The Sweet Things Rock N’ Roll Fairytale
FEATURED BAND FOR THE BEST UNSIGNED ROCK AND ROLL BANDS IN AMERICA
Written by Alison “MetalBabe” Cohen
The Sweet Things were recently featured as one of The Best Unsigned Rock and Roll Bands in America. Shortly after they were noticed by Lanark Records and teamed up to record the single, “Love to Leave.” If all goes well, they will be recording a full-length album with the label. The Sweet Things have been together just over a year and really are a band that is ‘meant to be,’ who are doing exactly what they love to do.
ALISON “METALBABE” COHEN: Your rock n’ roll fairytale is pretty interesting, and definitely involves a lot of drinking! Can you tell our readers (what you remember of) your story and how the band got together?
SAM HARISS: I’ve known Lorne the longest, I’ll let him decide if he wants to dig up those rabbit bones, as he often recalls, it wasn’t love at first sight. But I tend to grow on people… Like fungus or herpes. For me, I guess I’d say it all started at Manitoba’s when (a bleary) Lorne introduced (a bleary) me to (a bleary) Dave. Though, to be honest I have no real recollection of that happening. I’ve been told we discussed Turbonegro in great depth.
However long later, maybe a month or so, Lorne mentioned to me that Dave needed a bassist. Dave and I clicked on a bunch of common influences and favorites. From Cock Sparrer to Izzy Straddlin and The Ju Ju Hounds, Hanoi Rocks, and The Black Crowes… To The Faces, Aerosmith’s most underrated album ‘Night In The Ruts,’ old school outlaw country, and a lot of Stones. A great chunk of that winter was dedicated to (the Stones album) ‘Goats Head Soup.’ Anyhoo, I digress. It was pretty clear to us we had a spark and a direction. Lorne grabbed Darren and it all got mushed together into what was to become The Sweet Things.
LORNE BEHRMAN: I remember Sam really annoyed me when I first met him, and not a lot has changed. But, to quote my sister at my bar mitzvah, “although we may fight, I love him dearly.”
METAL BABE: That’s great that you guys connected on so many levels. Once you were on track, The Sweet Things recorded their first two songs together really quickly. Tell me about those.
DARREN FRIED: At the first practice, Dave started playing “Love to Leave,” so Lorne and I jumped right. It clicked perfectly like we had been playing for years. Some bands you can tell are just meant to be from the first chord and this was one. Sam wasn’t there and I had only met him once before, but I knew he was gonna fit perfectly. He did… And the band was complete. We had the first two songs recorded about two weeks after our first practice.
SAM: I wasn’t able to make the first jam, but sometime between that and the first official practice, Dave sent me rough recordings of “Love To Leave” and “Through The Cracks Of The City.” I learned my parts, and by the time I got to practice, it became one of those things where it began to gel at a rate too rapid to clock. I met Darren and off we went. We also nailed down the Izzy Stradlin tune “Coke’N.” We recorded the tracks out in Jersey two weeks later.
METAL BABE: Wow. That’s really fast! Congratulations on your new deal with Lanark Records and your first single. How is it going so far, and what is your association with the label?
DAVE TIERNEY: We just released a new recording of the first song we wrote, “Love to Leave,” with Lanark Records. We’ve got a few demos kicking around, but we want to get back into the studio soon and record a full-length album.
LORNE: We’re big fans of all sorts of roots-based music, so it was very exciting when the label reached out. We have a lot of respect for their roster and their ethos. They put out music they love. Right now, our relationship is just starting; it’s an exciting time. The hope is the single will do well, and we can go back in the studio to record a full-length album.
METAL BABE: Definitely, I love the new song. Hopefully it does well and you end up recording a full-length album with them! You’ve been together for just over a year now. How often do you play live?
SAM: We try to be a bit strategic about playing out, ya know? If you play every Friday, it’s only so long before people start saying, “Well, I’ll just catch ‘em next Friday…” and then that Friday never comes. I love playing live, maybe more than anything else, but making an orgy of it is a lot more fun than jerking off. So, like I was saying, we try to be strategic. At least enough so that we can keep each show kicking.
METAL BABE: What would be your perfect tour?
SAM: I love touring. Any tour with beer money is just aces. Touring with other bands you’re friends with is even better. I mean, if we’re throwing around the ‘P’ word, let us do a run with the Stones, or let The Black Crowes reunite with the ‘Shake Your Money Maker’ lineup, or let Hanoi Rocks reform. Iggy… Alice Cooper. There’s an endless list of bands I could name, I’m sure y’all can fill in the blanks.
METAL BABE: Great answers! I like how you called it the ‘P’ word too! The Sweet Things have a fun party rock vibe, which is refreshing to see at times when things seem more serious. How do you keep that fun edge?
SAM: We don’t really plan for any of that, though it’s not unwelcome. As cliché as it may be, we write what we see around us, and we write what we know. We pretty much wear our influences on our sleeves, ya know? Once you know ‘em, and happen upon any of us in any bar, (a feat that’s not that hard) the songs become pretty easy to breakdown. Though I will say there’s nothing wrong with a serious song. Or likewise, a campy song or a song about eating worms. The only thing that sucks is shitty song. We’re trying to steer clear of those, scout’s honor.
DARREN: What you see is what you get with us. It’s real natural for us to have fun playing, and this music is right up our collective alley. In almost every band you have to adjust your natural style a little bit to fit in, but in The Sweet Things we all play exactly how we want. There a lot of pure fun flowing out of us and it gets reflected in the music.
DAVE: We’re gonna try to keep that vibe going for our first record, but when we sit down to start putting our second batch of songs together for a follow up album, we’re probably gonna do a concept album about the holocaust or something like that.
LORNE: One thing about that vibe you describe is that we genuinely like each other. There’s a lot of love and respect in this band. Also, everyone is really confident in who they are artistically and personally, so there isn’t petty ego battles.
METAL BABE: I hope not! What would you like to say to your fans?
DARREN: To everyone who’s come out to our shows or bought a t-shirt we seriously thank you from the top of our hearts… F*ck the bottom!!
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