Hark! The sweet tones from the Welsh valleys! Today’s band come from the land of choirs and coal mines…
We’re from a town called Abergavenny in South Wales
How did you meet?
Matt and Lino were friends from school and played in bands together, eventually going on to sign a record deal with One Little Indian in a band called Ruby Cruiser. After the band ended in a drunken brawl (with the drummer) and a night in the cells they called it quits shortly after. In 2017 and when they were at low ends after separating with their wives within 2 weeks each other, they consoled themselves by drinking and partying until Matt got a flat and the guitars came out. The music sounded good so they quickly called Huw up for a jam as he was an old friend and living 200 meters away and it all sounded good. Some demos were put down and then they set out to find a drummer. After a few unsuccessful auditions they were introduced to Ty and immediately the chemistry was there. Sweet Ignitions was born!
How long have you been playing as a band?
The demos by Matt Lino and Huw were done at the end of 2017 and we met Ty in February 2018 so around 16 months now all together.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Ah, naming a band is so hard! We just threw names out there and eventually just narrowed it down to words. Ignitions was liked and then Sweet was added in as it kind of described what we were doing. The music is loud, can be quite heavy but there’s all these beautiful melodies and harmonies coating it.
What are your influences?
All of us grew up with fathers who were into rock music so the classic bands have all played a part in our earliest musical development – The Who, Stones, Zeppelin etc. The 90s explosion then was just so powerful and so many great bands came out of that. Bands like AIC, QOTSA, Soundgarden have all had their impact on us.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
To do anything completely original is hard and later down the line we do have some ideas but a Sweet Ignitions song does sound like us when the vocals go in no matter what style of music that we play. We have some songs that verge on stoner rock, others maybe more punky or alt rock but when they’re done you can tell instantly that it’s us and that’s a good sign. We play hard alternative rock that gives a nod to bands like the Foo Fighters and QOTSA with downbeat lyrics but the music gives a party vibe at the same time. It makes you want to move!
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
As said earlier the band was started off the breakup of two marriages so relationship issues play a major part, along with being down being angry, being depressed and sad. I’m really selling this aren’t I! However, these are issues that everybody will relate to and that’s important for us. We’ve all been there but added to the music it still lifts you. In a way it’s a bit like the blues. I love the blues but lyrical content is always down yet the music can be listened to in any frame of mind. It can bring you up or you can put it on when you want to reflect on things.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
I guess every band will tell you that their live show is great but we do feel that we are a very strong live act. We played two days ago and got two encores – there were around 60 people in but it just went off. The music is hard hitting but the melodies are strong and at worst if you don’t dance to it you’ll move your head. It’s high energy and high impact.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
At the gig mentioned above we had a kind of Bez on stage dancing around us but we just went with it. If somebody is getting off on the music then that’s all good with us! We’ll have to put it on the FB page. We have fun on stage though, me (Lino) and Huw were behind Matt on the stage in Brighton at the Great Escape so we just started busting out some Quo type moves for a laugh. Huw also drove his amp so hard at one gig that it started smoking, I thought it was dry ice!
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
Huw on bass uses an Ashdown 500w combo and he likes his Fender precision. Ty uses Zildjian cymbals and at our level we do a lot of kit share though he has his own customised kit. Matt is a classic Fender Jag/jazz man with an original Marshall JCM 800 head and I actually had an amp head built for me so it’s a complete one of a kind. Guitar wise I use Gibson Les Paul’s and a Fender Jag Black top.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
“Daggers” our 3rd single is out on the 21st of June so it’s all about that at the moment. Our previous single “Neptune” is still getting a lot of love though. It was released in March and we were getting single of the week on various internet radio stations right up until the end of May.
What are your plans for 2019?
We will get our next single out around the 2nd week of August and an EP for the end of October. We go in tour with Idle Crooks and Englishmen in October/November with various other gigs booked in and get into the studio in December to complete the album ready for a major push next year.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Well I think all of us are massive Queens of the Stone Age fans. We went on a trip last year to see them at Finsbury Park and they were incredible. So them headlining and, yeah, a first on. We were blown away on our second gig by a band that we were playing with called Stay Voiceless. Check them out on Spotify, the song “Comfortable” is amazing.