We chatted to SUKKO about their new EP A VIOLENT DEEP FEEL

Released back on the 11th February, this new release had a lot of hot competition out the same day. We thought it would be good to chat to Eliot from the band about all things music

Can you tell us a bit about yourselves? Where are you from and how did the band start?

We are a 5-piece alt-indie band formed in Norwich, we write and record our own music straight out of a bedroom (or occasionally our kitchen). From what originally began as a duo back in 2018, Sukko has gradually grown and evolved into our current fully fleshed out line-up; which has given us the means to express ourselves when we play shows and give our audience that extra bit of live energy. Having moved about for university, we are now dotted all over the country in Norfolk, Lincoln, Sheffield and York. Naturally, we’ve had to overcome the obstacle of living so far from each other with virtual online writing sessions and frequent video calls. But on the other hand, we’ve had the opportunity to play in many different cities at such an early point in the band’s journey!

What made you decide on the name Sukko? It’s certainly an interesting choice

Haha yeah definitely an interesting choice! It took us a long time to come up with a unique name that hadn’t been used before and equally reflected our personality. Throughout our music we frequently allude to themes surrounding floating and the calmness that comes with being on water. We chose Sukko as our name, after lake Sukko in Russia. It’s a beautiful and peaceful looking place with a unique name, and definitely somewhere we’d love to visit!

If we were to use the phrase for fans of, who would you liken yourselves to?

As a band, our music tastes vary quite drastically. All the way from punk to neo soul and jazz. It initially made pinning down our own sound and genre challenging. We draw a lot of our inspiration from Radiohead and Pink Floyd, there’s something about the purity of their music that really appeals to us, you can tell that it hasn’t been tampered with by modern music production methods. We also liken our sound to bands such as Foals, Wolf Alice and Bombay Bicycle Club.

You released today your new EP A Violent Deep Feel, what does it mean to you, as a band?

We’ve been working on this EP for a long time now. The recording process began back in 2020 which seems absolutely crazy, but things take slightly longer when you’re a band who is self-producing. Naturally it feels incredibly satisfying to see your own music being released into the world, especially when you receive positive feedback on a track. But with A Violent Deep Feel, we really wanted to use the record to address and raise awareness to some specific topics that we had been troubled by recently. Throughout the EP we discuss how important mental health awareness is in this modern age we live in, and how living through the covid-19 pandemic has been so distressing for so many people. However, we’ve also witnessed some shocking and appalling stories regarding racial and gender equality, to such extreme consequences which have truly highlighted how much work we must do as a society to eliminate discrimination based on an individuals race or sexuality. As a band, we are committed to spreading this message and we wanted to use our music to shed light on some of these topics which are not spoken about enough. A Violent Deep Feel is not necessarily an attack on society, but rather a means to encourage self-reflection and improvement.

What’s your favourite track from the EP?

I think I speak for us all when I say that our favourite song is the final track on the record, titled ‘Look’. We chose not to release this one as a single leading up to the full EP launch as we really wanted it to be heard in context and as a final closing message. Out of all of the songs on the EP, ‘Look’ is the one that calls to action and addresses the topics mentioned previously head on. It’s not aggressive, more passionate. The song discusses how those who are lucky enough to not be on the receiving end of abuse have a responsibility to educate themselves on discrimination, sexism, racial injustice. To do what we can to stand in solidarity. Many of us do not possess the ability to relate to people who are in these positions of pain. I don’t know how it feels to be mistreated in the way so many people have, but I must not be complacent. There is a lack of action preventing prejudice. People simply “look on” while horrific injustice happens all over the world. We are stuck in the belief that we can’t make a difference. A vital message of this EP is that change can and should happen for the better. People must be given equal opportunities. Race, gender, sexuality should not be a cause for discrimination. Yet they are, still. We must educate ourselves. We have a responsibility to enforce a change. With enough belief and action, change can and must happen.

Are there any tracks that are much different from how you initially imagined it would be? How did you come to the decision to make the song in that way?

I think the song that went through the most change and development was ‘In My Head’. This track was the first initial idea that we had for the EP and in its raw form sounded drastically different to the final version. With so many different inspirations, our initial ideas for songs often come out sounding very different to the previous one. We then gradually tailor them towards the ‘Sukko sound’. In My Head began sounding very electronic with drum machines and synth lead melodies. Over time we added more guitars to replace some of the synth parts, playing this song live helped massively with finding our vision for this one. But the triggered drum machine aesthetic remained throughout the production process, only giving in to real drums for the final chorus.

Is there anything you encountered that you didn’t expect to encounter when creating your new music?

There were definitely many challenges and obstacles during the making of this EP, not to mention working and recording through the pandemic. But I think the biggest surprise was simply how long the whole process took from start to finish. Most of these new songs you’re hearing were written in the summer of 2020, but the initial ideas stemmed further back to 2019, and only now in 2022 are we releasing them. For sure the distance between us all slowed the process down, but the major time killer was our desire to get each track right, and to feel right. With this kind of lyrical content we had to approach the creation process in a delicate way, and I think it just took time to get the tone right, we didn’t want these songs to come across in the wrong way. As mentioned, this EP should ultimately have a positive conclusion, to help change for the better.

Are there any plans to take Sukko on the road, and play some live shows?

Yes!!! We definitely have plans to get back out there and return to the live scene. Having recently played our first ever headline show in Norwich back in September, we’re looking to hit the ground running and build on that night! I’m sure I speak for every artist out there when I say we truly missed playing live in 2020 and the first half of 2021. I think it’s made us a lot more appreciative of the experience of playing a show and we’re so grateful to have that opportunity again. As mentioned, one of the perks of being dotted around the country is that we have a foot in the door of a few different cities. We’re also keen to get to areas of the country that we’ve never played before as well, Leeds, Nottingham, Bristol to name a few!

What’s next for Sukko?

Hopefully more of the same! We’ve recently started recording our second EP which should be ready for the summer! We’re constantly trying to improve ourselves as songwriters and musicians, and I’m confident that the next EP will be another big step up. We’ve just announced our next show in Norwich supporting local legends Pretty Terry on March the 4th. It’ll be our first show of 2022 so we’re very excited for that!

Where can we find out more about you?

The best place to keep up to date with us and our music is on Instagram @sukkoband, from there you’ll be able to find links to our music on Spotify, and our frequent video uploads to YouTube!

 Anything else you would like to tell us?

 I think that’s everything covered!! 

I’d like to thank Eliot and the rest of the band for taking the time to answer our questions, and wish them the best of luck with the new EP and with whatever comes next

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