The Sons of Sounds Carry On The Metal Tradition
By Justin Smulison
The Sons of Sounds are a quartet based in Germany that can seamlessly walk the line between heavy rock and classic metal. The band is comprised of three Beselt brothers – Wayne (guitar), Roman (vocals) and ‘H’ (drums) – and bassist Marc Maurer.
Their fourth and newest LP, Soundphonia, was released in late 2021 by El Puerto Records and marks their first as a quartet. The album is an exercise in raw, anthemic hard rock with an emphasis on crisp production quality. And it is quite an achievement in its own right, having been released just a year after Soundsphaera, which dropped just as the pandemic was shutting everything down.
The band has been together for several years and have been mainstays in their local and underground scenes. Perseverance is paying off, as Sons of Sounds were tapped to support iconic singer Geoff Tate during a European tour that begins March 9th in Rome, Italy.
I caught up with six-stringer Wayne Beselt to discuss this pivotal moment in the history of Sons of Sounds.
An Interview with Sons of Sounds Guitarist Wayne Beselt
SOS have been going for over 15 years now. Three of you are brothers and your parent(s) are musicians. How did you all gravitate toward rock and metal?
Well, Roman and I did it the classical Russian way, starting with violin and piano at an early age. Our father bought a Fender Precision Bass when we visited relatives in the U.S. when Roman was about 13 and I think that was his ticket to enter the Rock’n’Roll train.
Almost same happened to me about seven years later, always listening to Roman’s metal CDs in his room, my mum bought me my first guitar when I was about 12 and I started playing rock pretty quick. By the way, I think that Hard Rock and Metal is not the opposite or something really different than the classic stuff we did before musically – we still use the harmonies, songwriting techniques and feelings. It’s a great evolution.
Our younger brother, H was more into sports and having fun outside, understandable if you imagine him listening to our violin and piano playing his whole childhood. He didn’t have the desire to go through the same pain – haha! He actually started to play drums when we founded the band and took the fast track to catch up with his older brothers.
Marc Maurer’s parents also are musicians and music lovers! His dad was singer in some great rock bands in the 80s here in southwestern Germany. So he was the one that already started with the heavy stuff as a child.
How long had you personally been performing in your local and underground metal scene, and what type of music did you play?
Sons of Sounds kind of still perform in our local scene. We wrote our first song in the first rehearsal and played only our own music for years. The only exceptions were some weddings of friends to fulfill some wishes.
I started my first bands a couple years before Sons of Sounds with Marc Maurer on the drums. It was always us two, often he was also singing while playing the drums. The other members around us changed. Then we founded SoS with the brothers and Marc founded Demorian with his own brother and we parted ways musically for about 13 years, and now the lost son came back home and joined us.
When did Sons of Sounds first emerge in the local and underground metal scene? Did the audiences change along with your sound? And were you able to share the stages with the same bands you first performed alongside?
Our first show ever was a band contest in April 2007 in a theater classroom in school and we won.
The second show was like the following main band contest, two weeks later in front of 1,500 people outside and we won again and then pretty fast became this new brother-band that was suddenly and finally there, after Roman played in many other bands before.
Our fan base grew and we’re glad that many of them still are with us after this long time and became friends or even more like family. Of course there are always people that [prefer the earlier albums], but that’s OK. We don’t like being stuck, we like to evolve, get better, take a turn, whatever, it’s pretty simple. Unfortunately there’s no other band left beside us from the local scene where we started from. Some of them lasted almost 10 years, but no one made it to 15, like we will have our live gig anniversary in April 2022.
Do you stay connected to the local and underground scene with your studio/music school?
That’s funny because in the studio I’m recording a really long double-CD with a guy who plays really nice Irish-folk pirate-ish music. Besides that, it’s for example punk recordings with a guitar student of mine or I record commissioned stuff for other bands or artists.
To connect with our local scene we opened our very own club and live venue, SOUNDCHECK ONE back in 2010/2011 where we invite local and also international bands (such as Paul Di’Anno, Blaze Bailey, Sister Sin) and have great hard ‘n’ heavy nights, it’s just five minutes away from our home.
Tell us a bit about Soundphonia. How would you characterize its sound?
Soundphonia is way more straight to your heart without much detour. Focused on melodies, reduction of ‘ego,’ like lots of guitar solos and crazy drum fills. It’s really about the songs and the feelings.
The themes explore your inner depression and demons (“The Dark”), to heartache (“Here I Am,” “Streetmutt”), your own burial (“Flowers On My Grave”) or historical events (“Wolfskind”). It’s a journey with dark themes but always love and hope in the end somehow.
How does it differ or mark a progression from Soundsphaera?
Soundsphaera [featured] less and longer songs, more complicated structures and more specific kind of arrangements. I still love the album, but it’s not that easy to ‘digest’ for someone how doesn’t know us yet, comparing to Soundphonia.
You had previously been a trio, with Roman on bass & guitar. What led to adding a fourth player? How did it change (or improve) the dynamic of the band?
Roman has thought and dreamed about being more active on stage as a performer and frontman for longer time, but never really forced to find a bassist. And then in October 2020, we did a special funny Ozzy Osbourne cover show as SoS and Marc Maurer was the bass player. After Roman saw the footage of the show some days later he came to me and kindly asked if I could imagine Marc joining SoS, I agreed, H agreed and so it happened. Now we can sing with three harmony voices and Roman’s live performance improved about 100%! It’s like four strong men do the work of three men before, everyone is way more relaxed but effective and the connection was instantly there, I felt like we had this band before SoS again when me and Marc Maurer were 13!
You will soon be touring part of Europe in support of Geoff Tate. You will also be touring with Darker Half, another incredible band from Australia. What do you do to prepare — physically and mentally — for what will likely bring you huge exposure?
We’re glad we have our own club and since we don’t do events there in the last weeks due to the Covid pandemic, we use the stage and rehearse at least two times a week, setting the timer alarm clock and play the tour – setlist just like there’s a real crowd! Including performance, talking to the audience etc., we even record it sometimes and analyze the footage later, then talk about it and improve our performance. Physically we all do sports, I at least go to the gym twice a week because I love food and eating, so I can compensate at least a bit and stay in shape for the tour.
You have been working with El Puerto Records. What attracted you to working with the label and how has your experience been with them?
They were on some shows of us, but we didn’t notice and then other bands recommended us working with these nice guys, I wrote them a message and they we’re liking waiting for us to knock on their door already haha! Bernd, Todde, Matt & Fränky really are giving their best!
Wayne, is there anything you would like to say to any longtime or new SoS fans?
Thank you SoS family for your patience, for reading our stuff, for listening our music and integrating us in your life. That’s the biggest compliment and achievement we can dream about.
**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre.**