Sick Puppies is a band with far reaching plans. After gaining success in their home country Australia, they moved to USA to take over the world (just my imagination but who knows!)
Vocalist Shimon Moore and bassist Emma Anzai met while still in high school in Sydney, sharing a common passion for Silverchair, Rage Against The Machine and Green Day. With Chris Mileski to complete the line-up, the band released a debut album Welcome To The Real World, were voted for “Best Live Performance” and got a lawsuit from Destiny’s Child’s record label for covering “Say My Name” in post grundge/nu metal style - quite an impressive set of achievements! There was a hiatus in the band’s career then, but it turned out the guys were just preparing to step forward and are now all ready - with a new drummer and new album Dressed Up As Life. Their first world-wide success is a video for the song from the new record “All The Same,” featuring “Free Hugs” campaign, that became a hugely popular hit on YouTuBe.
Frontman Shimon Moore
managed to found time in the band’s tight tour schedule to answer our questions about why they chose Mark Goodwin as a new band member, how perfect their new album is and the need for free hugs.
UG: Where does your name come from?
Shimon: We had a long list of names, all of which weren’t very good. One day I thought of it on the train and then had the same name offered to me by my father a week later. He happened to be reading a book called “Sick Puppies.”
What were you up to during the hiatus between the release of your previous album Welcome To The Real World and now?
|"Virgin had by FAR the coolest group of young people who were really into the band and the music."|
Writing songs. Rehearsing. Saving money to get to the States. Releasing an independent EP called Fly and the writing more songs.
When did you realize you had to go to USA to move the band forward?
The moment we started a band.
Going to the USA, you were looking for a new drummer through internet and found Mark Goodwin. What differed him from the other candidates?
He hit REALLY hard and had a good attitude!
Why did you choose singing a deal with Virgin Records among many others?
Virgin had by FAR the coolest group of young people who were really into the band and the music. We first signed to a cool indie label called RMR and then upstreamed the record to Virgin. Basically we did that with a small team of talented people and then Virgin got a hold of it.
What was the process of working on a new record Dressed Up As Life like? Were you hurrying up to finish or took your time? What studio did you record at?
We recorded it at Rock Mafia studios in Santa Monica. It took around a year to make because our producers worked on other projects for money while working with us on downtime as a labor of love.
What’s that mystery around the producer of Dressed Up As Life? You’ve been refusing to say who it is…
|"I can honestly say it's the best thing we could have produced at this stage in our lives."|
No mystery. Tim James and Antonina Armato.
Recording the new album, you said you were not gonna finish until it’s perfect. After all are you satisfied with the way it is now?
100% Satisfied. I can honestly say it’s the best thing we could have produced at this stage in our lives.
What music were you listening to, recording Dressed Up As Life?
Muse, MCR, Rage Against The Machine, Incubus.
The video for your song “All The Same” feature a Free Hugs campaign. Do you yourself share the idea of Free Hugs? Do you hug each other?
I personally can get a little depressed if enough time goes on without physical contact. I need hugs. Which I guess is lucky for me since I made the “free hugs” video.
When choosing a song for Free Hugs video, why did you chose “All The Same?”
It really seemed to gel the best with the emotion of the images. I think the clip helped the impact of the song on the listener as well as the song impacting the visuals.
“Asshole Father” is a song of being bitter about dad. Was it influenced by your own experience with your parents?
It was about my experience with someone else’s parents. A first crush.
I know that your shows are just filled with energy. What do you do before you go on stage to get yourself ready to go out there and do that?
It’s like calm before the storm. Just try and chill, focus and then unleash it on the stage.
Last year when you were finishing Dressed Up As Life you said you had a very limited budget. Did it get any better since then?
|"To me it's about not wasting money. It's important to spend it where is counts."|
To me it’s about not wasting money. It’s important to spend it where is counts. On the road and with the fans and we are lucky that our labels see it that way and give us the rare opportunity to do what we do.
There are only three members in Sick Puppies. Have you ever wished you had a second guitarist?
No, all our favorite bands are 3 pieces. Its raw, really and nothing slips through the cracks so you better have your s*?t together.
You’ve once covered Destiny’s Child “Say My Name.” Ever thought of repeating the trick with some other song?
That one worked particularly well and so far we’ve kept it at that.
Are you planning a tour to support Dressed Up As Life?
Absolutely! You can find all the dates on sickpuppies.net or myspace.com/sickpuppies. From now on it’s a staple diet of constant touring and we cant wait to get out there and play for the people.
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