Showcase: Sweetheart Contract
Published on November 23rd, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Melodic country-punk newcomers Sweetheart Contract are set to support their heroes Lucero at Brixton Windmill on the 28th and 29th of November, and furthermore they’re churning out some pretty ace sounds, so Rocksucker fired some questions over to front man Dexy in the hope of finding a little more about them. First, though, check out this gem…
What’s the line-up of the band? How did you all meet, and how long has the band been going for?
Hello. We are quite a new bunch – only been together a few months. I was playing with a few other guys under the name Dexy & The Hand Me Downs which was fun for a while but ultimately I needed a bit more (plus I never really liked the name all that much). Got a new line up, new name and got to work on making a bit of noise together. I’ve known the bassist and guitarist (both called Ben) for years, we’ve played together loads before so starting this up was easy and a lot of fun.
We met our drummer Michael a few months back and instantly clicked, felt like we’d been playing together for ages. I’ve had very few better feelings than making music with these guys. When we get to the point where we can realistically be playing shows or making records together every single day I’ll be a mighty happy boy.
How would you describe your music, if pushed?
I tend to just say ‘country punk’ if pushed. People either look intrigued or disgusted. But to me country and punk rock have a lot in common, they’re both from the heart, raw and often brutal and have affected me in ways few other things ever have. Most of our songs are about girls, folks that turned out to not be who they seemed, disillusioned bears and pro wrestling. A healthy mix.
Where are you based, and what do you use to record with?
Deptford in South East London. Recording-wise we’ll take whatever comes along as long as it works. When it comes to demoing at home I don’t have a proper recording set up yet but I’ve got a little digital dictaphone and I probably annoy my flatmates by shutting myself in the bathroom and recording onto that. You get a nice bit of reverb sitting in the shower.
Are you signed to a label? If so, how did you come to their attention?
Not at the moment no but it’s all good, we’re going to have a release out very soon regardless of whether it’s on a label or a self release. We’ve got stuff we really need to get out there one way or another.
Is there a full album in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it? (Feel free to be as abstract as you like…)
There sure is. The tricky thing will be working out what tracks to whittle it down to for recording, let alone what ends up being the final record. There are something like 54 songs in contention, I guess we need to narrow it down to say 15 and then pick a final 10-12 for the album. It’s gonna take a bit of time! I’m not one of those people who can just stick songs in any old order though, it bugs the hell out of me when a potentially great album is ruined by the songs being put in what feels like the wrong order. You need to take people from one place and leave them in another at the end of the record.
Where can we hear your music online?
We have a website where you can hear a few tracks as well as a SoundCloud page (http://www.soundcloud.com/sweetheartcontract). I also might as well plug our Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/sweethcontract), that’s where you’ll find me rambling away about all manner of things that seem interesting at the time. Which I guess is what Twitter is anyways!
Which have been your most exciting gigs and/or overall moments so far?
The show we did the other day with Lydia Loveless was pretty damn special, I’m a big fan of her record so it was cool to play a show with her. Also I played a solo show with Ben Nichols and Rick Steff from Lucero back in February which was amazing, and Cory Branan in the summer; his record Mutt has been one of my favourites this year and he was a real nice guy. Also I just played with Acres Of Lions who were absolutely ace, hadn’t heard them before the show but they made me smile more than a band has for a long time.
Got any more coming up? (Gigs, that is…)
Our next two shows are supporting Lucero at Brixton Windmill on Nov 28 and 29, which is a pretty huge deal for me. I’ve been a fan for many years and even have a Lucero tattoo. Playing with Ben and Rick earlier in the year was great but playing with the whole band will be something else! Their records have soundtracked some pretty important times in my life and their live shows have this incredible feeling of communal celebration, even when they’re playing something pretty heartbreaking. I can’t wait…
Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming acts that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
Oh hell yeah, there’s a bunch of great bands out there that don’t get anywhere near enough attention as far as I’m concerned. Here’s just a few:
Blue Balloon – http://soundcloud.com/blueballoonmusic
Flash Bang Band – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrtQJGHIThM
Ghost Carriage Phantoms – http://soundcloud.com/soundandvisionpr/ghost-carriage-phantoms-yer
Pentimento – http://www.pentimentony.com (they’re currently giving away their new album free on the site)
Finally, if you were forced to spend the rest of your days in solitary confinement, but were allowed to bring the entire works of five different artists along to tide you over, whose would you choose?
Solitary confinement with my favourite records? That sounds pretty good to me. I’d have to go with everything Alex Chilton was involved with, Morrissey, Bruce Springsteen, The Replacements…and only one more will be real tough. I really wanna say George Jones but let’s say Prince as it’s such a vast and mixed back catalogue that there’d still be plenty to discover!
Dexy, thank you.