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Sweet Cyanide with Mike & Sal

Can you briefly summarize how the band formed and what you do in Sweet Cyanide?

Mike- We have been running around the same local circuit for years, did some regional touring together, and always wanted to work together. I got a call from Sal to come in and help out on some drum tracks and the second I heard “Black & White” I knew something was happening and I needed to be a part of it.

Your lyrics are infused with heavy detail and raw emotion. What is it that normally gives you inspiration when writing lyrics and is there a concept behind the writing of your s/t?

Sal- Lyric writing is a strange thing for me; alot of my song ideas came from watching people around me going through crazy stuff in their lives, So it’s a careful mix of detail and symbolism or vagueness. I don’t want to piss off my friends by singing about their problems and personal business and at the same time, i don’t want to bury the initial ideas and feelings under so much lyrical camouflage that it loses it’s meaning or emotion. The main idea of the record was a loosely connected concept of different lives falling to pieces , etc. like a “people-watchers” delight!!! It’s kinda creepy in a way…

You just released your s/t, how has the reactions been thus far? What can fans expect when they pick up a copy?

Sal- A poisonous and irresistably tasty dose of dirty Rock n’ Roll!!!

When it came to releasing your s/t how did that whole package come together? What was the recording process like, how long did you have, was their any pressure on you?

Sal- I would come to rehearsal with a specific song idea and the guys would get to work on it, arranging and rearranging until it was perfect. Our Co-producer, Chris Petro would then start to track us and piece all of the crazy ideas together so that they would make sense. We really didn’t have a deadline, we just wanted to make a great rock record in the vein of those cool 70’s artists like Bowie, Cheap Trick, and Queen. In short, we wanted to make a record that we would want to hear! Ironically, it only took 15 days to complete it.

How do you think you will effect the Rock/Alternative scene you are part of? What are your thoughts on the growing popularity in it as well?

Sal- As of the past few years, Alternative rock can now be anything from pop to metal so i think we’ll definitely be a big, identifiable part of it. We didn’t want to be pigeon-holed into a specific genre or sound…i guess we are a true “Alternative”??

You guys are from New York what is the local music scene like there? Any bands you’d recommend?

Sal- Lots and lots of bands, too many to keep track of! I could only recommend a few off the top of my head: Sweet Cyanide and Imani Coppola.

How has BDL Music been thus far for you guys? Who approached who?

Sal- They been pretty non- invasive and let us do whatever we please so i guess it’s cool. No one really approached anyone, we just kind of all came together. the right place at the right time.

Who did the artwork and title for the album, when you look on the final project, is there anything you wish you could have done differently?

Mike- As far as the artwork goes that was me. i sat down with some of the rough mixes and worked more off of feeling than anything else. The final product is what you got. Regarding the art and the packaging I wouldn’t change a thing.

The name of the band Sweet Cyanide, is interesting to say the least and sounds as if there is a story behind it. Where did the name come from and what is the story?

Sal- Sweet Cyanide was the name of my first group back in freshman year of high-school. I wanna say that The band and i just felt like it fit the sound we were going for today so we resurected it but the truth is that Angelo ended up tattooing the name on his arm one drunken night on a dare so after that, we really didn’t have a choice but to go with SWEET CYANIDE.

Many of your songs are so hard and intense that I am sure they translate well into a live setting taking on a whole new life in front of a live audience. How does it make you feel when the emotion and power that you envisioned in the recording studio, come to life while playing in front of a crowd?

Sal- Sweet Cyanide live is a whole different beast! Some of the songs end up being played heavier and some end up getting rearranged; We like to keep it interesting for the fans and for ourselves. When the crowd reacts and focuses all their attention on us, it just validates what we’re doing…

Different groups have unique ways of writing their songs. How do you guys go about writing your music? Is it a collective effort or is it more the efforts of one particular member of the band?

Sal- I write about a song an hour (but not all of them become Sweet Cyanide songs) and i always write them in order as they would appear on a record or in a live set; Angelo, Joe, And Mike take the songs and make them happen!

What are the upcoming plans for Sweet Cyanide?

Sal- Record drops July 7th.; “Crash Theory” goes to radio in september: Regional touring starts in the fall and we’re awaiting details for some major opening slots with some major groups!!

Going back to the music business, what do you think of everyone downloading music, possibly even your music? Do you think it helps or hurts bands in the long run? How has MYSPACE and the internet impacted your band and do you think downloading helps or hinders the artists?

Sal- We don’t really care…go download our record illegally, just make sure you come see us live! The internet is an amazing way to get your music out to the masses…you just gotta be smarter than the next guy and be able to get the masses to listen! It definitely helps a band…if the band ROCKS!!!

What is the toughest lesson you ever learned in the studio and on the stage?

Sal- It’s tough to do 6-part vocal harmonies with only 4 voices!

What bands would you like to tour with and who has been your favorite to tour with this far? Any particular reason?

Sal- Crue, Guns, Kiss, Prince… i think we’d fit on any bill!

What is currently playing on your iPod?

Sal- what’s an ipod??

What is currently playing on your CD Player?

Sal- The wildhearts “fishing for luckies”, Imani Coppola “Black and white album”, Pink “Funhouse”, Triumph “Allied forces” & the new Sweet Cyanide Demo’s(which are sounding unbelievably amazing!!!)

Describe Sweet Cyanide in three words.

Mike- “Vaginal, Yeast, Infection” Sal- “Saturday, Night, Fever”

If you had a chance to go back in time, where, what, and why?

Mike- Twickenham, Film Studios on January 2, 1969, The Beatles Let It Be Rooftop performance rehearsals. Nothing more to say.

How do you think the recession is affecting musicians like yourself? Is it at all?

Mike- not really, we still go out at night and mug people just like the old post-recession days…and most people still carry large sums of cash. Joe- Music is a recession proof business, just like the alcohol business where people drink no matter what happens right?

What’s your reaction when/if a fan told you a very meaningful statement such as “Your music changed my life?” Has this ever happened to you?

Sal- No one said it’s changed their lives but we did get a smokin’ hot stripper tell us that she likes to have sex to ‘S.L.M’…i can’t say i blame her!

Every band has its musical influences. What are some of the other bands and artists that have greatly influenced you guys and your music?


All of that passion that you play with must be tough on you physically. How do you prepare for the physical demands of a tour?

Sal- We all try to have as much sex as possible on the road to relieve stress and keep us physically fit! Joe- Lot’s of exercising. Mainly cock pushups

Anything else you’d like to add?


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