I’m not going to waste any of your time by throwing superlatives around for the next ten lines , so here it goes, stellar all round band, blues based jams that will remind you of nothing but Legends, a voice you will always remember hearing for the first time, lyrics that scream truth and all in all one of my favorite new bands of 2016, so dig in , the Album comes out tomorrow, so visit your local record stores and go pick this up and give it a spin , while I’m 3 miles deep in the woods far from the trappings of this modern life….
Meet – Sulfur City
For those unfamiliar with your bands history, can you tell us all how you all met up and decided to start a band?
It was more of 6 degrees of separation kind of thing with us getting together except for Jesse and myself. Jesse and I were playing in another band; a 3 piece, I was the drummer and Jesse on rhythm guitar with a friend on lead guitar and vocals. One night after a gig while we’re packing gear our friend walks up to us and say he quits. So Jesse and I decided to start our own thing and I was going to be the front person; it was something I have wanted to do for a while but never really had the chance. We started off acoustically with another guy playing lead. It just started to grow from there like the band had a mind of its own and it kept evolving. The members now, Steve Smith on bass, Sam King on drums and Keith Briet on Keys were guys we didn’t know five years ago. It was through a friend of a friend of a friend that we all came together. Serendipity.
Who would you list as your musical influence?
Right now Sam is digging Mike Miley of Rival Sons and is also influenced by Pearl Jam, Pantera, Sepultura and Deep Purple. Keith has looked up to these musicians: Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Dr.Lonnie Smith ,Booker T and Paul Shaffer. I have been admiring Nina Simone for a very long time, such passion and depth.Steve is a Frank Zappa nerd, and also influenced by early American thrash metal and 1970’s prog rock and his favourite bass players are Jaco, Geddy Lee, Cliff Burton and Scott Thunes to name a few. Bob Dylan and Lightnin’ Hopkins inspired Jesse to really listen to every word and every sound on the guitar while Xavier Rudd and Jack White’s unusual guitar tones push him to experimentation.
What’s the coolest thing that’s happened to you as a band since you started up?
Signing with Alive Naturlsound. They have been fantastic. Such an honor to be on this label and to be the first women and Canadian band on the label, crazy amazing!
this is from Alive Records …
Fronted by singer/electric washboard player Lori Paradis, Canadian band Sulfur City comes roaring out of your speakers with echoes of Grace Slick, Patti Smith and Janis Joplin. This is no wimpy chick rock! Sulfur City is the first female-fronted band on Alive, and their balls-to-thewall, high-energy gritty blues style fits right in with label mates like the Black Keys and Left Lane Cruiser.
Born in a small mining town in North-eastern Ontario, Lori’s lyrics reflect her life experience (she has been a truck driver on a construction crew, a bartender and a house painter among other odd jobs).
“Talking Loud” was recorded at the infamous Gas Station Recording studio by Dale Morningstar (Cowboy Junkies, Neko Case), and features Jesse Lagace (guitar), Steve Smith (bass), Sam King (drums), and Keith Breit (keys).
What are your hopes and dreams as a band for the next few years?
Tour. We want to get out there and play on as many stages as we can. We really are a live band. We even recorded live off the floor. There are a few bands I would love to tour with; Black Keys, Gov’t Mule, Rival Sons, Iggy Pop, Monster Truck, Counting Crows and North Mississippi Allstars. Now that would be a fantastic dream to live. We would also like to record a new album next year. The writing doesn’t stop.
What are some of your favorite albums from the past few years?
For Jesse; Blunderbuss by Jack White, Dark Shades of Blue by Xavier Rudd.Sam has these on his radar; Sitting Heavy by Monster Truck, The Great Western Valkyrie by Rival Sons, Lightning Bolt by Pear Jam This is what Keith has been grooving on; Evolution and The Art of Organizing by Dr. Lonnie Smith,Atomic Ro-o-ster by Atomic Rooster, A Long Time Coming by Electric Flag For me it has been: World Boogie is Coming by North Mississippi Allstars, Alive as Fuck by Black Diamond Heavies, Miss America by Mary Margaret O’Hara. Steve’s favourite albums from the last few years have been Scurrilous by Protest the Hero, Philly & by Frank Zappa (featuring Bianca Odin), and Live in London by Leonard Cohen. Currently loving
Beneath Grey Skies by fellow Sudburians Crone of War.
Do you see any real use for social media, or is it all just a pain in the ass to keep with?
Wow. Good question. What I like about social media is that it’s a great way to connect one on one with fans. Fans can instantly know what’s happening with us from releases to up coming shows to what’s in our playlist and to things we are passionate about. It is also a two way street with a fan and us. It’s amazing to get to know the fans on a more personal level. Some fans we have become friends with because we can keep a close connection through social media. The flip side is it is a lot of work keeping up and in today’s market a band can be judged solely on their social media presence so if you’re a bit socially media challenged navigating thought it can be very difficult and an amazing band with fantastic songs can be lost and shoved aside. It’s easy to spend a lot of time trying to stay present. Also knowing when is too much too much can be a challenge. I believe as an artist there is a point when you can’t keep asking fans for likes, hits and shares we need to be involved in what’s important to them as well. Give back. It’s a doubled edge sword.
Do you pay attention to reviews or comments from people about your music or do you just turn that noise off.
We don’t let reviews guide the music we make. We want to create music that has its roots and foundation firmly planted in our ideas. There was a time when we were eager to get someone; anyone to listen to our music let alone write a review. I must say though if someone is going to give of their time to listen and then share their thoughts about our music I have to respect that whether the review is praising our music or smashing it down. I believe in the music we create and it’s important that I stay as true to the voice and lyrics in my head and the music Jesse writes and how the whole band gels it together.
If you could tour anywhere in the world, where would you want to go.
That’s a hard one because there are so many interesting places not to mention the opportunity to meet and play to people from different parts of this globe. I couldn’t say one place over another each stage is unique and so are the people and landscape. I have always said any stage that lets me play is a great stage.
Can music save the mortal soul or is just a good backbeat to your life.
I would like to think that it does both. Sometimes you just get out and dance your face off and scream and shout and let it all out or groove along a busy street with your personal jam happening and then there are the times you let the music envelop you allowing yourself to float away. There are songs and albums that have gotten me through some tough times. There are memories attached to albums and concerts. Good times and bad times.
Any last thoughts for your fans?
Don’t let fear get in the way.