Like many of the bands in the Detroit scene, the Sights have been doing their own thing for years only to be thrust into the media spotlight this year. What separates the Sights is they're not just another cliched garage band and their 2nd album "Got What We Want" brings in influences from the past 40 years of classic pop records. As the band finished their debut tour with the Hiss we caught up with the band to get the low-down.
Q: You've just completed your debut tour of the UK with the press frothing at their mouths. Did you just find yourself soaking up the musical history when you were in Liverpool, Manchester or London?
A: Of course being at different hubs of English music was mind-blowing. I remember walking down the street in Liverpool drunk as hell and I couldn't stop thinking about the footage from that Beatles anthology and the quotes from Paul talking about how they would ride their bikes across town to find "new" chords. Walking though Liverpool its impossible not to ask yourself "Was this the street?" I wish there would have been a little more time to soak in some of that stuff and do the cheesy tourist things, but, even so the experience of it was incredible.
Q: Taking it back to when you formed the band at High School. Could you give us a potted history up to the present day and pleases tell us you didn't play those cheesy American Proms where they crown the Prom King & Queen?
A: Eddie formed the band in high school - as he always says - "to get girls and free beer." I love the story where he played a gig in the Garden Bowl (this Detroit bar) and the next day had the first day of school and he showed up to chemistry or whatever all hungover. From high school the band has changed a million times - Eddie has kind of replaced people with other players who might be better suited for the band and what he wants to do. The four guys in the band now have known each other in one capacity or another for years - playing in side projects and going to shows together and all that. Though the Sights have never
played a high school prom we probably would if we were invited. It would be funny.
Q: It's very easy to become complacent when yet "another Detroit band" is mentioned, but you guys have avoided the pigeonhole of being another Detroit band. How would you describe the bands sound and what were you listening to growing up?
A: Well, simply enough we are not a garage band. It isn't hard to avoid the tag of "garage" when that isn't what you are. In that respect I guess we are also not a goth band or a country band....Alot of the bands influences have changed over the years - probably early on it was more like the Jam, the Nazz, Small Faces....stuff like that. Now we listen to The Band, Dylan, Neil Young as well. And everyone in the band has their own favourite list of influences that include everything from the Zombies and Flying Machine to Jerry Lee Lewis and Ray Charles.
Q: Over the years you've soaked up pop music as much as classic rock bands. What would you say to the rock purists who say Pops a dirty word and it should be avoided at all times?
A: Rock purists are some annoying motherfuckers, no matter what they are saying.
Q: You've always said the bands sound is constantly evolving because you still haven't found your sound yet. The recent live shows have a looser feel than "Got What We Want" and extended jamming is the order of the day. Do you feel you've found your sound yet or will the next album be totally different again?
A: As time goes on I think we get closer and closer to finding a sound. But then again I think it is really important for bands to keep evolving and not settle into one sound and get stale or over comfortable with one sound. The next album will be different from Got What We Want because of all the shit that has happened to us since the time the songs for that record were written. You will be able to tell its the same band though.....
Q: Going back to the whole Detroit scene. Back home does it feel like something special is happening or do you stand back and think it's the same as it's always been?
A: In some ways its very much the same. Great bands in Detroit right now - like the Henchmen or the Paybacks or Dirtbombs - they would be doing what they are doing right now regardless of the level of attention that they were getting - and they have been doing what they are doing now for a number of years. In that way it is the same as its always been. We haven't been home a whole lot - but I definitely think that things have changed a little just because some people get caught up in the money that can me mined out of the situation right now or other kind of egotistical vices. To be honest you only get little hints of that -
and soon enough someplace like Orlando is going to be the new Detroit which was the new Seattle anyway so it will all be forgotten about.
Q: Over here in the UK the mainstream music press is looking over to Detroit, New York and Australia following the likes of the White Stripes, The Strokes and the Vines respectively. Over in the States is there the same buzz about the UK bands and what have you discovered while you're over here?
A: There isn't really the same kind of buzz about UK bands. Maybe Supergrass....because they deserve it....but there really aren't many bands that get a ton of hype in the UK that get it in the US - either american of British bands. And - though other guys in the band may get miffed at my honesty here - the Vines and Strokes are utter bullshit compared to what the White Stripes are doing. Listen to the songs and that is obvious.
Q: What's next for the Sights after this jaunt in the UK and when can we expect you back over here?
A: Right now that is all getting worked out. We do a month in the US with the Datsuns, then we might do the US again with the Greenhorns or come back to the UK. To be honest things are really up in the air right now - there are proposed trips to Japan and Australia in the works and nothing is really sorted out. The UK is definitely the most fun so far for us so I expect we will be back real soon.
"Got What We Want" is out now on Sweet Nothing
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