Let's start off by stating your name and what you do in 2*Sweet? Justin: Hello, I am Justin pence and I sing in the 2*Sweet.
Can you tell us a little bit about how you guys got together? Justin: Pete and Dan have been friends for practically their whole lives, I met Dave and Andy in high school and would go to their old bands shows, we started all sorts of random projects, did some tours together and then created 2*Sweet as a joke to counteract our current endeavors, but it felt good, real good, so after a member change and new song ideas we took on the band more seriously and started playing any show we could
How did you guys come up with your name and the asterisk? Justin: Well we were throwing around a lot of ideas and since the name slayer was taken, we decided on 2*Sweet. Nsync had an asterisk right? bye bye bye... our band name mocks our personalities rather well, we are often silly and we like sweet riffs, we really donít care what the Internet thinks about that, sorry guys.
How would you describe your music for people who aren't familiar with you guys?
Justin: I would describe our music as the queens of the Stone Age drinking beer in a hot tub with black Sabbath watching the foo fighters running naked circles around said hot tub while Danzig stands idly by worshiping the devil. Its rock music with lots of structure, melody, and pop choruses.
How's the tour with The Appreciation Post going so far? Justin: The tour with the appreciation post has been a complete blast, this is the first time we ever made it down to Florida and it definitely exceeded our expectations. We both have mini propane grills that we bust out daily and grill everywhere we go. Its incredible how well we get along with these dudes and their songs have grown on us like mad, if you havenít heard them check it out for sure. When we first got into Tampa we all spent the night on the beach, all of us got naked and acted like cavemen while chanting and circling around the appreciation dudes, they laughed it off and didnít throw sand in our butts, those dudes know how to hang.
What was the writing process like for "Sleep Without Dreams?" Justin: We recorded and wrote sleep without dreams over the course of a year, we built a studio in the loop of Chicago (while writing we actually discovered two dead bodies out front of our building, I would like to think it helped us along) we would demo the songs there, and we all wrote our own parts. We all played in heavier bands before 2sweet, we realized that we shouldnít try to go against our nature and incorporate what we know into this record. The thing about this record is that we wanted it to be heavy but not novelty heavy with screaming and overuse of double bass.
Are there any present themes on the album? Justin: There are a few themes that might be hard to pick up on, but there is also a lot of storytelling on the record. Obviously one of the themes on the record is about sleeping, having obscure dreams, the many dimensions of our brains that remain untapped, unchallenged, unenlightened if you will. Which leads into another theme that I tap into on the record about reality, mortality, and the absence of god in a completely functional moral life. A lot of the record was written while we were on tour lyrically so a song like 'miss you' is about being in a band on tour, about being as anti-rock-star as possible and just the different kind of things that we feel as mid- twenties dudes getting naked in a van every day.
Where did the name "Dateless for Armageddon" come from? Justin: The song is about us starting a chain of events that end the world, this song Dave and I pieced together on the spot in the studio, its about the world ending tonight but still doubting yourself or not being confident enough to actually go and get what you want, though at the end the tone kind of switches to me, where it turns into, its ok, we are here together just you and me, all this awful shit can happen and I will be ok with it, this world is going to end, we can all be sitting at our computers complaining or we can be sitting on beaches with friends and doing the things that we find enjoyment in, ya know?
Who came up with the concept of the video for "Rested Eyes Tell No Lies"?
Justin: Our good friend Alex gvojak from thunder horse productions thought of the concept, he has been doing a lot of videos, he does live video 'jokes' for flosstradamus he pitched us this idea and we are all into making fun of ourselves and getting peed on, videos should be entertaining and fun, we shot it in a few days, we built everything ourselves, then I edited the video over a weekend and it turned out pretty silly.
Do you plan on shooting another music video soon? If so, for what song?
Justin: Yes we will definitely shoot another music video, I do not know when, but I would really like to do a video for give me your gold, I have a lot of very specific visuals for that song, I just need to find another video maker that can stretch a budget
Why is "Sleep Without Dreams" released on your own label, Cwalrus, rather than the one you released the EP on, by a thread?
Justin: We decided that by a thread was a way too normal name, C. Walrus which stands for Christ Walrus seemed way more appropriate to keep up with our shitty name regiment. But seriously, it is a name we have had for a while, and its run entirely by us, its not so much a label but a networking device, eventually we will be helping out friends release music and help them build as we have helped ourselves.
You guys do everything pretty much yourselves right? What are the pros and cons of doing that?
Justin: We do everything ourselves, we have made many amazing friends along the way, people who just genuinely believe in our band and have given us much appreciated help. We funded, wrote, recorded and pressed the record, then I developed all of the visuals with amazing artists, marketed and promoted and we were able to release the record on our own. The pros of this are to know that we did this our own way, we obviously are not here to become rock stars with our scene hair and those little shoe lace head band things, fuck that, we are here to write weird pop songs, and shit is just going to get weirder. We have a ton of ideas to keep those who have interest in this band interested, we want to keep giving back and become as accessible to the people who believe in us as possible, expect a cartoon that we made very soon, more videos, DVDs, everything and everything.
Does it get hard for Dave to book all the tours? Justin: It does get hard for us to book the tours, luckily we have some friends who help us out, it is ALOT of work to book a tour for a band that no one has heard of and to get enough money to cover the gas prices. This summer tour with us, this time next year and fireworks has come together really well, brad from this time next year did a killer job, its all about everyone pulling their own weight and working very hard to try and secure decent shows.
What is "Chicago Doom Pop" and how would you describe it? Justin: Chicago is where we dwell, the doom is the riffs that make you uncomfortable, the riffs that some might deem heavy, cryptic, hard, the doom riffs make you want to mosh like Frankenstein. We are a pop band, we write in pop structure, I sing pop melodies and I try to make choruses that POP back into your head an hour or two later, so after listening to the song there is one part that repeats three times that you can walk away knowing. That is Chicago doom pop, we almost named the record doom pop, true story.
What has been your greatest accomplishment being in the band so far?
Justin: Holding the final product of sleep without dreams has been the greatest accomplishment for me. It took a lot out of all of us to get this final product out and available, we had to learn everything on the spot about this 'industry' and try and make everything as real as possible regarding this record, it was hard work daily, and its really only just begun but we finally have this product that we are completely proud of, it represents us in a very personal way and we are just excited to allow people to hear it, it is a great accomplishment.
What's the deal with the virtual MTV Battle of the bands? And what do you think of the bands your up against?
Justin: Our video is up for voting at this virtual battle of the bands, basically they set up this sim city looking thing that allows you to interact as well as vote for the bands that they have up, head to http://www.sleepwithoutdreams.com/vote.html and see exactly how its done, we are extremely stoked about this contest and if you could help us out in any way with it that would be incredible, I think all of the bands are great, Iím not sure if we are the only unsigned band on this contest but I have faith in our friends to help us out!
Some bands you would recommend? Justin: We are out with the appreciation post right now, they are outstanding dudes and a stellar band, check them out for sure. This summer we get to tour with some of our best friends in the world, those friends are fireworks and this time next year, Iím sure all of you people know of those bands, but if you havenít do yourself a favor and listen to them, buy their new stuff on itunes, its insanely good. From Chicago I highly recommend you check out a band called debello they are some of the most talented dudes I have ever gotten the pleasure to jam with (myspace.com/debelloband) they are working on a record right now, that shit will blow your mind, so smooth so fresh. Also, listen to down.
What are some of your influences? Justin: I am letting Andy handle this entire question, take it away.
Andy: It's kind of hard to say. I listen to a fairly wide selection of music, but most of it is metal and "indie" (if thatís even a real genre), with varying degrees in between. More or less when I write stuff, it tends to be filtered through whatever I'm listening to at the time. Musically, I guess some of my more obvious influences would be Queens of the Stone Age, Cave In, Black Sabbath, et al...
A lot of what I'll write though comes from more of an attitude than a particular style I'm trying to emulate. It's hard to describe that part of the process because it's a little less tangible, but I guess you could say that writing music has always been a type of response for me. Like, I had a shitty day at work and I got in a fight with my parents or something and I just want to sit in my room and play guitar and suddenly a song will fly out of me. And maybe it'll sound heavier or poppier or "weirder" depending on what I've been listening to at the time.
So I guess a more concise way for me to describe my influences would be daily life. The monotony, the structure of school or work... sometimes I need to throw a wrench into those gears and usually that wrench happens to be songwriting.
What is better to play at, Mojoes or Metro? The metro is a better venue to play, that room is legendary and the sound system is far superior in every way. Donít get me wrong mojoes is great and we have had very wild memorable shows there, but playing the metro is a place I imagined playing when I first started playing in bands, and now we get the opportunity to play there on occasion and it is always fantastic.
Cubs or Sox? Justin: I'm going to let our drummer Dan handle this entire question, take it away Dan
Dan: The easy answer is always going for the ever so popular north siders, the Chicago cubs, but my heart has always sided with the White Sox. Most of my brothers are cubís fans and they like to give me, my younger brother, and my dad (yeah, I have a really big family) flack all the time for being the diehard sox fans that we are. As of the past week or so, the Cubs have been a decent ball club and thatís a beautiful thing but I will always root for my White Sox. Good baseball is good baseball, and in reality we should all be listening to more Megadeth anyways.