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A Conversation With Lou
Meredith Goldberg
December 9, 2001


Meredith: OK, first things first...Introduce yourself and say what you do in the band.

Lou: Hi. I'm Lou. I'm the singer of Sick Of It All.

Meredith: I've heard that you guys have both a new album as well as a live album coming out soon. What can you tell me about those?

Lou: The live album is done. We recorded it in San Francisco at the end of the Dropkick Murphy's tour at a club about the size of this one called Bottom of the Hill. It's like the size of this club with no balcony. So it was really small, really packed, a lot of fun. It came out great. We're just finished the mixing on it. Hopefully it will be out in the spring. As far as the studio record, we're still just writing new stuff and seeing how it goes.

Meredith: Why did you pick that location to do the live album at?

Lou: Just because it was the end of the tour. It was more convenient. Because that's where the label is out there and everybody was there and we had it all said and done in one shot; instead of like we'll come back to New York and we'll record it here. But it turned out great. There were a lot of kids from New York out there. They heard about it, flew out, drove out for it.

Meredith: Since every SOIA album has progressively changed. Where are you planning to take your sound this time?

Lou: It's like the last one, only another step further, I guess. It's just natural. It's not like we plan anything out, you know?

Meredith: Are you eyeing any bands to take out with you on your next upcoming tour?

Lou: In the springtime we were talking about...We talked about a whole bunch of bands, but of course nobody can do it as usual. We asked American Nightmare, Avail, Hot Water Music. We would like to take Most Precious Blood around...We'll see what happens.

Meredith: Now that you guys are one of the oldest hardcore bands still standing, how much more do you think you have left in you?

Lou: {Laughs} Until the kids get tired of us. It gets frustrating though. You know, it's like we'll see these 3rd rate hardcore bands and they don't call themselves hardcore, they call themselves, "new metal". If you actually listen to these bands, they're just bad versions of hardcore bands or more watered down versions. It's very frustrating when you see like great bands like tonight, you have Most Precious Blood, and you got Bane and Stretch Armstrong. And then you see the crap that they pass off to kids because they have a million dollar manager who shoved money into somebody's hand somewhere. Plus, kids in the mainstream judge on image 1st; which sucks. But we're going to keep doing it for as long as the kids like it.

Meredith: What do you miss the most about the NYHC scene when you were just going to shows?

Lou: Just getting to go every weekend. There was a central place. It was CBGB's. I miss that a lot. I miss having the CB's matinee. When you weren't hassled for hanging out outside. Now when anybody plays CB's, its like, "everybody get away from the club". Even here, it's a great club, but you can't hang out in front of it and talk to everybody. That shit sucks. In the old days it was just like, you'd just walk up and there was a crowd and everybody was there.

Meredith: What don't you miss?

Lou: The stupidity. I'm not going to say that I go to a lot of shows no, because I'm much older, I have a son, and the time is just no there anymore. But I really don't miss all the stupidity that used to go down. Like beating people up because they were wearing Doc's and they weren't a skinhead or these people didn't like those people and it was just dumb.

Meredith: Describe the perfect venue.

Lou: Perfect venue? I'd say about just the way this venue is set up with a balcony so that you can see from wherever you are at, but no barricade.

Meredith: Do you think that you'll play a show with some other older bands like Agnostic Front or Murphy's Law in the near future?

Lou: Well, we were talking about maybe doing a tour with Murphy's Law. See, the thing is we always bring younger bands because a lot of the hardcore kids know the name Sick of it All and you'll watch tonight, a lot of kids will go crazy, but they won't know the words to a lot of the songs because they have like one Sick of it All record. So that's why we always play with younger bands. I think it would be good if we could do a tour where we could mix it all up.

Meredith: What have you been listening to lately?

Lou: I just got the Most Precious Blood album. I always forget whenever someone asks me, it always falls out of my head. I've been listening to a lot of Mexican Gangsta rap, for some reason, I don't know why. I find it very amusing. I don't know, just a lot of different things. We were just on tour with Dropkick Murphy's, so I've got CD's from all over the country. There's a band, they're not a hardcore band, they're a punk band called the God Awfuls. They just got a new demo CD out, it's really good. If you're into like early Rancid and the Casualties and stuff like that, it's great shit.

Meredith: At your shows you tend not to play anything off of Just Look Around, why is that?

Lou: Talk to the drummer. {Jokingly} He's a bastard! Tonight, we were changing the list from last night and I put "Locomotive" down. They shot it down. They shot me down!

Meredith: Do you have anything else to add? Maybe some advice for bands just starting out?

Lou: I always say the same thing. You have to play music you love and learn the business end even though it sucks. I hope people check out the new record. I know it's not on a cool label. It's not on Trust Kill or Victory. It's on Fat Wreck Chords. But please, it's not a pop-punk record, much to everyone's surprise. That was the one thing that really made me mad, was when we signed to Fat, everyone was like, and they didn't even hear the record and they would be like, "Oh, it's pop-punk". Why, because its on Fat? We were on a major label and we didn't sound like fucking...whoever. Name a band on a major label, we never sounded like them. We sounded like Sick of it All. People have just got to understand, it doesn't matter what the label is, you've got to listen to the record. I think this is our best record ever.

Meredith Goldberg is a staff writer. Contact her at meredith@rockzone.com.

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