Interview: New York rockers The Sweet Things

Photo credit: Johan Vipper
NYC rockers The Sweet Things caught up with us ahead of their upcoming UK tour dates. The tour comes off the back of their recent single, a real bar room romp around good time rock and roll.

Hello! Kindly introduce yourselves.Sam: Sam Hariss, I play bass and sing and am by far the most attractive band member in the new yawk city outfit, The Sweet Things.

So what got this all going?
I had been working on an audition that was pretty big for almost a year and was bummed out when it became clear it wasn’t gonna go in my way. I had no real road experience so, even though I got why they went with the guy they did, it stung. But the bout of self pity was short lived cause Lorne hooked me up with Dave to do an East Coast run with his band The Sharp Lads. It was a blast, but more importantly lead to Dave and I bonding through a mutual love of the kinda tunes. Stones, Dolls, Mott The Hoople, Hanoi Rocks, Black Crowes,  The Joneses, Faces, yada, yada, yada.  I believe it was by out Baltimore date that joining forces became apparent. Lorne and Dave had been planning the same thing since way before we had even met and the two ideas became one.
How has working on the new album been?
Sam: Ya know, a labor of love, heavy on the labor, and the love (l.u.v). Took us like 8 months in which we’ve gotten the chance to work with some amazing musicians (both in house and folks that are new to the mishpokhe) and learned a lot in the process. Having Alejandro Escovedo come in to lay his voice down on a few tracks (Feed My Dog and Liquor Lightning) was very exciting, the guy steps into the studio and an energy wafts in with him. Watching the uptown horns do what they’ve done with the likes of everyone from The Rolling Stones and James Brown to Iggy Pop and Mink Deville was pretty crazy! Liza Colby and Rob Clores were their signature flawless selves. Makes you wanna step with nothin but your best foot.
You’re coming over to the UK soon. How are you feeling about that?
Sam: Fan-fucking-tastic! Another tick off the ole fucket-list. Im feeling that this tour could be beginning of a harmonious affair. The Sweet Things and the UK playing footsie under the table, texting kissy emojis, ya know, all that good shit. Its a nice little run for our first time, eight shows in total believe. At the moment I think the cities we’ll be hitting are London, Birmingham, Nottingham, Sheffield, Liverpool, and Manchester. It’ll all be solidified and posted in the next week or so. Dave did a helluva job putting it together and we have a great team behind us. So, ya know, im ready to plug on in and get my fill of calling people a right-cunt.
How do you feel you’ve grown as a band since you started?
Sam: If a shark stops swimming it dies, oxygen rich water can’t get through the gills and it sinks like, well, a dead fackin shark. The same principal applies to bands. Ya gotta keep movin, wherever… over, under, sideways, down. We kinda hit the bricks initially as this Heartbreakers-Dolls thing where that was us. It wasn’t planned but that was definitely all I heard. That has changed, and its something we’ve embraced. Country music has for sure infiltrated our sound in a big way. Elements of both Americana and 60s R&B too. It’s in there, sometimes easier to hear than at others. I guess what im saying is the only way we know how to grow is to open our ears as wide as we can and take in everything without turning anything away. Even shitty music, sometimes you learn more from that, luckily there’s rarely a time in which there’s a shortage of shit.
Best live moment?
Sam: Um, hmmm, I’d have to go with the time before last that we played Atlanta. I, as is everyone else, especially Lorne, a massive Georgia Satellites fan. About half way into our rendition of their tune, Battleship Chains, I turn around to see none other than Vocalist/Guitarist Rick Richards (Georgia Satellites, Izzy Stradlin & The Ju Ju Hounds) beltin it on out with us. It was pretty special, gettin to share the mic and exchange verses and stuff. Theres a video floatin around of that, when it dawns on Lorne that the voice cutting into his solo is that of señor Richards, he sports a nine mile smile like something outta a bugs bunny cartoon. The moment was unplanned and pretty derrrn exciting for us. If I recall out of nowhere it got PACKED and everyone was wearing Hillary Clinton or Trump costumes, like something out of a bad CSPAN acid trip.
Worst live moment?
Sam: You would have to ask the guys, luckily I rarely remember my questionable behavior. I think my worst show would have had to be the last one on New Years Eve in Amsterdam, I didn’t really “make it through” what one would call “the whole thing” in the traditional sense, but ya know, so it goes, luckily there was nobody there… oh, except my mother.
Your three things on a desert island:
Sam: I dunno. For some reason, I’ve been pacing around my apartment, not unlike Richard Lewis, racking my brain trying to think of some answer that’s not completely stupid and I’m drawing a blank. I’m gonna have Dave take this one.
Dave (Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar) : Jetpack. Whisky. Flamethrower
Sam: See! Took him under thirty seconds. He’s got the goy blood.
What’s coming up?
Sam: We have some cool things we’re working on putting together down below the Mason-Dixon Line in the states, I can’t really go into much detail right now as i’s need to be dotted and t’s need to be crossed and so on, but if you keep yer eyes peeled on the ole facebook it’ll be up there soon enough. Other than that im not too sure, hopefully more touring and music, once this album comes out (In Borrowed Shoes, On Borrowed Time available on all major download and streaming sites via Spaghetty Town Records and Wendigo Productions) well gauge the response and move forward based on who, where, and if.
And finally, what do you guys want to achieve as a band?
Sam: Ideally a better year than whatever happened in the last. I think that’s all any gang of musicians can hope for. More countries, states, dates and miles. OH! And of course a surplus of toes that wanna tap to yah crap
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