Interview With Sophie Burrell
(Youtuber, Guitarist, ex-Saints of Sin)
Rockin’ Interviews: What made you pick up the guitar?
Sophie Burrell: “When I was 5 years old, I watched the movie “School Of Rock”. From that point onwards, I basically decided that I was gonna play guitar and that was going to be all I knew. Jack Black made me pick up the guitar.”
R.I. - You seem to have a wide range of musical influences. Who do you consider to be your main influence?
S.B. - “I’d say there are three main people who have influenced me the most: Myles Kennedy, Slash, and Mark Tremonti. All have influenced me for different reasons and different elements of each of them, but those have been my biggest influence.”
R.I. - What drew you to joining the YouTube guitar community?
S.B. - “To be honest, I’ve been playing guitar for quite a long time now and when I was growing up, I spent all my time playing guitar, I wasn’t popular in school and I didn’t have many friends. All the weekends and after school, I would spend all of my time learning guitar solos and playing songs. I thought I should start uploading videos of it. I think I was 14 when I uploaded my first Youtube video. In recent times, I have been trying to keep that platform super busy. I just thought that I should show people all the time I put into playing guitar. I was watching all the different guitarist youtubers do their thing and I felt inspired.”
R.I - How do you feel YouTube has affected your career?
S.B. - “I think it’s done a good thing for my career. But actually, Instagram is where I’m most active and that’s where I have my most of my interactions. It has opened up a lot of opportunities for me and I met a lot of people I never would’ve met if I didn’t make videos for Youtube or Instagram. It has allowed me to build up some sort of audience to show my stuff to, which is really, really cool. It’s a big part of my life at this point.”
R.I. - How did you end up collaborating with Jared Dines for Shred Wars?
S.B. - “We’ve been following each other for awhile, but I knew of Jared long before he knew of me, I have been watching his videos since I was maybe 12 years old. He followed back and a year later he asked me to come on Shred Wars for a guitar battle and I said, ‘yeah ok, that sounds really cool’. He just popped the question and we arranged it. He sent me the backing track and I just laid down some solos on it and that was it.”
R.I. - What have you found to be your favorite band to cover songs from?
S.B. - “I have two main bands, relatable to my influences, Mark Tremonti (Alter Bridge and Tremonti) and Slash’s solos, whether their Guns ‘N Roses or Slash’s solo band. Probably because they have been such a big influence on me, I just get a big kick out of learning their solos. It really resonates with me. It does wonders for my guitar playing, I’ve spent a lot of time learning many of their songs. So definitely those guys.”
R.I - You spend a lot of time teaching guitar lessons. What do you find to be your favorite part of that?
S.B. - “You know what, the thing I like most is seeing other people notice the improvement and progression. Nothing beats watching someone finally be able to play something they’ve been working really hard at for a long time. That enjoyment and that level of satisfaction is something you can’t beat. It’s very rewarding.”
R.I. - Now that you’ve left Saints of Sin, do you plan on releasing a solo album at some point?
S.B. - “Yeah. I’m in the early stages of writing at the moment. There are a few different projects I’m working on, I’ll hopefully be releasing music in the future.”
R.I. - I know you’ve mentioned that you want to be in a touring band, is that something you still want for yourself?
S.B. - “Absolutely. I have a few different goals in my life and if I only end up doing one of them, that’s fine. I’ve already conquered one of them which was to be completely self-employed as a guitar teacher. That is already a cool thing at 20 years old and I’m really happy with it, I love teaching. But then it would be to make it in a band, my own band of originals. My other would be to tour as a session guitarist.”
R.I. - Do you miss playing live shows?
S.B. - “Yes, absolutely. I definitely miss it. The time out has been kind of nice because it’s given me time to figure out what I actually want to do. For the last 3 years, I was playing shows every single weekend pretty much and it gets very tiring after a while without a break. I hadn’t had time to think about what I really wanted to do. But I really miss live shows because that is probably my favorite part of everything. I think the breaky was necessary, I think it’s been good for me.
R.I. - If you could be born in any decade what decade would you want to be born in?
S.B. - “Interesting. That’s kind of hard to say. I really would’ve like to have been born when my parents were born: late ‘60s because you’re growing up through the ‘70s and ‘80s when all the music I love was super hot, it was mainstream then. But at the same time, being born now, I am kind of far from a sheep. I don’t follow the crowd. I like being around now too because it’s different, I’m not like everyone else. But it still would’ve been cool to have grown up with all those kickass bands.”
R.I. - What is your favorite guitar you own?
S.B. - “Probably this one [motions to PRS guitar]. There’s a very special back-story to this guitar, someone actually gifted it to me. So that meant a lot to me and it came along at a time in my life where it really affected me. I found that with every guitar I’ve gotten, it changes my playing for the better. It’s a really high quality instrument, I still wouldn’t be able to afford one of these babies on my own, so the fact that it was given to me is unreal. It is absolutely stunning. So I would choose my PRS.”
R.I. - Is that what made you get the PRS fret markings tattooed on yourself?
S.B. - “Yeah. I got the guitar and then turned 18 and got the tattoo. One of my earlier guitars was an SE which is PRS’ younger brand like Fender and Squier and since that point, I’ve been fascinated with PRS guitars. And obviously with Mark Tremonti and Myles Kennedy being my biggest influences, they also play them. When I finally got one myself, it sealed the deal for me.”
R.I. - What’s your favorite horror movie?
S.B. - “It’s difficult to choose, I love horror. I like anything paranormal. It’s hard to choose. The Conjuring movies: Annabelle, Conjuring, The Nun. I love anything in that whole series. They always scare me to death in the cinema but I love it.”
R.I. - Outside of music, what do you enjoy doing?
S.B. - “Stroking my cats and going to the gym.”
R.I. - Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
S.B. - “I’m not sure! I’d love to be living the touring dream by then, but that only puts me at 25, which is still super young. For certain, I’d like to be in a band, playing live and have some new music out!”