Up and coming band Social Room are here to save you from the
perils of pop with their guitar-driven, arena-worthy anthems. Hailing
from Sunderland, frontman Matty Smith and drummer Sticks talk heroes,
hates and growing up in the North East.
It’s unusual to hear of an indie sextet, how did that happen?
S: We wanted to be more than just an indie band and having a keyboard
player gives you so much more depth.
M: It was also to do with having an extra guitarist. In my last band I
used to play guitar and wrote all the songs on my acoustic, but in
this band I just wanted to be the front-man and concentrate on the
Saying you sound like the arctic monkeys feels like a lazy comparison,
besides, your music has more dance and soul. Who are your influences?
M: I love all the good songwriters: The Doors, Bob Dylan.
S: I’ve always been invested in drummers, since I was a kid, and my
first hero was Animal in _The Muppets_, I worshipped him! I also love
Keith Moon, and The Small Faces, Stone Roses and Oasis. Any kind of
rock music that has a dance beat behind it.
How has being from the North East shaped your music?
M: It’s definitely working class, there’s not many upper class
people in the North East so that’s shaped it straight away… That
slang and way of talking.
S: It’s not a hard environment, everyone in the North-East is really
friendly, but at the same time, we haven’t got a lot. You go to work
and at the weekend you let off steam by going to the football or by
going out and getting wrecked. There’s not a plethora of other
Where’s the best music scene in the UK?
M: I love Newcastle, especially the O2 Academy. I’ve seen some great
bands there and we would love to headline there.
S: Manchester has a great scene right now. Bands like Blossoms are
really making a name for themselves.
What’s your opinion on the current state of the music industry?
M: Absolutely terrible to be fair, I can’t stand most of the bands,
especially the boybands. I hope guitar music starts coming back
because I’ve got nothing to listen to.
S: People might say that it’s bad because of all the pop and things
like X Factor, but it’s always been like that. Everything goes in
cycles and it’s about time that a working class rock band broke out
like Kasabian did.
Your songs hark back to those glory days of indie. Was that
M: I’d love for those days to come back. When I first started
turning out all that music was on the radio and it’s time guitar
music came back around and with bands like Catfish and the Bottlemen
it feels like it’s happening.
S: Sunderland is a very working class city and in the band we all have
jobs alongside music. Matty works in a car factory and in the same way
that people relate to working class bands like Oasis, because they
grew up in that environment as well.
What’s planned for the rest of this year?
S: We’re playing a few small festivals, Stockton Calling. We’ve
just recorded some new songs so we’ll finishing those…
M: Putting as much energy as we can into our live gigs as well because
that’s where we’re strongest and then we’re releasing two more
singles this year which we’re putting out ourselves. We’re just
going to tour as much as we can and hopefully get spotted!
Social Room will be playing the main-stage at The Willowman Festival on June 18th