The new summer outdoor festival in Prague has announced some headliners
Nick Cave coming back to Prague by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The singer and songwriter wrote a song about the city but he is unlikely to perform it
Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds to play Karlín by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
The two members of the Dave Matthews Band promise an intimate acoustic show
Jason Mraz returns to Prague by Fource - Prague.TV
This time with a very special intimate solo performance @ Forum Karlin on March 20
Agnes Obel and her world of melancholy returning to Prague by Fource - Prague.TV
26. 5. 17 @ Palác Akropolis, Prague
British singer-songwriter Fink is coming to Prague and Brno by Fource - Prague.TV
17. 10. 17 @ Fleda, Brno and 18. 10. 17 @ Roxy, Prague
Jamiroquai joins Colours of Ostrava lineup by Andres Bermudez - Prague.TV (Foto: Jamiroquai FB)
The biggest summer festival in the Czech Republic has announced its headliners
First Cobbler's Prague Bakery Cup Cake Shop @ PALLADIUM!
Feel the rhythm and party to the biggest hits of the 80’s!
Catsit.cz® provides cat sitting services in Prague. Other...
Uncover the unique story behind the Staropramen brewery in...
Find other singles quickly and face to face
Music club in Prague 1. We celebrate life every day!
Eighties-inspired café-restaurant & music club
British style Bar in Prague 1