Sümer are back at Bloodstock and bigger than ever, storming the Sophie Lancaster stage in an epic triumph. Some of you may remember my interview with Sümer last year that involved their best animal impression. I’m sad to say I didn’t do that this time because that is so 2015 😉 I spoke with Taria Dawson and Ian Hill about what it’s like to be on the Sophie stage, their new album and funny band name mispronunciations.
Last night the tent was packed out, bloody hell!
Taria: I know, it was quite overwhelming just staring out to a thousand people.
I asked the others last year if they wanted to come back this year and they said there would be full on man tears if they didn’t.
Taria: …and girl tears! Although I’m sure I could manage man tears.
Ian: Just be in a band, that’ll do it.
So you’re back and on the Sophie stage.
Taria: I know! We were so happy when Simon contacted us.
Ian: He did that thing where he kind of didn’t say it, he said ‘I need a word with you, but it can wait’ and he did that little hint. Simon dangles possibly the best things at making our dreams come true – He’s an absolute legend and true to his word, he invited us back.
Were you singing “for a moment like this”?
Taria: It was nice to play on the first day because no one else is playing, hence we probably got more people in there than if we were clashing with other bands. It worked out well for us, really. I think Simon had that in mind for us, wanting to get us a good slot.
Ian: We were kind of under the impression that we would be opening, we were third from top so slap-bang in the middle, perfect time. The views from the stage were just amazing. All of us were grinning like a Cheshire cat.
You guys have come so far, bloody hell.
Ian: Yeah, it’s lovely. The hard work and playing and playing and playing and all those gigs with a man and his dog, it’s paid off.
I bumped into some other bands who were getting intimidated by how good you sounded!
Ian: We just had another interview with Paul Squatter from Bloodstock TV and apparently some scouse walked past saying how we sounded like heavy Radiohead, but not in a good way – he was mugging us off! You can’t please everyone.
Taria: We do get the Radiohead thing, but I really don’t see it.
Ian: That’s the thing, I remember someone saying how much we sound like them but Tim is the only one in the band who really likes them. So, it’s quite an achievement, ripping off a band you don’t even listen to!
That’s the thing, people always compare and what to know who you sound closest to.
Taria: People always ask who do you sound like, I don’t know how do you put that into words. You don’t want to compare yourself to other people. I guess people need some point of reference as to what you’re about.
Have you heard about Cedric the Walrus, they’re an up-and-coming …
Taria: I think it we should change the band name, I think that would be easier to remember than Sümer . Sümer seems to be a difficult band name for people to wrap their heads around.
Is it the umlaut that confuses people?
Taria: It was a late addition…
Ian: It was a stupid addition…I’m not allowed to say that, am I! To be honest, the chap that designed the last album cover he sort of did all the type-face and he’s a graphic designer, he called us philistines for the positioning of the dots above his beautiful ‘u’ the way he put it.
That will be a great call from stage: we are Sümer and we are philistines!
Ian: Someone pronounces it “Hoomer”. We’re never going to be allowed to get away with having a stupid name, so you try to get away from “summer” and now we get “hoomer” (said with a load of phlegm at the beginning).
How is Cedric doing? We named the Walrus Cedric on the album cover of The Animal You Are in my interview with Sümer at Bloodstock last year.
Ian: We heard about this! It was a memorable interview.
Taria: He’s still alive and well, he’s still kicking it on the t-shirts.
I’ve heard you guys are writing a new album?
Taria: We’re writing it at the moment, we’ve got half the tracks sort-of written. We’re going to pull our fingers out and get that sorted in a reasonable time-scale which doesn’t really happen much with Sümer! We’d rather take our time on things and get it as good as we can rather than rush things out or whatever just because people are expecting a new album.
Are you approaching it from a concept front or are you just writing?
Ian: No, as ever we just kind of jam out some ideas, it’s normally just through jamming in a room.
Taria: We haven’t got any vocals yet so that is something that will shape up.
Ian: It’s nice to get the music so you’ve got a backbone to work to. It’s never been like ‘we’re going to set out to do this’ . It’s just jamming and changing things about, listening back and going ‘that bit’s rubbish’.
Taria: It’s never a deliberate concept. We spent a week in Wales a couple of months ago and just loc
ked ourselves in a house, the same as we did with the first album a few years ago. So a week, half of which we spent drinking and the last two days we were like ‘shit we better actually do something’. But no, it’s cool, we got a few solid tracks out of that.
Is it shaping up to be different to previous material?
Taria: I think it’s a little bit different.
Ian: I’m not too sure, there are some heavier elements but I’m sure…we just stumble across things so if it feels it’s going in a certain direction and if it’s lovely and soft and pretty, then so be it.
Taria: I think people will hear it and still know, hopefully, that it’s got that Sümer vibe. But yeah, I think we’re trying a few different things.
Is there anything else you guys want to say?
Ian: Just that it’s bloody lovely to be here, we’re dead chuffed and we feel like we’ve reached a highlight in our career. It’s such a good feeling, just doing gigs gigs gigs, and then to just play something like that, is amazing.
Taria: We’ve been plugging away for 6 years now so it’s not an instant thing. We’ve been working really hard for six years and to finally make it to something like this playing on the Sophie stage is a really big reward. So hopefully the next stage.
It’s weird now, every time I think of you guys now it’s just ‘animal porn!’ which is probably not the best association to have!
Taria: It’s not what we set out for!
I remember last year Simon Hall said it was a great album to have sex to…Ian: I remember saying that to someone last night, that’s quite an accolade; it throws up a bit of mental imagery as well. Bless that man, I’d make love to him if I could.
Is that the benchmark for the next album, then? It has to be suitable to have sex to?
Taria: It’s in the back of our minds.
Make it for an orgy this time, you have to level it up.
Taria: It’s got to go that bit further, maybe a little bit of S&M.
The mental images now of Cedric and Simon Hall…ah no…quick abandon ship, ABANDON SHIP.
If you’re curious about the animal noises and the famous Cedric the walrus, you can find my interview with Sumer at last year’s Bloodstock via this link:
Sümer can be found via the following: