Left to right Martin Alund (Bass), Stone Sinna (Vocals, Guitar) and Linus Persson (Guitar)
SPARKLE KICK ; DRAGGING THE FUN AND THE GLITTER OF THE '70S AND KICKING IT UP A NOTCH.
A NEW GLAM ROCK BREED.
THESE GUYS ARE ONES TO WATCH FOR SURE!
Today we are joined by the three mainstays of the band, Stone Sinna (Vocals, guitar), Linus Persson (guitar) and Martin Alund (Bass) to discuss their recently released "The Cleanse" EP. It is their first "real" release and people it's a stormer. We told you about them before, so now it's time to get back onboard with them because the world is about to go Sparkle Kick crazzzeeeee!
Hi guys! Thanks for joining us here again today, how are you all doing?
Martin Alund ; I'm tired as usual.
Stone Sinna ; Good thanks.
Linus Persson ; Hey, I'm fine thanks.
Cool, now we have a little of your story from the last time we spoke (scroll down to see the original interview), so let's get into the timeline after we last spoke. You had some gigs and then it was down to recording, can you give us the lowdown on how the gigs went and in turn how and when did the recording start for the EP "The Cleanse"?
S . S ; I think the gigs went fine, for the first time we played a full set with our stand in (drummer) Anton, and it's just awesome he is so tight! So I'm looking forward to the next gigs. Regarding the EP, we started recording mid July with guitars and backing vocals. Though we challenged ourselves a little with "Everybody", most of the songs were written for quite a long time, but they were really raw in demo form, so we had to change a lot of things which took a lot of time to get something we really liked. Then we recorded bass in August and lead vocals in late August / September!
Well I got to say that the EP does live up to what it should do. It is as catchy as hell, fun and it rocks you really need no more. O.K. so if we go track by track you can all put in your thoughts of the song and how it came together and anything else that springs to mind. O.K. first up is "Gold Sprayed" amongst all the other influences I hear (The Sweet, Slade etc..) I am hearing a little bit of an Hanoi Rocks vibe in the mix too, so tell us about "Gold Sprayed".
L . P ; My input on "Gold Sprayed" is that it was actually one of the big selling points for me when I joined the band, I thought it was such a great song. Stone had already written it so I think he has more info on it.
Over to you Stone.....
S . S ; Well, "Gold Sprayed" is a really long story. It was written at the end of '13 I guess. It was a lot longer and was called "Love Me For What I Have". I wrote the chorus riff after being really into Airborne! For years it stayed on a hard drive and then in July '17, I decided to give it a second life. I changed the pre-chorus, re-wrote the bridge and it ended up being a minute and a half shorter than it had been. The lyrics have also been slightly modified. Then, it changed more as we started playing it together as Sparkle Kick. The track has been with me for so long that I didn't want it on the EP, but the guys insisted, and actually I now think it was a good idea to put it on the EP. We also ended up calling it "The Damned Song", because nothing was ever working the way we wanted, there was always a guitar going out of tune or something! The backing vocals on the chorus was also a part that was challenging to get right, but after many tries it ended up sounding great! I think my favourite part is the "You're gold sprayed, gold sprayed, to hide everything you've done and said, gold sprayed, gold sprayed, so your reputation won't fade!" It actually got added really late in the process as did the guitar solo, I completely changed it just as I was about to record it. Also my memory of recording it because it was forty degrees in my apartment!! Hahaha! Martin any thoughts on "Gold Sprayed"?
M . A ; Mostly how our old drummer always got the intro wrong.
Hahaha sack the drummer!!
S . S ; Well, I didn't say it! Hahaha
So Stone was the last part you wrote in the song about someone or something? It seems like something hit a chord with you to come up with those lyrics?
S . S ; Not anyone inparticular actually, it's more about the whole concept of putting a filter on your life, like with social medias and everything. You always have to seem like you're the happiest you can be and have the most awesome life and you have no self doubt.. I really like the first line "You say you look so fresh, you say you look so good, while starring in the mirror hoping you're still cool", I think it pictures it pretty good.
Yes totally get it! It's a great way of putting it actually so great work. O.K. next up is "Out Of Town", I really, really love this one, great guitar work. You played this live for a while is that right?
S . S ; And do
So what's the history with this one?
M . A ; It was the first song I learned to play.
Martin nice, so it got you to stay in the band then?
M . A ; Probably, I played that one and "The Old Big Smoke" on my audition
S . S ; Thanks! I think "Out Of Town" is my personal favourite. Yes, we played it from the very first gig! I wrote it when I moved to Sweden and we re-arranged it as a band together. I had a harsh reality check back then, I had spent four months working on my guitar skills like crazy to join a band, but it didn't work out. From then I wrote the most simplistic riff ever and decided that I wanted to write songs instead of being known as a guitar player with crazy skills. The writing was really smooth and came naturally, I had a bridge and a Darkness-ish riff that I didn't know what to do with, so it ended up sitting nicely as the middle section of the track. Though the lyrics were a complete nightmare. I wanted to write it about regrets but it never came off right, so the lyrics were completely different for a while. Then I hear "For What It's Worth" by Liam Gallagher and then it became clear in my head, then I re-wrote everything as an apology letter (apart from the chorus) like he did, though I love playing the song, I hate singing it. As I told you before I haven't been singing for that long and the pitch is really high, so I had hours of coaching from Linus (who is a better singer than me) to get it right. The recording went pretty smoothy with this one, we added the ending choir at the last minute and this is probably my favorite part together with the middle and end break. Oh Martin you got to stay in the band because you were cute, nothing to do with your playing hahahah. Also we played it at a soundcheck in Stockholm and the sound guy said "Nice, The Darkness", so I'm expecting to get sued sometime soon!!
Yes the simplest things can be oh so effective, it just sounds like you are having a ball on this track just rocking away and again as catchy as hell! O.K. next up is the title track "The Cleanse" re-recorded, this kinda sums up the band for me, let's dance and party and let's have great time while we are doing so, is that kinda right?
S . S ; Ah, thanks! Yes! This is the first Sparkle Kick song we wrote together, way back in February '18. It came from the intro riff I found but didn't like it so much, both Linus and my girlfriend told me to keep it, so we made a song out of it. I think it went pretty fast, there were two or three versions of it but within a couple of days we had everything! We just changed the chorus to what it is now and added the horns. The pre-choruses though, I remember we were having a break and watching a video of Paul Stanley playing and talking about rhythm, and we went to pick up our guitars again, and came up with what was the missing link. Also, Linus is playing all the leads on this one. Lyric wise, I wanted it to be about the power of music over stress and anxiety, and how easily it can influence your mood and add light to any day. Basically, we just wanted to have a feel-good song and I think live it works pretty well. Linus what do you remember, 'cause I'm not remembering so much stuff about it?
L . P ; Ah yes I have very fond memories of this one, I remember that we talked about guitar sounds as well for this one and Stone gave me a Gibson pick up he had spare to put into my Les Paul, which made the perfect match to his (Gibson) 335. I think it was the point of were we set the standard of our guitar sound; powerful but not TOO disorted.
S . S ; True, I forgot about that! And we wanted a solo after the first chorus like "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" and the part I really like too is the link between the scream and the last chorus!
Yes that's the Sparkle Kick stardust right there and also I must say the guitar work has really gone up several notches from the demo's has as Stone's Voice, especially so on the last track on the EP. "Everybody". I think you are chanelling a certain Mr Stanley here. A great fun tune really catchy and the vocals kill on this one, so thoughts all of you on this track, is it a new-ish one?
L . P ; I remember coming home to Stone one day from some work and I told him "let's write a song about people wanting everything but don't want to work for it" and he started right away with some lyrics, I'm not sure if I remember correctly but Stone had the riff ready at some re later and we worked on it from there. I think he might remember more than me on this one though????
S . S ; I think "Everybody" was a collective effort. I had said that I wanted to write something in shuffle (time), to change it up a bit and Linus told me that he wanted to write about people taking everything for granted and getting everything served up on a silver plate. I came up with the lyrics and the chorus and he (Linus) came up with the verses and the Thin Lizzy type solo too. Later on we added the massive break with the "Hey's". Though, until the recording we had a really hard time trying to make the chorus stick out, but the actual bass line came in and I changed what I was playing, so now it's a lot better I'd say. I love that bass line! The megaphone voice idea came up while we doing the lead vocals. It's funny that you mention Paul Stanley, because I think I've re-recorded this song a good ten times until I could get the same open throat technique that he has. I really like this song, the "We're all insane" reminds me of Alice Cooper and at the end it changes to "Oooohhh, we're all insane", which is a sort of a hint to a French band called Blackrain, that has that "Oooohhh" on their first three albums. Actually, the EP is full of hints to various bands. I think this track was also really hard to record, because it's hard to get it tight and to not let anything get out of tune. With all the backing vocals and overdubs we ended up with something like hundred and seventy five different tracks, so we had to export some parts and then record over it, all so the computer wouldn't crash!!!
Yes the effort you all put in really pays off for sure, a great, great song and in today's world a little foot note to people you make your own luck yano. Yes a lot of bands come to mind when listening to the EP, but I wanted you guys and the people out there make their own minds up, but I wanted to say you nailed it you can tell where all this comes from and it makes for the first of many Sparkle Kick classics!
O.K. lets move onto the artwork it puts me in mind of an updated "Too Fast For Love"?
S . S ; Thank's a lot! That was not the intention really, we had no idea at the beginning. The only thing I had talked about was getting a concert ticket that would invite you to get cleansed! So I just created it for fun and we thought it would be a cool idea to have someone hand it to someone else on the street, from hand to hand. Then I went to your lovely country to see The Struts last summer and we took the opportunity to visit Brain Conolly's grave. On the way back from there I found this sequin top for like two pounds! The guy told me "Don't worry, I wore stupid outfits too, at parties", and when I told him I was gonna wear it on stage he said; "haha very funny". Then back home I tried out the outfit and thought that it was looking cool and that it should be on the cover, so I just took a spontaneous picture of what the cover could be and sent it. I remember Linus answering "it gave me a boner". Actually, we were gonna re-take the photo with the release date on the ticket, but we liked the picture so much we were like, "whatever"!
I really don't think the date matters it's great artwork and eye catching, which is the point really. Who shot the cover photo?
S . S ; My girlfriend, with her iPhone, in her living room! Hahaha! I actually added some parts through photoshop, so you would see the cd shelf behind me. I was worried about the quality of it but then I thought it would look like an old shot.
Yes kinda retro but taken with new technology, great idea and it came together great! So it been released on what formats?
S . S ; You can get it as a simple digipack or a box set.
Coolio what's in the box set?
S . S ; Martin what's in the box?
M . A ; Lets see if I remember. You get a couple of guitar pics, the lyrics on really nice gold paper, a couple of buttons and stickers and most importantly the EP!
S .S ; And the lyrics and large badge are exclusive to the box set! So far we have sold a lot more boxes than EP's, which is awesome!
*****GRAB THE EP HERE!*****
Yes the box is killer "Everybody"(get it?) will love this, it's a great product and very well put together! What about live shows and any U.K. dates on the horizon?
S . S ; Good one! HAHAHA! We are probably going to do some acoustic shows in record stores to promote the EP. We also have a bunch of more gigs that we have talked about for this year. I'd love to tour the UK it's such a great country. In '19 I really hope we can. We've started to record the album and it would be amazing if that record could get us there!!!
Yes it would! So let's see what "The Cleanse" EP does for you, I have high hopes for it so best of luck! So before we go I would like to let people know a little more about all of you, so if all three of you would like give us your top five favourite bands or records??
M . A ; Top five bands in no particular order would be; AC / DC, Dynazty, Five Finger Death Punch, Dream Evil and Sabaton
S . S ; It's hard but right now i'd say; The Struts, The Darkness, Alice Cooper and an Icelandic band called Of Monsters And Men. Records? "Apocalyptic Youth"(Casablanca), "Sonic Boom" (Kiss), "It Begins" (Black Rain), "Hot Cakes" (The Darkness) and "Hysteria" (Def Leppard). Swipe "Hysteria" and put "Young And Dangerous" (The Struts), hahahaha.
L . P ; My top five would be; Guns 'n Roses, Kiss, The Darkness, Van Halen and Steelheart
Nice collection of influences there. O.k. what would you like to say to the people who have heard you and people who haven't
S . S ; If they liked what they heard and like having their music on the physical format, they can order a copy of our debut EP "The Cleanse" HERE. Once they are gone they are gone and they are really limited.
M . A ; If they like rock 'n' roll they should give us a chance
L . P ; Listen to the EP and come to see us live. You won't be disappointed!
So listen up people great words from a great up and coming band, we told you about them before and here they are with a killer EP all ready to go, so go grab a copy and hold on tight because the Sparkle Kick roller coaster is about to begin, climb onboard and let's get "CLEANSED!!!"
Interview conducted November 2018. photo's courtesy of Stone Sinna and Sparkle Kick
Please see below for the first feature we did with the band in the very early stages of their evolution!
You want new glamourous Rock n Roll? Look no further because here today we have Stone Sinna from SPARKLE KICK. A relatively new band who are just about to release their first full length E.P. We here at suitsandtheplatformboots.com can not wait, so let's get onboard early and follow the glamorous roller coaster ride they are about to go on. Oh and yes someone who is obsessed with Paul Stanley is very welcome here, so let's read on.
Stone Sinna in action!
Thank you Stone for joining us here today. I am really loving the band, not only musically but also vibe wise and not to mention the image! So let's start with how rock n roll first grabbed you and how, in turn who ended up being your influences and how that lead to you starting to play and be in a band?
Stone Sinna ; Hi! Thank you so much! I believe it came from my dad who used to always play records and guitars around the house. From there I've always been really attracted by the instrument and music in general. One of the first records I stole from my parents was Queen's "Greatest Hits", that I listened to on repeat around the clock. The other factor is that I grew up in the small French town of Clisson where Hellfest is held (since 2006), so it allowed me to see headline acts like Motley Crue, Alice Cooper and KISS from a really young age. I then decided to start my own band around 2008 and haven't stopped playing since then.
Wowie with all those giants of cool around you I guess you couldn't help but soak it up. Was the image side of things from then too or did that come later?
S . S ; I think it came at the same time. Alongside the glam aspect of rock n roll I used to be a big fan of Marilyn Manson, Slipknot, Dimmu Borgir and others during my teenage hood and they all are really theatrical in their own ways. As I mentioned Hellfest before, it started as an extreme music festival so I got to experience blood before glitter, bit I've always loved the extravagance of it.
Yes well I guess Alice Cooper was the perfect match for the meeting of both of your worlds, blood and glitter.
S . S ; Definitely!
Yes and extravagance is the key to get people to notice. So when you started to play was it straight to guitar and did you also always want to sing too?
S . S ; Yes I started straight to guitar when I was around 12 or 13. For the singing it came later as I got obsessed with Paul Stanley, though it didn't quite work out so I stayed away from it for a few years, then I just started taking it seriously now for about a year.
Yes! Well, we all glam rockers are obsessed with Paul Stanley he really is the kind of blue print for a star if you will.
S . S ; Yes he is the ultimate frontman!
So o.k. you were kicking it up on guitar and then just this past year or so got back into the vocals, what prompted the return to vocals? Somebody or something?
S . S ; Well, last year I got in touch with our guitar player Linus. I joined a band he was singing in and for different reasons it ended up not working. At the same time I was also starting Sparkle Kick, as a side project originally, just to improve my song writing and explore my voice. As we wanted to play together we decided that he would take the lead guitar role and he helped me develop my voice. Before this I eventually had to use my voice again as a background vocalist in different bands I was playing in, which led me slowly to discover myself as a singer and here I am singing in Sparkle Kick.
So it's been a journey for you and it's certainly paid off because Sparkle Kick sound awesome! So onto Sparkle Kick. A side project? WOW! So it was to improve you as an artist initially, but how did a side project turn into a fully fledged band with a plan?
S . S ; Thanks a lot! When we split with our former band, we tried to restart something right away, but it was a challenge to find a good package that we would all agree on. I had a gig booked as Sparkle Kick, where I had to perform four songs so I asked Linus if he would like to play with me. He gladly did it and got sold pretty easily on the whole concept so we decided to focus 100 % on Sparkle Kick. We got in touch with Martin shortly after that and he joined us on bass.
Killer! So how many shows did you do before recording anything or did you record something first to see how it was sounding?
S . S ; We first did an acoustic show, the drummer at the time and me and then we did "The Old Big Smoke" for a cassette tape compilation that the Swedish label "Thunder & Lighting Records" was putting together, It got a pretty good response so we kept going and wrote a song called "The Cleanse" that we did a demo of too to get something on a physical CD to hand out at our gigs.
Yes both great toons when did "Ready To Go" come around?
S . S ; Thanks! We released "Ready To Go" a week after "The Cleanse" because we were in a creative flow and playing live a lot, but we're looking forward to get a better version of it out soon.
Great to hear its a very cool track. I must say that the vibe, the logo and sound of the band could well be playing in the background of a 70s Scooby Doo cartoon, it has the drive to it, but also the sound you have brings back memories of the 70s, all the great things in a cool non retro way. I love it. So what plans do you have now to move the band forward?
S . S ; Oh, that's awesome!!! We're trying to combine happy music like what The Sweet did together with a more modern hard rock-ish sound, so that's great to hear! Right now we are recording the really last bit of and ep called "The Cleanse" It will feature the actual song as well as some other tracks. We will release one of them "Everybody" within the next few weeks. Otherwise we keep our mindset on playing live as much as possible and were getting back on stage next week after spending the whole summer writing.
Martin Alhund (Bass), Linus Persson (Guitars, Backing Vocals) and Stone Sinna (Guitar, Vocals) Showing impeccable taste!
...And live in action! Stone, Linus, Martin and Stone
That's great news I for one can not wait to hear this. It's not everyday something this good comes along, so thanks for getting Sparkle Kick together and onward and upward for you and we shall be keeping our glitter eyes on you, best of luck for the future!
S .S ; Thanks so much for your kind words and taking the time. I'll get back to you when the ep is ready. Cheers and keep up the good work!!!
Interview conducted September 2018.
photographs by Sparkle Kick and suitsandtheplatformboots.com