One thing that I've been lacking on Starcityscene.com is enough coverage of Hardcore and Metal bands, a situation I've been working on fixing. Certainly recognized as one of the leading bands in that area is Sinikil. We were all busy over the holidays, but the band took some time out to chat with me.
SCS: How and when did Sinikil form as a band?
Jason: How the fuck should I know.
Mike: Jason is our brand new drummer. We formed somewhere around April of 2001...man, that's a long time ago. It was in North Platte, NE. The band came together when members of two bands decided to do something new
SCS: If someone asked you “what does your band sound like?” how would you answer?
Bryan: Dude I have no idea.
Mike: I think that's the hardest question to ask someone in the band, it makes more sense to ask someone that hears the band often. Mostly because to me Sinikil sounds like Sinikil.
Jason: Why don't you come to a show and find out?
SCS: Well the point of this is to let the general public who haven't seen or heard you get an idea of what to expect. A lot of people won't take a chance if they have no idea what they're gonna get, this at least gives folks a general idea of what they're gonna get. So If people come to see you live, what can they expect?
Mike: I think a lot of people assume we're going to be super serious, but we like to have fun at shows, after all, that's why we all started making music in the first place. Don't get me wrong though...this is definitely heavy music, we're just not assholes!
SCS: What types of music and which musicians/groups influenced the band members?
Bryan: Opeth, American Head Charge, Dimmu Borgir, Chimaira, Cold, Full Blown Chaos, In Flames, Wes Borland....to name a few.
Mike: Just about everything I hear influences me a little. Some things I hear make me say, "I'm never going to make crap like that." And of course other things I hear are just amazing and make me want to try new things.
Jason: King Diamond..
SCS: How have you grown, musically and creatively, since the band first started?
Bryan: A lot! Through all the member changes and time we've all become better musician's and song writers. We've kind of fallen into our own style.
Mike: We have grown leaps and bounds past where we were when we started. I'm so happy that hardly anyone here has heard our first EP. It was terrible...I can't even believe we recorded it. But I guess you have to
Jason: Lots of vitamins and caffeine.
SCS: Who writes the songs, and how does the band work them out?
Mike: Bryan wrote almost all the music for our old stuff, I generally handle lyrics. So back when we wrote our old material, it kind of sucked to just sit there and teach the songs to the rest of the band. It is not like that anymore. With our current line-up, everyone contributes a lot. Don't get me wrong, Bryan is still a riff machine, but there's a lot more input from everyone on every aspect of the writing process.
Bryan: That's about what I was gonna say.
SCS: When and where was your first local show, and how did it go?
Bryan: It was in North Platte in 2001. It was a Jaycees Battle of the Bands. It went alright for our first show, but everyone in the band had already been in other bands, so we knew not to expect too much.
Mike: For our first show we had to come up with a name. Of course all the good ones were taken, so I was reading the warning panel on the back of a PA head an it said something about "may cause an undesired operation". So we went by that name, "Undesired Operation". What a terrible name.
Jason: Art Fest 2000 at Waverly High school, with the band Empty.
SCS: What was your most memorable live performance and what made it that?
Bryan: I'd say playing for 400 people in a small town like North Platte.
Mike: Yeah, anytime you play in a smaller town a show is like an event rather than something that happens at every bar in town every week. That's why it sucks that more people don't get out and support local bands. I know, everyone says that, but actions speak louder than words. I am all for anyone that has the balls to just get out there and try.
Jason: Playing for other bands and their girlfriends.
SCS: Most embarrasing moment?
Bryan: When I was going through my "every show string breaking month", I broke a string then I got out my other guitar and dropped it. Most things don't embarrass me much though.
Mike: My most embarrassing moment is anytime we play poorly, and it's our fault. If it's a technical problem, then I just have fun with it, but if it's a practice issue, then I feel like an ass.
SCS: What do you like and dislike about the music scene in Lincoln?
Bryan: I like the number of venues. I dislike the amount of promotion.
Mike: Well, the problem is that no one supports each other...in Westside's interview they made a mention of the scene being made up primarily of bands, and that definitely hit the nail on the head. The thing with that is not
all the bands support each other. Don't get me wrong, it would be impossible to go to every show. I'm not saying we need a big hippie love fest or anything, but some respect is always nice. The worst thing is battles, they make bands behave in ridiculous ways. Friend against friend is the worst. I don't care what type of music it is, if it strikes me as
good or entertaining, I'm going to check it out.
SCS: Have you learned anything in your experiences in a band that you feel newer local bands could learn from, or made any mistakes they should avoid?
Mike: Don't rush, and don't expect that you'll be the most popular band overnight! Obviously, you have to treat it somewhat like a job, but treat it as a fun job and you won't be frustrated all the time. Also, be careful on compilation offers. We've been burned on those before.
SCS: Who are some local bands or musicians that you admire or feel should be recognized?
Bryan: Cynge, Dirtfedd, Ezra, Dead Echoes, Westside Proletariat of the top of my head. I wouldn't consider Retrograde local, but them too.
Mike: Cynge was the first band to bring us to Lincoln (prior to us moving here), and I have more respect for them than I do for most people. There are so many great bands around here that it would be awesome if they could
all be recognized. Some of my personal favorites are, Cynge, Dirtfedd (who also helped us a lot in the beginning), Westside Proletariat, Youth In Asia, Ezra (because they have stuck it out for almost ten years now), Fearsight,
SCS: Do you have a favorite local band to play with?
SCS: Are you working on a new album now, and if so, when do you expect it to come out?
Bryan: Uh, well, we are working on a new album technically, but we don't plan on releasing anything for a while.
Mike: We're in so much debt from our last full length that we need to catch up financially first! We're working on the songs that will eventually be on the next CD though.
SCS: Was there one defining moment for you which led you to a life of rock and roll?
Bryan: No, I don't think so, I don't know. I've always enjoyed music, and that's what I've chose to do.
Mike: I grew up with music, so I have always wanted to do something with it. I'm living the rock star dream right now, I have no money, I have more debt than I'll ever be able to pay back, and I don't own hardly anything. Now if that's not living it up, I don't know what is!
SCS:What's your take on the current state of modern rock music?
Bryan: I think it's great that the independent music scene is growing all over the world.
Mike: Sometimes I'm disgusted with how horrible music on the radio is. I can safely say that almost all the bands we've played with are better than the recycled garbage that sells billions of copies. I mean there are exceptions to every rule, but as a generalization it makes me sad how little people like to think about what they're listening to.
Jason: I'm not even going to attempt to answer because it would be too fucking long!
SCS: If you could tour with any band in history, who would be your dream band to tour with?
Bryan: 5 Pointe O and/or Pantera because everything I've ever seen of them looked like they were having a ton of fun. Or Chimaira.
Jason: In Flames and Acid Bath.
Mike: One band that was out primarily in the late 80's/early 90's called Forbidden...they were amazing. Currently it would be Retrograde from Des Moines, IA or Children of Tragedy from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, because we've had so much fun with both those bands.
SCS: What was the first album/CD you bought?
Mike: See, I'm old. First tape, Beastie Boys, "License to Ill", first CD, Alice In Chains, "Facelift"
Bryan: Rancid, "Out Come the Wolves"
Jason: Def Leppard, "Adrenalize"
SCS: The most recent?
Bryan: Dry Kill Logic, "The Dead and Dreaming"
Jason: Shadows Fall, "The War Within"
Mike: Got two in one day, Lamb of God's new one and Shadows Fall's new one.
SCS: What other bands would you recommend people check out?
Mike: Anathema, Opeth, King Diamond (seriously, give him a chance, great musicians), Paradise Lost.
Bryan: Full Blown Chaos, Retrograde, Through the Discipline
Jason: Aghora, Porcupine Tree, Lacuna Coil, Anathema
SCS: What are your top records of all time?
Mike: My top 5 consists of about 100 albums, so I'll leave it at that.
Bryan: King Diamond, "Puppet Master", Opeth, "Blackwater Part", Metallica,"...And Justice for All", and that's some of them.
Jason: There's not enough time in the day to define the top 5 albums of all time.
SCS: What's the best show you've seen, local or otherwise?
Jason: I guess the Union Underground and Spineshank at the Grove, and Rollins Band at the Ranch Bowl, both those shows I saw courtesy of the Blaze.
Mike: Chimaira, Full Blown Chaos, and God Forbid at Knickerbockers.
Bryan: Same as Mike's, but also Coal Chamber and 5 Pointe O, also Incubus.
SCS: Bryan, who are your guitar heroes?
Bryan: Wes Borland, Randy Rhodes, obviously Dimebag, Rob Arnold (from Chimaira), Kelly Hayes.
SCS: Who do you think is the most underrated artist in the music industry?
Jason: Kurt Cobain (laughing)
Bryan: Prince, ok, I don't know there's way too many to list.
Mike: Any European act that goes from playing a festival over there with 200,000 people to playing a shitty hole in the wall bar here for 50. Oh yeah, and Sinikil (laughing).
SCS:Who/What do you think is the embodiment of evil in the music industry?
Bryan: The Darkness.
Jason: All record label executives, HAHA, just kidding.
Mike: MTV, and the music industry itself.
SCS: What can we look forward to in the next year from the band?
Bryan: A lot of shows, more tattoos.
Jason: Longer hair, maybe a tattoo or two.
Mike: Longer Hair (laughing), music that lays to waste everything we've done in the past, and me knocking on your door looking for a place to sleep when I become unable to pay rent.
SCS: Anything else you want to share with our readers?
Mike: Come out to a local show, any show, it doesn't cost much, and you can have a hell of a good time if you just try! Oh yeah, and go to www.sinikil.com and check it out...we have a rockin' message board, register for free and join the very strange conversations. Download some free music too!
Jason: We like baked goods, contribute to the "Jason Needs to Gain Ten Pounds" Foundation, send your baked goods to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bryan: You are!
- Tery Daly