Find us on Facebook!

To keep updated like our page at:

Or on Twitter:

Or E-mail us at:

Saturday 21 September 2019

The Spotlight: Interview With Skye Sweetnam of Sumo Cyco By Neil Lewis

I’ve said this before, but I think it bears repeating: Sumo Cyco are a hard-working band. Vocalist/lyricist Skye “Sever” Sweetnam also produces and directs the bands’ music videos, makes customised jewellery and clothing for the bands’ web store and maintains all the bands’ social media profiles whilst guitarist / sometime multi-instrumentalist / songwriter Matt “MD13” Drake also produces and engineers the bands’ music at their in-home studio in Hamilton, Ontario. The band (which is completed by bassist Oscar Ansetti and drummer Trozzi) are currently in the middle of a mammoth tour of the US and Canada as support to the rather excellent Jinjer which will see them playing 44 shows in 57 days.

Following this tour, they have a couple of weeks’ break (most if not all of which I imagine will likely be spent in their studio and / or in front of – and behind – the camera) before heading over to the UK towards the end of November for what will be their tenth UK tour since their first visit to these shores in 2013. I should mention that they do all of this with no travelling crew to speak of at all. Oh, and Skye runs the merch table after their shows.

The band maintain a very close bond with their fanbase (which can at times resemble something of a cult!), so in amongst everything else they currently have going on Skye was recently gracious enough to spend some time answering a few questions for the Musipedia Of Metal; the first of which was with regards to what information – if any – about their upcoming and as yet untitled third album we could share with our dear readers:

Skye: “Sorry! Nothing we can reveal yet!”

(Neil’s note: well you gotta ask, haha!)

Skye: “We can tell you we have written more songs for this album then any other album. We want this one to be the best of the best. We’ve experimented more then ever and are still writing in between our busy tour schedule.”

Album 3 is being crowd funded on your own website (sumocyco.com) following the demise of pledgemusic which the band used to crowd fund album 2 (2017’s Opus Mar); How is the campaign going so far?

Skye: “We are very happy with how the crowd funding campaign has been going. Shout out to the fans that have pre-ordered!”

Will album 3 be released this year?

Skye: “Album 3 will not be out this year unfortunately but that doesn’t mean we won’t be leaving more bread crumbs in anticipation. We still need to reach our goal before we release! We also have some exciting opportunities behind the scenes so things can always change but we feel we owe our fans to try to get out new music as soon as possible.”

The aforementioned website has a bit of backstory for the two videos that have already been released (Love You Wrong and Run With The Giants) which seems to suggest that there is going to be a story running through the album, is that correct? Can you tell us any more about the story or the characters?

Skye: “Yes! You’re correct. The place to start is on our crowd funding page (Neil’s note: sumocyco.com/album3) where you can take a quiz to find out which Cyco City Club you belong to. Each club has it’s own symbol and identity that corresponds with the pre-order packages. Our first video “Love You Wrong” features two characters “Tragic” from the Club Assassinners and “Glory” from The Club “Not Sorry Sorority”. The second video “Run With The Giants” is a prequel to “Love You Wrong” which features the rivalry between “Anonymous 9” and “Not Sorry Sorority” - many more pieces of the story are to be revealed. The Album BOOK will feature the entire story and the music videos will continue to play out more pieces of the puzzle!”

So we’ll be introduced to members of all four Cyco City Clubs before album 3 comes out?

Skye: “Yes of course! Like I mentioned previously Love You Wrong features “Tragic” from Assassinners and we have shown a few clips of the golden family of “Malice & Co.” on our socials. More coming soon!”

There is a track-by-track rundown of Opus Mar on your YouTube channel (youtube.com/sumocyco), do you think you’ll do one for the new album?

Skye: “We would love to! Many of the behind the scenes making of the album will be featured on the USBs included in the pre-order packages. We will also make public videos as well.”

Recently you spent a couple of weeks in Vegas working with Kane Churko in his Hideout studio. How did the two weeks go? Did you get everything done that you wanted to do?

Skye: “Working with Kane was great! He is super talented and we loved adding his energy to the mix. Going to Vegas and working at The Hideout really got us out of our comfort zone and gave us a new perspective. We completed two songs which was what we came there to do and I think they are really banging. I’m super excited to share these.”

Regarding your creative process, are there ever any creative differences in Cyco City?

Skye: “All the time. Haha Matt and I are good collaborators because we don’t always agree. Then once we do agree we know we’ve got something exceptional.”

So what kinds of things have inspired and influenced you for album 3 and in general?

Skye: “Wow! Well so much on many scales. Current events and world issues to my own experiences and everyday struggles. I love to use music as a way to express myself so things can get dark but that’s usually because I’m processing those feelings to get back to the light.”

A lot of your lyrics speak of very positive messages and encouraging self-empowerment (Fighter, Free Yourself, Move Mountains, Building Castles, Undefeated etc), would you say that’s the core Sumo Cyco message (if there is one)?

Skye: “I think overcoming obstacles is a huge theme, yes. At the end of the day I want people to feel more empowered by listening to our music but that doesn’t mean I want to sugar coat real feelings and emotions.”

Some bands write their songs primarily with the live performance in mind, is this Sumo Cyco’s approach?

Skye: “We don’t always write with playing live in mind, but it certainly does affect our writing after we return from a tour. We see what works and we try to make more dynamic moments happen on stage with the set.”

Back in June, you performed at the UK’s Download Festival on the Avalanche stage, how was that experience?

Syke: “Download man! Wow! I finally know what everyone has been talking about. We loved the experience from the muddy wellies to performing and meeting some of our favourite artists*.”

(*Neil’s note: as an example, Skye and Matt were in the middle of being interviewed in the artists area when Clutch walked in. Matt immediately abandoned the interview to go say hi to them!).

I believe you also spent some time in the NXT wrestling tent?

Skye: “We did go to the NXT tent! There are many similarities between entertaining a crowd as a wrestler and as a front person of a band. I learned a lot from watching Chris Jericho when we toured with Fozzy. I love the over the top showmanship.”

Having played Download, what would be the next goal for Sumo Cyco on the road to world domination?

Skye: “Ahhh hard to say but now that we got to experience our first large festival we are hungry for more! We would love to do more of the festival circuit next year.”

Touring isn’t necessarily a glamorous lifestyle; you can’t shower or launder your clothes regularly and you eat on the go pretty much all the time. What’s your least favourite thing about long tour schedules such as the current Jinjer tour?

Skye: “The southern heat! We live in essentially a tin box (our mini tour bus) and this tour we went to the trouble to buy an AC unit and a generator to run it but it just can’t keep up with the heat. The heat does not help the stinky smells, no access to showers and makes it hard to sleep. Yesterday our drummer even got extreme dehydration which we think was sparked by food poisoning but because of the heat it was just unbearable that he had to be hospitalized*. It’s serious stuff. Just means we gotta upgrade the ride at some point but honestly that’s the worst of it. Self care is extremely important on the road. Eating right, drinking water and not as much booze is essential.”

(*Neil’s note: I’m thankful to say that said drummer, Trozzi, has since made a full recovery).

So, does a good show totally make up for any nightmares you may encounter on the journey there?

Skye: “Oh you bet! Nothing beats a great show! That’s why so many musicians do what we do. It’s definitely not for the money.”

Can us UK fans expect to hear any new songs being aired on your next tour here in November?

Skye: “Yes! We will have a couple new ones along with our latest singles “Love You Wrong” and “Run with the Giants” - Can’t wait to play them!!”

I still occasionally see and read female band members being asked the age-old question of what it’s like to be a female in the male-dominated rock world, how do you feel about being asked about this?

Skye: “I’m not one of those people that feel offended by the women in rock question. I think we still have a ways to go to get equal representation in the genre so until that day comes I’ll be pumping up my ladies. During the first week of tour I had one female rocker in the pit stop a guy from grabbing my ass. So we are looking out for one another out there.”
“Every tattoo has a story”, so the saying goes. Does anyone want to share a story behind any of their tattoos?

Skye: “Matt always is very impromptu when it comes to tattoos. He always gets different tattoos from the places he visits. Has ink from Japan, New Zealand, all across the states, Ireland & Scotland - he looks at the pieces as reminders of where he’s been.”

Skye: “Trozzi is working on a building his tattoo collection with the theme of Good and Evil, good characters on the left and evil on the right with some of his favourite childhood characters on his arms as he builds his way up.”

And finally, what bands / albums do you think Sumo Cyco fans should be listening to while we wait for album 3 to be released?

Skye: “Perfect place to hear what we’re listening to is our Spotify playlists - Just added a bunch of music including Grandson, Nova Twins, Jinjer, Hands Off Gretel to the “Sever’s Current Mood” Playlist. I update it all the time so check back for new songs!”

Well, you heard the lady so why not give that playlist a follow?

Many thanks to Skye for taking the time to answer these. Sumo Cyco will be touring the UK from the 24th of November to the 8th of December, full details and ticket links can be found on their website.

No comments:

Post a Comment