“Working with artists that I used to have posters of on my wall as a kid has been amazing,” guitarist and session musician Sophie Lloyd tells us, of making her new album, Imposter Syndrome, releasing later this year. “It’s also been really therapeutic on my journey to overcoming my own performance anxiety and imposter syndrome.”
The 27-year-old British metal guitarist’s latest single, “Fall of Man” (released in February and featuring Trivium’s Matthew K. Heafy on vocals) is a red-hot beacon of what’s to come on the new album. Having taken up the guitar at age 10, she has built a steady following via her social channels, where she shares “shredleys”—heavy covers of well-known classics—as well as her own original material.
We caught up with Sophie, who recently finished Machine Gun Kelly’s Mainstream Sellout World Tour.
What or who inspired a life in music?
It was actually an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants where they do a version of Twisted Sister’s “I Wanna Rock,” with SpongeBob having lasers coming out of his guitar and everything. I just remember thinking it was the coolest thing ever.
I was self-taught for a long time, using YouTube videos and DVDs to help me learn the basic techniques and some of my favorite songs. I then attended BIMM London where the tutors really helped me take my playing to the next level.
What were your dreams as a kid?
One of my biggest was playing legendary venues such as Wembley Arena and Madison Square Garden, which I actually achieved last year on MGK’s tour. So I guess it’s Wembley Stadium next!
Your first big break?
Playing Paris Fashion Week in 2020 — a very surreal, amazing experience.
What’s life like on the road?
The No. 1 unwritten rule of touring is don’t shit on the tour bus! But it is amazing all the different things you get to see and do, and to get a taste of so many different cultures. One day you’re at Oktoberfest downing a stein of beer and the next you’re learning to wakesurf on a lake in Spokane. Nothing beats the thrill of going out on stage, it’s so beautiful to be a part of that.
How can we hear/see your work?
I post across all social media, including full-length shred versions of popular songs on YouTube, my Metal Monday series on Instagram, and livestreams every Sunday on Twitch.
We are releasing singles from [the new album] every six weeks. Each song is a collaboration with another vocalist or musician that I greatly admire, and will have a music video. I will be joining Machine Gun Kelly on a European Festival run in May through June.
Advice for young musicians?
Put yourself out there any way you can, either by playing with bands, or on social media. Hone in on what makes you and your playing unique. Keep learning new things and developing your craft, but also keep playing things you really enjoy.
Just keep looking for inspiration and finding joy in everything you do, and don’t be afraid to take risks and push the boundaries.
Check out Sophie’s site for updates. In addition to the socials linked above, visit her on Facebook or TikTok.