Before we start, we have to ask you how does it feel to have your name
written in big red letter on top of the Olympia?
Oh, I still haven't made my way outside yet. We saw it while coming
in, but I got to go and take one! You know, I don't know enough about
this place, I should know more. I know that Edith Piaf made this place
world famous. The Beatles played here, and all kind of hugh artists.
Tonight you are open for Dropkick Murphy's, how many dates are you doing
I think all together it's 9 shows with them. We haven't done an opening
show in Europe since ever. I think it's our first support tour we've
ever done here. We toured with them a lot in the US, but never here,
so we've been trying to hook this up. It worked so well in the States,
I think they like the fact that we are aggressive and we get the audience
kind of wild up. So the audience is ready to go when they get up on
stage. I guess the 2 bands complement each other that way. Some of their
fans don't quite understand what we are doing but I think that the aggression
get them warmed up.
How long are you going to play tonight?
45 minutes. It's a good amount of time for us. I mean I whish more hardcore
shows could be a little shorter. Because sometimes when you go to see
a band, no matter what kind of band it is, no matter what kind of music
they play, once you get to the hour mark, you get kind of bored. That's
the way I feel personally, maybe it's my short attention spend. So I
wish even when we did headlining shows I whish we could play a little
bit less. You could pack it with more intensity instead of drawing it
out for hours. Sometimes when we play the headlining shows they asked
us to play 1h30, and we're like, do you know what it would be like if
we did. It wouldn't be fun. It's too much for people to stand that long.
I guess it's the same in metal.
At least the Dropkicks they play a very long time. But some of their
songs are really melo. And they have the dynamic, so it switches it
up. They don't play just a bunch of really fast and aggressive songs.
They break it up all over the place, with different feelings, which
make it more entertaining that way.
A few days ago, we were in Montpelier and you played some songs of your
new album, are you going to play them tonight?
Yes. We've been doing 2 songs every night.
So can you tell us about this new upcoming album
called "Based on a true story"? What is the meaning of this
This title is taken from the first song of the album. It's about how
some of our friends that we grew up with, that came from similar backgrounds,
and they just at a certain point in time, took a different path than
us and ended up in really bad places. Fully criminal and ended up hanging
out with some really bad people, not thinking about their life. And
for us it's a strange think, because we never wanted that of our lives,
we didn't wanted to take that path. We wanted good things you know.
That's why the whole idea of based on a true story. It's not just that
we are saying that Sick Of It All is based on a true story, although
that we like to think that we are authentic people. We don't talk about
a fantasy world. We always sing about reality. But this title in particular
has to do with this song and how the people that we are singing about
are real people that lived real lives, and unfortunately are no longer
Is it going to be a mane theme on the whole album?
No, we've never done like a concept album, well Death to Tyrants was
the close as we came to that because of the political situation, so
there were a few songs that went back to deal with that, you know, the
Bush administration, and how America felt about that. So that was different,
But this time, each song has it's own message.
Is the album going to speak about the Obama election?
There is a song called "Good Cop" which is about Obama. Because
every time you see a policeman, you always have the one who is a complete
prick, and you also have the smiley face, like in the movies. And that's
what we feel about Obama. He represents the same old system, but he
has a different look, but in fact it's just the same old thing over
and over again. The whole idea of change, we don't think it's going
to bring to the American people.
When he was elected, there was a feeling in France that everybody was
excited in the US. But after a while, have you seen any real changes?
The only thing I've seen is people being way more open about being basically
racist. Because there is so many anti-Obama. You wonder why they hate
this guy so much, what has he really done to deserve that much hate.
You have to think that all this hatred that is thrown at him is based
on racism. So a lot of American people are showing their true colours
and how ugly they can really be.
We've heard that he is working on the healthcare
system, to change it. Is it going to be difficult to move things?
I think that the problem in America is that the corporations dictate
what the government does. It's always been the case I guess. Wars are
started just that corporation can make money, have what they want. At
least the American companies. It's like the imperialism, American companies
grabbing what they want using the military. And somehow the government
is manipulated by the corporation, and then the people are manipulated
by the government to believe that all the stuff that's happening benefits
them somehow. But in reality all it is helping to do is live a certain
lifestyle, you know, drive your big ass gasoline car and don't worry
about it. They want people to have that consumerist mentality where
they think that they can leave way out of their means. They false idea
of what Americans should live like.
So you said that nothing has changed. But during
your travels around the world, have you notice a difference in how people
see the Americans after this election?
This is the one time that America get like a good feeling. Because before
you would never see in foreign countries t-shirts with the face of an
American president on it. But now he's so marketable, and the fact that
it's a race issue too, a lot of country see him as a boost for their
ethnic group. Ethnicly it makes people feel a little bit proud. And
it is a pretty cool thing. I was ready for Jessy Jackson back in the
early eighties to become president. I thought he was really cool, almost
thirty years ago.
Don't you think it's like in the show business?
In front everything is beautiful but behind the scene nothing ever changes?
I don't see things are going to change. The fact America is based on
a two party system is what the problem is. Because no matter who the
bigger head is, of either party, they still have the control over whatever
happens. If there is no better chance for at least a third party to
get in there, and challenge those two, then unfortunately there is always
going to be this way. That's why I always vote independent. I always
want to see a third party make some kind of challenge. But the democrats
and the republicans dominate the political situation so much, because
they have so much more money to do whatever they like, and they control
the media. So it's really difficult for a third party to really make
About the new album, who produced this album?
Tu Madsen, the same guy who did our last record death To Tyrants. But
this time we wet to him, instead of flying him to New York. So we went
to Denmark and recorded in Copenhagen. It was just a few blocks away
where Metallica recorded Master of Puppets and Ride the Lightning. We
were just hoping that some of that would rub up our mess (big lough).
In which way it was better for you to go there instead of making him
come to New York?
Well it was a benefit to our pockets! It ended up being cheaper. When
he works in his own country he doesn't charge as much. It all worked
out moneywise. Otherwise we would have better stayed in NY because I
would rather see my family every night, but instead, I spend 3 weeks
You choose the same guy because you like the sound
of the previous album?
Of course for the sound! He understands what to do with hardcore. I
can't just say Sick of It All, but every hardcore band I've heard him
mix he does a great job, he gets that that punch that the music needs.
I don't know what he did but there is a big difference compare to anybody
that we worked with.
What are your plans for the new months?
We have to wait until the album comes out. It's kind of tough because
the other tour that we have is a UK support tour for AFI. That would
be interesting to see how the AFI audience deals with us. Because playing
with them in the states is like hit & miss. Some nights are really
good, some nights the audience just look at us like we re from another
planet. It'll be interested, but at least we get to play in front of
Hugh crowds. And hopefully win over some new fans. Just trying to push
ourselves a little bit further than just the hardcore audience.
And when is the album coming out?
April 20th right now. That's what is on the label itinerary. But we'll
see. It depends, we haven't seen the artwork right now. So if there
is any kind of trouble, we may have to consider a may release. But hopefully
everything will go fine!!!
Have you heard the final product?
Yeah, it's all mastered. It sounds really good, really powerful, aggressive.
I think if you liked Death to Tyrants you are going to love this one.
I think it is a more consistent record.
So it's going to be out for you to play some summer
festivals. You're going to be at the Hellfest, but are you going to
do some other dates in France?
We are thinking about doing a headlining tour in the fall. We're not
sure who will be opening yet. I have a feeling it is either we do a
tour in the fall or wait or do the Persistence Tour again. I don't know,
what do you guys think? What should we do?
You should do both of course !!! The Persistence
tour is great because it brings more people, but it's only one date
in Paris compare to a whole headlining tour in France.
Our booking agent, MAD is German and is in charge of the Persistence
Tour. Maybe he doesn't feel the deals are strong enough or whatever.
That's another reason. What if there are no other French dates again.
Obviously in that case it would be better for us to do our own headlining
tour. We love to play dates in France, we love to play Spain, those
are places we do not play on the Persistence Tour. It's basically just
Germany and Benelux. That's the big discuss right now. But if we do
the headlining tour, it would be September or November, something like
So I guess we'll wait for the album, then the Hellfest and we'll see
Yes. When you release a record it's like a whole new thing starts. There
are so many countries that we have to go back to now. We opened up the
eastern European market as well on Death to Tyrants. We are going to
be expected to go back to Slovenia, Croatia, Romania, and Greece, places
that we played for the first time on the previous record. We'll have
to follow up on that. That is usually a separate tour than the rest
of Europe because otherwise we'll be over here for more than 2 month
and nobody wants that. And we have to tour the states too. So we need
to make it all work. It's going to be busy! But we've done it before.
This is the life we made for ourselves. The travel is tough. Even when
we were younger, and now I'm a family man, I have a wife and 2 kids.
Lou is expecting a baby in May. That's going to play into the summer
touring. He doesn't want to travel all that much, he wants to do just
some quite things here and there, so that he could be at home and help
his wife with the new born.
When you grow older, it should be more difficult
to tour with all the engagement to your family?
Yes it is. At least with me, both my parents retired now. They no longer
work. So before it was difficult, cause if I was away on tour, it was
just my wife, and now she's working. So now my parents help out, and
having that helps incredibly.
Good luck for your album and your touring, and
thank you for your time!!!
Pierre & O.S.