Alternative rockers Society of Beggars describe their musical exploits as a “life sentence of rock’n’roll” and their intoxicating brew of rolling riffs and thunderous rhythms and soaring melodies will have you hooked.
The Melbourne, Australia quartet recently released God Mode, the first single from their upcoming debut album Levitator. It opens up with light repeating piano, which is soon joined by drums and guitar chords before the engaging vocals of Yianni Michalopous join over the top.
Cool faster vocals “I don’t believe in any of this, I can’t run from any of this, Yeah right” take over then drop into a big singalong chorus of drawn-out vocals. A second chorus gives way to a cool little guitar solo supported by wailed backing vocals that add a big atmosphere to the track.
Check out this superb new track in the video below:
We chatted to frontman Yianni Michalopoulos to find out more about the band. Read on below…
GR: Who are Society of Beggars? And where are you from?
YM: “We’re an Alternative Rock N’ Roll band based in Melbourne, Australia with myself on vocals, my brother Jim on guitar, Nicoli on bass and Dibi on Drums.
GR: What’s the backstory, how did you get together?
YM: “My brother and I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, in a house that was really music-obsessed, creative and super loud. Always loud. Our dad was in an eighties band Vertical Hold, who had some success, but then, sort of, broke up before their time.
“So for us it was kind of like ‘Yeah, this is normal right? Most dads are like this right? They’ve all got video clips of themselves on TV in shiny suits with shoulder pads yeah?’
“With Dibi, we met when we were all still in high school. He had come from a similarly sort of loud, music-orientated family so we knew if we were going to start a band, he would have to be a part of it. I’m not sure that we ever even officially asked him to join. Nicoli, we had known from back when we were playing in Adelaide, she had played bass with another band called C.O.K.E. She joined in 2016 and as everything had just started to click, that same year, our dad passed away.
After that, we kind of let go of everything, stopped giving a fuck about outside stuff, exiled ourselves and came up with all this new material.”
GR: You just released God Mode. What should people be expecting from the song? And what influenced you to write it?
YM: “The reaction so far has been really cool. Seeing this thing that we’ve nurtured and worked on in isolation then go out to people that are getting into it has been the biggest buzz. As far as what to expect from the song, it’s kind of our natural gut reaction to what has happened to us. We were never going to react to any of it through any other means than music. Hopefully we’ve made something loud and beautiful and in-your-face.”
“Lyrically, I liked the idea of writing something around the concept of power and the loss of it. Grief can create this ecstatic, manic energy that makes you feel almost invincible. It’s as if you say to yourself ‘If something this fucked up can happen to me then nothing else will ever touch me again, right? I won’t have to deal.’ But then the other side, kind of, starts creeping in.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
“To be honest, I kind of suck at describing our sound, outside of it being Rock N’ Roll. Someone once told me we sound like The Cult and I’ve been listening to them a lot lately. So I’ll just say we sound a bit like The Cult.”
GR: What influences you to write music?
YM: “Mainly other people’s music. It’s something we respect with a level of admiration and awe, that we, frankly, don’t show to too much else. Especially artists that deliver something deep and beautiful from their pain and experience. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, IDLES, Gojira, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and here in Australia, Jack River. They have all built these musical monuments to their loved ones that have been massively influential to us.”
GR: Any key themes or topics that you write about?
YM: “Satan and Burt Bacharach. Inside us all.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
YM: “Kurt Cobain because he gave voice to something that we can all feel inside but sometimes struggle to identify in ourselves. John Lennon because of what he could do with melody and his ability to ultimately find peace and my dad because he was a real sweetheart.”
GR: What have you got coming up through the rest of 2019 and into 2020? New music, new gigs, recording etc…?
YM: “We just completed our tour here in Australia to promote God Mode in November, which was a very powerful, rewarding and hectic experience. So, I think, absorbing all that energy, from the crowds and from people around us, sort of, giving us love, boosts our ability to go back into the studio and complete our new album with as much wind behind our backs as possible. So that is what we are going to do in 2020.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
YM: “Just thanks for taking the time to chat and we’ll hopefully see you over in the UK soon. Bing Crosby sang ‘When skies are cloudy and grey, they’re only grey for a day, so wrap your troubles in dreams and dream your troubles away.’ It came on my shuffle this morning.”