Motor Away: An Interview With Brett Sova of Axis: Sova

A couple of hours from now, Brett Sova will be hosting a bassist in his place.  The musician has been invited by Sova to come over and try out to land a spot on the psych rock group Axis: Sova.  According to Sova, there has been a “carousel” of bassists within the group over the past year or so.  With today’s scheduled practice, Sova is optimistic that the bassist and he will gel together effortlessly.  “I’ve heard some of the stuff that he does and it sounds cool.” Sova says.  “I (asked) him what he’s favorite Stooges album and he said, ‘Well to answer thoughtfully…’, so that to me-you are welcome to audition (laughs).”
Growing up in Columbus, Sova moved to Chicago when he began attending DePaul University.  He strived to go somewhere else that things were transpiring; Chicago seemed to make the most sense in part due to his Midwestern roots and the opportunities that the city could offer him.  Sova offered up that he has been looking towards moving to the West Coast at some point.  One of the main driving forces towards venturing out to the region is in part due to his family being there.  A plan needs to be put into place first for Sova; the idea of just picking up and moving doesn’t really appeal to him.  So for now, Chicago is home; the admiration for Ohio has never left him.  “It’s still embedded in the DNA,” Sova states.

Obtaining the moniker from a fascination of Jimi Hendrix’s Axis: Bold as Love, Axis: Sova started off as a solo project.  Sova was offered to perform the opening slot at the show that was headlined by the reuniting indie rock group Mantis.  With his band Mass Shivers ending their run, the set couldn’t have come at a better time.  The solo show was a success; Sova performed a fuzzed out, psychedelic that drew quite the audience.  Sova unsuccessfully tried to get the members of Mass Shivers to accompany him at another show a few months later.  When his band mates couldn’t make it, Axis: Sova performed instead, ultimately ending Mass Shivers.
Two albums and a handful of singles have been released under Axis: Sova.  Primarily recorded solo, Sova relied mostly on a drum machine and effects pedals.  With Axis: Sova’s latest Motor Earth (released in the middle of October via God? Records), Sove pushed to make the album strictly a band album. “I made a concerted effort to turn Axis: Sova into a band and go away from the one man show type thing.  I wanted to document that,” Sova says.  “It came out to be the most powerful record that I’ve been a part of yet.”
Recording with longtime collaborator Tim Kaiser on guitar, Bitchin’ Bajas’ own Cooper Crain engineered Motor Earth and also added some auxiliary percussion to some of the tracks.  Sova relinquished a lot of the workload; his band mates the freedom to have input and write their own parts to the songs.  At times, Sova admitted that he had some difficulty not being in complete control, but it was also a blessing.  “It came down to being able to verbalize things,” Sova said.
The future of Axis: Sova is now starting to become a little clearer.  Sova mentioned that there’s still the capability to have the project be just a one man band.  However, the recording of Motor Earth changed the landscape.  “The exciting for me is that it feels it’s alive and moving.  It can expand and contracts.  It can morph and change shapes,” Sova says.  “That to me…it’s less easily defined.  When you say Axis: Sova, it’s meant different things at different times.  I hope that it continues to do that for as long as it’s happening.”
(To visit Axis: Sova: