Formed after Alexx Calise and Dennis Morehouse worked together on a feature film soundtrack and decided they needed to do more, Sound of Cancer are a self-described “darkadelic” art rock duo incorporating elaborate choral harmonies with ominous soundscapes and deeply introspective lyrics.
Tell us a bit about your sound and your influences, Alexx.
Sound of Cancer is definitely an art rock band. Our first record, No Vampires in Gilroy, was a concept record about the demise of the human spirit. We’re heavily influenced by bands like Electric Light Orchestra, Pink Floyd, Nine Inch Nails, Massive Attack and The Cure. SOC definitely has a very ethereal and ominous tone, which we jokingly refer to as darkadelic. The lyrics are extraordinarily introspective, and maybe even a little self-loathing at times.
How have you evolved as a band over the years?
We’ve evolved tremendously, I think. Dennis and I are best friends, and have been playing and writing together for over eight years. You can only get better when you have that much interaction and that kind of musical chemistry. We used to write separately when it came to Sound of Cancer, because the writing side has always been ultra-personal to both of us. Dennis would usually write and arrange the music, he’d give it to me to afterwards, and I’d write the lyrics and melodies. Now, since we’ve been doing a lot of music writing for licensing purposes, we’ve been a little more collaborative when it comes to the music and lyric/melody writing. We’re both so strong willed and we didn’t know we could do it in that fashion. It’s been quite fun bouncing ideas off of each other from the ground level.
Were there any alternative band names before you arrived at this one?
Sound of Cancer was actually the first and only band name we ever came up with. Cancer is our zodiac sign, so we figured it was perfect.
What are you up to at the moment artistically?
Dennis and I are currently working on a covers EP, and preparing to play live. SOC has always been a studio band actually, so we’re finally bringing it on the road. We’ll also be releasing our first new single in over five years, which is a cover of Sneaker Pimps’ 6 Underground. We will be releasing an official video for it on 31 October. Dennis and I have also been doing a lot of writing for my solo project as well, so I’ll be releasing a new single for that, likely in November.
How do you stand out from the crowd in a saturated industry?
I think we stand out because we have absolutely no problem being ourselves, and we have no shame. The music video that we’re releasing in October will show just that (I wish I could elaborate more, but I’d hate to spoil the surprise). And, most importantly, the music is good. We play from the heart, and we emote with every fibre of our being. That speaks volumes.
What’s on your rider?
Definitely a bowl of cash and several cute kittens.
Tell us about your worst live show.
Well, since SOC hasn’t performed live yet (we’ve just had a bunch of music licensed to film and TV), I hope it’s not our first show, ha ha! In all seriousness though, my worst live show had to have been with my solo project a few years ago. I threw my hair back during a rockin’ section and I got it caught in my other guitar player’s tuning keys. As I was trying to free my hair, it ended up completely de-tuning his guitar and the rest of the song ended up sounding like absolute garbage. However, we powered through it and finished the song, being the “consummate professionals” that we are, ha ha.