Who started the band, where and when?
Nick Hannon (NH): Me and Marlon started it all in 2001 in Faversham which is in Kent. Or at least that where the idea was sparked – the bands spiritual home is the Isle of Sheppey.
Who plays in the band now and what are they playing?
NH: As of now it still the same four of us; me on bass, Marlon on guitars, Blake on keys/synth and Stevie B on drums. It’s cool when bands have the same members but I don’t think that the original line up is always necessarily the classic line up. I think these four members will always have a degree of involvement (some more than others) but it’s becoming a lot less closed than it used to be now after working on a lot of collaborations.
Who has inspired you?
NH: Bands that put records that you can charter quite clearly as an evolution of their sound and simply just don’t care what they put on record. An eclectic album is much more exciting and engrossing. The Internet has really helped me be able to reach out to people to work with and create a much more dynamic sense of inspiration whereas pre-2000 it would’ve been impossible to get hold of some people/bands.
Why this name? And tell us the meaning of it.
NH: Me and Marlon (band founders) just wanted to really state that we were coming at things ‘from another place’ and that’s where the ‘Alpha Centauri’ kicked in being the next nearest star after our own sun. The sons is a play on ‘suns’ and also the fact that me and Marlon are best mates and have been since school. The band is pretty inwards looking both socially and musically so it’s kind of a family thing too.
Have you given out any album? If so, when and what’s the name of it?
NH: Yeah! After nearly 11 years the second SOAC album is dropping on the 1st June. It’s called ‘Continuum’ and has been mixed and engineered by Aaron Harris from a band called Palms – he was also in ‘ISIS’ too. He’s only produced two records this past year and this is one of them and his involved has really sparked our pursuit of a certain style for the album. It’s kind of ambient post instru-metal. People get hung up on labels and yeah sure no-one likes them but people also kind of need a sign post. The interludes are like Vangelis and Tangerine Dream blended in there and it’s quite 80s in that regard. There is some material that is quite refinied and Aaron was the perfect guy to work with for the album. It’s definitely a solid album for the band!
Have you played with some famous band?
NH: Not sure if they’re ‘famous’ but we love the bands that we have toured with: Karma to Burn, Brant Bjork, A Storm of Light, Yawning Man. Some of those bands we have developed some pretty serious side projects and collaborations with. Each one if a new opportunity to play different music with different and learn new ideas / techniques.
What’s the plans for the future?
NH: I personally spend like zero time doing social engagement, I’m not on Facebook or Twitter or anything and I spend a lot of my time trying to develop a cool aesthetic and musical vibe for SOAC.
Yawning Sons (Sons of Alpha Centauri side project with Yawning Man) has just released a split with Fatso Jetson for the DesertFest 2018 festival so that’s cool.
Eventually we’ll work up a solid UK/European tour too. Opportunities come and go and I’ve made things harder than they need to be by having like a limited edition vinyl of 20 copies available at a show or something instead of just turning up a smashing out 45 minutes but that’s just my background. I’d rather spend 2 days making 20 cassette tapes to sell to the first 20 people through the door of some random show than constantly on social media chatting shit.
You can grab a copy of the new Sons of Alpha Centauri album from H42 Records:
Interview with Nick Hannon (bass) and Marlon King (guitars) talk about the last 10 years since the debut – https://youtu.be/hkMgma8o0oo
Teaser Trailer 1 (45 seconds) – SOAC teaser trailer for Continuum. – https://youtu.be/cf4-nT1GRKc