Sophie and the Giants came to Brighton in October of last year. I caught them on the night of their headline set at the Green Door Store. They were energetic, and more keen to talk than any band I’ve hitherto interviewed. I found them jumping around behind the metal gates of the smoking area at Green Door, poking my head around, I said, “I’m the journalist” and as quickly as they’d come over to greet me, we were sat on a bench chatting in the dark. Sitting down, I explained my situation. “I write for The Badger etcetera etcetera, we’re a student paper etcetera etcetera,” then I asked about their student experience. Expecting a full recipient of student living, freshers weeks, and third year breakdowns, I was instead met by Chris’, the drummer’s, admission.
“I quit.” He said, before Sophie intervened.
“He got kicked out.” She said.
Chris corrected himself.
“I got kicked out and then quit.”
“You can’t quit after you get kicked out!” Antonia said.
“We have a lot of different experiences.” Sophie said.
These different experiences transpire through the course of the interview. Each band member will make a statement, and another is quick to contradict, josh, or build upon it. The four have been close since university; the band all studied at ACM Guildford, where, as has been suggested, some passed and some failed. Chris explained that his situation was complicated. Illnesses, exams, the cost of education, he wasn’t going to stick around for studies if he had a good thing with this band. The other three, I’m told, completed their studies.
“Me and Sophie and Chris didn’t really know each other that well at Uni.” Antonia told me, they’ve come together since studying and that is where the band has come from. Initially, the group lived together, but that quickly fell apart. I mentioned that many university students will spend this year in houses with new flatmates, and some tend to struggle, I asked what they thought the cause of that particular break-up was.
Chris, slowly, raised his hand.
“Let’s just… I’m gonna say this. Who was the main problem? Me.”
“You and me were exact opposites.” Sophie said.
“I’ve never heard about a band arguing over differences in hygiene.” I said.
“Well it interferes in the creative process.” Said Toby. “The two lives merge into one. You go to rehearsal and you say to someone, ‘I hate you cause you didn’t hoover the room.’”
Still, I pointed out. It’s amicable that they have survived.
“Well,” Chris says. “We do actually really love each other.”
From there, the band moved into separate houses, and they have been creative ever since. The current band formed in the last three months of university and when their time in Guildford finished, moved to a “random” place, Sophie said. They’ve been playing, writing, and touring since. A headline tour taking place the last summer was “wicked”, Toby said. They’ve started receiving presents from their fans, “Lindt” from the European fans, Chris was happy to accept. There next live dates will be in the summer. If you’re in Liverpool or Warrington in May, they are playing gigs. If you find yourself in the Czech Republic, too, they’re playing the same bill as Weezer, Green Day, and Lenny. I can see Sophie in the Giants on a big stage soon. They’re the headliners of the future. This decade will be theirs.