Soeza began as a 5-piece, early in 1997, with two drummers, French horn, bass, guitar and vocals. An extra guitar fattened up the sound later that year. Then, in 1999, a cornet player joined, consolidating the brassy Soeza sound.
Over the last four years Soeza have developed a strangely allusive, angular yet soulful rock sound, whose emphasis shifts and fluctuates between all seven members. Their dynamic live shows have seen them sharing bills with such legends as ‘The Fall’ and ‘Nomeansno’, as well as with underground favourites like ‘Sweep the Leg Johnny’ and ‘Gallon Drunk’. They have been compared with early ‘Adam and the Ants’, ‘Dexy’s Midnights Runners’, ‘The Ex’ and ‘The Nation of Ulysses’, although this does not truly define their richly layered sound.
The unique Soeza horns (Dan & Aaron) skilfully ride the waves of rhythm beaten out by Andy and Jenny, and combine melodically with Barn’s gnarled but tuneful basslines. The addition of Jenny’s beautiful and original vocals have seductively augmented the mood created by Ben Owen’s more contrary, sharp and rhythmic singing style and the striking dual guitars of Owen and Shillabeer. These boys angle their axes to complement each other, moving in and out of focus with the vocal melodies.
The latest batch of Soeza songs presents a brave and diverse take on modern rock. They combine influences from folk, jazz, punk and soul, with a unique approach to songwriting and performance, motivated entirely by the band’s love of playing. The lyrics are representative of Soeza’s fragmented opinions and passions, which have helped keep them going, free from links with any press-driven scene. All of Soeza’s music has been recorded by Barn, on his 16 track, analogue studio.
The members of Soeza are from various parts of the south west of England, but for the last few years have been focused around the city of Bristol. The band is part of the wider ‘Pull the Strings’ collective; an artists’ platform organised primarily to bring together like-minded people, concerned with interesting music and energetic ideas. It has promoted shows and artistic concerns in Bristol, and delivers well organised, low cost gigs involving local, national and international acts, ranging from Punk to Electro. Soeza’s strength lies in the multiplicity of tastes and styles which they have learned to weave into a unique and satisfying whole. Standing out against the background of generic rock which currently prevails, this band’s pioneering style is as fresh and exciting as it is inimitable.