The Sooks share their musical journey with Happy, following the release of their jangly 90s pop-rock dream, Lucy.
If you’re a fan of dream-pop and 90s Britpop, prepare to be blown away by The Sooks’ latest single, Lucy which is the perfect mix of the two. After being inspired by bands from the 60s like The Kinks and The Byrds, as well as seeing more Australian indie bands live, frontman Corey decided to start The Sooks.
The alternative/dream-pop quartet comes out Lucy on Friday, September 2 and brought him to the stage later that night at one of Newtown’s most iconic live music venues, Waywards. They headlined the single launch, with support from The Toothpicks and Tawny Port.
Lucy begins with a soft rock approach, with a crying synth-sounding riff that guitarist, Keenan Fitzsimons, smashes over Flynn Hume’s cruising drums. The voice is calm, raw and poetic like the tone of the leader, Corey Fitzsimons recalls voices like Damon Albarn of Blur, Ian Brown of The Stone Roses and the Gallagher brothers of Oasis.
Dave Ruby Howe, a music enthusiast on Triple J discoveredseemed to be okay with that feeling of 90s nostalgia, leaving a rave review under the track on Triple J discovered: “I was going to say Oasis but The Sooks namecheck The Stone Roses so clearly they’re building their own little pocket of Manchester in western Sydney,” he wrote.
The Sooks love living in the western suburbs, close to their gigs and a buzzing creative community on their doorstep. Surrounded by countless avid music lovers, they had no trouble building strong relationships with other artists, as well as supportive friends and family.
With their latest stellar offering, Lucy Finally in the world, the boys have now gone into recording mode, as they prepare for more new music on the horizon. Luckily, in the midst of their creative endeavors, we were lucky enough to catch them to chat about their creative process, the thrill of performing live shows, new projects in the works, and other shenanigans they’ve been up to!
HAPPY: What are you expecting this week?
SOOKS: This week is dedicated to preparing for the recording. We spent a big month preparing for the release of Lucy, and the unique launch show. Now that everything is done, we focus on recording new songs. We are really excited to release more material after the positive reception of our previous singles.
HAPPY: Tell us about your suburb, what do you like/dislike where you live?
SOOKS: We are quite happy with where we are based. We appreciate the fact that we are in a position where we can easily get to mid-west and city sites. We like to live in the western suburbs. Life is a little less stressful than it could be, and it’s good that we’re pretty close together, so getting to the jam sessions is relatively easy.
HAPPY: Describe what your jam sessions look like.
SOOKS: The nature of a jam session always depends on what we have coming up. If we have gigs to prepare, we’ll go through our setlists, thinking about what we can add to our performance to make it special. If we don’t have a gig soon, we’ll go through new songs. We’re constantly trying out new songs to see what sticks, working together on sound and structure to see what we like. Lots of trial and error goes into it, but we found that we gradually tightened up as we got used to the way we all play together.
HAPPY: What about your final day?
SOOKS: Our final day should include a big concert of some kind. Our previous single releases have been really fun experiences, with so many of our friends and family coming out to support us. Knowing that we have some kind of impact is amazing, and it’s worth it after all the hard work we’ve put in. We also like the social side. Not just playing for people, but hearing them after the concerts and sharing a common experience.
HAPPY: Tell us about your creative community.
SOOKS: We are very lucky to know a lot of people with similar interests in music, which has been great for the collaboration. Meeting other people and groups in the same position as us has been encouraging, and we love to see how others are doing. It’s a tough industry to get into, so it’s always helpful to talk and work with other musicians.
HAPPY: What was your recording experience Lucy at the Forbes Street Studio?
SOOKS: It was tricky. We knew what sound we wanted, but it was so hard to land exactly on that sound. There was a lot of experimentation with new ideas and instruments, and we ended up extending the recording time to several days. We were lucky that Callum Howell was patient with us, because we ended up arranging the sound we needed, and we think the track is much better for it.
HAPPY: If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?
SOOKS: Much of it would go to music. Sometimes it can be stressful having to worry about the financial aspects of music. Costs can add up when you plan to record, tour, promote, etc. To be able to focus on music, purely out of passion, would be a relief. That’s probably where all the money would go.
HAPPY: What TV show are you currently binge-watching?
SOOKS: The Daddy’s Girls.
HAPPY: What did you listen to growing up that fueled your inspiration for The Sooks?
Corey: The first time I really got into music was in 9th or 10th grade. At first I was in bands like The Pogues and The Dubliners, and also 60s bands like The Kinks and The Byrds. But after turning 18 and wanting to see live shows, I became more interested in Australian indie. So that would have a pretty big influence on why we started the band. In terms of inspiration for the band’s sound, I’d say the Smiths are pretty big. We try to make our songs loud and bright, which I think the Smiths do very well.
HAPPY: What was your last read that opened your eyes and mind to a new perspective?
FLYNN: I recently read Dave Grohl’s autobiography, The storyteller: Tales of life and music. It was such an interesting read, especially when he talks about his first days in concert. The amount of effort he put into his music was insane. You feel like his passion was always going to lead him to the position he is in today. I was surprised at how humbly he wrote, especially after all he had done in his life. It was a great read as we were just getting started, and it was great to reflect on how important music is to so many people.
HAPPY: What’s on The Sooks list of favorite music venues?
SOOKS: Frankie’s would definitely be up there. No matter what day we play at Frankie’s, and even if we don’t bring friends or family, the audience at Frankie’s always tunes in to the music. We like to play there, and it’s the place we’ve played the most often. The venues where we played for the singles releases were also great. The Chippo Hotel and Waywards were both great places to celebrate our single releases. In particular, the sound guy at Hotel Chippo is the best we’ve ever had. We also had the chance to play Smiths Alternative in Canberra, and were really pleased with the audience response we got!
HAPPY: Thanks for this chat!
Lucy is now available on all streaming platforms. Listen to the single via Spotify below.
Interviewed by Olivia Adams