Interview: Ivana Sataić, Sara Profeta
Photo: Sara Profeta
Answer to the question in your heads, why we met Sonic Roots in Helsinki and talked with them about the band and its future you’ll very probably get after you read this interview….
Sonic Roots, energetic rock band, is formed in Helsinki (Finland) in 2005 and how the whole story went told us vocalist Henry Lee Roots and the drummer Björn Again Electric:
HENRY LEE ROOTS: I must tell you a one thing now. This is the best place to do the interview because I was on that other table over there when I called Mr. Björn Again Electric and I was asking him that I have this project of mine with our guitar player Mr. Sonic Warland. And I was just asking him that if he wants to come to be our drummer and he was like: “Well…. yeah, I can do it”. There wasn’t something like: “I must think for a while” or anything like that, he said straight: “yeah”. And I was very curious about that because there was some other choices maybe but for us he was the choice number 1 all the time, we agreed immediately. And one more thing, after that we were concentrating to find a proper bass player. It all happened here in this very restaurant, it went so easily and….
BJÖRN AGAIN ELECTRIC: We have some history together in the past too and doing some stuff together with a guitar player that was good and who sadly isn’t with us anymore, he’s with some other rock’n'roll stars. But when I got a call from Henry… he called me at the right moment so I was available and was interested to see what project, what kind of a band he had a plan to put together because I always called Henry with respect. In my opinion he is one of the best if not the best singer not only in Helsinki but in Finland, he has so unique voice.
HENRY LEE ROOTS: And during that time Spiha still existed like my formal band, “Spiritual Hallucination” album has just came out and then we had some major problems with a guys and split, we broke up and it wasn’t planed. It wasn’t like that we broke up first and then started with Sonic Roots. I was just thinking that I want something else also because I was maybe sensing that there was something in the air, you know, (smiles), that maybe not gonna happen with Spiha anymore. I don’t know. It just came from subconsciousness.
About that time beside Henry Lee Roots and Björn Again Electric Sonic Roots were also guitarist Sonic Warland and bass player T. Bound. How it happened that band members changed?
BJÖRN AGAIN ELECTRIC: It was like in the autumn of 2005. August/September, something like that when I got a call and we went to rehearsal….. And at that time we thought that the bass player wasn’t as the rest of the band so we looked around and we had to look for different choices who can replace him.
HENRY LEE ROOTS: He was a really nice guy!
BJÖRN AGAIN ELECTRIC: He was a nice guy but he couldn’t play. It was like very clear from the start that he cannot continue because it couldn’t work together. Fortunately at the beginning of 2006 our current bass player Jarski Littbarski (aka Stacey Goddard) came into band.
What followed after that were some shows in Helsinki and after the audiences’ reaction was great the band in March 2006 went to Kamikaze Studios in Helsinki to record the first EP titled “Firstborn Child” with four songs. Also, soon the band plan to come into the studio and record their first album.
HENRY LEE ROOTS: We went to the studio and made this four song like, I don’t know what to call it, EP maybe. Well just this four songs and it went very easy with 1000 copies just to spread it around to people, not so much selling it to people, just spreading the word: we are here now.
Early this year, 2007, January we went to studio with very nice guys, there was Jyrki69 and Juho Superstar with us. We made three songs; you’ve maybe heard that songs on a website, on myspace… that was the good session as well but now in that kind of situtation we want to make an album. We have songs and I think we gonna start now in early August. We gonna start recordings. Maybe not recordings yet but maybe rehearsing for the album. It takes… I don’t know what it takes.. maybe one month, maybe two months, I don’t know yet but we’ll see. It takes what it takes.
In the middle of 2006 Sonic Roots played a short tour in Germany that finished in a famous club Wild At Heart in Berlin. About their experience to play in a country where the band still isn’t well known our interlocutors, including some future plans, said:
HENRY LEE ROOTS: I think it was quite allright actually. Because it was some kind of fame before because we had Spiha and stuff and… We were there already. I think it was very well because we’ve been now two times there and the both fans it went were very well.
BJÖRN AGAIN ELECTRIC: I think some people might have known us already because we had myspace running already. But you know what was on second trip? We had the band called The Pleasures to play together. They are really nice guys. Crazy guys and a very good people. We have planning what we can do in the future, shows together, to bring them maybe to Finland and so on. But, of course, you can plan these things; they need quite a lot planning and a right time, right place and some possibility to provide it financial. It doesn’t happen over night but there are some definitive plans for both bands to do something together sooner or later. Rather sooner then later.
HENRY LEE ROOTS: Because that was like…. we’ve been having with Spiha and with Sonic Roots many “warm up” acts in Germany, but this was the best like communication between us… it was like on another level. With other bands we didn’t get along that much. Of course we can get along with everybody but this was something for real.
BJÖRN AGAIN ELECTRIC: The Pleasures are ambitions and very professional. Sincere and very honest about what they do.
HENRY LEE ROOTS: They are really hardcore glam band. And it was like re-birth of glam.
Since German tour until today Sonic Roots played more then 20 concerts and Helsinki and around followed by successful reaction from the audience which proves that Sonic Roots, the band whose music is recognizable influenced by the bands like Danzig, The Doors, Hanoi Rocks, Guns ‘n’ Roses or Alice In Chains really is a band with a potential.
In the end, we asked guys how they decided to be musicians.
HENRY LEE ROOTS:For me it’s been like was always there. When I was a very young boy I knew that I wanna do something, I wanna be some kind of performer. I wanted to be some kind of a performer. I didn’t know then am I gonna be an actor or musician or whatever but I know I wanted to be like there and making something about it. I don’t know, I just wanted to be around, interact with people. I’ve always been like that. I just realized one day, maybe it’s a music thing. My mother always thought I’m gonna be an actor but I wasn’t an actor.
BJÖRN AGAIN ELECTRIC:My mom has been telling me that when she was pregnant and when waiting for me she was listening to rock music and I was always dancing in her stomach and when I started to play drums I realize I like to do this. I start to play drums for like rehearsing regularly when I was like 13. It’s been a while. Sometimes people are coming to tell they really enjoy my playing it’s good to know that maybe I have been able to give something to people that they have like.
HENRY LEE ROOTS:One of the greatest things for the band is to hear that for some people are some songs very important. Not yet with Sonic Roots but with Spiha it happened few times with a song called “If I Ever Let You Go”. I never expected that but it happened, it’s a song like about my own privacy and some people really liked it. There are some other stories as well….but I think that’s pretty cool as well.
In the end of an interview for which we hope at least for a little bit approached you energy and enthusiasm of this band we greeted Henry Lee Roots and Björn Again Electric with a hope their plan for future “make music and make an album” will soon turn to present!