Sonus Does Lots of Talking on Music and the Plans Ahead!

One-man-project SONUS has been doing music for while now, releasing an EP, then an album followed soon after. The styling this project took was mix-up of heavy metal, hard rock, stoner, elemental type pretty much. The man behind it, does the talking about himself, his music, and what is planned next for this project of activity.

1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

So, I originally started Sönus as a one-man project. I had all these song ideas I *needed* to make after being creatively unfulfilled in a variety of other bands/projects I’d been in. Of course, just as I was feeling this overwhelming creative urge, Covid hit and all of a sudden, I had nothing but time on my hands. It was some very tragic serendipity. So, I started recording the songs I had been developing, and a few more that I came up with in short order, and spend hours and hours beginning to learn about mixing before eventually coming to the realization that I’d need a professional (a realization I’d encourage any band out there who might be on the fence to have). So, in a few months, the first album was done, and I drunkenly decided to release it on my birthday, after all, I didn’t think anyone would ever hear it and I just wanted to make music for music's sake and my own enjoyment. You can imagine my surprise and delight when all of a sudden it started getting picked up on radio stations and shows like Mickmaster's Space Rock Spectacular on Downtown Radio in Tucson, Arizona, and getting reviews from the likes of Joop Konraad of Stoner Hive and the Doomcharts. I was just some dude noodling around in his bedroom, and all of a sudden (in the words of Mr. Konraad) I was “a Doom Metal poet, a Space Rock prophet and a troubadour of despair.” So that kind of blew me away and I pretty much immediately started on the next one.

“Usurper of the Universe,” my/our latest album is one I’m very proud of. All I learned from the first album went into making this album so much better, and in addition to that, I was able to get some help from friends/ former collaborators Tyler Hovestadt and Eddie Salazar. With them, I was able to get live drums on the album (I had programmed the drums on “Worlds Undreamed Of,” as I am not a drummer, nor did I have a kit to record), and help with production. Just like with the first one, I got my girlfriend to lend me her beautiful voice on the closing track. Pretty quickly, the second album was finished and I sent it to be mixed and mastered by Simon Jameson of Black Art Audio, who did a fantastic job and really listened to what I wanted for the sound. Now I had a great album and this time, I was determined to get it out to more people. I submitted to a few different labels, and got a nice bit of interest, ultimately deciding to go with Forbidden Place Records to put out the album. Of course, release cycles take some time, so I set about assembling a live band. At this point I had accepted that there was no way in hell that I wasn’t going to give this a real try. I recruited my long-time best friend Colin Jaramillo on the drums, and soon found Bassist Dave Reno. We immediately clicked as a trio. Finally, on February 4th, “Usurper of the Universe” was released to a great critical response, really blowing me away when all of a sudden, I got to #8 in the February Doomcharts! Fast forward many months, and several guitarists later, and here we are, a fully assembled shit-kickin’ live band, just starting to play shows, with a 50-minute set ready to roll! 

2. What’s the origin of the band’s name?

I was reading an interview with one of my favorite authors, Michael Moorcock (whose works and ideas I’ve based a couple of my songs on). He mentioned a Sci-Fi literature fanzine he edited called Vox Stellarum (Latin for “voice of the stars”) and I thought that sounded cool, but didn’t necessarily believe my own vocal abilities at that time could live up to it, I changed it to Sönus Stellarum (“Sound of the Stars”), and added an umlaut over the O in tribute to Motörhead, and because it looks cool, haha. The problem was, saying it aloud with all of those “Ss” sounded awkward and my own mother couldn’t remember the Stellarum part, so I shortened it to just Sönus, and said the hell with it. I thought maybe 30 people might ever hear my music anyway, so what would the difference be?... Of course, gratefully, I was very wrong in that assumption (and now perhaps wish I had put more thought into the name, but what are you gonna do, at least it looks damn cool in the font)!

3. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

We are based from San Jose to San Francisco (and our new guitarist, Noah Guntharp, is currently in Sacramento), and oh hell yes, the bay area is full of amazing bands! From SF, The Spiral Electric and Older Sun. From San Jose, White Fuzzy Bloodbath. From Oakland, Mondo Drag. The list goes on and on! Hell, Metallica, Sleep, and High On Fire were all based here in the bay area at some point, as well as an endless scroll of psychedelic 60s and 70s bands, punk rock, and 80s thrash.  

4. How would you describe your style?

Sönus is a genre- blending space/stoner/psych/prog/heavy rock/metal band inspired by the mystical sounds of Hawkwind, Black Sabbath, Motörhead, Monster Magnet, The Stooges, Pink Floyd, and Captain Beyond (to name but a few). Mostly 70s-inspired heavy psychedelic rock and the earlier forms of heavy metal.

5. What have you released so far and what can someone expect from your works?

My first release was “Worlds Undreamed Of” a 5 track EP, on November 19th, 2020. This is a raw, somewhat rough release- after all, this is me learning how to make an album as I go. I stand by the songs though; if not the production. This album is an ode to the imagination, in particular, the books I was reading to escape the boredom of quarantine. There are songs about astral projection, Robert E. Howard’s only Conan novel, Michael Moorcock’s Eternal Champion, a tribute to rock legends and rock n roll in general, and the escape from an infuriating reality that dreams provide, not necessarily in that order. It’s heavy, psychedelic, proggy, and raw. 

On February 4th, 2022, “Usurper of the Universe” was released, and this one I’m incredibly happy with in all respects. It sounds full and rich, fuzzy and loud. It is not to be taken lightly what real drumming adds to a song. This album is a concept album/ reaction to the batshit insanity going on throughout the world, particularly in my home country. It’s about ego, megalomania, and the utter psychopathy inherent in those who lust for power and control. Starting the album, “Nuclear God” is about a maniac annihilating the world in a nuclear holocaust  as apathetic beaten down humanity looks on and tries to ignore it (sadly timely),following that is my most directly political song inspired by the madness of the covid times times, a heavy punk rock song, “Pay Me Your Mind.” Following that, “Usurper of the Universe” is about an ego- maniac killing the gods and claiming the throne and powers of the universe. “The Golden Path” is based on Dune, particularly Paul and Leto II’s “Golden Path” for humanity. I won’t spoil it here, but you can read the lyrics. “Amaranthine” is a soothing instrumental and one of my favorite compositions- I’m very proud of this one, I think it’s beautiful, and vague enough to attach your own meaning to, though for me, it evokes love, hope, and triumph over hardship. Finally, “Tanelorn” inspired by Michael Moorcock’s Eternal City of the same name sort of tells the story of the end of the Eternal Champion saga. Again, I won’t spoil it for you, but it’s in the lyrics; an epic, psychedelic, apocalyptic love song.

6. Do you have any new music in the works?

I have so many demos and fragments of ideas… Literally hundreds! What can I say, i’ve been recording riffs since I started playing guitar at 18! Currently we have about 4 solid ideas me and the band are working on.. Wait, actually 6, well, actually more like 10… So there will need to be some decision making about what stays on the next album and what waits for subsequent releases. Then it’s just refining them and turning the ideas into fully structured songs; the fun part! I’m very excited to finally be able to create and jam with a band for this next album! 

7. How about playing shows and touring, have anything planned out?

After many months of hard work and filling in our line-up, we have finally just started playing shows, and goddamn if it isn’t the most fun thing in the world! I’m addicted now; if I could, I’d have a show every weekend! Well, we’ll see about that now; we are actively trying to book shows and build up a local fan base, so this is our current priority.

8. What plans do you have for the future as a band?

Play a bunch of shows, build up a local fanbase, while continuing to build our international fanbase. I want to tour Europe so bad! Me, my girlfriend Jaymi, our drummer Colin, and our manager Jose have all worked and traveled around Europe as Archaeologists before Covid, and I can’t believe it’s already been 3 years since I’ve been back.

At some point I’d also want to remix, remaster, and partially re-record (mainly with real drums) “Worlds Undreamed Of” and perhaps release it together with “Usurper of the Universe” as a package… I’m thinking “Worlds Re-Conquered’ as the title. I don’t want to go full on George Lucas with it, but I definitely want it to sound more like I originally heard it in my head.

9. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

I did my digital distribution via Distrokid, so we’re streaming all over the place, whatever platform you like, we’re there! Of course, what really helps bands is buying albums and merch, and for that you can get CD, Cassette, and Digital versions of the albums at We also have shirts and patches available at To find us everywhere we are, here’s our super-convenient Link Tree:

10. What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?

One of my absolute favorite things about the kind of music I make (and the kind of music I grew up loving) is the marriage of music and visuals that the lyrics evoke. Heavy Rock/ Metal has always needed stories and lyrics that fit with the sound, so the realms of fantasy, horror, history, and science fiction (my favorite literary genres) have always been constant sources of inspiration. I hope that a listener will close their eyes, visualize the story that the lyrics are telling and groove to the music, and I hope they’ll remember not only the hooks in the music itself, but the visuals they imagined in their mind’s eye, and the feelings they can associate with each song as one would recall a book they’ve read.

Post a Comment

[facebook] [blogger]