Monday, 27 March 2017

Interview with Sweet Eve front man Tony Francis

Last week we had the opportunity to speak with Sweet Eve front man Tony Francis about their second album The Immortal Machine. The bands music video for their second single off of the album Beat has nearly 80,000 views online and has been well reviewed. In October the band opened for legendary band Flotsam and Jetsam at the Whisky a Go-Go in Hollywood where they received praise for their performance from Metal Assault Magazine.

Before I ask about the album im going to ask you a question that you probably get asked a lot. What was it like working with Nick Menza?

TF: Sometimes I cant wrap my head around that one. It the full spectrum of emotions. It started out as holy shit were working with Nick Menza. Then it was holy shit I dont want to suck in front of Nick Menza followed by holy shit im sucking in front of Nick Menza. But thats the nature of the recording process youre on display and when youre tracking live and youre looking for a perfect take mistakes really stand out. The coolest part was that we became really good friends and I fortunate enough to spend a lot of time with him. He told me a lot of stories and as corny as it sounds he shared a lot of stuff with me that I get have as a person that this person trusted me.

So this record was recorded live?

TF: Yea I mean there were some overdubs on there with vocals and guitar solos but for the most part the bass, drums and rhythm guitar were tracked all at the same time live to a click. When Nick died and we went to Tom (Weir) to finish the record we decided to keep tracking that way because that was what Nick wanted.

You guys did pretty good with this album coming in on at least one chart within 51 places of Metallica on the week of your release. How did that feel?

TF: Were grateful. We really worked hard on the record and you always hope it does well. We wish we could have spent more time on it but that wasnt possible so its a little rougher than we probably would prefer but we were happy that people were picking it up and enjoying it.

What was the inspiration for this record?

TF: I really dont know. I mean I dont know if you can ask that question all the time and get like a profound answer. Its kind of like all over the place for me.

So is there no meaning in the record?

TF: I didnt mean it like that. Its just a song to song thing. Kinda like you know the writing process thing. People ask that and its never really the same. It could be a lyric, it could be a melody it could a riff. Ive got hard drives full of unused riffs because they never sparked anything within me.

What would you say your favorite track is off the record?

TF: Im not speaking for everyone on this but for me its Beat. Its one of the last riffs that I showed to Nick before he died and he really liked it. He would always kinda rag on me for doing these Judas Priesty type guitar parts and I had wanted to write a song that really did the whole S&M fifty shades of grey thing. When we started out in Rhode Island we used to play in all these fetish clubs like Hathors Garden and Club Hell and we were friends with all the Dominatrixes so that was huge part of our you know early music slash adult experiences I mean we had just turned 21 and here we are playing in these clubs with all these girls in vinyl and their whips. It definitely made for a unique experience. I was trying to channel those roots and I think I did an okay job.

What was your least favorite part of making the record?

TF: Aside from Nick dying?


TF: Probably singing Charlemagne. That was the hardest song for me to sing because of how high it goes vocally and I made the mistake to save that song for last on a 10 hour day of vocals. By the time we finished Tattoo Princess Jimmy and Tom were basically patching my voice together with tea and honey and recording the takes one phrase at a time just so my voice wouldnt break up from being burnt out.

Do you guys have any shows planned in the near future that you would like to promote?

TF: No not really. We dont have anything planned.

Do you plan to play again?

TF: Yea eventually, but not right now. Im going back to school again which seems to be trend with me, make a record, go back to school. I think im kind of like Captain Willard from Apocalypse Now you know when im in the jungle I just want to be back in Saigon but when im in Saigon I just want to get back into the jungle if that makes any sense at all.

So youre burnt out on music?

TF: Not burnt out, its just were not really prepped to make another record right now and the idea of touring again sort of nauseates me. Going on the road to more or less sell teeshirts argue with club owners and either sleep in a Flying J parking lot or a dingy $30 motel yea no.

What was the dirtiest motel youve been in?

TF: Oh Jesus um probably the one in Kent, Ohio the Relax in. One of the beds was reduced to wood chips and there were feces and dried blood in the bathroom. The place was going out business and they demolished it a few months later so no one seemed to care. Another one was in uh New Mexico where there were meth burns on all of the furniture tub toilet. Someone had drilled a hole in the wall I forget what those called at the moment oh uh glory hole in the wall and we had to stuff it with tissue. The room smelled terribly and there were bugs everywhere. Just not pleasant.

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

TF: Just a shoutout to the guys, thanks to everyone who bought the record and has supported us over the years.


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