Sound & the Fury is a rock/alternative/country group from Gig Harbor that have touched the hearts of the Tacoma community. The band’s music questions the purpose of life and faith through one of a kind lyrics and a powerful melody. I spoke with songwriter, vocalist, and lead guitarist of the group, Walker Sherman, who discussed the band’s history, where he finds inspiration, his songwriting process, and what’s next.
In 2013, band members Walker Sherman, Tom Bailey (bass), Brian Jack (lead guitar), and Neil Colombini (drums) all met through their church in Gig Harbor called Believers Fellowship. With a shared faith and a love of music, they eventually formed a band called Sound & the Fury. The name was taken from a passage in Shakespeare’s famous play Macbeth (Act V, Scene V) where he says, “Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury and fury signifying nothing.” This passage expresses Shakespeare’s well-known theme of the fool that always ends up being the winner.
Sherman explains that the band started out addressing his own personal doubts and struggles. His wife’s miscarriage and other traumatizing experiences led him to angry thoughts about his faith. One of his biggest concerns is that he didn’t want to be involved in God’s plan if that plan involves the grief of losing a child.
This frustration lead to their 2015 debut album The Contender where he sings about suffering and evil, life’s meaning, and the fight against God.
While finding the theme of the album was easy, finding their sound involved a lot of experimentation, with a number of genres. While Sherman grew up on classic rock and country, Bailey and Colombini listened to a lot of hip hop and Jack was heavily influenced by Tom Petty and folk music. There was also the contrasting styles of aggressive bass player Bailey versus Colombini’s clean blues based guitar style. The result of all these different musical influences was a mash of alternative rock and country twang with a bluesy guitar. Sherman says, “It was cool seeing them come to life when each member of the band added their own thing to it.”
In April 2015, the band decided to make their first album live, playing an in-studio session at Sound West Studios in Tacoma. This recording was videotaped for Mountain House TV: a YouTube channel that focuses on live performances from bands in the Pacific Northwest. Sherman states, “What we really wanted to do was try and capture the experience of just hanging out in the garage playing some music, have a couple of beers, doing life together.” The Contender was released on Jan. 16th, 2015.
One of their most dark and melodic songs is “I am.” It is a song about abandonment and shaking at the heavens with rage because the world isn’t the place that Sherman wanted it to be.
“Everytime I Breath” was inspired by a Bible verse that says, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:44). Sherman says, “I think the song was trying to say, I can feel you pulling me close to you but I don’t really know how I feel about that.” The energetic guitar riffs make it one of their heaviest rock songs on the album.
Sherman says the creation of The Contender gave him a new and profound realization about his faith. Sherman says, “It started out writing these songs feeling like there is this fight with the god. Then as I started to work through these songs, work through conversations with my friends, it felt more like instead of me fighting against the god he was fighting for me, letting me know he understood my frustration and that it was okay to air the frustration because that’s what good friends really do.”
While most of the band’s songs focus on a deeper meaning, “Tennessee” is a light hearted song about honoring where they are from. This song brings back the Southern Rock sound of Lynyrd Skynyrd when they sing, “I cut my teeth on Tennessee, playing in a rock and roll band.” This is a catchy song that anyone can appreciate, even if you’ve never been out of the Northwest.
Despite the band being from Gig Harbor, Sound & the Fury have played a variety of venues in Tacoma. On Jan. 14th, the band played at Half Pint Pizza Pub and two days later they performed at the Whiskey Gulch in Port Orchard. Sherman informs his fans that they are making a continuous effort to play in Tacoma and that they will be hearing new music from them very soon.
In six months, Sound & the Fury are planning to release a heavier grunge sound in their second album. Also, the band is changing their name to “Sound & Fury.”
Walker concludes, “It’s okay to doubt and it’s okay to question. You don’t have to be afraid or be ashamed.” Sound & the Furry reveals questioning and angry thoughts that everyone faces in their lifetime. Despite their songs focusing on faith, they are not considered a Christian band. The band’s music is relatable to the masses because whether you are religious or not, everyone has questioned the purpose and the meaning of life.
If you want to hear a variety of genres such as rock, alternative, country, and blues, then you should check out this band.