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An interview with the band Sophia
interview by: Len Nash/Indie Vision Music

They recently were runners-up (2nd place) in the IndieVisionMusic Contest 06, where you, the fans and our readers, nominated a band or two and then this list was trimmed down… via means of voting.

Sophia – Baby Names’ meaning… “Wisdom”.

Think of a group of guys, all probably very fun to hang out with. They are Christians and not afraid to admit it. Most moms (or grandmas) would not like their style of music. I recently had the chance to interview Sophia, which is a band out of Nashville, TN. This interview was one that I thoroughly enjoyed doing. Check it out below and while you are at it check them out at: (a link to their MySpace can be found there).

I just wish I could have gone on talking with them forever… but then again, this interview would be way too lengthy.

Len IVM-
How did Sophia come about and how has the ride been so far?

Steven Sophia-
its sort of a confusing story that consists of myspace and
facebook, without either of those medias sophia would not exist… so
i have since stopped making fun of how dumb internet networking is…
thanks tom…
the ride so far has been better than anything we could have
expected…i never imagined actually touring and actually releasing a
record…on our last road trip we were all going through old
recordings from our high school bands and we found it fascinating how
far we have all come from our days of ripping off our favorite
emo/screamo/post hardcore bands…the best part is we all feel like
this is going to be a long ride with much to look forward to… so we
need to just be patient and hope that God’s plan and our plan are on
the same page.

Ryan Sophia-
It has been far more than I ever expected. I left south florida
worried about not having a band in nashville and not having a close
group of friends that would really lift me up in the Lord, but he
provided for me and he has provided for every step of this band. I
plan to be in this for the long run so we will see what he has in
store for us.

Keith Sophia-
I attended Belmont University starting in the fall of 2004. Spring 2005 Steve came to visit and long story short we decided if he came to Belmont we would have to start a metal band. So when Steve showed up Fall of 2005 it looked like it had to happen. I was in another band at the time but Steve was so persistant that I told him I could practice maybe once a week. So with a little bit more of a committment we needed to find musicians. I had met our keyboardist, Bennett, at a worship service during orientation. He noticed my Norma Jean hoody and we instantly connected. I don’t know what it was but God really put it on my heart that I was supposed to play music with Bennett. Steve had met a drummer on his floor, Ryan. So after conviencing everyone this was going to be a good idea and finding time and a place to practice Sophia got it’s start. Austin was found though facebook but was admitted to the hospital with a serious case of mono right after we had one practice with him. We had never heard Steve’s lyrics until our first recording because we didn’t have a PA. But it has all moved so fast. Where we are today is one of the most evident signs to me that God is working within this band and is up to big things. He has just given us everything, things have just seemed to work out that weren’t even supposed to work out. Praise be to the Father for everything that Sophia has become.

Why the name Sophia? Is there any special meaning or story behind it?

Steven Sophia-
the name sophia is the greek name for wisdom… honestly we
found it doing a name search on…haha… but it does
carry with it a lot of meaning. it is also what the feminists and other
christian denominations, which i can’t think of off the top of my head,
call God because of its genderless quality…
Keith Sophia- With the name, it means a lot to me because I think over the past 8 months we have really grown in Wisdom of who we are as indivisduals, learned a lot about each other, and learned a lot more about who God is through all of this.

Ryan Sophia-
haha. we went through so many names that night. I was pretty set
on (the band) being called “moses”. not the most poetic name in the world, but
definitely the toughest. needless to say nobody else agreed with me.
after like 3 hours of yelling and negotiating, we finally settled on
sophia. its short and easy to remember. and I think its a really solid

Len IVM-
Internet Networking is pretty good. Without meeting the people face to face though you would have to agree that you didn’t really get to know them truly. Am I correct?

Steven Sophia-
i completely agree, just the fact that we are from different states (there are five states represented between the six of us), causes some drama and tension. but what i have found is that we preficed this band with a single ideal, and i feel that as long as the members of the band including myself are willing to never take their eye off of that ideal then everything else can be worked out and nobody is beyond forgiveness. my youth pastor growing up always taught me that relationships fail the minute you stop listening to one another. This band is simply another relationship. so i feel that the best part of this band is getting to know one another. we aren’t perfect people so there will be struggle no matter how well you know someone.

Len IVM-
Ah yes. High school musical dreams. What was the absolute worst experience you have ever had with music durign high school (do not name names)?

Ryan Sophia-
Well I was in an indy band in south florida called ‘stolen bikes
ride faster’, and we had a ton of fun playing our music. but one night
we were playing this small surf bar in boca raton, fl and there was
this girl in the front row. this girl was pretty drunk and would not
stop yelling during our set. we played for about 35 minutes and she
seriously yelled the entire time. i guess that’s not that bad but i
will always remember trying to perform with an outrageously loud drunk
girl trying to “sing along” with a high school band that she had never
heard before.

Len IVM-
Who are all of the people in the band and what do they do?

Steven Sophia-
lets see there is keith richards, who’s real name is keith richards,
he told me his parents thought that the guy from the rolling stones’
career would be over and nobody would remember him by the time he
would be old enought to realize that he has the same name as a coaked
out rock star. probably the toughest looking kid i know… but he’s
really a sweetheart. he plays guitar and is from duluth, GA

there is ryan meyer our drummer. from coral springs, FL. he will own
you in Nintendo 64, but don’t tell him im better than him at blitz

bennett piispanen from cincinatti, OH. he’s the baby of the band and
probably addicted to every legal substance on the market, nicotine,
adoral, caffine, sugar, and he’s usually driving the van. haha

austin gros plays guitar and is from houston, TX. he was one of the
last to join the band, and it was funny because none of us new him
prior to his audition and we were in the studio a few days later and
we found he was in the hospital with mono. aparantly ryan stole all
his platelets. and his mom makes the best food in the world, and his
uncle tiger will make a man out of anyone.

dan was a late addition, he’s from dallas, TX. he pretty much keeps
all of us sane. probably the least quirky out of all of us, but every
now and then he’ll surprise you.

and i’m steven lefebvre from phoenix, AZ.

Len IVM-
How many member changes has there been, if any?

Steven Sophia-
we’ve sort of had one. when we first started we had a bass
player named noah porter but a few weeks before our first show he
informed us that he was moving back to minnesota. panicked, we
quickly grabbed dan to fill in short term because he recorded our
first demo for us, so we figured he knew most of the songs. Dan
played our first few shows as an interim, basically filling in till we
found someone else… but on the way back from our show in cincinatti
we asked dan to marry us… so we celebrated by taking pictures in
front of dinosaurs in kentucky.

Len IVM-
What influences you?

Ryan Sophia-
I am influenced by an extreme desire to daily put Christ before
myself. It is by no means easy and I am not good at it, but i’m
working on it.

Keith Sophia-
My Savior Jesus Christ. On the stage it’s all about doing everything I can to come to the absolute end of me, to stop thinking about me for at least 40 min. and focus on my Father and King. But it’s not just about the music, it’s about more than that. If we can just hang out with a handful of kids, stop being so selfish, and give them just a couple of min of our time to allow them to experience God’s love on a real level, that’s important. More than music, it’s a ministry.

Steven Sophia-
honestly, if i could have dinner with front men:josh scoggin, aaron weiss, and sam beam, writers- erwin mcmanus, george orwell, and saint augustine… i feel like it would explain alot of who i am as a thinker…but as a musician scoggin and weiss are who i want to be in a few years..
what i have found important in lyric writing is that honesty is the
best policy. articulate exactly how you feel, don’t be afraid of
offending people, don’t be afraid of being corny, just write who you
are, not everyone is going to like it, but you’ll never have to defend
it, if it is truly who you are.

Len IVM-
What influences does the band hold uniquely as a whole?

Steven Sophia-
funny you should ask we had this conversation in the van on
the way back from cinci. the funny thing is most of us didn’t grow up
listening to our style of music. dan is a big fan of saves the day
and weezer. austin is a big thursday fan and knows more rap lyrics
than i can fathom. but we all have come to understand the genre a
whole lot better since weve started writing and started hanging out
with kids who eat the stuff up.
but collectivley as a band i would say that we pull alot from as i lay
dying, as cities burn, haste the day, thursday, mewithoutyou, and old
norma jean, you know what the kids are all listening to these days…

Len IVM-
Baby names? What were you guys figuring on finding on there? Or did the name just happen to be a “God type thing”?

Steven Sophia-
haha we were desperate. we went through book titles, we went
through bible themes. at one point we got every cs lewis book we
owned out and started sifting through those. we didn’t want anything
to cliche or hard to spell. baby names was sort of something i was
going through as the other guys were looking through other things…
haha… it was kind of a fluke

Len IVM-
Any favorite local eating places that you guys hang out after a show with fans at?

Steven Sophia-
steak and shake, but we haven’t been out to the west coast yet… im gonna make a pull for 24 hour burrito joints that used to be old convinience stores and some mexican guy who’s been working there since 6am serving minudo is behind the counter smiling and welcoming you in… oh i miss arizona and california ( i was born in san diego)

Ryan Sophia-
most definitely steak n shake. or buffalo wild wings. either one
does fine.

Len IVM-
What would you say if a platypus walked past you and you overheard it
talking to a koala bear that is eating a Granola bar and has hot cocoa in
its hand?

Steven Sophia- “dad?”

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