THE PLEASURE ROUTINE – Track by Track Guide to Debut Album SUGAR MOUNTAIN…

After three intriguing singles Oakland (CA) sextet THE PLEASURE ROUTINE just released their debut album SUGAR MOUNTAIN. A highly moody body of work dealing with the never-ending struggle of/for life, broken relationships, human tragedies and the hopeful yearning
for better times. They express and intensify these mixed emotions sonically with a raw, sixties drenched, psychedelic sound and an ongoing gripping interaction of two striking voices (chief songwriter & guitarist Kevin Sofsrud and singer Lauren Kopp)…

PR1 - kopie
Imagine 60s femme fatale Grace Slick and a young, twisted Nick Cave mind singing Murder Ballads, stripped to the bone. Produced by Ricky Maymi, versatile instrumentalist and co-founder of The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Greg Ashley (from former psych rockers
The Gris Gris) the final result is fiery and inflammable, reflective and haunting. Not exactly a pleasure trip, rather an arduous search for a liberating way to canalise the protagonists’ mood swings. Thanks to Kevin Sofsrud for telling us here more about the band’s firstborn, track by track…

“Written by Lauren. The track was the first single and the band played to her voice as she
does not play an instrument. The track is bare bones minimalism and details a broken past relationship.”

The captivating clip…

“I wrote this one. The track details intimacy and comfort that goes along with that. A duet vocal makes it a classic back and forth between lovers. The tape was delayed for the guitar solo at the end. No pedals involved. That idea came from Ricky Maymi. Very “Moonage Day Dream” approach for the guitar tone.”

“The music is by our rhythm guitarist Eric Mcdonald with lyrics by Lauren and me. It was the last song written and recorded for the album. Came out of another song we had but our producers, Greg Ashley and Ricky Maymi told us to change it as they didn’t like the original track. It was put together by the band in one day with Eric taking control. It’s about being outed as a spy and on death’s bed. The DMT is kicking in.”

“Another one written by me. The song depicts evil as it was written about the Santa Barbara massacre in 2014. My brother was on the same block when the killings took place. Also within that year two girls died in a horrific accident at San Francisco International Airport on the landing zone. While that weekend hosted 19 firefighters in Santa Cruz who lost their lives fighting a fire. The song is sang from an deranged male’s point of view who takes credit for evil while also asking for pity. The music is very upbeat but with no effects on three guitars except slight reverb.”


“The first song I wrote for the band. Lyrically it may be our strongest song. Inspired by not being the first loved. Insecurities and sad slide guitars make this our most simple and complex track that we have recorded.”

A slightly continued story from ‘Worndrobe’. I wrote it with a lot of words about two peoples views on a relationship while the chorus proposes many insecurities. The ending jam out-guitar solo has once again found our producer, Ricky Maymi, delaying tape on the guitar solo track.”

Ricky Maymi

“Another one I wrote myself. The track details a man who views himself more clever than he actually is. It’s just a mess of an upbeat track while the chorus describes one choosing to love him self over another person in a sexual way.”

“I wrote the lyrics and the lead guitar part while Eric wrote the chords and structure. A really good collaboration and songwriting team. Its about being caught up on abstract thoughts or a lack of focus while engaging in pleasure. Noise and confusion to the max!”

Walking your dog will never be the same again…

This is very much a flag waiver or a classic closer. Here I deal with knowing that your feelings may be naive but also knowing they are your feelings. The track features Greg Ashley on keyboards. Ricky helped the band set the vision for the track as it took many attempts to record vocals and backing vocals.”


Kevin Sofsrud – Lead vocals, guitar
Eric Mcdonald – Rhythm guitar
Nate Tang – Lead guitar, vocals
Kirk Jacob – Bass
Harry Gibbons – Drums
Lauren Kopp – Voice, tambourine

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