Interview - Sworn Enemy

Sean Michael Coale interviews Sal LoCoco (vocals)

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Sean Michael Coale: So is this a full tour for you guys right now?
Sal LoCoco: "Ya U.S., As I Lay Dying, Himsa, the Autumn Offering is on it up until January 26th, and then the Daughters jump on."
SMC: Any plans to record a new record, or DVD?
SL: "That's what the tape is, our new stuff."
SMC: When do you plan on going into the studio with that?
SL: "Well we're trying to look at March right now, see if we can get some time and studios. And every place we wanna work with is booked up or the producers we wanna use aren't available at the moment. So I don't know, it's a fucking annoying process. We're trying to work on it right now, seeing what we can nail down."
SMC: Are you guys planning on touring this summer?
SL: "Ya we plan on touring till the band breaks up."
SMC: Any of the fests contact you, Warped Tour or Ozzfest?
SL: "Well, Ozzfest would be great and we'd definitely love to do it again. Maybe they'll call us who knows."
SMC: Ya, how was that last summer?
SL: "Best time in my life, I had so much fun. That's something that every band should get a moment to have under their belts, 'cause the experience alone of just being able to tour with the likes of the bands that you play with on that tour are just so big and you get to see what it's all about behind the scenes and hang out with real rock stars and shit. It's cool man, you know we had a lot of fun. Like the guys from Disturbed are so down to Earth and really cool, they would come and hang out with us and shit. They would watch us play on stage and everything, it was nice. It was a good feeling to know people in these bands can support as well as people in smaller bands."
SMC: How's it been so far moving from Stillborn Records to Elektra?
SL: "It doesn't feel any different, I still feel like I'm the same."
SMC: Well promotion-wise, cause a lot of bands are coming out against them, saying they really don't back metal sounding bands?
SL: "I mean they did a good job for us in the sense they put the records in stores Stillborn wouldn't reach. But I noticed that something with the promotions where it was kinda lacking, it wasn't really there. The ads for the record and stuff like that. And commercials and whatever little thing anyone can do they should've and I didn't see a lot of it. And we questioned that and we we're locked into a one record deal anyways. So it's up to them, if they wanna....The balls in their court right now, so I don't know what they're gonna do. If they're gonna pick up the next one or whatever."
SMC: What are your plans as far putting out another record?
SL: "We're gonna record a new record. And ah, if they wanna put it out, great. But we're gonna do things on our terms since it was only a one record deal. If no, maybe there will be other people who have interest in us because of our past and how well we've been doing and the draw that we have, you know. We could do good for a smaller label, we could make a label some money, like an EVR, or a Trustkill, Revelations or something like that size. On Elektra you're competing with Metallica, Missy Elliot, Busta Rhymes. How do you compete with that. And we're never gonna be a platinum seller, so."
SMC: In underground music you don't really need to be a platinum selling group as long as you can put gas in the car.
SL: "Ya and that's what we do. We definitely do a good enough job where we could start seeing, reaping some rewards of all the time we spent on the road and all the records that we sold. So we don't need to be on some huge record label, to get lost or be the small fish in the big pond."
SMC: Have you seen bigger draws or different crowds coming out since Ozzfest?
SL: "Well I've noticed since Ozzfest a lot of new shirts, that weren't there a year ago. We've noticed like Godsmack shirts in the crowd, Creed shirts, Marilyn Manson, Disturbed shirts, Slipknot shirts so. That's definitely a great thing I'm not gonna complain about it. Playing in a band you wanna broaden your horizons."
SMC: Ya you can't always pick who comes out to the shows.
SL: "I mean some people may down play that and say, you know. You sold out, but to me the word sell out means you changed your music. Compromised your integrity. And I mean if we're a sell out. Then there's a lot of sell outs, out there. Our music to me sounds heavy as fuck and would never get played on the radio that's for sure. It won't appeal to the mainstream."
SMC: Speaking of selling out, how do you feel on the state of hardcore?
SL: "Well, I don't think there is anymore hardcore. The hardcore in the pure sense I think of it as Agnostic Front, I think of the Cro Mags, I think of Madball. I think of Youth of Today, I think of Gorilla Biscuits, I think of old Judge. I think of Outburst, I think of all the old New York bands from the early 80s to the late 80s. It was a movement, it was something it meant something. Today I think that a lot of that has gone astray. It doesn't have the same meaning or feeling. I noticed a trend that's happening if your stuff gets sold at Hot Topic everybody calls you a hardcore band. And I don't even consider us a true hardcore band in a sense. I mean you look at a band like Terror, they play a form of old school. That's definitely a lot more hardcore then we are. We play breakdowns, we play metal in our music. I ain't gonna lie. But that's just...we can't help it. Being from New York we had so much great music come through our town, it's like......We had Anthrax, Exodus, Testament, Slayer, Megadeth, you know how could you not know or like these bands. Like all of us love Slayer, all of us love Pantera. So of course you're gonna have some of it in your music. But as for hardcore there's not really anything that's coming up that's hardcore these days. Basically, I don't know. You gotta feel it, it's gotta have some kinda meaning. A lot of the bands I don't know why they're labeled hardcore but they really shouldn't be."
SMC: How do you think the current administration handled the whole 9/11 and war that followed afterwards?
SL: "I try not to get to political 'cause that's not what we're about. I don't want kids to think that we wanna preach or anything like that. We're a fun band, we wanna have a goodtime. So I hate to preach but when that happened we had to write something to let people know how we felt. It was a bad time, a real bad time. And a lot of people...... me personally I wasn't effected directly no family lose, no relatives, nothing and I'm thankful for that. But I had a lot of friends who did lose people and I see how it affected them. And some people still aren't where they were before it happened. And they're still feeling the loss from what, 2 and a half years ago? I thought it was only fair, we being from New York, that we let the outside world know how we were feeling and as for what the city and the politics involved behind it. I think Giuliani, he wasn't the mayor at the time but he did a great job. Great job. And I was behind him 100% in everything he did, 'cause the mayor now, whatever. He's a retard and I wish Giuliani was still mayor. But ya, Giuliani did a great thing and he was able to keep peoples spirits high in a time of down. Just watching that shit unfold was something unreal. You never think something like that could ever happen. And to be honest I wish Bush had nuked the shit outta them the day it happened. You know that was only a logical feeling, at that moment. At that time I was just like blow these motherfuckers up. And that's the wrong mentality to have, I'm not really like that. But there's people out there that kill based on what a book says. The Bible, the Testament or what ever the hell they read and if you're gonna kill on what..... don't get me wrong, I am a practicing Catholic. And I believe, I have faith and all of that shit. I go to church, but because somebody says something you go out and kill people. You believe somebody and that makes it right and there's a lot of mindless zombies out there. That just listen and don't have any thoughts for themselves and feel this guy is right, and I need to go out and kill for him. Says who? if everyone was relaxed and chilled out, and have a goodtime, a lot of this wouldn't happen, but there's too many fanaticals out there with their religion and it's kinda scary. This place could be the next one, right here. Nobody knows when it's gonna happen again, and it's getting worse. It's not getting any better, 'cause the more violence happens in the middle east. The more they wanna kill us, the worse it gets over there, the worse it's gonna make for us over here. They tried in '93, they succeeded in '01, they wanna do something bigger in the future. Who knows when and where, it's like I always gotta worry cause I got family in New York that's always a prime target. And I can't stand that shit, but then again you can't let that shit rule your life. You gotta be happy to alive and living everyday you are alive and take it one step at a time. Relax and not try to think about that, cause when you do, they gotcha."
SMC: With the election coming up are you planning on voting and for whom?
SL: "I don't even know who the candidates are to be honest with ya. And this is funny cause I was talking about this when we were over in Europe with Zoli, the singer from Ignite, is really big into politics and that dude is so intelligent. He knows everything and I was just sitting there talking with him and I was like damn he's right, he's got a point. And I'm just there in shock over how intelligent this guy is, when I vote I'm gonna ask him his opinion. We're gonna be in California in like a week and a half, they're gonna come down to the show and hang out and shit. So I'm definitely gonna ask him his opinion on it, cause I know he won't stare me wrong, but I don't even know who the running candidates are, but I think the world is had their fill with Republicans for a while."
SMC: What's the best show you ever played or got to see?
SL: "The best show was actually a couple of weeks ago, we played in Pittsburgh at Club Lagga it was one of the Stillborn Fests. And it was some reaction, that show, the crowd, how much merch we sold. I could see after coming back from Europe, we hadn't played a show in the states since October. We played 3 Stillborn fests and that Pittsburgh show, after not playing here a while or in Pittsburgh, just any show in general I could see how far we've come. I mean we played at the exact same time as Madball, nobody wants to play at the exact sometime. And I'm like Jamey why are we playing at the exact same time as Madball? He was like dude, you think I wanted that to happen? You think I want Madball playin' the same time as you guys and you guys the same time as Madball? Both of you's are my friends. And I was so pissed cause I love watching Madball, they're one of my favorite bands. We did our thing, we played. The room that we played in, in Club Lagga was packed. The crowd was insane, crazy sing a longs. So much violence in the pit I couldn't believe it, there was head walking everywhere. It was like, you almost feel like you're Pantera or you're Slayer for a moment. That was one of the best shows we ever played and I was so happy, I felt so great. And we so sold so much shit, the numbers were so high I couldn't believe it. All 3 of the Stillborn fests were amazing and we did such great numbers. But that Pittsburgh one was one of the best one I can remember us playing."
SMC - SL -