Sunday, February 5, 2012


Could Britpop be staging a comeback? Thanks to reunions in recent years of Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, Pulp and Blur, could the sound that dominated the world for part of the 90's return? While that remains to be seen aside from the nostalgia factor, one thing is for certain, the generation that grew up on Oasis, The Verve, Suede and those mentioned before are coming of age and coming to attention with a heavy Britpop inspired sound. Bands like Born Blonde, Scoundrels, Viva Brother and this months pick for Rising Artist, Sulk, are brining back the sound that brought forth the second British invasion.

Sulk are a London based band has been turning heads in the big city and around their country since 2011. We tipped them to be one of our "15 Artists to Watch in 2012" and our UK correspondent Linn Branson hailed them in her picks in "London Rocks in 2012," for bands in the shadow of Big Ben that will break big in the new year.

We spoke with singer John Sutcliffe on the bands acclaim, inspirations and what it means to be a buzz band from London these days. Take a look at our interview with John below:

You are from Northern England but are based in London now, has the transition affected your sound and style? Do you consider yourself a Northern band or a London band?

Yeah 2 of us are from the North….it doesn’t really make a difference where your from really. Records sound the same wherever you listen to them and it is the music that inspires us not where we are from.

Hailing from London, how much has the city influenced you?

The only thing London has really done for us is strengthen our stance of no compromise…we do it our way.

London has more great bands emerge from that city than one can imagine, how do Sulk stick out from the mold?

It’s simple, no one is doing what we do and no one can…. it takes a songwriter like our Tomas and he staying with us

How did the band form?

Tomas (Lead Guitar and Song writer) and I met at a Tamborines show a few years back. He had seen Andy and I play in another band and asked us if we were interested in listening to some tunes he had written and if we would be up for getting involved. We had all the same influences so it was kind of exciting, I had no idea what we were gonna hear would be so mind blowing. I am and always will be the biggest SULK fan!

The name of the band is quintessentially English, given the doom and gloom of the weather, how did you decide on Sulk for the band name?

Sulk suited us as a name because we are moody bastards but with a slight sense of humor…. also it’s the name of an album by the associates than Andy and I became friends over.

In your music, you hear a deep root and influence of 90’s Britpop (which, on a personal level excites me), who of that era had that greatest impact on you on?

Well if it’s Britpop I would say Oasis for me and Suede for Tomas…. I like the Britpop tag because it was a time to be proud of British guitar bands and it exuded confidence, which is so lacking in modern British music. However I wouldn’t say we are Britpop. Our sound reminds me more of what came before. It was these greats who set the stage for the movement and are a huge influence on us and we are proud people notice it! One just reformed…happy days.

Growing up was it team Oasis or Team Blur?

Both for me…. we all know it was a media thing and I don’t fall for that rubbish. First Blur album and first Oasis album still live on my record deck.

In many ways the 90’s Britpop seemed to make a bit of a comeback in terms of sound with bands like The Horrors, Viva Brother, Arctic Monkeys, Born Blonde and yourselves all releasing material in 2011 with some inspiration from the past. Do you ever think it will ever be as big as it once way?

If we are counting on those bands you just mentioned us excluded…not a fucking chance!
Our personal aim is not to be lumped with a scene and we certainly wont be holding hands with them on the front page of the NME… SULK is bigger than a made up fad for 2012.

With Stone Roses back together, NME has called you out to be one of the opening acts for the legendary band’s reunion. How do you feel about such an accolade? Would you do it?

Honored they are a great band and one of our favorites…can’t you tell. If asked we would jump at the chance because we know we are good enough to share a stage with them.

Some blogs in the UK have called you “The Best New Band in Britain,” how do you respond to such a claim? Does it humble you or do you just push forward?

It doesn’t humble me…I can’t speak for the others. We have worked hard to deliver the music you are hearing and it defo helps to see we are getting recognized but we would still believe we were the best without the such praise because we play the music we want to hear and would buy.

You have released a few limited edition 7” and singles, is a full length in the works?

Yeah we are working on a long player at the moment and aim to have it in peoples hands by the end of the year…. can’t wait really because the second one is gathering dust in demo form.

Now that the band is successfully rolling into all the right places in terms of buzz and acclaim, which do you like better – playing live shows in front of a room full of unknowns or hitting the recording studio and crafting the music?

For me it will always be live shows…every night is different and I like hearing the cheers. You can’t beat touring, 5 mates in a van seeing the world and meeting interesting people.

When can we expect you in the US?

Soon I hope…. its somewhere we really want to get out teeth into and are already getting a great response, which we really appreciate, thank you.

What has been the best thing about Sulk thus far?

Getting the records out in a so called lull for guitar bands and selling them out and receiving praise for the quality of our work…. you can’t fake that!