by Deb Rao
Sins Of America currently is taking the East Coast by storm. The band has garnered a huge following in the Boston music scene, helping to re-shape the scene with its innovative hard rock, glam-rock style.
Sins of America frontman Rob Wylde, who also fronts Teenage Casket Company, brings a riveting stage presence that has Boston’s rock audiences taking notice. Teenage Casket Company recently signed to Jamsync Music, and Hardrock Haven’s managing editor Derric Miller wrote the liner notes on the upcoming Teenage Casket Company release Best Kept Secret.
Hardrock Haven is proud to present an interview with Sins Of America singer Rob Wylde, who discusses Sins Of America, Teenage Casket Company and much more.
HRH: Thank you for checking in with Hardrock Haven. We are excited about the news that Teenage Casket Company was signed to Jam Sync Music. How did this transpire, and when is the new CD going to be released?
ROB: Basically, what happened was our bass player, Laney, was on tour over here, playing bass with The BulletBoys. The BulletBoys had just released an album on the same label. The head executive of the label came down to see the BulletBoys and didn’t realize that he was a member of Teenage Casket Company. A long story short: It turns out that he was a big fan of Teenage Casket Company, and he was going to start a new label. He was finding bands. He e-mailed Laney and said he wanted to put out Teenage Casket Company in the States. We decided that rather than re-releasing both albums, we thought we would take the best songs from the first and second album. We also had a single, “Best Friend Is My Radio,” that was released in the UK last year. So, basically, we put all the songs together. We remixed and remastered the entire thing. Another cool thing is the single “Best Friend Is My Radio” is going to be remixed by Bruno Ravel from Danger Danger. The CD is going to be called Best Kept Secret, and I believe it is going to be released in America in September.
HRH: Are you going to be touring with Teenage Casket Company in the fall?
ROB: Hopefully; we have talked about it. I am going back to my annual visit to the UK in September to visit family and stuff. We have been offered a few dates in the UK. Maybe we will do a few shows in the States. Putting together a tour in the States is going to be a lot easier because I permanently live here. It has opened a lot more doors in that respect. We will see what happens. As of right now, we are looking to doing dates in the UK in September. With fingers crossed, maybe doing dates in October or November in the States to coincide with the CD release.
HRH: Any plans to release a video?
ROB: We would love to. We put out “Don’t Look At Me Like That” from our second album. That did wonders for us. You can only do so much on the Internet. It all comes down to money and who is going to fund it.
HRH: I heard that my editor, Derric Miller, is going to write a foreword on the album notes.
ROB: Yes, Derric has been one of those guys that have been behind Teenage Casket Company from day No.1. I actually remember sending him a level 3 demo way before the first album came out. He gave it a very good review. We put out the first album out in 2005, and he loved that. He has been real cool support! I actually have read the liner notes, and they are really cool. I have talked to him a billion times on the phone. I never actually have met him in person. He really hits the nail on the head with the liner notes. He has been an awesome support with the band. I can’t thank him enough.
HRH: How would you describe Teenage Casket Company vs. Sins Of America? You kind of have the best of both worlds going on.
ROB: The thing is, when I put Teenage Casket Company together, it was four guys who grew up listening to completely different styles of music. I grew up listening to Def Leppard and Bon Jovi and all these big-hair bands. Jamie, who left the band last year, was a big punk fan. Laney was into a lot R and B. He likes Goo Goo Dolls. Our drummer was a Rush and Yes freak. So when you put all that together, it kind of made it, although the songs are rock songs. I think TCC is a lot more diverse. Sins Of America is four guys who grew up on Motley and RATT. It is kind of a more straight-ahead hard rock thing.
HRH: Sins Of America currently is taking Boston by storm. How do you hope the band will help revive the Boston scene?
ROB: I don’t think the Boston music scene is very receptive for the kind of band that we are.
HRH: Do you feel the scene is more underground these days? I know the band is going to be playing at the Cantab Lounge in August. A lot of the bands that play there are kind of underground and are on the verge of breaking out of the scene. It’s kind of like word-of-mouth these days.
ROB: Yes, I definitely agree. It’s kind of like we are out playing all the time. We constantly play. We are not one of those bands that just sits at home. We are out all the time. Whether we are out playing to a ton of people or just two people, we really don’t care. Obviously, we are playing with bands that look and sound nothing like us. The one thing that we have found through constantly playing is the fact that when we finish our set whether we played with a mean and nasty death metal band, I think that everybody secretly has a Motley Crue or Poison album in their closet. Do you know what I mean? If you look at rock bands like AC/DC or Aerosmith, they have survived all different kinds of trends that have come and gone. I think people can appreciate what we are doing.
HRH: You currently are in the studio with Sins Of America. Is the recording finished?
ROB: Yes, we have an album coming out, Songs For The Broken Hearted, which is going to be released on the Trashpit Label, the same label that released the Teenage Casket Company back in the UK. It is an 11-track album. We are finishing up the album, and that is going to be out sometime in September or October.
HRH: Oh, that is the same time as TCC.
ROB: Yes, you get a double dose the British band and the American band.
HRH: How do you feel about the U.S. audiences versus the European audience? Do you see any differences at all?
ROB: Not between the UK and the U.S. Growing up in the UK, I thought America was like the “Holy Land.” (Laughter) It was where all of my favorite bands came from. I grew up on all American bands. We did two tours with Teenage Casket Company. The thing that we learned when we are on tour is that you can sell out on one night, then play to one or two people on a Monday or Tuesday night. It is funny because I think a lot of American people want to come over to England, the home of The Beatles and The Stones and all that. I think people tend to be a little bit disappointed. (Laughter)
HRH: That is very interesting. Now how would you describe the sound on the new Sins Of America album? Does it have the ’80s Motley Crue vibe?
ROB: The thing we are trying to put across with Sins Of America it is a real good-time rock and roll band. There are lots of guitars, tons of melody, big hooks and huge choruses. We also recorded acoustic songs on the CD. We are really looking forward to what people think of it. It is a real good-time rock and roll album. If you are down in the dumps, put this CD on, and you will be happy.
HRH: Is there anything else that you want to say about the tour and album?
ROB: I would just like to say that we have the Sins Of America CD, Songs For The Broken Hearted coming out sometime in September or October. Teenage Casket Company’s Best Kept Secret is coming out in September. Check out the band as we continue to tour because we need you guys.
April 4, 2009 at the Middle East in Boston, Mass.
by Leyla Hamedi,
You think it’s easy to get girls interested in music? Guess again. Though admittedly easier (no, not in that way) than guys, girls still have some high standards that a band has to meet before they pass muster. In Sins of America’s case, it took about 10 minutes. And they also got a couple guys too.
Sins of America kicked off the show with, “Don’t Bite the Hand That Feeds You,” a fast-paced rock anthem that screeches into being with racing guitars and pounding drums. Like the bastard child of Backyard Babies and Ratt (if both bands had also dallied with Bowie and let’s face it, everyone has, or wants to dally, with David Bowie) Sins of America don’t so much as pair, but smash sleaze punk and glam rock together with not only their sound, but their looks too. Although they didn’t have much of an audience early on, but Miss Platinum in the short skirt was spotted eyeing them.
Without a pause, they then went into their classic, “She Said She Wouldn’t.” With its catchy chorus and stubborn beat it’s exactly the kind of song that makes you take notice. To their credit, they actually did get noticed as the various members of the audience actually left the bar and came to watch.
A quick introduction of the next song, “Girl Like You,” and a dedication to all the girls in the audience, settled it. There was actual movement. Not dancing per se, but the kind of tapping, moving your shoulders to the beat thing people do when they want to dance but would feel stupid actually doing it because they’d be the only ones. You’ve passed Sins of America and judging by the well-dressed man that was standing pretty close to the stage enthusiastically nodding along; you’ve won his approval too.
After, “Already Leaving,” and, “Let The Good Times Roll,” two more equally catchy songs, the band went into one of their sure-thing hits with, “One More Shot.” With its Pretty Boy Floyd lyrics and slower beat, it’s the perfect song to slightly, mind you slightly, slow things down for a breather. Except, Boston being Boston, misunderstood the title to mean actually doing shots instead of giving someone one more shot to get it right, but you know, enthusiasm is enthusiasm. And they didn’t seem to mind when they finally figured it out.
Not ones to keep it slow though, “Own Best Enemy,” with it’s, “Whooooa” chorus introduced the punkier aspect of the Sins’ but the dueting guitars and their hair metal squeals bring back the rock as well as lead singer Rob Wylde (who probably wants to rub it in Bret Micheals’ face that his hair is not made by the best wig-makers in Europe and that the bandanna he’s wearing is for show rather than hiding tell-tale weave tracks) and bassist Evan Deane’s harmonizing vocals as they strike the classic heads-tilted-back-crooning-into-the-microphone pose. Not ones to stray from good old rock’n’roll stand-bys, they also bounced around on stage, gave each other time in the spotlight, and showed off their very own guitarist, “with mystique.” Chris Kelley didn’t contribute much to the banter but kept the show going with his don’t give a damn intros. Interestingly, the sweatier he got the more like Keith Richards he looked. Just added to the image.
Drummer Shawn Vincent seemed to have the most fun when the band went into their version of Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself For Loving You.” With its decisive beats and chanting chorus, they delivered an especially energetic version of the song even though audience participation was not quite what it could’ve been. To be fair, Boston has a fairly high tolerance for alcohol and no one will get them dancing in public until copious amounts have been consumed and it was still pretty early on in the evening.
The last song, “Finish What Ya Started,” delivered much of the same fast-paced rock’n’roll party pop Sins of America are fast getting known for, and though their introduction was merely lackluster, they were seen off with enthusiastic cheering and whistles. No comment from Miss Platinum Blonde as yet.
Don’t Bite the Hand That Feeds You
She Said She Wouldn’t
Girl Like You
Let The Good Times Roll
One More Shot
Own Best Enemy
Can’t Take It Back
I Hate Myself For Loving You
Finish What Ya Started