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King Of The Curb. Great Things. I Can’t Imagine The World Without Me. Dark Therapy. In the days of indie ruling the roost in the UK, and the likes of Sleeper, Lush, Elastica and Echobelly regularly gracing the charts and capturing the hearts of teens all over the country, these sing along classics were everywhere. But since those heady days of the early 90’s, Sonya Maden and her songwriting partner Glenn have continued to write, and their sixth album, their first in several years is just about to come out. A slice of Americana-tinged rock, this ain’t no Britpop. Regrouped, reinvigorated and returning to the live scene and the studio, Echobelly are coming to Open to play all their best stuff and a few new tracks. I spoke to Sonya about what female popstars wear these days, how Oasis took all their glory and how she’s feeling about Echobelly’s return.


“It’s not Britpop by any means – it never was.”


F


aces In Te Mirror from the new album is about your dad’s opinion of your life. I know you


grew up in quite a strict household. What did your parents think of you taking up a career in music when you started off, and to what extent do you think your choice of career was a reaction to your childhood? I wouldn’t say it was a reaction to my childhood because I’ve always been fascinated by words. I didn’t plan to do this, I fell into it by accident, and it was a case of meeting the right people at the right time and thinking that I might enjoy it. Tere wasn’t great


approval from my family! Tere still isn’t I’m afraid, ha ha! I think they’re still waiting for me to settle down! During your early Echobelly career you went through serious illness, legal disputes, and people leaving the band. What was the most difficult problem you had to negotiate? I suppose there’s always going to be problems, that’s just part of rock no roll, but the biggest problem was that we didn’t get the backing we should have got. We came out at the same time and on the same label as Oasis. We were both on independent labels but they were actually both funded by Sony – it


16 / MAY 2017 / OUTLINEONLINE.CO.UK


was a front. Sony put all their money behind Oasis and really pushed them and just ignored us. I remember in American there was a buzz for Oasis and a buzz for Echobelly, and in France when we toured together we got a better reaction than they did. I could just see that the label was ignoring us, and putting all their funds and energy into Oasis. I mean that’s great for them, and I’m really happy for them but it was incredibly frustrating to feel left behind, knowing you could achieve more if you have the right backing. How have you found the music industry has changed


since the early 90’s, particularly in terms of how it treats women? I’m not sure if it’s something to do with getting older, but when I do watch music channels everything with regard to women seems to be almost soft porn in terms of what women themselves are promoting quite happily. I find it a little bit sick. Everyone has the right to do what they want but at the same time I feel a little sense of discomfort because it seems to have gone backwards and it’s almost like women are a willing part of that. Every video is what I would consider to be prostitute clothes and it’s


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