As 2013 approaches, there is no better time to acquaint yourself with some music to help bring in the New Year. Sinner Sinners: are a dutch-french punk duo based in Los Angeles. They deliver a music of its own style: Loud, fast aggressive and yet melodic. We sat down with Steve Thill to talk Turbonegro, punk rock and what 2013 holds for the band.
By Meghan Player
How did the band start out and what bought you all together?
Sam and I have been a couple for 11 years today 12/12/12. We’ve always wanted to start a project together. So we wrote a 10 track album as a duo (she had never played any instrument or sang before the first day of recording) and got all of our friends from France to play on it.
It was just supposed to be that one thing – we never really planned on playing it live.
Then somehow we got a lot of interest in the album and 2 weeks after we were finished with the recording we got offer to do a live on a local TV channel the next weekend. We had like 4 days to find a line up and learn the songs as we’ve never played them live before… it was something.
Your horror/punk sound can be likened to Turbonegro, The Misfits or Danzig – have these bands been influential on your overall sound? Are there other bands that have been equally as important in defining your style and sound?
We got introduced to Turbonegro with Apocalypse Dudes – which I think is one of the best punk rock album ever made. So I guess they inspired us. But we mainly have a really 60’s garage background that doesn’t really reflect on our music. The Doors and the Stooges are definitely big influences.
We’re also big fans of the late 70’s Australian garage scene, Radio Birdman, the Saints, the Victims, Lime Spiders…
You are certainly a well-travelled band: setting up camp in Paris, Holland and Los Angeles – have you found that each place inspires a different style or sound of your music?
Back in France we were trying to sound like an American band, now that we’ve been in California for 2 years I think we sound more European… it’s weird.
In France – I gotta admit – that as musicians we’re a bit spoiled. You get to play in great venues and get great money right away. I mean we opened for the Sonics in front of 900 people when the band was not even a year old – the stage was huge, with a light show and all that crap. We’re really glad we did and are really thankful for it, but I don’t think we deserved it.
The music scene here is a lot bigger. There is literally thousands of bands and I think we’ve learned a lot from playing live here in L.A. It’s tough, you hardly get paid, you’re happy if you get a drink ticket, I mean some places even have bands paying to play – but it definitely makes you fight for your music. You get frustrated and pissed off, which is exactly what you need when you’re a rock band.
The Southern California punk/hardcore scene in the late 80s/early 90s is still continuing to inspire bands today – were there any bands to come out of that scene that inspired you to start a band?
Bands like the Adolescents, the Faction have inspired us. I couldn’t say that’s why we started a band, but we stole a lot from them.
Do you think that the punk/hardcore scene still has the same impact on audiences now that it did in the 70s, and then again in 80s?
We were born in 1986 and raised in the country side of France so I can’t really answer this question. But right now I feel like it’s a really good time. Nothing surprises anyone anymore, everything’s been made, pretty much anything you can think of already exists.
It seems like the kids today care more about looks and if the guys in the band are vegan or straight edge or dating a celebrity – rather than the music itself. I think what the audience need (or what we need as an audience) is to go back to the basics, no bullshit!
We went to see the Adolescents in a bar a few month ago – they don’t give a fuck. No fancy light show, no dramatic intro, no stage moves or dance, nothing. They show up on stage and fucking rock – they just play great music and they sound amazing, the audience react to that.
You recently finished recording your new album – what can you tell us about it?
It’s not finished yet but we’re getting there. I can tell you that it’s a lot angrier and heavier than anything we’ve done before, and that we’re really happy with it and excited to play it live.
Did you approach making this album differently to your previous EP?
Totally. Our first EP and first album were recorded in a few days. We would record a riff, write lyrics on it and be done in an hour. Some of the songs we’ve recorded on this new album are songs we’ve been working on for 2 years.
How has the band changed/developed since your first EP?
Well there’s nothing horror about it anymore, now that we’ve learned to speak English more, we were able to write about a lot more – mainly things that piss us off. We got angrier and heavier, faster and louder. No time off.
As we draw closer to 2013, what has been your highlight from the year?
So much happened last year – our album got released, we did our first headlining tour, the band turned 3. The rebirth of Turbonegro and finally getting to see Refused live were highlights too.
But I would say that the highlight of it is that we’ve celebrated our 11th year as a couple.
What does 2013 hold for the band? What are your plans for the New Year?
The release of a new album in as many countries as we can, touring our asses off and hopefully hitting more countries.
Many thanks to Steve for taking the time to chat to us.
You can check out Sinner Sinners at: http://www.facebook.com/sinnersinners