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Monday, April 14, 2008

Interview: Sick Of It All

Sick Of It All are New York hardcore legends. From their inception, way back in 1984, the band have always stayed true to their original sound, playing it hard and fast at underground music clubs, like the renowned CBGB’s, keeping things simple and steadily building a mighty loyal following. Such is their status that in 2007 a tribute album to the band, entitled ‘Our Impact Will Be Felt’ was released - there certainly wasn’t a shortage of big-name admirers who wanted in on the project. They’ve recently toured with AFI and The Departed and are due back in the studio in 2008 to record a new album. With a UK tour on the horizon, Subba’s John Skibeat caught up with guitarist Pete Koller to find out just what motivates them.

Twenty-two years now and you’re still going at it hell for leather. Is there a place where you draw a line and say enough or will you be rocking it with your zimmer-frames?

Well as long as we all take care of ourselves we can keep going. This is what I love to do, I don't think I would be happy doing any thing else. So, I'm going to do my best to keep it going.

I’ve heard you sometimes take on part-time jobs to fill the gaps between touring and recording. How does this arrangement suit you guys?

I have not worked a regular job in many years. This band is a full time job.

The tribute album to the band, ‘Our Impact Will Be Felt’, features legendary bands like Sepultura and Napalm Death. How cool was it that guys like these contributed to the project?

It was a great honour. We are friends with all these bands and glad that they helped out.

There’s a new album in the pipeline. How’s it shaping up?

It's shaping up slowly right now. We have a few more tours and then when that's over with we can work full-time on the new stuff. I have a few songs already.

Is it still full of political angst like your last album ‘Death To Tyrants’ featured?

This being an election year, I'm sure of it!

You’ve been credited with inventing the Braveheart, also known as the Wall Of Death. How did that come about?

Well, we didn’t actually invent it. We just re-introduced it to the people.

Who exactly are ‘The Alleyway Crew’?

We are the Alleyway crew - the guys in the band. We got the name because we use to hang out in this alleyway in Queen’s; drinking, smoking and joking around. We where kids, we had nowhere else to go. Our friends down at CBGB's would call us that and it stuck.

As one of the longest standing and still most popular bands proudly waving the flag of New York how proud does that make you feel?

It warms my heart. It's a great feeling that people relate to us so much that they stick with us for so long.

You were pretty hardcore when you first started out. How do you feel your music has changed over the years?

Well, we all learned how to play better, write music better
and how to get our thoughts down on paper.

You’re about to start a UK tour in some tiny venues. Are you looking forward to getting to close to the fans as much as the UK fans are to you!?

Oh yes, I love the show in the UK. The people are great fun. Can't wait!

Which bands are you currently into?

Death Before Dishonour and Blood Clot.

Which of your many gigs has been your favourite and why?

The show we just played in NYC. The place was packed and everyone was going crazy. It was a great show.

Finally, on tour do you still stay up drinking into the small hours like you used to or are you all tucked up in bed with a good book and mug of cocoa?

Well most of us stay up drinking and acting the fool but I go to bed early. I got to get to the gym the next morning!

Thanks for your time. Happy touring!

OK, see ya at the shows.

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