Detroit born and raised, the Sights first popped up in the UK late last year. Their exciting punk rock pop has been sweeping critics off their feet ever since, and in February 2003, they arrived on these shores for their debut UK tour. With an average age of 22, the Sights look to have a bright future. Their second LP ‘Got What We Want’ was released last winter on Sweet Nothing records, and is a sign of great things to come from a band who have already achieved so much.

I caught up with Eddie Baranek (vocals, guitar), Dave Shettler (drums, vocals) and Nate Cavalieri (keyboards) on the last night of the tour to see how they’d been getting on so far away from home.

PB : So how has the tour been?

EB : Yeah, tour’s been good. Every show except for one’s been sold out. It’s been a real blast.

PB: Is it totally different playing over here than in America?

EB : Yeah, you get treated better by the clubs. You get a lot more beer, and - it’s amazing - the crowd’s a lot more receptive to what we’re doing at the moment.

PB : There’s a real appetite for your type of music at the minute I think.

EB : Yeah, yeah, and…shit! It’s great! (laughs)

PB : How do you feel about the so-called ‘New Rock Revolution’? ‘Cos you’ve sort of been lumped in with all these other American bands haven’t you?

EB : I don’t feel any kinship or similarity or bonding, you know. If you go in our van we don’t listen to The Hives or The Strokes or any of the ‘The’ bands. We were doing our own thing probably before there was a band called The Strokes, and we will be after they’re done. It hasn’t really affected us, except maybe it’s made people a bit more receptive to our style of music, you know what I mean?

PB: Yeah, so do you knock about with any other bands?

EB: We hang out with the Greenhornes. (looks at rest of band) Who do we hang around with? We don’t hang around with the ‘cool’ bands, ‘cos we’re the people you should be hanging around with! (Laughs). We don’t stay at The Columbia! We stay with our friends, you know? We prefer wood floors!

PB : The album's been released and very well received. Are you going to bring a single out to promote it?

EB : Yeah, we’re gonna be releasing a single in the next coupla months on Sweet Nothing (The Sights’ UK label). We’re not sure if it’ll be from the album. We'll keep it a surprise, I guess!

PB : Will you be coming back over here this year?

EB : Yeah, probably in April or May. We’re gonna play some festivals too, like maybe Reading? There’s some cool bands gonna be there.

PB : What are you listening to yourself at the minute?

EB : We’ve been listening to a lot of The Band, Neil Young, Appetite for Destruction, and the Meters. ‘Pro’s and Cons of Hitchhiking’ - the excellent Roger Walters solo LP! I definitely prefer the second side, where Slow Hand (Eric Clapton-Ed)really gets to strut his stuff! Ben (the Sights’ driver) has been showing us some Stranglers stuff. That's really good shit.

PB : So your record company’s treating you alright over here?

EB : Over here we're being looked after bySimon, our label representative, and Nita, our publicist. Shit, you couldn't ask for a warmer, more thorough, two people who are actually passionate about the music we do. They’re not just going through the motions. They actually know our songs, and it shows because we’re getting a lotta interviews, a lotta press. Tt’s been really positive and a great experience coming over here. So I thank them for that!

DS : Our support band’s tour manager was just saying ‘What are you guys doing?’ and we were like ‘We're probably gonna hang out with Simon’. They’re like ‘Who’s Simon’ and I’m like ‘Yeah he’s our label guy!’ He likes to hang out with us. He thought that was weird. But we like to hang out with him too. He’s like our buddy.

EB : We don’t mind actually hanging out with the label guy, you know? He’s pretty cool!

PB: Pennyblackmusic is an internet based magazine, how do you feel the internet has affected you as a musician?

EB : I dunno, I’m not really involved with the whole mp3 thing!

NC : I think it’s funny ‘cos long after I joined the band I searched for Sights downloads, and I found all these songs like I’d never heard and this is a band I actually play in! So there’s like these little 14 year old brats who’ve got the whole of our early demos! That’s fine, as long as people are talking about us. It’s good you know.

DS : I don’t think that an artist saying something about it is gonna change it, so we shouldn’t be really thinking about it. It doesn’t really affect us either way, whether we like it or not. If someone’s gonna trade music for free, that’s fine. You could go all Metallica about it but then what are you gonna gain? Just negativity.

NC: I mean, obviously people who are interested in trading music are a lot less evil than people who are making a shitload of money for it. Who do you choose – the downloaders or the record companies?

EB : I’m getting raped every day by somebody higher up! At least these people wanna listen to my music!

PB : Thank you














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