Pics: Scarlet Page
Back in September 2000 we tipped Sugarcoma as one of the best new rock bands of In The City. Fast forward to April 2002 and they have just released a cover of the Britney Spears track "Crazy" on the back of their debut headlining UK Tour. Its been a whirlwind 18 months with tour support slots with the likes of Fear Factory, One Minute Silence and My Ruin....and all while they've taken time out to record their debut album, set for release next month.
Q: Last time we spoke was about 18 months ago, just after In The City. Sugarcoma - hardest working band in rock right now. It seems like everytime a rock band plays in Manchester you guys are there on the support slot.
Jess: We got a few really good support slots and it just happened that each time we played Manchester - Guano Apes, Fear Factory and One Minute Silence. I guess the My Ruin tour will always be special as it was our first tour.
James: Its so different doing a headlining tour to being on the support slot. One Minute Silence wasn't so bad, but with bands like Fear Factory and Machine Head who have had the same fans for year they just don't give you a chance.
Q: Did you ever think you'd get to the stage you're at now with you're own headlining tour and an album ready to go?
James: We started recording the album over a year ago, but there has been various things we had to sort out. We started this band 3 years ago and its the best job in the world....but its no where as near as glamorous as people think.
It seems kind of odd that all our mates back home have either just gone to Uni or are deciding where to go. And they'll all come back with these amazing qualifications and we just go around on a bus with some guitars.
Q: The single "Crazy" out last week. A cover of the Britney Spears song originally done for The Evening Session last year. So why choose the old cover version than a song of your own?
James: Everyone seemed to like it and it was a good laugh...
Claire: ....and we just wanted to get it out of the way because we knew we would have to release it at some point. It was just such a big favourite with everybody and each gig we played people would come up to us afterwards and ask when we were going to release it.
Heidi: There wasn't any thinking behind covering a specific Britney Spears track. That was just out at the time and we were messing around with it in rehearsals.
Q: Didn't you do the Saturday Show with Britney a couple of weeks ago. I remember reading about how when you were at school you were into Nirvana and everyone else was into Boyzone. How was it to go on a kids TV show where you're playing next to the noughties equivalent of say Boyzone or whatever?
Jess: She wasn't there. She'd pre-recorded all her stuff which was pretty unfortunate as that's the only reason we wanted to go really.
James: Apparently she's heard it, but we don't know what she thought of it. It would probably be like "no comment" or "that's so cute".
Q: Rock cover versions of pop songs have become the standard nowadays. We've got you guys, Marilyn Manson. Alien Ant Farm, Crackout, Godhead and about a million others. Why do you think its happening?
Jess: I don't know. You can cover another rock song or another metal song, but why would you want to. The good thing about covers is to make something that's nothing like your music into your music.
Heidi: And also when we just started doing it about two years ago the whole Alien Ant Farm "Smooth Criminal" hadn't been done.
James: And its not an 80s song either. Every other band was covering like Frankie Goes To Hollywood or Aha.
Q: Following this single, the album is expected over the next few months. Have you tried to make a live album or have you taken the time to experiment in the studio?
Heidi: If you go into a studio and think "wait, I can't do that live" that's really bad because you should just try to make the album as good as you can and worry about playing it live later. Its an album album in that sense of things. We've tried to make the album as varied as possible and I'm sure that tracks which are our favourites won't be everybody else's favourites.
Jess: I just do my lyrics for myself really and if people can relate to them that's great....but that's if they can work them out first. Generally its just stuff I write at home about personal issues I have - I guess it is just typical teenage things because I am a teenager and it is about people I know (boyfriends, family). Most of its nice enough.
"Crazy" is out now on Music For Nations
The as yet untitled album is released in May
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