INTERVIEW 54. the sorry shop

photo by Thiago Piccoli
The Sorry Shop is a bedroom project created in 2011 by Régis Garcia in Rio Grande, south of Brazil. Combining shoegaze with lo-fi and a bunch of references from the american alternative movement from the 90's filled with reberbs and distorted guitars.
His music is both a look from outside, from the distance but also a heartfelt experimentation that sounds urban and somehow chaotic, just like our modern lives.

Last year, 'Thank You Come Again' - an EP with 5 songs - was released and last month, his debut album - 'Bloody, Cozy, Fuzzy' came out.
Both can be found at Bandcamp for free download.

'About Kings and Queens I' is one of the best songs released last year.

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01. I understand The Sorry Shop is a one man project that has a few guests, is that right? How did it started? And why the name the Sorry Shop?
Well, considering the way the songs were recorded, you are absolutely right. In my opinion, it is quite difficult to handle the routine of a “real” band with a lot of people involved. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sociable person. But sometimes the different levels of understanding on a specific work might put in danger the final results of it. Anyway, when you come to the point of performing the songs it is important to find a nice crew to support the project on stage and studio as well. In the first album I was counting on Marcos Alaniz and Mônica Reguffe to help me with the vocals and I believe that they were an essential part of the work. So, as a consequence, I think that they are more like a part of the project than guests. I’m not sure about the next album, but I believe that the band (Luiz Espinelly, Rafael Rechia, Eduardo Custodio, Marcos Alaniz and Mônica Reguffe) will be recording their respective instruments and helping in the arrangements. This is not something we really discussed, but it is one of the possibilities and just one of the paths we might follow. 
About the name, I don’t think that there is a single explanation for “The Sorry Shop”. I like to think that it is an allegory that helps to paint a scene in which people are consuming music to feel sorry for something, to tell others they are sorry and, in a deeper analysis, to avoid getting in touch with humanity in a world of impersonality and consumerism in which feelings might turn into a product. Or maybe it is just a sounding name.

02. If your music was a planet or landscape how it'd look like?
Of course that it depends on the song, but normally it looks like a city in expansion. You can sit on the park and look around to find the different nuances of people, places and colors. You are there all by yourself surrounded by people who are basically walking through you. They are too worried with the rising of their empire that they end up being part of the grey landscape without noticing.

03. Last year you released a 5 track EP called 'Thank You Come Again',and yesterday you released your first full length 'Bloody, Fuzzy,Cozy'. How was the making of this albums? Do you record them at home? And now that is out, what are your expectations?
I work on The Sorry Shop music mainly as a catharsis. Normally, when you go to the studio to record your stuff (considering you’re not the owner of the place and you won’t have a plenty of time to do it all in your own time) you need to perform your music, previously rehearsed and arranged, running against time. Yes. “Thank You Come Again” and “Bloody, Fuzzy, Cozy” were recorded at home, using some recording gear I have here in my room. The process couldn’t be simpler, especially considering that most of takes were first-take-recordings. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and start to record the initial idea to a song. The day after I listen to the recording and I decide if I’m going to keep that track or not. Usually I keep all my initial ideas and recordings. It is a fun-fun-fun process, full of imperfections, which, in my opinion, are great for the context of the sound I’m trying to create. 
I always have I lot of expectations when I start a new project. But this time, with The Sorry Shop, I just want people to listen to something that it is made with passion and honesty. And believe me; this is not a hypocritical or demagogic statement. I would love to perform the songs live on stage and to release a lot of other songs with The Sorry Shop, but for now I’m good with the feeling of being actually recognized for something I did with my heart.  

04. Your music sounds very urban and I think that's because of your perspective and how you talk about things. A love song sounds like a love song but could also be talking about we as a society and the crazy ways we are living. Your music has a certain chaotic feeling - very present in our lives –  but there's always an idyllic imagery.
Take for instance About Kings and Queens I, my absolute favorite track of yours: it has a cemented atmosphere of big buildings, people running late and yet also paints a melancholic and filled of sorrow look on it, almost like a love and hate situation. Is that the case? What inspires you to write and create songs?
That’s an amazing question and it basically answers itself. You’re right, that’s exactly the case. My routine inspires me to write the songs (mainly to compose the instrumental part of the songs, because on the lyrics I always get a big hand from Marcos Alaniz) and, since I live in a port town in the southern edge of Brazil, the grey industrial atmosphere can be both inspiring and intimidating. It is, indeed, a love and hate situation in which you should get away from the place but you just can’t due to your deep and strong roots attached to that soil. On the other hand, when I look to the beautiful blue sky or to the infinite green ocean in here, I just can’t think of leaving this amazing place. Most of our love songs, for example, can be read as metaphors for all sorts of relationships we might think – the humans and their own self, a boy and a girl, a person and his or her place, a piece of land and its intrinsic relation to the soul of someone.
05. Both of your releases are available for free download. Why's that? Give us your view on the current state of music distribution and consumption.
I feel compelled to be very honest with you: one of the reasons I decided to make it free is because I thought that people wouldn’t buy my music. This is not the only (not even the main) reason, of course. I’m absolutely aware that this is a small project, with small proportions and it has just started to crawl out from the dark corners of my bedroom. But I can’t deny that it would be amazing to earn some money with that. Working with music isn’t cheap at all and it demands a lot of time. I think that people could be more supportive to the independent musical scenario in Brazil, especially the public, because the independent and alternative press, for example, seem to help a lot the musicians around here.
Also, I don’t believe that selling music is the best alternative for musicians to live from their work. I believe that the stage is the best option for those who want to earn good money with their music. I’m not sure on how the copyright policies work in the case of the labels and their musicians, but considering all the talking on the subject, I’m quite sure it is not very profitable unless you are Lady Gaga or something like that. 
We need also to consider the acquisitive power of the fans of alternative and independent music throughout the world and the amazing number of options they would have in case most artists decided that they should sell their music instead of making it evaluable for free. It would be very hard to decide what we were going to buy to listen. People would lose a lot of great music in benefit of a marketing policy that might be not that good for anyone.

06.You are from the Southest state of Brazil – also my home state –and for decades, the region is known for itsstrong and peculiar independent scene. Any bands – from the past or present - that we should know?
I think I can name some great bands from Rio Grande do Sul, especially from the present. Today there’s a very strong alternative music scene in Porto Alegre in which bands like Loomer, Medialunas, Badhoneys, and Lautmusik are the leading figures. There are also amazing projects like Cartolas, Wannabe Jalva, and Diego Lopes – and this last one is a must listen for Ben Folds fans. Some other bands such as Volantes, Apanhador Só, Pública and Pata de Elefante (one of my favorites) are conquering their space not only in Porto Alegre, but also in most of Brazilian territory. I’m not a big connoisseur of alternative bands from the past in Rio Grande do Sul, especially because I was born in a context in which the access to music was difficult and alternative music consisted in having B-sides from Gaúcho da Fronteira. Anyway, one of my favorite bands from Rio Grande do Sul up to nowadays is called Video Hits. It was a project from a guy called Diego Medina, a brilliant musician and songwriter. I don’t think many people around the world know Video Hits, so it might be a good idea to take a look on their music. Also, there is band called Garotos da Rua, a traditional rock and roll band. It would be impossible not to mention these guys since some of the members are from my hometown. In their context, I think that they were some sort of alternative music.

07. Perfect time and place to listen to The Sorry Shop.
On the bus with your headphones on, going anywhere in a sunny cold morning and looking through the window.

08.You have just released your debut album so maybe now it's not the best time to ask about the future... but what's next? I see some buzz and international blogs talking about your music. What do you think of it?
It is surprising for me that The Sorry Shop called the attention of the international blogs and even the Brazilian ones. I think I was lucky. I’m not trying to say the work is not good enough to call the attention around the world, but there are many other projects that are – at least – in the same situation as my project and sometimes we are just not lucky enough to find a nice person to say something kind about our music. I know it might sound a little neurotic of me, but I truly fear the imposition of my music to people. It is a recurrent question in my nightmares – “Do you listen to my music because you really like it or because someone told you to like it?”. Anyway, I try not thinking a lot about that. But I really care. Considering the future, I don’t know. I’m sure I’m gonna keep recording my songs and I hope to find some space on the stage with the band, but for now I just wanna enjoy the buzz and the good mood established with “Bloody, Fuzzy, Cozy”.

09. Anything else you feel like saying? 
No way! I think I said more than I should have! But thank you for the opportunity of having this conversation!

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