INTERVIEW: A Chat With Rob Lind From The Sonics

Friday, September 2, 2016

Emily: You released a new album last year 'This is the Sonics', nearly 50 years since your last album. How did it all come about? Did you set time aside for it or did it just happen?
Rob: You know it was kinda organic, we just eased into it. I started feeling like we were getting pigeon holed into an oldies, but goodies band, which were not! We didn't want to be that. So slowly but surely we started heading towards the new album, then when we got started on it, it was full steam ahead!

Did you find that there was much pressure in releasing it after the amazing success of your previous albums?
No... you know you can't look at it like that, you just give it your best shot and see how it turns out. We were very lucky, for the first time in our career we used a record producer and he knew what he wanted, he didn't want to copy the first few albums, but for it to be a version of those albums, wanted the same energy and the same fire, and looking back I think he was successful. 

Now you have been so influential to other bands since you started back in 1963, being covered by bands like The Black Keys and having Nirvana, The Hives and The White Stripes name you as there major influence. Is it just a great feeling knowing that you still have it?
It really is! At this time in our career and at this time in my life it's kind of a warm feeling. We have actually become good friends with The Hives, they come up and play with us on occasion, its been a learning experience but a totally positive one, its all very gratifying.

You have opened for massive names like the Beach Boys, The Righteous Brothers and many more. Do you have a favorite memory from being on tour back in the day?
(Laughs) What you have to understand Emily, is that we were 18 and had more energy than common sense, we did some things that I look back on now and just think, how did I avoid jail! But some of the memories that I have... We were kind of strange, we were a hard rock n roll band in a community that had a lot of really good bands, but more swingy and jazzy bands, we were driving down the road an we heard the disk jockey introduce this new band from England, and it was a new song, 'You really got me' by The Kinks. It nearly threw me off the road, I was like, 'Yes! They are like us! They rock!' (laughs) Then they came to the States and we actually toured with them and got to meet them and know them, it was an unspeakable honor! Then you might notice, with the album we have been speaking about, there is a song 'The Hard way' on there, which is actually a Kinks song, which was a tip of the hat to a band that has been foremost on our minds since the 60's.

Oh that's really nice!
And we play it every night! We will play it in Melbourne!

That will be fantastic! You are going to be returning to Australia soon to play at the Yours and Owls festival, and your own headlining shows. What can we expect to see? Got any surprises in stall?
You come to see us, you're gonna get rocked! Thats a promise from Rob Lind the sax player in The Sonics. We will be rocking at the start of the show all the way to the end thats for sure. Were gonna play all our hit records, because people expect those, as well as some from the new album, its a pretty fun hour! We always end up soaking wet and we work pretty hard for the crowd.

In 2009 you performed at South by South West, and was acclaimed as being one of the most memorable acts, since it began. Did you ever think that you would still be going after 50 odd years?
Never thought about it... I guess it comes down to a couple of reasons, number one being that we do it because its a lot of fun, its the most fun you can have without getting involved with the cops! And secondly, we really love the crowds, if we go on stage we are going to rock the place up! And it's so rewarding when we see people singing the songs, joining mosh pits, waving there bottles in the air, it's fun and it's really gratifying to see the crowds enjoying it. I guess if we ever reach a time when the crowds are just standing there with there arms folded glaring at us... we probably wouldn't continue doing it (laughs)... But until then, here we are. 

Rob, thank you so much for talking to me today! It's been great!
Emily, it has been a pleasure, make sure you come see us in Melbourne! '

Written by Emily O'Brien

Friday 23rd September:
Adelaide, The Gov 
+ Subject S + Juliette Seizure & the Tremor-Dolls. 

Saturday 24th September:
Melbourne, Max Watts 
+ Straight Arrows & Thee Wylde Oscars. 

Tuesday 27th September:
Perth, Rosemount Hotel 
+ Thee Loose Hounds. 

Thursday 29th September:
Brisbane, The Triffid 

Friday 30th September: 
Sydney, Manning Bar 
+ The Crusaders & The Pink Fits. 

You can also catch The Sonics at Yours and Owls Festival:
Saturday, 1st October & Sunday, 2nd October
Stuart Park, North Wollongong