Interview: Sour Times

Recently, DutchMetalManiac’s Tim van Velthuysen interviewed Sour Times’ Ben Reigle and Joe Izayea.

Hey, how are you? 

Both: Doing great, thank you!

Can you tell us something about the history of Sour Times?  

Ben: Sour Times started as an instrumental solo project for my own mental sanity while navigating some serious personal stuff. It has always been an emotional release for a certain part of my brain. The current iteration of Sour Times was born when I wrote a track and thought “Damn that needs vocals”. I don’t know many vocalists, and Joe and I had played a show together with our previous bands, and I remembered liking him so I reached out and asked if he would be interested in throwing down. Once he heard the direction he was into it. From the initial demo, I heard exactly the potential for my music to have a vocalist, and it spurred my creativity. I think I wrote The 11th Hour album in less than a month. I would send completed tracks to Joe, he would take them to Disappearing Mountain Studios and work with our mutual friend Chris Daniele to add vocals. It was a seamless process and a lot of fun!

Joe: I was super pumped when Ben reached out to get me involved. I always liked him as a person and as a musician, and as we’ve put all this together I find us gelling more and more. The excitement to someday play this live and create more content is palpable. 

For people not knowing Sour Times (yet), how would you describe your music yourself? 

Both: Metalcore from Massachusetts, United States. 

When someone doesn’t know Sour Times yet and you can choose one of your songs to present yourself, which song would that be? 

Ben: Obey. Fierce, melodic, and crushing. 

Joe: Lily White. One thing I hate most in the world is the duality of man. One of my favorite things is speaking out against it, often with sultry, provocative and critical commentary. Lily White wound up being one of the angriest examples of this on a personal level. Tracking that in the studio, building all that rage and spewing it out, then calming down for a brief but hard truth to then close out with even more rage… Cathartic. Plus, those chugs, tho.

What makes Sour Times unique? 

Ben: Defiantly political brutal music with a focus on the planet and our humanity. 

Joe: Definitely agree with Ben, but I’ll speak more on it from my perspective. I’ve realeased alot of material over the years, much of it metalcore but also lots of technical and progressive stuff too. While Sour Times is by all definitions metalcore, it’s the closest thing to a hardcore record I’ve ever done, and that was a huge part of the allure to begin with.

Any future plans you can already tell us something about? 

Ben: We are promoting the hell out of our new album The 11th Hour. Follow-up is not in production yet, but I foresee a productive future. 

Joe: Full album will be out on 5/14. Notthing else concrete yet unfortunately. 

Any upcoming gigs for Sour Times? Maybe coming to The Netherlands? 

Ben: Unfortunately, no. Would love to. 

Joe: Not yet, but hopefully this year depending on how reopening pans out. Would totally love to play The Netherlands, but don’t have any plans to unfortunately.

How do you think your life would be without music? 

Ben: Music has been a central part of my life since 8 years old. I honestly cannot fathom my life without it.

Joe: Music in general? I wouldn’t have much joi de vivre to be sure. Performing and creating? I can’t even fathom.

What advice would you give to young and starting bands? 

Ben: Persevere, there are many many many of us all fighting the same fight. Create for yourselves, have fun in that process, getting wrapped up in the selling yourself part of this industry can take its toll. Enjoy today and what you are creating, it will not last forever. 

Joe: Practice. Avoid pay for play shows. Instead of repeatedly rustling up money to cover ticket commitments, rustle up that loot to record music / create content, order merch, and otherwise build your brand. People forget that one sick show you played with A,B,C & D tour package where you played at 2PM to a handful of folks you already know… A record or single or music video release??? Those things hold much more water.

Thanks for your answers! Is there anything you want to say to DutchMetalManiac’s readers?

Both: Thanks for the opportunity to speak, and for the interest in our music. Please check out our Bandcamp for all of our releases!

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