Rock, Rock, Bâle-Ville
– It's what young colts dream of: being on the road, playing shows, living a musicians dream… sadly few actually have that opportunity. Sons of...Read Biography
It's what young colts dream of: being on the road, playing shows, living a musicians dream… sadly few actually have that opportunity. Sons of Morpheus do, but they know: It brings sweaty shows and fans lurking for autographs on the bright side. However dragging gear into a bus at 4am, drenched boxes of vinyl, broken or broken-into cars and corrupt custom-officers on the other side. It's both ups and downs but for Sons of Morpheus (maybe just for the sake of it?) a life worth living.
But back to square one: Before Sons of Morpheus were able to tour across Europe (f.e. with Karma to Burn and Kamchatka) and playing shows in 17 countries including USA, a simple feeling gave birth to everything: The need to crank up an amplifier and doing some good-shit rock music. Fuck the world!
And that's exactly what made singer/guitarist Manuel Bissig start conquering stages in Switzerland by the name of "Rozbub" (Swiss-German for "brat"). Everything followed the call, it was loud, nasty and raw - and immediately everyone could see, hear and feel: This "brat" knows exactly what he's doing. The volume of his amplifier related perfectly to the amount of skills he put in his playing: a lot.
Maybe it was that basic motivation that made him choose the classic form of a power-trio (guitar, bass, drums) to form his band. To get as much freedom as possible by concentrating all the energy in a most effective way. Raw riffs giving space to sprawling improvisation and interplay - paying respect to the icons of the golden era like The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream, as well as Nirvana in the 90's and present bands like Kadavar.
Feedback dropped in quickly, the fanbase grew and media dig'd it too. No surprise that 2013 released debut "S'esch ziit" climbed the Swiss iTunes-charts right away.
It would have been very comfy and relaxed to let the ball roll like that. But the comfort-zone is no place to be, and as the bands sound began to show its distillate, as riffs dropped heavier and the personal relations tightened, the band took its chance: Rozbub became Sons of Morpheus and the solo-project at first now deserved to be acknowledged officially the way it grew on stage and inside the band long before: Three equal members representing a sworn unity.
No rest for the wicked, further on to the USA: In no time Sons of Morpheus played shows in the rock-republic of California and recorded for two weeks in Tucson AZ with Producer Jim Waters (Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Sonic Youth, R.L. Burnside). That thriving spring in 2014 gave birth to new material and as a result a debut-album simply called "Sons of Morpheus" was about to be released. It turned out to be surprisingly heavy but nicely interconnected with tangible songs and joyful jams taking your mind away. That album lead the band out on many many miles in Europe and so 2015 was mostly "gigs" for SOM, both in punchy basement-clubs and big festival sceneries.
The band's call for the following year 2016 was clear: To go back to rehearsal, write new material and get it recorded… What they actually did too, but there was more: Sons of Morpheus are known to grab the bull by the horns and not sit idle as they had the chance to tour in US stoner-giants Karma to Burn's nightliner, doing a six-week tour by slamming 37 shows all over Europe. And by far that wasn't the only "bus-call" that year. Things could be way worse!
The question might come up, if there was going to be sufficient time for the artistic process of writing an album while spending so much time on axis. But listening to "Nemesis" gets all doubts smashed: In 2017 Sons of Morpheus appear even more on the spot, their sound is gloomier yet explosive. How come? For sure producer David Weber, legendary Montreux Jazz Festivals Coordinator, deserves a line or two here. Back in the days, he used to capture and helped to develop the dark and threatening sound of Switzerland's most exciting and profound export: The Young Gods. It seems that somehow some of it got stuck in that desk… Or maybe its just the world we live in that makes it sound like that.
"Nemesis" mesmerizes with the 70's exuberance and liberalism but bashes your head with the modern generation Y's shakiness and unsoundness. Always driven by - boy, and you'll hear that - the simple and basic instinct that brings three kids down to a basement to form a band: The all urgent need to crank up an amplifier, break a skin or two and make the building shake. And by doing so, for a few precious minutes, change the fucking world with it.