Local Wire

Sorrower Grind on for a Decade

Sorrower rockin' Yucca Tap Room in October 2019.
Sorrower rockin' Yucca Tap Room in October 2019. Dave Callaway

Bands come and go.

Most never even get past that first gig — or even past the first jam session. So when an excellent band like Sorrower announce a 10th-anniversary show, it’s something to celebrate.

You may be wondering: “What exactly is a band like Sorrower?” Words like brutal, heavy, and fast come to mind. Or perhaps: “Sorrower are a group of fucking awesome, killer dudes, and hanging out with them is not a terrible way to spend a Sunday afternoon, especially over a few beers while talking about a decade of being a band.”

The core of the group — bassist/singer Tim Callaway, drummer Josh Bodnar, and guitarist Billy Jacoby — have been there since the beginning. Originally, there was a lead singer, Adam Senter, for the first three years, and now there is a second guitarist, Will Solares. But to keep the nucleus of a band together is particularly impressive in the sometimes-volatile world of death metal and grindcore that Sorrower exist within.

After multiple releases, tours, and some pretty impressive festival appearances like Maryland Death Fest and Southwest Death Fest, the band are not only seasoned but also very accomplished and comfortable with each other. They showed a fun side of themselves that belies the violence of their sound.

“I never thought we would make 10 years,” says Jacoby with a bit of smirk for his longtime bandmates. “We had a rocky start, and the vocalist left us early on. It just doesn’t seem like grind bands last that long, especially here in the Valley. I’d been in punk bands early on, and I didn’t know if it was a longtime fit for me.”

Callaway, who is affectionately known to some as “The Colonel,” took over on vocals when Senter left. Eight years later, it was obviously addition by subtraction.

“We had talked about getting another vocalist if they played guitar,” says Callaway, who has a very calming presence for someone who can scream and yell with the best of them. “We talked about adding a second guitar early on. I was already writing a lot of the lyrics, so it was a smooth transition … a natural progression, really.”

For Solares, who joined in summer 2019, it does not seem strange at all to be celebrating the 10th anniversary.
“It’s like being a kid joining into a marriage,” says Solares as the rest of the band laughs. “I’m like the 10-year-old son. I’ve known these guys for a long time. They’re just my dads now.”

Bodnar, who has a wicked sense of humor, chimes in here on cue: “We’re like a really abusive stepdad. It’s not a good dad situation for him. But seriously, it had to be the right dude, and Will is the right guy.”

In short, the fact that Sorrower are marking their 10th anniversary as a band with a stacked lineup show (Lago, Dead History, Reason Unknown, and Kuskurza are joining them) is a very cool thing. If you like a dark, tooth-rattling punch in the face in your music, you’re in luck, because with Sorrower, that’s bound to happen.

Sorrower are scheduled to perform on Saturday, February 8, at Yucca Tap Room in Tempe. Admission is free.
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Tom Reardon has written for Phoenix New Times since 2013. He's been in several notable bands over the last 25 years including Hillbilly Devilspeak, North Side Kings, and the Father Figures.
Contact: Tom Reardon