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sic2011_04Interview with

Eddie (guitar) of SIC

SIC have been steady with the hardcore / thrash metal scene for some time, and their latest album, ‘Fighters They Bleed’, has been their most monumental release at all. Drawing on nu-metal influences as well, they’ve broken the mould and remade themselves with a new style and new band members while still kicking the ass of every listening thing in its wake. It’s a monster of an album, and it is very good stuff. I got a chance to talk with the band a bit about their thoughts on the album, and their thoughts on the past, present, and future.

Reflections of Darkness (RoD): Hello, how are things going? Just wanted to say I really enjoyed listening to your second album, ‘Fighters They Bleed’. It’s a great mix of Groovecore / hardcore music.
Eddie: Hi, things are going great and glad you like the album.

RoD: So what did SIC have in mind when creating this album? How does it top off your debut, ‘Pandemonium?’
Eddie: I don’t know if we had anything in particular in mind during the writing process of this album. We knew all the time that we wanted it to be more aggressive, brutal, honest and in-your-face than our debut. I guess it all came pretty natural to us - we weren’t afraid to just do what we thought was good and we had all grown a lot as musicians. We also didn’t want to repeat ourselves and we didn’t think so much about making “mainstream-hit-value” songs. We wanted strong compositions and songs that made sense to us. I think it tops of ‘Pandemonium’ in so many ways. Yes, there are fewer melodies and clean vocals, but we’ve managed pretty well to raise both the intensity and overall quality of each track. You could say that ‘Pandemonium’ is a “typical” debut and this album (FTB) is where we went all in!

RoD: Are there any particular concepts or messages that you intended to deliver to the listeners on any specific track?
Eddie: The whole theme of the album - lyrically anyway - (...all lyrics are written by Mik) are about inner demons, overcoming obstacles in life, sic2011_02fighting for what you want and need and having to bleed for it, about betrayal, substance abuse and simply everyday stuff that has been in our lives and has been a part in making us stronger: moulding us to the individuals that we are today. I think the most important message would be honesty: never be afraid to show who you really are and take no shit from no-one!

RoD: Noticing you’re from the Faroe Islands, there hasn’t been that much in the way of “metal music activity” in that area. What got you into metal and also helped create a fan base / name for yourselves when you had just started out?
Eddie: Just when we started, there weren’t many metal bands in the Faroe Islands - at least not many that were active on the road, especially not outside of the Faroe Islands. I’ve always had a passion for metal music and it was always a dream to start a band, and I started SIC (2001), more or less as a hobby with some completely different members than the ones you see today. To make a long story short, Mikkjal (Voc.) joined in 2003 and the rest of the line-up joined in 2005 and we realized that we actually could do something with the music we were writing and that’s when we started getting really serious about it as well and decided to book a studio in Denmark where we recorded our debut. About this time, bands like Týr started touring outside of the Faroe’s which only made us want it even more. With the help of online community sites, especially MySpace, we managed to get some contacts that would eventually help us getting gigs, promo, airplay, reviews and before we knew it we had released our debut and went on our first full-scale European Tour. In our case, the internet played a crucial role in our ‘success’ since the Faroe Islands are stranded in the middle of f***ing nowhere! (laughs)

RoD: Any influences you’d like to name, past or recent, that has really directed your musical style?
Eddie: I think that on ‘Pandemonium’ it’s quite obvious that we let the whole “nu-metal” era influence our songwriting as opposed to ‘Fighters They Bleed’ where we’re not afraid to let artists that always inspired us reflect in our music. We’ve all, more or less, grown up with bands such as Meshuggah, Pantera, Sepultura, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Korn, Slayer, Machine Head, Morbid Angel, Death and so on. These are all favourites that we all more or less can agree on. More recent influences would be bands such as Gojira which we had the privilege to perform with - really awesome and talented band.

RoD: How has the band grown since the debut? Any important lessons you’d like to share with our readers?
Eddie: We’ve defiantly grown bigger balls! (laughs). We’ve become less naive, gotten older and hopefully wiser, we’ve grown as musicians and sic2011_01songwriters and most importantly as friends. What really put us to the test was our first tour, living together 6-9 people in a night-liner for 60 days. That shit will get on anyone’s nerves, but we survived it and it made us grow as a band and individuals. So I guess the lesson would be to tell the bands (that haven’t done this stuff before) to not be naive and jump on the first and best thing that comes along, cause if it fucks up, it will test you and in some cases crush you and if you aren’t strong enough I guess it’ll do more damage than good.

RoD: What is your musical philosophy behind metal?
Eddie: To kick as much fucking ass as humanly possible!

RoD: ‘Fighters…’ is the first album without your drummer, Magnus Hansen. Do you feel that without him, the entire atmosphere of the band has changed, or have things been going well with integrating his replacement, Dennis Buhl, into SIC’s style?
Eddie: I think the atmosphere has changed to the better as it was his time to leave. At the time we didn’t realize it and were unhappy and “shocked” by his decision, especially because we were just about to be ready to enter the studio to record Fighters They Bleed. About 3 months after he left SIC, I managed to get Dennis to try out for SIC. Initially he only agreed to do the album with us and a few shows, but the chemistry was so good that he became a full time member of SIC and we were and still are thrilled about that fact. He brought a completely different approach to the songwriting and made us push ourselves much more than we were used to and that’s something you can defiantly hear on our latest album.

RoD: With the digital world making it easier to spread music with the use of MySpace and YouTube, would you say it has become easier to reach out to fans, or has it suddenly become more difficult because now almost anyone can contact you, and there can be a lot of identity theft, etc? With so many illegal downloads going on it’s a wonder bands still get money for the CDs they release…
Eddie: Like I mentioned earlier, then I am sure that these sites played a crucial role in our “success” reaching new fans all over the world. We established contacts that we otherwise would never have gained via the minimal network we had in the Faroe Islands at the time. There were many “fakes” that approached us to be on a tour, sampler or a third and when it was finally supposed to happen, this “person” would disappear, but you quickly learn how to filter out the frauds from the real deal. I have a really ambivalent feeling towards all these sites though - as much as they help us and other bands, they are killing the CD industry, and as you mention, you hardly make any money at all on CDs these days. It’s ironical and paradoxical that the same people that claim to love your music and music in general have no problem taking down the music illegally fully knowing that an album costs thousands of dollars to make. The only way for bands like us to survive is by touring and selling merchandise.

RoD: Would you say that since the time you started enjoying metal up till this point, that the genre has diversified, or has its values gone askew a bit as far as what listeners expect from your type of music?
Eddie: I think the genre has evolved, a lot of good stuff has happened and a lot of crap has gotten out too. I think it’s awesome to see new metal bands taking different approaches to the genre, mixing different styles and so on. It makes it all more interesting. Of course there’ll be bands that make it in to a total mess and you hate them so much for “ruining the genre” that you wish them dead (hint: Attack Attack), but it’s all a part of it. sic2011_03Music will always grow and people will always have their own approach to it - at the end of the day, you just got to make something that makes sense to you and be honest to yourself and the music you’re making.

RoD: So what’s next on the SIC agenda? Any tours coming up/ finishing up?
Eddie: SIC has been on a “hiatus” since last August (2010) touring wise. We’re finally starting to gig again this summer to promote ‘Fighters They Bleed’ in the Faroe Islands, Denmark and some other countries in the EU. We’re working on setting up a tour in late 2011 and most defiantly in 2012.

RoD: When touring, is there anything that you like to do to make it extra memorable, such as say a certain line, perform a staple song, or just do something wild and crazy that really makes an impact on fans?
Eddie: We love to interact with the fans when on stage, goof around, spit beer at each other, just doing stuff that makes us laugh and have a good time - and make sure that the fans have a good time as well. We always try to make sure that we make time after the show (and pre-show) to talk to the fans, listen to what they have to say. We love going in to the pit when the other bands are on and just hitting it off. At the end of the day we’re just 5 metal heads that love having fun.

RoD: What do you enjoy best about touring anyway?
Eddie: Waking up in a new city and start to slowly feel that adrenalin and excitement about the upcoming gig. There’s a fresh audience that’s just waiting for you to get your ass on that stage and deliver. It’s an awesome “job” - you get to meet new people, see new places, do what you love every single night, I guess I enjoy the whole atmosphere around touring - except the shitty catering (at times) and the awful tour-bus toilets! (laughs)

RoD: If given the chance to co-tour with any four other bands, who would they be and why?
Eddie: Korn: because they are what made me want to write music (again) and they have played a huge role in my life. Metallica: because they are legends. Meshuggah: because they put me in awe every time I listen to them. And Machine Head ‘cause they kick so much f***ing ass!

RoD: Lastly… the fans. They are the heart of your engine here. Are there any stories or letters / gifts from the road that a fan has given to the band that has really made a positive impact?
Eddie: We sure do love our fans - without them there is no SIC. One thing that without a doubt made a huge impact on all of us was when we started seeing fans tattooing either our logo or some of our lyrics on them! That’s dedication like no other! The coolest one that I know of is by this dude who tattooed our logo all over his throat - respect! We are always happy to see fans do stuff that we somehow inspired them to do, be it drawings, paintings, tattoos, or a simple “thank you”. It means that we’re doing something that matters, and I’d like to be the one that says thank you right now!

RoD: That’s about all I have for you guys; thanks again for taking the time to answer all my questions here at Reflections of Darkness. Any last parting words you’d like to say to our readers?
Eddie: Thank you for this interview! Yes, we are extremely excited to see as many of you as possible when we hit the road again! Until then, keep it brutal and stay fucking metal!

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