Sworn Enemy Interview
This interview was made in Clisson (France) the 23rd of june 2007.
Manu and O.S. have met Sal Lococo, the singer.
Its going pretty good so far, the festivals have been really good, were playing in front of a lot of people and the reaction has been really good so I can never complain about that. I enjoy watching people dancing and beat other up, its a lot of fun for me, I got a good vibe I love it, its awesome and thats how its been every night... So far its been really good.
From yesterday we never seen so much people in that place...
Really? Thats awesome!
And the people seem to have a great time during your show and you also seem to enjoy the show...
its like one hand washes the other they give energy I feed off
the energy so Im going to give back more energy, thats how
Sworn Enemy is. Were about a lot of energy, the music we write
is very energetic and it makes people want to mosh and stuff, so thats
what we try to do, we try to make everybody have a good time, I want
everybody to have a good time, and if everybodys having a good
time Im going to have a good time if Im sweating like this
Im having a good time. (Laughs)
right? I remember!
Sworn Enemy does exist for a long time now but it seems that you never really toured that much in France?
dont tour Europe that much weve come one time every year,
2003 one time, 2004 one time, 2005 one time last year one time, and
this year one time, so I mean its not good because people keep
saying "please come back" but then again when you come back
too much people get tired of us so if we come less people want more
so I think its kind of good. This year were going to actually
come back again I think were going to be coming back for the Persistence
Tour with Hatebreed, Agnostic Front, and Ignite, you know thats
going to be really good so Im looking forward to that, because
the first time we played Persistence Tour in 2003 was first time we
ever toured Europe and it was so much fun.
Well talk about a bit later, but is this the same Tim who recorded your upcoming record?
He recorded the new one that would be coming out hopefully October. I dont know but record labels they tell you something and you never know what happens when it actually comes out well see when that happens.
Could you maybe present a bit of Sworn Enemy to the people who dont know you yet?
thats a tough question I hate when people ask me that one I dont
know what to say , I mean I guess if you never heard of Sworn Enemy
youve never seen us before, youd have to probably have to
check us out live, because were more of a live band, than a record
band you know. Like the record is good, to me the record is great I
dont know what other people think of it but in order to really
what Sworn Enemy is about you have to really come see the live show,
because the live show really explains what we really are about. Were
about live energy, having fun, having a good time, those are all things
that you cant really see on a record, you know you dont
really know what a band is about, until you see them live, and for us
we try to bring out fun we want to make people dance we want to make
people to have a good time, we want to bring a lot of energy to the
crowd and in return I want the crowd to give me the energy back, you
know thats what were about. If youve never seen us
you should come out for a show and check us out!
... A little bit...
... To me, now you sound definitely more metal than hardcore... Is there any reason of that?
I think its a natural progression in music because even if you back to "Negative Outlook" (1999) theres still songs on there that are all metal you know. I mean we come from a hardcore scene in New York but the music we played was mix it was both metal and hardcore, we never were a straight hardcore band, we were never Madball, we were never Agnostic Front, we were never the Cro-Mags, we were never Gorilla Biscuits, we were never Bold, we werent the Youth Of Today, we were never judge that wasnt our thing. Our thing was to be just Sworn Enemy so we always played our mix of metal and hardcore, because growing up we all loved the thrash scene we loved Metallica "Master Of Puppets", we love stuff like Testament, we love stuff like Exodus, we love stuff like Anthrax... All that stuff is in us too with that and with all the hardcore too we all mixed it and try to blend it. Its just to me you could only I think do the same things so many times before it gets repetitious so as a band as we mature and grow the music is going to mature as well. You know its like more influences come out like Jamey and Lorenzo the two guitar players they love Marty Friedman you know, they love the guys who do the leads, the fancy stuff you know, sometimes people want to show off their talent. They dont just want to be a rhythm guitar player, they want to be a lead guitar player to show how good they can be I guess. That comes through "The Beginning Of The End" as a couple more leads, the music is a little more mature, its a little more metal in it, but we still do what we do, we still sound like Sworn Enemy, were never going to change that.
Hows the reaction of your most hardcore fan ?
Well in this day and age I dont even know what hardcore kid is anymore, I dont know what they look like anymore, they look a little different today. Its not the same so I dont know what that questions indication of, because I mean if you look at some the bands you look at today like... heres a good example our friends from this band called Job For A Cowboy... have you heard of them?
They are considered a hardcore band, now they sound like Cannibal Corpse but theyre a hardcore band so I dont really know how to answer that question because I dont have the answer for that I cant tell because today the kids they listen to, you could look like someone who listens to hardcore but you listen to Thrice, its very, very different. You cant tell anymore back in the 80s it was very simple you see a skinhead, he listen to hardcore, you see a guy with longhair he listens to metal, you know. Now you cant tell anymore, I dont even know if we have any hardcore fans anymore.
And I remember you saying in a interview that for you hardcore doesnt exist anymore...
To me it stopped being hardcore when the music style changed you know theres only a few hardcore bands that really play hardcore today you know, theres Agnostic Front, theres Madball, theres Terror, Sick Of It All, you know I mean you can count all the bands on two hands, in 1986 you can count all the bands on hundred peoples hands and feet, it was very different. Nobody plays that no more its like a dying breed almost you know this is the new age, this is what it is now. So maybe how our music progresses this is how hardcore progresses maybe what we play is hardcore, I dont know. It could be metal, it could be hardcore but in todays day and age we are I mean people could still consider us a hardcore band but I want to just take all the labels out and just say were not a hardcore band were not a metal band were just underground music and thats what I want to call us.
Its more about the spirit...
Of course! The spirit never goes nowhere, that stays right here thats it. Thats straight up what it is. Its all about keeping the energy keeping that vibe you know what Im saying, I mean I always loved hardcore and I will never stop loving it, every day Ill listen to fucking Cro-Mags! This is my favorite band ever this is the greatest band ever, the greatest record ever made in my eyes, this is number one "Age Of Quarrel" (showing his tee-shirt), there will never be a better record! People still try to do this today and cant, nobody could ever do this, that was the greatest record ever, thats all I have to say about that... (Laughs)
As we said, youre going to release your third full length "Maniacal", and what do we have to expect from this new record?
Lot of thrash! Maybe a little bit more than the last record you know a lot more, still the same energy, maybe even more energy because its a lot more faster, you know we went to a lot more fast and stuff you know more double bass a little bit. Definitely one thing everyones going to notice for sure its got a lot of leads, a lot of leads but you know...
Yeah, The Marty Friedman style!
Exactly! (Laughs) But hey look Parris used to play leads all the time on the Cro-Mags records you know used to always do it on the leads, so its not necessarily a metal thing, its just a particular style if you choose to do leads and theyre tasteful, then it works! Theres definitely a lot of leads in this record, its trashier, more upbeat tempo, its faster and I think the breakdowns are a little bit harder, were not doing the same, now we add more flavor to the breakdowns to make it sound a little bit better you know.
Ive heard that Tim Lambesis and Joey Z are co-producing the record so youre not going to work anymore with Jamey (Jasta) and Zeuss?
We havent worked with Jamey and Zeuss since "As Real As It Gets", so working with Tim is great actually. On this new record we worked with Joey Z from Life Of Agony so you know when we were growing up everybody loved Life Of Agony in the band, like "Rivers Runs Red" is a top 5 all time favorite records, so it was pretty much an honor to work with him and have him come in and help us you know do some magic with this record. And working with Tim is like a piece of cake now, its easy after the last record. We knew what we were going to do, we had a vision, we went into the studio and we did it and that was it. And Tim is right there hes like put the icing on the cake you know, he has that little extra flavor to help us out its always good to have an outside opinion of your music because sometimes when you write and within the band you dont really know exactly what that other person is thinking so its good to have Joey Z and Tim to say "Alright, well why dont we try this?". Sometimes better ideas come from more minds that are working on something the better it sounds. Hey Im all about sounding better, they are a great team to work with.
And Ive heard that you got a new drummer for the recording session...
Just for the recording, we got Jordan Mancino from As I Lay Dying. Dude this kids amazing! Hes like Dave Lombardo with better hands! His feet are like super, wait until you hear the record its going to be like "Oh my god!!!" you know hes that good! And our new drummer Is friends with Jordan so Jordan teaches him, hes learning from Jordan and this kid is going to be super, his feet are like, he sounds just like the record he could do it perfect, its good to hear that so many things that he plays, it amazes me how good he is so Im really happy about that.
You said that new record may be release in October...
Hopefully, thats in the States though, I dont know about the European release...
And it will be release in the US by Ferret or Abacus?
Century Media! I think Abacus no longer exists...
I thaught youve changed your label, we heard that...
Well we werent with Century Media in the States, we were in Abacus, and I think Abacus is no more now so I think were going to go 99.9% chance were going to go with Century Media, so I cant tell you I dont know we havent done nothing with them yet, this is going to be our first. So in five months from now Ill be able to anwser that question. (Laughs)
Well we saw a guy from Century Media and he didnt know that you were in Century Media...
you know what were not playing the main stage and were not
big you know! How much bigger do we have to be? Were you in that room?
Were you in that tent? Did you see? Those kids were going crazy! Thats
pretty big to me! There was a lot of kids in that room.
For "As Real As It Gets" you had a one record deal with Elektra...
That was amazing for a band in your style...
Why didnt you put out the next one ? Not enough sales...?
No that record label got bought from someone else, it doesnt exist anymore they got bought by Atlantic and Atlantic didnt want us, and we were dropped and we were labeless for about a year, before Robert came told us about Abacus and wants to sign us. So I mean it was a good thing and a bad thing signing up to a major label like that kind of I mean we got lost in the shuffle because we were small, and they worry about Fabulous, Missy Elliot, Metallica and all that stuff. But they helped us to getting us exposed to a big audience, helping us get on Ozzfest so that was great, it was good exposure for us, so I mean I got no hard feelings, things happen for a reason and you know whatever its over. Now were on Century almost and well see how that works out.
And do you remember how much you sold of "As Real As It Gets"?
I think 32 thousand records sold, bought, thats all that was ever made we sold every record we ever made, they never shipped anymore they stopped making the record and every time we asked if we can get the datas for the record they tell us "no we cant even make anymore its whack", you wont find that, the only place youll find "As Real As It Gets" is in a moms and pops store or on eBay, it never will be made anymore, its just sitting, if its anywhere its in a moms and pops store, you wont find it. Every record ever made "As Real As It Gets" has been sold. Thats not bad its pretty good if they would of made fifty, sixty thousand we could of sold fifty, sixty thousand but they stop making the damn record.
Thats a pity especially for the fans who wants that record...
is a pity man! I know, you cant find it nomore, you have to download
it or have to make a bootleg from somebodys or go rob it. (Laughs)
It kind of is, theres so many bands you could go on how many bands coming out of New York over the last 20 years and its tough To live underneath them, you know what Im saying? Those bands are the bands that everybody loves and you will go and see and sometimes we get lost in the shuffle. I mean we do good in New York we have our fans but I like to be as big as those bands. (Laughs) It would definitely be fun you know I wish I could be huge in New York because thats my hometown you know and I love it, but unfortunately were not huge, but we do ok, we do pretty good, Im not going to complain we got out fans come out and support us.
On the song called "We Hate", who are you talking about?
See that songs isnt directed towards anyobody. I wrote that song for the people that song is for who you hate, its for who that person hates, its not necessarily for who I hate, I was just writing a song based on the fact that somebodys got to hate , I hate a lot of music, and I know theres a lot of people who feels the same way, everybody has to feel the same way I cant be the only person who talks like that. Is there music out there you hate?
Yeah of course!
So who do you hate? Tell me some kind of genres that you hate?
Emo of course... with all the makeup and stuff like that...
Yeah that shits gay, I hate that shit! Its retarded, they could all fucking die. See thats how I wrote that song for you who you hate I wrote the song , thats what that song is about, it wasnt meant for me personally, its meant for everybody to understand who enjoys good music and well we got to vent, you go to let it out, you got let out your anger, I let it out in the song, and everybody could let it out in the dance floor, thats what the song is about.
Your lyrics arent alert to political stuff from being from new York city, do you have something to say about the events about September 11th and the Bush politics and stuff like that?
Im not really a big preacher I dont like to tell people
you know this is right, "this is right, do this, do that",
thats not my style, but you know Ill have those days where
Ill have to say something and in order for me to say something
without being to overboard I write it in music you know and thats
how I express myself. I let people know whats going on around
me by them reading my lyrics, I dont really want to be a preacher
thats not my style because no one really likes to be talked blah
But do you have any opinions about the Bush politics for example?
Bush can die. I dont care about bush, bush is a dick, actually I kind of feel bad for him. Because he doesnt even have anything to say, hes just a figure head, hes a puppet, people are pulling his strings, he does what somebody else tells him to do, hes just there to take the fall when the fall happens so I kind of feel bad for him in that sense. Hes not even really the leader of the country, hes just a nobody and his politics are for shit.
You think American people suffer from bush politics?
Five thousand people lost their lives on September 11th. Is that enough suffering, how families suffered that day? Some people dont even have memory, they cant even go to the grave site and visit their tomb, nothing! Because theres no body, theres nothing, there a lot of people suffered that day you know and why! For greed, it all boils down to money, oil, it aint about no holy land its about who the fuck has the oil thats what its about, its about whos going to get rich, whos going to get fat pockets, I dont care about fat pockets, my pockets aint fat, theyre thin, thats why I do what I do because If I get too seriously I get angry you know thats why I dont talk about politics, its all bullshit you know, you put on a TV fucking every other day theres something negative why dont they start putting some positive shit on TV? On the news why do the news always report the bad stuff because it makes them good news if youre hearing about the fireman saving the cat from the tree, nobody gives a shit why? Because it aint good news nobody cares. People wan to hear about the fucking forty people that just died in Iraq, people want to hear about the car bombing in Israel, people want to hear about Bin Laden fucking found him over here and they blew up his mountain and got away again, nobody wants to hear about the good shit they all want to hear about the bad shit. You know what if the media started publicating the good stuff maybe the fucking world will be a better place stop showing the bad shit maybe, show half and half, instead of hundred percent and zero.
the same problem everywhere, the same in France, in the news theyre
always talking about bad stuff...
You certinaly knew Sob (Merauder guitar player). Do you remember a funny story happened with him?
A funny story about Sob... its weird because we would see Merauder on the road a lot and hung out in the same joints and every time I run to Sob, Id be like "Yo whats up Sob? and he never remember my name. (Laughs) Hed always be like "Dude whats your name bro? ", "Its alright Sob dont worry about it, its all good" he could never remember my name, it always made me laugh, what a bonehead man! Yeah but Sob is good dude, definitely and Meruader is an awesome fucking band, you know its a shame how things happen... Hey you know what? I guess you got to look at it like this now hes in a better place, for the people that believe and have faith hes in a better place right now so hopefully everybody gets to see that better place. Are you guys religious?
Ok so you dont believe so you think when you die you go underground and thats it?
Ok thats fine hey you could believe whatever you want, me I come from the roman catholic so when I go underground Im going to up there and Im going to be hanging out having a good time and up there Ill see Sob and he wont remember my name (Laughs).
You toured with Anthrax, right?
last year that was awesome !
Yeah you have to prefer Belladona, Belladona is the man! "Among The Living" man! Come on thats one of the greatest records ever!
Yeah I saw them with Belladona, it was two years ago and I think with Bush three years ago and I prefer a lot better with Bush than with Belladana! (Laughs)
Are you serious? No way! Thats crazy! I mean Bush made a great record with them, "Sounds Of White Noise", thats a great record but it kind of to me it wasnt really Anthrax. I think of Anthrax the first record I think of is "Among The Living" and thats Belladona, thats a classic right there I put up there with fucking "Master Of Puppets" and "Reign In Blood" thats a classic record. I got to go with Belladona besides, Joey Belladona toured with them, he was cool as fuck he was a good dude so that makes me like him more. (Laughs)
Heres the real question : have you heard that they have a new singer?
Yeah Corey from Stone Sour/Slipknot, yeah!
What do you think about that?
I dont know. I dont even know whyd they do the reunion with belladano if theyre not going to do a record with belladano thats weird I dont know but I mean Corey is a good singer too you know you cant nothing away from him he does his own style, he does Stone Sour, he does Slipknot, hes a talented musician, hes a talented writer... They may pull of a good record with him, well have to hear how it sounds like itll be weird not hearing bush or belladano, its going to be new guy but it made for the better it may be for the time to change you now what Im saying?
(Both at the same time ) Well see! (Laughs)
Ok maybe you have last words for your European & French fans?
Ill tell you what man I love Europe, I love the European fans because they show a lot of passion and a lot of energy when we come over here it makes me want to come here all the time and play and I really appreciate that a lot and I hope that all the European fans get to check out our new record when it comes out in century media its called "Maniacal". Do us a favor, pick it up when you see it because we want to come back... Many times, many times...And first in December...
well be back for the Persistence tour with Hatebreed, Agnostic
Front, Ignite in december so come check us out.
The last Ignite record is awesome...
Yeah, Its awesome the best record they ever did, I think so I mean every song is great...
The guys at Spiritribe voted and this record was album of the year... even if i personnaly prefered the Icepick record...
Real Recognizes real ! (Laughs)
Icepick... Jamey Jasta, Hatebreed man! I want to be big like Hatebreed, I want to be able to makes this for a living not have to go home and get a job, I wan to have my band pay me! (Laughs) Thats what Im all about. (Laughs)