Pop punk five-piece Soup! are one of the most recent bands on the Manchester music scene, emerging in May 2021, with their first single release, ‘6=3’. Ahead of their appearance at Neighbourhood, we wanted to know how the last year has been treating the band…
Introduce yourselves! Where are you all from and how did your band form?
Matthew (guitar/vocals), Connor (guitar), and Ben (drummer) and we all grew up around South Manchester, Hayden (bass) and Rob (synth) are from Macclesfield but we all now live around South Manchester.
So the first three of us, (Matthew, Ben and Connor) have known each other since teenagers and have always been heavily into music. What started as going to gigs at any opportunity, evolved into some pretty rough and ready jam sessions in Ben’s bedroom covering the likes of Buzzcocks and The Stooges.
It wasn’t until we came back from university that we decided to formalise things and have a proper crack at making our own music.
Matthew and Hayden met working next door to each other, and again became friends after bonding over music. It wasn’t long until we invited Hayden to join the group on bass. And then the final addition was Rob, who we invited to play synth after he produced our first few singles.
Where did the name ‘Soup!’ come from?
The word “soup” was in a lyric of our first ever demo, around the time we were starting to think of names. We didn’t want to think too much about it and like a lot of bands with simple, one word names of inanimate objects; Magazine, Television etc.
Who are your main influences and how have they shaped the music you make today?
A mix of Orange Juice, Josef K, OMD, The Specials and Sandinista!-era Clash. We’re all heavily into all sorts of music really so nothing is off limits, but these have provided the most consistent reference for our sound.
I think that DIY music in general has influenced the way we approach writing and recording.
Josef K and their countless versions of the same song definitely made us realise the importance in finalising and believing in ideas, but not being afraid to let them evolve along the way. Especially when we were developing our sound, it was really important to be progressive and a bit brutal with ideas and to an extent, each other, if things weren’t going in the direction we wanted. I think being good mates gives you the privilege of telling someone you think the idea isn’t something worth pursuing without it being taken personally!
What’s the best gig you’ve played so far?
We recently played Bluedot’s Orbit Stage, that was a busy one and the biggest we’ve played so far.
The sheer scale of the operation in general was great to be a part of. Even being on a bill with the likes of Mogwai and Bjork, and to have the audience react so well to your set was a brilliant moment.
The gigs we’ve had the most fun at though are probably in the Pink Room or Basement at YES. There’s always a good crowd and the lineups are usually really well put together.
There does feel like there’s a bit of a community in the Manchester music scene at the moment. It’s why any local gigs are always good fun as you always tend to bump into other artists from around the area.
What does your songwriting process look like? Is it always the same?
It’s very rarely the same instrumentally, someone will bring a guitar / synth / bassline, we will work together to fit the other instruments around it, develop transitions and sections if it needs it and gradually put the tracks together. In terms of the lyrics, Matthew tends to develop melodies during rehearsal and then fill in the gaps with words at home or in the studio.
You’ve recently been added to the Neighbourhood lineup. Are you excited to play? Is there anyone else you’re looking forward to see?
We’re really excited to play, it’s always nice to play in Manchester and especially during a festival, to have fresh ears to play to and be part of such a big lineup is great.
We’re really looking forward to seeing Goa Express again, Idle Hours are also a favourite of ours, Everything Everything… yeah there’s quite a few.
Whats next for you guys, anything exciting in the pipeline?
We have a new single, ‘Daily Bread’, which just came out on August 23rd, we’re also heading on our first European jaunt on the 19th of October. We’ll be playing 2 shows at the Left of the Dial festival in Rotterdam and have some really exciting releases and bookings in the pipeline for later in the year.
Listen to Soup! here.