The Sweet Things – Dirty New York Groove

The SWEET THINGS have just released a fantastic 7” on Spaghetty Town Records. If you miss hearing songs in the vein of IZZY STRADLIN, old STONES, or JOHNNY THUNDERS, then this is the right band for you!

Your biography said the band got formed after some drinks, and no one could really remember meeting up, can you tell us more about this rock’n’roll fairy tale?

Lorne: I sure can. Here is my perspective of the story. I knew Dave from his band The Sharp Lads, my old band The Dead Tricks played shows with that band. I instantly felt a connection with him, Dave has a light around him that makes you want to be friends with him. We began to share albums and music that we loved but our bands didn’t play stuff like Izzy Stradlin songs, Little Steven solo albums, etc. Dave turned me on to some great stuff. When I first met Sam, I found him annoying and smelly, haha. But he’s a hard guy not to like, just an old soul charmer with a big heart. I could instantly tell he had great taste, and he is a badass bassist and songwriter. I met Darren when I got hired to play as a sideman guitarist. His drumming inspired me so much—he played what I wanted to hear with a deep street-level groove. We also bonded as friends, and I instantly felt like I knew him a lifetime.

The story goes that after The Dead Tricks, I was really depressed and I just felt like my time playing music was maybe over. I’ll never forget my daughter being over at my apartment, and getting a bunch of messages from random musicians wanting to play with me. It felt like some sort of sign. Dave and I had talked about jamming. My daughter who was like 6 then, also encouraged me to get back out there. Soon it struck me, Dave, Sam, and Darren would be a dream band. That first official rehearsal was incredible. These guys are such talents and rock n’ roll flows so naturally from them, and they’re very gifted with drinking.

Darren: Lorne called me up and asked if I would be down for a low-key jam with Dave, who I had just met the week before at a party for Lorne. Supposedly it was no songs and no pressure. Then we started playing and in the first 10 seconds I was like, oh fuck, this is my dream band. Just a perfect fit in every way. It clicked really hard.

What happened to The DEAD TRICKS?

Lorne: That’s a really special band to me, and it means a lot when people ask about it or express their fondness for it. I think the short answer is we imploded. No one is to blame; it’s just really hard to be in a band. The story has a happy ending as we’re friendly and everyone is doing music. Our drummer Steve Dios is like a brother to me, and he’s in the incredible band Wyldlife, bassist and singer Manya and James had a post-punk band called Future Dark, and I’m still here doing the same shit I’ve always done.

Your first 7″ is out on Spaghetty Town Records. Can you tell us about it? When did you record these two songs, and how did you get in touch with Spaghetty Town Records?

Lorne: On that first rehearsal Dave came in with “Love To Leave” despite me saying let’s go in with nothing and see what we write. I’m so glad he defied me, haha. That song is fantastic, Dave is a motherfucker of a songwriter. He also wrote the B-side “Cocaine Asslicker Blues,” which I also adore. We literally did our first recording a few weeks after getting together. It was such a blast to go in there loose and inspired and just play without too much overthinking. This version of “Love To Leave” on the single is newer version with piano and the great singer Liza Colby from our sister band The Liza Colby Sound. The songs were tracked in different sessions.

As far as Spaghetty Town, we were looking for a home for these recordings and the guys suggested that label. I didn’t know Teddy, the founder, but the other guys did. We all felt an instant connection and it’s been great working with him. We will release another single with him this fall.

Darren: We recorded both songs at our friend Pete’s studio and everything you hear was pretty much the first or second take. If the vibe is there we just grab it and try not to choke it to death.

You have the best list of influences on your Facebook page, unfortunately, not many bands play this kind of rock’n’roll nowadays. I can think of DR. BOOGIE and a couple others, but that’s quite rare to find such bands in 2017. Any other bands in that style around New York?

Lorne: Thank you for saying that. There are some great bands in New York that have a dirty rock n’ roll sound like Ten Ton Mojo, The Liza Colby Sound, The Nuclears, The Threads, New York Junk, Steve Conte, The Gotham Rockets, The Love Pirates, The Hip Pipps, The Black Cats, The Savage Hearts, Midnight Crisis, Crazy Rob Carlyle and The Compulsions, and PSSR. I hope I didn’t’ forget anyone.

Some would call your music “vintage”, and you like your artwork/visual stuff to have an old-school edge to it. Are you bored with the modern world?

Lorne: For me, what you see and hear are part of the cultural signposts that shaped me–I’m sort of a relic, haha. It’s what I feel in my heart and not a stance against the modern world nor is it a vintage pose. I always get bummed when people yearn for the old days or piss on everything that is happening now.

Darren:. I don’t think there’s a concerted effort to present ourselves in any particular way, it’s just a natural reflection of how we feel and who we are.

Have you been touring a lot in the US? Favourite cities to play?

Lorne: Yes, we have been touring. We did a 10-date run in May, and we are doing another similar tour in October. I really enjoyed playing in Los Angeles as I was born outside of there and it meant a lot to have a homecoming kind of gig. We played New London, Connecticut a few months ago and that was great. And, of course, it’s always a treat to play NYC. It’s been my home for 20 years and I still love it.

Favourite ROLLING STONES record?

Lorne: Goat’s Head Soup

Darren: Goat’s Head Soup (I cheated and copied Lorne’s answer, sorry Lorne!)

Favourite DOGS D’ AMOUR record?

Lorne: In The Dynamite Jet Saloon

Favourite JOHNNY THUNDERS era?

Lorne: So Alone

Darren: LAMF

Your thoughts on Guns N’ Roses without Izzy Stadlin and Steven Adler?

Lorne: I’m so happy that band is playing again in classic kind of way, and I think they sound great. All those guys are such soulful virtuosic musicians and they meld together great as a unit.

Darren: Approximately five bazillion people saw them live since they started playing again and everyone had a fucking great time. That’s hard to argue with. You can always watch the video from The Ritz if you want.

Last rock’n’roll book you’ve enjoyed?

Lorne: I don’t know how rock n’ roll this is but Patti Smith’s Avenue M has really moved me.

Can we expect an album soon?

Lorne: Well, you can expect a single in the fall. I would love for us to do an album, we have the songs for it, but I think it’s just like singles-oriented world right now and that’s, in all honesty, the most affordable route.

Any plan to come to Europe?

Lorne: We have talked about it, but nothing concrete. I want to take this moment to thank you for being so supportive of The Sweet Things and my previous bands. It means a lot to me and I’m grateful.
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