ZouZou Mansour de Soraia: “With our new release, ‘Dead Reckoning’, we are hoping to gain new fans all over the world, and just keep playing more shows”

Soraia personifica el poder crudo, la energía implacable, el caos y la libertad.

ZouZou Mansour y Travis Smith son el núcleo de este grupo. Sus canciones se basan en el garage rock primogenio, melodicas y llenas de un gran dinamismo. Sus conciertos en vivo son frenéticos, intensos e interactivos, por este motive, a ZouZou le han reseñado como “una mezcla entyre Iggy Pop y Joan Jett” en el scenario.

Han realizado giras por todo Estados Unidos, tocando desde el bar de esquinas más lúgubres, hasta en los anfiteatros más grandes, incluso en la apertura del Summerfest de Milwaukee en 2009. Los lugares más destacados incluyen tocar en el estadio de su ciudad natal, el Wells Fargo Center, abriendo para The Rave en Milwaukee en 2006.

La banda ya tiene grabados cuatro trabajos en estudio, uno en directo, un EP, y muchos singles. Su último disco obtuvo su primer número 1, con una versión punk  adptada al estilo de la banda, deñ clásico de The Kinks, “(I’m Not) Like Everybody Else” en radios de rock de Sudamérica (Radio Doble Nueve de Perú), después de estar 10 semanas en el Top 40. Además, la emisora de radio SiriusXM de Little Steven Van Zandt “The Underground Garage” del Channel 2,  eligió su canción “Electrocutioner” como la “canción más cool del año 2016”.

_Dead Reckoning Album Cover_

Por encima de todo esto, sus conciertos son embriagadoramente enérgicos, y la energía es la tarjeta de presentación y marca registrada de Soraia. Verdaderos rebeldes del rock ‘n’ roll, que han superado cientos de obstáculos, gracias a su amor inquebrantable por la música y todo lo que rodea a este mundillo.

Ya sea en un club de rock caliente o sudoroso, o en un gran estadio, el carisma y el espíritu de Soraia trascienden el escenario del concierto, y les llegan a todos los presentes.

Nuestro compañero Josechu Egido ha hablado con ZouZou Mansour sobre su último trabajo y su gira por España.

 

THE INTERVIEW

Your songs sound like intensive Rock mixed with a Garage and a bit of Noise and Pop, and a lot of Rock & Roll. A great mix of styles that results on the fantastic sound of your music. So, what really are your musical influences?

Thank you so much! All of these types of music are huge influences on our songwriting: Noise, Garage, Rock n Roll, Rock, and Pop.

Our influences – although many – can be narrowed down to a few where it comes to our songwriting. I would say The Pixies, Sonic Youth, The Cramps, Elvis, The Sonics, The Beatles, Queens of the Stone Age.

Overall, band-wise, main ones include Queen, PJ Harvey, The Cramps, The Misfits, Michael Jackson, The White Stripes, Iggy and The Stooges, New York Dolls, and Jon Jett.

This year marks 12 years since Soraia edited “Dirty Liek Soraia”. What is the difference between the music of Soraia today and your music 12 years ago?

The difference in Soraia is the evolution of the music and the band. And also, the songwriting. We’ve had more experience in all of these areas since tht time we started writing and performing live, so we’ve made plenty of mistakes and successes. Also, we’ve had more influences since we began. We also know what our sound is and stay true to it. It’s in us, just as much as breathing. But the band has always been raw and tough, performance-wise. We love that.

You will be edited a new LP titled Dead Reckning”. What are your expectations with this album? What do you expect more from this?

With our new release, “Dead Reckoning”, we are hoping to gain new fans all over the world, and just keep playing more shows. Our goal is always to keep becoming more genuine in our writing, so we are very proud of this release, It’s also the most collaborative we’ve been on an album: the whole band had a part in producing the songs.

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What do we will see and enjoy in your live concerts for next tour around Spain?

You will see our ferocity and love in what we do. With every show in Spain, we have loosened up. It always takes a few shows to let go, especially starting a tour. So you can expect live, intense, and fun time at the show. And interactive, we need the audience to participate!

What are your plans for the rest of this year 2017 and next 2018? We assume that you will touring around clubs and festivals. Can you advance anything to us? Any important event?

We have a few important shows when we get back to the US, and then we are finishing writing for a single we want to release in 2018. Early in 2018, we are hitting the west coast in the US for tour, and then a spring tour in the US and Europe again. One of the shows we do when we get back home is a “Johnny Thunders” Tribute at Bowery Electric in New York City. We’re very excited about that one!

Do you think the digital world will end with music as we know it today? What do you think is the future of music?

I think the digital world helps spread the music, honestly. I understand the financial issues, but I also see the possibility of reaching so many more people this way! I think if bands tour and are seen and have a strong personality, all of this supercedes any problems. Maybe that’s idealistic, but I believe it’s true.

Also, I think the future of music is golden. Good music is good music, and great bands affect people. That will always be true, and I don’t believe that will ever change.

What is your best memory about music?

My best memory of music is when I was a teenager, and I heard a Bruce Springsteen Christmas song on the radio. Bruce asks Clarence Carter if he want s anew saxophone for Christmas, and then laughs. I was so affected by how much fun these guys were having on this record, I wanted to do music for the rest of my life. It just sounded so joyous.

How is a normal day in the life of Soraia?

Well, when we tour, a normal day is sleep, shower, move to the next stop, eat, get ready, go to the show for sound check. When we are in the studio, it’s wake up, shower, eat, studio until sleep again.

It’s pretty much about whatever we’re doing, while we’re doing it. If there’s time to see places when we’re touring, a few of us will do that and eat the food, too.

What do you think about the current economic and social situation in Spain, U.S.A., Europe and World in general?

I think there’s some issues that are upsetting, but I also think that these problems bring a people together. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to witness so much cultural and social unrest, but when it’s about the people having the power versus a government, or a few wealthy dominating, then it’s always ultimately a success. I am an empathetic person, so it’s hard to see violence and oppression. I am against that in any form, whether it be by a government, by a group, down to a single person to another.

MISCELLANY

Could you tell us about…

… A book?: –

… A movie?: –

… A song?: –

… An album?: I think it’s best to tell you about an album that affected me greatly. “Purple Rain” by Prince is one of the albums I listen to over and over again, and I never get bored or tired of it. It always made me want to be that type of performer Prince was back then, and always was, but especially how intense he would get on “Darling Nikki” and “The Beautiful Ones” – those songs just affect me so deeply.

… A group or soloist?: –

… A hobby?: –

 

Thank you very much. Best wishes from Spain.

Thank you for the great interview! Soraia loves Spain!