Thursday, April 25, 2013

Interview with Sickoids

I don't know how many times I have listened to 2012's Sickoids' LP off of Residue Records. I first heard about it in Maximum Rock n Roll about the time that I was moving back to Chicago from Durham. I didn't really know what all was going on in terms of music there, but I did want to keep my interest in hardcore alive and so I would read Maximum Rock n Roll and pick up fliers whenever I saw them, which eventually got me into my first DIY spaces. Needless to say, I missed the Sickoids playing here, but eventually I hope to see them again.

One of the major things I noticed when listening to the Sickoids record along with the lyrics sheet was the maturity and intelligence in their lyrics. I was really blown away actually. There's a lot going on in that record when listening to it - people coming and going in, death, war, and a general unease with life. That and the uncanny ability to throw really great hooks and anthemic choruses on top of a violent amalgamation of irritated guitars and panic-attack drums made the record really stick out to me. I was totally hooked.

They just put out a brand new record released by Sorry State Records and Grave Mistake Records (two of my all-time favorite record labels). It's a six-song twelve inch that can be streamed on the SORRY STATE BANDCAMP and purchased as well from either label. In addition, you can check out the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE or follow the band on their BLOGSPOT

Jordan: Who all is in sickoids? How long have you guys been playing together? How did the band start?

Sickoids: SICKOIDS is Rob (guitar), Vince (drums), and Eric (bass).  Rob and I were in another band together (Witch Hunt), and when it became inactive, we wanted to keep something going.  We began writing songs in 2010, and we acquired Eric towards the end of that year.  We played our first show in March, 2011. 
J: What's the name sickoids from?

S: The name was pulled directly from the SUBHUMANS (Canada) song 'Death to the Sickoids.'  We were looking through some of our favorite records - for band name inspiration, of course.  After going through 100s of potential names (even considering some of the hilarious results on the band name generator website), SICKOIDS just made perfect sense.

J: What all have you guys released? What's the history of releases you've done?

S: We released a demo in March 2011, a full length in March 2012, and our next 12" titled 'No Home' is coming out this month (April 2013).

J: What have been some of the bands you've enjoyed playing with?


J: Do you have any bands from your home that you particularly like?

S: Philly was our home, but we all recently moved to other cities.  Bands worth checking out from there include: BAD ENERGY, BAD SIDE, THE BROOD, BACKSLIDER.  Apparently the best current Philly bands have names that start with 'B.'

J: On your self titled record on residue, you talk a lot about war and social issues and alienation. How did those come to be so important?

S: The lyrics stem from things going on inside our heads.  So, they're not really limited to one approach or agenda.  Though, they tend to focus more on personal matters, rather than broad political new items.

J: Similarly, how does a song get written? What roles do you have in terms of the songs getting made?

S: One of us will bring a riff or two to the table and the others will add their own parts as they see fit.  Sometimes someone will have the entire song more or less mapped out.  We all have ideas or suggestions for all the instruments, and we're all pretty good about adapting to what works best for the song.  We've developed a really chemistry playing together, so things tend to fall into place quickly and naturally.

J: Your logos on your shirts are really intense from someone hanging to a man with a gun to a child to frank booth. I was surprised by the frank booth since it was so different being separated from things in real life. Where do the designs come from?

S: Even though some of the things going on in the shirt designs might seem random or separated from actual lyrical content, they do convey a mood.  That's something that's crucial to our artwork.  Rather than spell something out blatantly, we prefer to make it a bit more abstract.  When we look for new things to use in the art, we tend to levitate toward that kind of content - whether it be from a magazine or movie or AP photo from the library archives.  In the end, usually some sort of overall (dark) mood comes across.  

J: What is a live show like? How different is that from practicing? Do you have certain things that become staples of a performance?

S: One thing that has always stayed the same with our live sets is not stopping between songs and basically bursting all of our energy into that 15-20 minute block of time.  In that way, we try to make the music speak for the band, and playing as hard as we can is the best thing we know how to do.  

J: What was the process of putting out a 12 inch on residue?

S: We set out on a week-long tour just weeks after playing our first couple shows.  That's not always a good idea, but we felt that there was no point in waiting around.  We all agreed it just had to be done.  We played an awesome show in Chicago (it was probably the best set we had played as a band up to that point), and after the show we were hanging out with Jordan (Residue) and some other friends.  He liked our set and told us he'd be down to do a record for us when the time came.  We were obviously really stoked to hear that and glad that we were dumb enough go on tour after less than a month of being an active band.  As soon as we had enough songs, we recorded them with our friend, Steve Roche (Permanent Hearing Damage, Philly), and Jordan did a great job of making it a tangible thing!  We were all really happy with how it came out.

J: How was that record different than the new one on grave mistake/sorry state? Was the recording process the same? How was it working with those dudes?

S: The process was more or less the same for 'No Home.'  We knew that those guys were down to put it out for us (after talking to Daniel when we were on tour with the first LP - Alex got on board a bit later), and we knew we HAD to record the songs before we all moved out of Philly.  We knocked it out in basically one weekend, just weeks before we packed it up for Oakland, LA, and Richmond.  Again, Steve made it sound great, and the last six months has been getting all the artwork together and ready to print.  Alex and Daniel have really solid taste, and they know their shit when it comes to putting out quality records!  With all of our heads together (and all being in different cities), it took a little bit longer to produce, but we definitely came away with a better package in the end.  We're actually incredibly excited to see the finished product!

J: Do you guys have any other plans in the future?

S: Our only plan after the record coming out is to tour Europe for a little over 3 weeks in June.  The tour is being booked by Flo from Trapdoor Tours, and Chris from Hardware Records has been cool enough to press both of our LPs in Germany for European distribution.  

J: Anything else you'd like to say?

S: Thanks a lot for the interview!!

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