SOWARDS: "At the end of the day we really just want to make great music that connects with people"
SOWARDS, an up-and-coming band, recently released their latest single "TRY," which displays their rock influences. Drawing inspiration from renowned groups such as LANY, The Band Camino, and The WLDLFE, SOWARDS is actively experimenting with their musical style and striving to infuse more rock elements into their sound. Their innovative approach and distinctive sound make them a band worth watching in the music industry. Indie Boulevard sat down with SOWARDS discussing their creative process and the inspiration behind their new single "TRY."
IB: Hey guys! It’s a pleasure to have you here on Indie Boulevard, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to speak with you. You recently released your new single "TRY" and I love this song! Can you tell me about the creative process behind your latest single "TRY"?
SOWARDS: Hey guys! We’re glad to be a part of it! We went through SEVERAL demos and mixes, even having to rewrite the verses a couple times. Once the song got in our producer, Zach's hands, he really made it shine. With the help of his (and our) friend Phil to finish up the mixing/mastering, we knew we had something we feel our fans will be able to return to in the coming years and still enjoy. It’s been quite the grind but we couldn’t be happier with the finished product!
IB: Your earlier singles seemed to lean more towards pop, whereas your latest release boasts a more dynamic and heavier pop rock sound. What was the inspiration behind this shift in musical direction?
SOWARDS: We love indie pop/rock; especially inspired by a few of the indie bands that have come out of Nashville, and felt like we were missing a dynamic in our music that we wanted to explore. We always planned on doing more pop rock but eased ourselves into it with our first few singles. There’s a lot more like “TRY” in the works that we're super excited about and feel will have a bigger impact than anything we've put out!
IB: I'm dying to know: how on earth did you both end up with an uncontainable passion for music, and furthermore, what inspired you to take the leap and become professional musicians, all while working side by side as brothers in arms? Care to share any juicy or embarrassing stories that led to this decision?
SOWARDS: We’ve been playing music together since we were in middle school. We were big on Relient K in those years and really bonded over that sound! We’ve always mostly gotten along, even when we were kids we were best friends, so doing music together has been a dream. After the pandemic, we really wanted to put out music, but just have it tailored to the sounds we've started to consume more and more so it's been a really awesome collaborative process with each other. Also, while having toured with our old bands, we would hardly consider ourselves professionals these days; we mostly are re-figuring things out as we go and hopefully can get back to the point where we can take this music out on the road.
IB: Can you share any behind-the-scenes stories from your experience creating music?
SOWARDS: We'd say one big one that we still find pretty insane was being a part of the Facebook viral wave. One of our old groups relied heavily on produced videos of mash-ups and medleys! We were able to have these videos get millions of views and hundreds of thousands of followers. While we were able to create a decent living off that strategy, we didn't feel as though we were getting to flex our creative sides. When that era of Facebook began to slow down toward 2018, we started to dip back into writing and creating for ourselves. A lot of our old stuff is still doing well, if you know where to find it ;)
IB: I too have a sister, and let's just say there have been moments when I've seriously considered turning her into a human piñata. As brothers and musical partners, how do you manage to balance your individual creative whims with the demands of working as a duo? Do you guys fight like cats and dogs over creative differences, or do you settle things over a game of rock-paper-scissors?
SOWARDS: We really don’t disagree very often when creating our music, we bounce ideas off each other until we get something that we feel is really strong. It’s really not all us though, we are surrounded by some great people who really push us. If there are disagreements on something, it's usually something minimal that we can meet in the middle of, or we have no problem asking the people in our corner what they think. At the end of the day we really just want to make great music that connects with people.
IB: Can you tell us about any upcoming releases or projects that you have in the works? What can your fans expect to hear from you in the near future?
SOWARDS: We’ve got a new song in the works with a producer we were really big fans of that we are super excited about! Hopefully we can get it released mid-summer, so If you see us on TikTok saying "I think we may have just written the song of the summer..", just know we're not lying. From the day we listened to the demo with our manager and friends, we felt it could be something special. Keep your ears open for when that is announced!
"MUSIC IS A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT"
IB: How do you incorporate fan feedback and interaction into your creative process? Do you take their opinions and suggestions into consideration when creating new music?
SOWARDS: 100%. We really feed off of what the people around us say when we play them our songs, or songs in the works. We trust most people's ears to let us know if something isn't landing, we're not announciating, or things of that nature. We heavily rely on the opinions of our families as well, so if they like it, we know it’s good.
IB: Can you shed some light on your thoughts regarding the state of the indie music industry, and what you think can be done to support independent musicians in achieving greater success and recognition?
SOWARDS: We’ve gone to several shows here in Nashville the last few months to see some Indie bands and have loved it! There's a strong community of artists supporting each other with everyone going to each other's shows, sharing music on socials, and just backing artists who don't have the big teams around them. It’s super cool to see, especially when we hear how much Nashville's pop scene is growing. There's a sense in Nashville where ego is non-existent (in most cases). Music is hard, especially as Indie artists so when the community helps recommend resources, you lose the "gatekeeper" mindset and find people just wanting each other to succeed.
IB: As seasoned indie artists who have worked their way up in the industry, I'd love to hear your thoughts on what advice you would give to budding musicians who are just starting out and looking to make a name for themselves in the competitive world of independent music. What are some of the biggest challenges you faced when you first started out, and how did you overcome them? What do you think is the most important thing for young artists to focus on as they begin their journey, and what pitfalls should they be aware of?
SOWARDS: So many artists start making music only to “make it big” as they say. Our advice would be that music is a marathon, not a sprint. Stop chasing that one hit wonder viral TikTok and be true to who you are as a person AND artist. Create good content that resonates with people and then just enjoy the ride. Secondly, we'd say surround yourself with people who believe in you but also challenge you. Nobody makes it anywhere by themselves. We love our team and doing music as brothers, so we feel like we’ve already “made it”. Lastly, invest in yourself. If you put in the work to get a song produced, schedule that photo shoot, run that ad campaign, pay for a mix/master engineer to make sure the levels sound good! Although a lot of those parts are small, they help create the world that fans get to live with you in. Try to be cohesive with your releases! And yes, we still battle each of these things daily; we just have been through enough of the trials to know it's easier to be genuine and release a quality product.
IB: And the last question. What are your wildest and wackiest dreams for the future of your band? Don't hold back:)
SOWARDS: I guess the dream for us would be to build our own custom tour bus (we want a say in EVERYTHING haha), and tour in that with our families. We've done the long car/van rides and although we LOVE to perform, the traveling can be draining. So our own bus... AND maybe a Grammy - that would be a dream come true.