Being out on the road can be rewarding, completely devastating, or after a while even a way of life. Sal talks some about it all.
Sal LoCoco is the lead singer and unstoppable force behind Sworn Enemy. Currently, the guys are in tour of their latest release, Living on Borrowed Time, that dropped in 2014. On the way to the next show, Sal sat down for a few minutes to answer some questions for National Rock Review’s Erich Morse about the road, the band, and making us wonder about all the things he didn’t say.
NRR: Living on Borrowed Time is the latest release for you guys, if my memory isn’t completely fried. What can you tell me about the release as far as what old/new fans should expect from the new material?
Sal LoCoco: I’m gonna guess that all fans once they get a listen to this record they are gonna be making comparisons to our first record, As Real As It Gets. It has a lot more of that old school Sworn Enemy feel.
NRR: You’re out with Biohazard to start the touring off before hooking up on your own headlining tour with Wretched. How did the hookup with Biohazard happen?
Sal LoCoco: Biohazard [happens to be] very good friends with us and whenever they can, they hook us up with tours.
NRR: You’ve been around in one form or another since the late 90’s. Since you’ve taken the hiatus and regrouped with the new members, is this tour a little more special then ones in the past, and if so why?
Sal LoCoco: For me personally touring now as I get older is kinda like every thing else I do. I can’t say it’s more special cause the feeling of first touring was something new so that was special, now its like business as usual. Don’t get me wrong I still love to tour and play shows, but it’s a different feeling for sure.
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbGd18U2zw4]Sworn Enemy – “No Mercy” taken from Living on Borrowed Time (Released May 13, 2014)
NRR: You guys have had to change things a few different times from your name to even your sound, some by choice and others by necessity. Do you think the music scene has also changed during that time, and if so how?
Sal LoCoco: I guess this happens every few years now where the scene changes with influx of new kids and new bands and social media, but there are always those bands that bring back that traditional sound. Everything goes in cycles.
NRR: I read that at one point you toured with Hatebreed and when I heard one of your songs, that’s the band that came to mind trying to compare your style. In your own words, who were/are your influences and how would you describe your sound for a new possible fan?
Sal LoCoco: My main influences growing up were Biohazard, Cro-Mags, Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies and Pantera. If I wanted to compare us to another band I guess Hatebreed would make the most sense.
NRR: This is kind of a two part question. Having started out in Queens, what’s the one event while out playing that every time it gets brought up, you can’t help but laugh about it now? A Spinal Tap moment if you willâ€¦
Sal LoCoco: There’s a lot of them but I’m not sure if any past members would want me to bring any of them up or not so I’ll have to pass this on this question, (laughing).
NRR: For the second part, what has been the hardest time to deal with being a musician or group since you’ve started this path?
Sal LoCoco: The hardest time I had to deal with was when we were on Ozzfest. We were in a van for the start of the tour and during the first week it blew a piston and we drove it like that to shows with no AC and not being able to drive over 45 miles per hour. That was a tough time until management got us an RV. We thought it was the greatest thing, (laughing).
NRR: Has the importance of social media changed the way you interact with your fans in a positive way or would you still rather make them from seeing you live?
Sal LoCoco: I don’t mind either way really, both are good enough as long as we keep making new fans, and keeping the old ones… I’m good.
NRR: Do you believe at some point your music has made a difference in the life of a fan or perhaps something a fan did made an impression on you, if so what was it?
Sal LoCoco: I know for a fact we have impacted many lives. As many of our fans have either come to shows and told me or have written us and told us how we have made a major impact on their lives. Or [even] have helped them in some way shape or form.
NRR: What tips if any, would you give a new band starting out to avoid some mistakes in the beginning?
Sal LoCoco: In this industry I’m not really sure if there is good advice to give, but if i had some to give it would be just make as many friends in the industry as possible and get your name out there to everyone that you can.
NRR: On a rare night off while on the road, what do you do to regroup for the next show?
Sal LoCoco: I usually just relax in our hotel room and catch up on sleep, emails and stuff like that. Sometimes we go catch a movie.
NRR: Last song you listened to in the car or mp3 player by choice?
Sal LoCoco: Last song I listened to was Faith No More, “Easy.”
NRR: Anything you’d like to say that I might have missed in the questions?
Sal LoCoco: Go pick up the new record, Living on Borrowed Time, and if you can’t find it at the local stores come to the “No Mercy, No Surrender Tour.”
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