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"SonicViolence Interview & Gallery"

This past Sunday, the Bureau invited noise-rockers SonicViolence, along with video director Mike Walsh, to drop by for an interview in anticipation of their upcoming ep release. Note — the audio for the interview was not up to our usual standards, which presented some difficulties during the transcription, which you’ll see as you read further.

mercury photo bureauWelcome. Please introduce yourselves.

brandon wilsonBrandon Wilson, and I play guitar and sing.

leon mansonI’m Leon Manson, and I play guitar and use my voice.

terrence mackI’m Terrence Mack; I play keyboard and guitar.

leonAnd not with us are Edward Schotter and Donald James. Donald is our drummer, and
Ed is our bassist and sometimes synthesizer player.

mpbI read in an interview that you started the band as a duo, and that was with Ed, I believe?

leonThat was with Donald. Donald and I started the band. I was living in a house in Oklahoma City with 5 other guys. We actually went to high school [in Tulsa] together; but, I met him in Bricktown, in Oklahoma City [at acm]. We decided we were into a lot of the same stuff. It was actually Alan Orebaugh down here in Norman — he plays with Saucy Gentlemen’s Club, and he also does the Grateful Dead cover band — [he brought us together]. The 1st time Donald and I jammed together was for a class [that Alan was teaching.] We were supposed to demonstrate all that we had learned on guitar for our final. Everybody else came in and played guitar solos; but for me, it was like, I’m still not very good at guitar. The biggest thing I know how to do is I’m good at playing with other people. So Donald and I wrote a song together, and he came into the class. And they have drumkits in every room at acm, so we played [the] song. And right after we finished, Alan came up and said, Man, you need to start a band.

I was playing in a different band at the time, so Donald and I got together and started jamming. We actually wrote a bunch of songs that I really liked; it was not [so] much the way SonicViolence sounds now; when I met Brandon a year later we basically scrapped everything so the people coming into [the band] could become more involved.

mpbSo, you started this band before Psychic Milk. Is that band still active?

brandonYeah; we’re still together. But we’ve all been doing individual projects and collaborations with other people. It’s just on the back burner for now. We actually have an ep recorded and ready to go. With the momentum that Justin [Hogan] has gained with Bowlsey, as well as the SonicViolence [ep about to drop], it probably wouldn’t be the best time to put it out.

Leon (I) — SonicViolence at STASH, Friday Art Walk
leonCharlie Marsel from Psychic Milk, probably the biggest thing, other than working at the comic store, is Charlie is actually writing a comic book right now. It’s gonna be called Infinity Factor, and all of the characters in it are basically all of us; it’s like all of our friends are characters in it. We’re gonna do a Psychic Milk concept album to go along with [the comic]. It’s being illustrated by Zac Cox; he’s a really awesome dude: he does cool artwork.

mpbThe band name: SonicViolence. There’s an Essex, England-based band from the 1980s by that name.

leonAs soon as I thought of that name — which to me, is all new and all awesome and stuff; I didn’t do any research — I immediately went out and got the Twitter name [@sonicviolence], and I got the Bandcamp name. About a year ago, some teenage girl from Essex started going off on me [on Twitter]: Your name’s not original! You’re not the original band! The real SonicViolence is from Essex, and they were around in the ’80s! And she kept tagging this dude, Can you believe this guy? blah blah blah! And I went and looked at the guy she was tagging, and it turned out it was the original lead singer [our meticulous research team says he goes by the name “Auntie” — ed.]; I guess they’re an industrial punk band — I listened to a little of them on YouTube — he tweeted back to the girl and to me, I don’t care about the name; good luck to them.

mpbHow did the other members join?

brandonT-Mack, how did you join the band?

terrenceI was in an experimental folk band called Painted Wolf, and that was kind of ending. And I was over at Brandon’s apartment in Deep Deuce. It was probably the 3rd time I’d been asked to join SonicViolence. I was like, Well, no. Yeah.

mpbThey wore you down.

brandonPretty much.

leonI [inaudible] him hard. I wouldn’t let him not think about it for a month or 2. It was always at the forefront of conversation.

T-Mack Smiles — SonicViolence at the Conservatory
brandonT-Mack was definitely the missing piece we really needed to make the sound full.

leonEd got into the band because he was my roommate at the time. He was just our default, go-to guy. He was the only logical addition to the band for the rhythm section. It just made sense at the time. We need a bassist! And y - Mercury Photo Bureau

"A History of Violence"

Some band names perfectly match their sound. Consider The Beach Boys, Slayer and, now, Oklahoma City’s own Sonic Violence.

“I like the idea of musical violence, like an amp punching you in the face,” lead singer and founding member Leon Manson said. “That’s the direction we wanted to go in.”

Previously a member of Moon, Manson began collaborating with drummer Donald James about a year ago, eventually adding bassist Ed Schotter and guitarist Brandon Wilson, both ACM@UCO classmates, into the fold.

Although originally intending on a dreamier, shoegazer sound like My Bloody Valentine, the band’s name soon took hold.

“As we started playing, we saw all these other influences like Radiohead and Dinosaur Jr. start to arrive,” Manson said. “It kind of turned into this noise-rock deal. We’re just going with whatever feels right.”

Like those cited acts, Sonic Violence tends to get loud.

Really loud.

“I recommend bringing earplugs,” Manson said. “People have definitely been shocked by how loud it is.”

Recent turns at ACM@UCO Rocks Bricktown and Norman Music Festival have been the public’s first real listen, and the band is already armed with a heavy arsenal of songs, despite just recently hitting its first birthday and releasing only an EP thus far.

“Everything just clicked really fast,” Manson said. “We just got along so well as far as songwriting goes, and it’s been this creative explosion. It comes natural to us.”

Resoundingly, people have embraced the Violence and the ringing in their ears.

“A lot of people like it. What we’re doing and trying to do is different from a lot of what’s going on,” Manson said. “Oklahoma’s music scene is really eclectic and diverse, and we are weird people and wanted to do something weird.”

Sonic Violence will release another EP this fall, but no solid plans exist for a full album. When that debut comes, rest assured it’ll be all killer, no filler.

“We’re picky and somewhat maniacal about our work,” Manson said. “If something isn’t perfect, we probably won’t ever release it.” - Oklahoma Gazette


SonicViolence EP- 2011 via Bandcamp

One Day We Are All Going To Explode (And It Will Be Beautiful) Single- 2011 via Bandcamp

Grocery List (For a Week in Space)-2013 via limited run CD's

Untitled EP- Winter 2013/14 Cassette, CD, Bandcamp



Hailing from roots in noise rock and primordial grunge, SonicViolence bears a stronger resemblance to a sugarcoated teaspoon of strychnine than their declared influences. Having opened for acts such as Speedy Ortiz, Colourmusic, and Wavves, SonicViolence is prepared to make children cry, hit on your sister, and permanently alter your unprotected eardrums. Since 2011 they have aspired to liquefy brains and perforate your tympanic membranes through melodic degradation of the pop form, vibrant melodies, abrasive guitars, dense pad synth, and phat drum beats. SonicViolence is able and willing to provide you with an aural acupuncture massage as close to your house as a restraining order will permit.