Interview: Skye Sweetnam of Sumo Cyco

Sumo Cyco are here at the Engine Rooms, Southampton this evening supporting Alien Ant Farm along with (hed)PE.  They are halfway through their tour and there have been a few hiccups – drinks thrown at the stage and another unmentionable substance, though not at Sumo!

Sumo Cyco are an independent female fronted band from Canada. The band launched in 2011 following Skye’s success as a solo artist.  They have put out one album titled Lost in Cyco City and are set to release their next album Opus Mar in early March next year.

sumo-cyco-southampton-2016-1So Skye, your first gig with Sumo Cyco was in front of 1000 people. How was that?

It was a little bit of luck, it was us opening up for Hollywood Undead. We had a promoter friend who was super supportive who said we needed to get on stage with these guys as they didn’t have an opener. We had four days’ notice to get ready for our first show, intense!  It was worth it, we got a great fan base and started the ball rolling.

What was the one moment in your life which put you on the trajectory towards music as a career?

There was a moment where I wanted to do snowboarding. My mom was supposed to sign me up for snowboarding camp and she made a mistake and it got filled up so there was no space.  So my mom signed me up for Popstars camp instead and it was basically a bunch of kids who got together with a music teacher and a dance coach and they taught you all the different attributes to be a pop star!  The music teacher became one of my mentors. Her husband was a songwriter and taught me how to write songs. All this at the age of 12.

If you weren’t doing music what do you think you would be doing now?

I do a lot of film for the band, we do a lot of music videos. I do think I would do something in media or media arts. I really couldn’t picture myself doing a nine to five job.

If someone was to play you in a movie, who would you like that to be?

Tough question…Chloe Moretz. As soon as I saw her in Kick Ass I said that girl is going to be a star.

Any epic tour stories?

One of my favourite memories was going to Stonehenge, showing up a little late, too late for the tour and we couldn’t go up to it so we were pretty bummed. All we could do was take tiny cellphone pictures of it across a field. Our guitarist Matt was like, “I’m not taking this, I’m going, I don’t care”. So he starts doing jumping jacks, getting warmed up, I’m going to run right there and back.  So he jumps the fence, all these sheep scatter in every direction. The we see him running towards Stonehenge and see a security guard slowly approach him and we’re like ‘oh no’.  The next thing we know we see the security guard taking photos of him in front of Stonehenge!

Any advice for new bands starting out?

I think the main thing is to just keep putting things out and don’t strive for the perfect album as you are always going to become a better writer, you are always going to grow and learn.  My main advice is constantly put out material and build that fan base. The fans are everything.

sumo-cyco-southampton-2016-4Worst album you’ve ever bought?

That has to be when you buy an album for one song and realise that’s all you like – Tubthumper, Chumbawamba

And the best album?

My go-to favourite band record was Skindred’s Babylon. They inspired me to be in a band. We have collaborated with Benji Webbe on a new song coming out on our new record, “Move Mountains”. A dream come true for me! Visualise your goals, my goal is to open up for Skindred.

What is your favourite of the songs you have written?

From our first record, “The Ugly”. It’s all about the devil on your shoulder telling you you’re not good enough or that you can’t do this or make up.  Our whole first record, Lost in Cyco City, was all about self discovery and being a fighter, be your authentic self.

From our new record, Opus Mar, my favourite song is “Anti-anthem”. I’m loving the verse scream intro and the guitar riffs.

How would you describe your music?

A metal version of No Doubt… Skindred meets No Doubt. A dance-pop-punk-metal band!

So what’s next?

Opus Mar release early next March, our first single was just released “Anti-Anthem”. The next single should be, fingers crossed, “Move Mountains” which has Benji Webbe on it.  We have been doing a Pledge campaign.  I know there are a lot of anxious people out there waiting for it and it has taken a little longer than we planned but it is going to be well worth it! I’m really excited to play the new stuff live.

Is there anything else you want to say?

To any fans reading this, thank you for the support, thank you for supporting independent music, independent bands, we do everything ourselves. We worked really hard to get to this point where we can be touring another country and it seems surreal. It is all because of the fans, how much they have given us and how much they have supported and demanded us to come back.  We are very thankful for their support.

Photos by Amy Harris-Abbott of CE Photography

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November 20, 2016 10:56 AM

[…] me how Skye will always go out of her way to meet the fans and interact.  This rings very true to her interview, she says ‘The fans are everything’ and every one of the people I spoke to this evening would […]