Sons of Liberty head out on a co-headline tour with Preacher Stone from USA. The Mumble caught up with two of ‘The Sons’, Fred & Moose.
What are your first musical memories?
Guitarist Moose –
“My Nan played piano and my Mum sang and played violin, so music was there right from the start – I ended up playing trumpet in a Glenn Miller style swing band and singing a bit too, so something definitely rubbed off. Then there were bands like The Sweet or Slade on the radio or TV, and I realise now that they were my first exposure to rock music, despite being a bit over the top with the whole glam image thing.”
Who has been your greatest musical influence over the years?
Guitarist Fred –
“As a band made up of individuals we have a wide range of musical influences right through the decades. I guess what got me interested in guitar music in the first place were the great 70’s rock bands like Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple, AC/DC, UFO, Blackfoot and I was always a big Budgie fan.”
So… desert island, solar powered CD player, 3 albums – what are they?
“Damn, that’s just too hard – picking just three is almost impossible! I’ve still got 100’s of vinyl singles and albums, and even today with streaming and Spotify etc I’m still adding to a vast CD collection almost every month. So, how about Operation Mindcrime by Queensryche, Diary of a Madman by Ozzy Osbourne and Unleashed In The East by Judas Priest (with the extra tracks from the 7” single that came with it originally). Yeah I know, nothing especially southern…”
Tell us about the Sons of Liberty – who is in the band, where you all from, & what you all about?
“The band was formed in 2014 around a shared love of new and old Southern Rock from the classics of Skynyrd, Blackfoot and Molly Hatchet to the current bands like Cadillac Three, Blackberry Smoke, Black Stone Cherry who were starting to gain some traction in the UK at that time. We started writing and recording our own music as a band in the second half of 2016. Original members are Andy Muse (guitars and vocals), Mark Thomas (bass and vocals), Steve Byrne (drums) , myself on guitar and last year we were joined the boy Rob Walker on lead vocals. We are all based in the south west around Bristol and South Wales except Rob who is a Brummie, now living in Dunstable. We’re a pretty straight up honest rock band; that puts everything we have in the tank into our live shows, song writing, recording, merchandise as well as our engagement with everyone who is kind enough to come and see us perform or who buy into the band in any way. We work very hard at everything because we really enjoy the whole Sons experience.”
What is it about the music of the southern states of America that makes you, & the rest of the band, tick as musicians?
“The storytelling is just brilliant, with real-world characters and situations that are kinda easy to connect with. Add that to some cool music that has the scope to be vicious and raucous or warm and sentimental, sometimes in the same song, and you’re off and running. The authenticity of the songs from bands like Skynyrd or Blackfoot, or more recently Brothers Osbourne, TC3 etc is really inspiring, and we’ve tried to bring some of that to our material too. Plus we get to kick up a storm live, and wear some daft hats etc too, hahaa!”
It has been over a year now since your highly acclaimed “tricky” second album ‘Aces & Eights’ – is there anything in the pipeline?
“Yes! We’ve been busy writing and recording for the as yet unnamed album #3. We were in the studio at the end of 2022 laying down the music and we’ll be heading back in to finish off the album soon. We have returned to Momentum Studios, where we recorded ‘Aces & Eights’, working with the incredibly talented Josiah J Manning again. Josiah does everything in the studio so well, not only production, engineering and mixing, he’s been like a 6th member of the band throughout. Album #3 will be a bit special…that’s all we can say at the moment.”
You’re just about to head out on tour – can you tell us about ‘THE OLD COUNTRY RAMBLE’ tour?
“It’s gonna be a hoot! There’s nine dates over ten days, kicking off on the 22nd of March at The Thekla in Bristol, taking in Real Time Live in Chesterfield, Hard Rock Cafe in Glasgow, Bannerman’s in Edinburgh, Trillians in Newcastle, The Musician in Leicester, Nightrain in Bradford and The Victoria in Swindon before wrapping up at Leos Red Lion in Gravesend on the 31st – I think the Preacher Stone guys will be flying home with a hangover the next day! We’ve got a day off in Liverpool too, so it’ll be fun to hit the Cavern and check out a few of the musical tourist stuff too.”
How did the connection with Preacher Stone happen?
“We have loved Preacher Stone for years, we buy their music and we even covered a couple of their songs back when we started out. I hooked up with Marty Hill (guitars) and Jim Bolt (bass) on-line about the time we first started recording and we have sent new music back and forth for a while…we always seemed to have a lot in common, our outlook, the passion for the music and a similar work ethic… so we kind of became distant friends and have followed each others exploits. I think Preacher Stone have always wanted to come to the UK and with their new album on the way they got in touch to see if we could make something happen together….which has become ‘The Old County Ramble’.”
You’ll be heading up here to Scotland, where we’re hoping to catch you guys – have you ever played in Scotland before?
“Hell Yeah! Scotland has been really kind to us as a band so far – we’ve played WinterStorm at Troon a couple of times and have made three other trips north of the border for headline and support shows too. I guess we get to feel like a real “Southern” band once we get that far north, and we’re really looking forward to reconnecting with fans old and new at Bannerman’s and the Hard Rock Cafe, two great venues!”
What does the rest of 2023 have in store for the band?
“As well as finishing and launching the new album we will be producing some singles and videos from that. We have another busy live schedule too with a few early club dates in the diary. We’ll be heading out to tour the new album later this year, before that we will hit the festival season, which will include Maid of Stone Festival in Kent, Firestorm Festival Manchester, Nene Valley Rock Festival and a few still to be announced here in the UK and in France. We also plan to play some club shows in Northern Europe in the autumn. No rest for the wicked!”