Sophie Speaks to In the Mourning About Newest Pop-Rock Banger, 'If He Wanted To, He Would.'

Sophie speaks to Amanda from In the Mourning about their newest release, 'If he wanted to, he would.' The pop-rockers from LA have created quite the stir in the alternative community, bagging spots on Altpress and Kerrang! They talked about what men can do to make the industry a safer space, and how as long as they're experiencing life, they'll continue making music.

In The Mourning LA
Press Image via Yising Kao

Hi Amanda! Your newest song must be an exciting one for you, after 'At What Cost' caught attention from Kerrang! And Altpress. It’s safe to say this track did not disappoint. This has to be my favourite track of yours yet. I have had it on repeat; you have written one of the most angsty but catchy pop-rock bangers. What was the inspiration behind the track?


Hi Sophie, thanks so much for having me! It really means a lot that you would check out new music from new artists! And THANK YOU! The process of “At What Cost” from start to release has been such a whirlwind! All my songs are inspired by actual events and feelings that I have experienced, and this one was no different. I went through an experience where I had a realization that I loved this person and I stuck it out in the relationship, even though I knew it was not beneficial for me for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes, love really is blind, and you go through some bad times just because you can’t picture yourself without this person while you’re in the thick of your emotions.



Do I sense a bit of tongue in cheek in the lyric ‘be a good girl for you’? Poking fun at gender stereotypes?


I'm glad you called that lyric out because it could definitely be interpreted in many different ways. But "be a good girl for you" is not at all about changing who I am for someone else or any kind of gender stereotypes. It is about realizing that you are so romantically and energetically compatible with someone, but because of factors that are out of your control, you cannot be together. And that sucks!


"The first thing that needs to happen in the alt scene, and just the music industry overall, is that men need to be held accountable for their actions and use the influence they have to actually make a change systematically."

Amanda Tran from In The Mourning
Image via Yising Kao

What was the writing process like?


My writing process is always very cathartic and therapeutic. A majority of my writing happens while I am still processing and dealing with these intense emotions and it really allows me to capture the feeling in its rawest form. I often write the lyrics or melody simultaneously. Sometimes I will think of a phrase or concept based on a life experience and build the song’s story around that idea. “If he wanted to, he would.” was really born out of a time when I was really sad and frustrated about the situation I was in and I think you can definitely hear those emotions come through.






"As long as I am experiencing life, I will always have something to be inspired by to create art."

I love the nuances of your vocals, delicate melismas that shift into hook lines with big bad choruses. Who are your vocal inspirations?


Oh my gosh, thank you so much! That is so kind. I love singing and finding ways to bend notes in fun ways. I have so many vocal inspirations, but to name some: Patsy Cline, Hayley Williams, JoJo, Christina Aguilera, Jazmine Sullivan, Demi Lovato, Kelly Clarkson and Toni Braxton. All such powerful and expressive voices!



In The Mourning Amanda Tran releases If he wanted to, he would.
Image via Yising Kao

As a woman in the alt scene myself, we see less women in our genre than any others. What needs to change to allow it to be a safer place for women?


There is no way I could even begin to answer this question, but to be honest, the first thing that needs to happen in the alt scene, and just the music industry overall, is that men need to be held accountable for their actions and use the influence they have to actually make a change systematically. Almost every role in the industry (artists, managers, producers, directors, engineers, writers, booking agents, photographers, etc etc) are dominated by men. Men need to create space for women by actually hiring them, adding them to festival and tour lineups, etc. Women and people who don’t identify as men have been fighting for equality since day one, nothing will actually change until men take the initiative and take on the responsibilities that will enact change.



What are you most proud of in your career so far?


I have been in the music industry for more than half of my life at this point, as an artist and an industry professional. I am just proud that I have always stayed true to myself and my values through it all. I am still here and I’m not going anywhere. As long as I am experiencing life, I will always have something to be inspired by to create art.


"I have so many vocal inspirations, but to name some: Patsy Cline, Hayley Williams, JoJo, Christina Aguilera, Jazmine Sullivan, Demi Lovato, Kelly Clarkson and Toni Braxton. All such powerful and expressive voices!"

What can we expect from you next?


More music of course! I am really manifesting going on a tour with someone once it is safe to do so, it has been a goal of mine for so long!



If you could manifest working with any artist, who would it be? I won’t lie. Mine would definitely be Hayley Williams. It may be a basic bitch example, but I’m obsessed.


Hayley Williams is in no way a basic answer, it is the RIGHT answer! I would love to get a chance to work with Hayley Williams, Kacey Musgraves, Kehlani or Lights. They are all such incredible creative minds, writers and storytellers that I really look up to.



What women in music are on your radar at the moment?


On my radar right now: Pinkshift; Meet Me @ The Altar, Griff, Vial, Suzie True, Hoity-Toity, Honey Revenge, BLKVAPOR, GILT and Ergo, Bria! So many killer artists out there reppin’ the scene right now!



At Cactus City we are all about showcasing the best talent from women and gender minorities, but also creating positive change in the music industry. We have recently released our Charter of Good Practice simple pledges, which studios can use to make the recording studio safe for women. Why do you think it is important?


This is an incredible initiative! Pledges like these will only foster a safer and more inclusive environment for all, and we love to see it!





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