Punk Globe: Hello there Adam,thanks for talking with Punk Globe! So you guy's have been together for how long now?
AC: Well, we've known each other since we were pretty young kids - some of us go back to first or second grade. We've played together in Sweet Water for pretty close to seventeen years, although there were some pretty big breaks along that route.
Punk Globe: You also have about 4 albums now correct?
AC: Yes we have four or five, depending on how you count them. We started with our very first album, "Ter", which was released on a small label "New Rage". This was a compilation of demos we did in the early part of the 90's. Much of that material went into our first major label record, self-titled "Sweet Water". After that we released "Super Friends" on East/West, produced by Dave Jerden. We recorded our next record with Dave as well, but the label shut down before it was released, so we ended up releasing it as "Suicide" on the label "GoodInk" founded by some friends in the Seattle music scene. Before Suicide, we recorded and released a record under the band name "Parc Boys" that was a bit more experimental than our other records.
Punk Globe: Out of those albums which is your favorite?
AC: To me, the Parc Boys record is actually my favorite. Even though some of the songs could be distilled a bit more, to me it captured the creative energy and spirit of the band most completely. I also loved the way we wrote and recorded it. We wrote the whole record just for fun in the hotel room where we were all living during the recording of "Suicide". We used what we had available in the room - drum machines, keyboards, etc. All the band members wrote songs and we all played different parts to make the songs come alive. We liked what we had done enough that we thought it would be cool to record it and release it. The sound was so different that we thought it would make sense to do it as a side project. So we went into a studio in Seattle with Martin Feveryear, a producer we had worked with many times before for our demos, and we recorded the record in two weeks. The way we recorded it was different as well - we recorded a full song a day, rather than doing the typical "layer-cake" approach of doing all the songs on a record, one instrument at a time. Not surprisingly this is a lot more fun way to make a record. I think Martin did a fantastic job and I am proud of the record. In retrospect I think we learned a lot from that experience and we used some of that to give us confidence during the making of Clear the Tarmac.
Second to the Parc Boys record, I like "Super Friends". There are some great songs on the record, and the performances are good. My only regret with that record, which is pretty true of all of our previous recordings, is that we never could really capture the raw energy that we have on stage. I do think we've done that for the first time with Clear the Tarmac.
Punk Globe: I noticed on the first album (self titled) you guys were a bit more complex and mature sounding than say on your later albums like the pop rock "Super Friends" whats your take on that?
AC: I know that I personally felt that maybe the first record was a little too focused inward lyrically. I wanted to open up a bit with the second record. Be a little less self-absorbed and have more fun with the music the way we did in our performances. Plus it just was a reflection of a different time. Life was a lot less fun in the late 80's/ early 90's. Things were looking better once Clinton came into office.
Punk Globe: Any weird fan stories over the years?
AC: None that I can relate on paper.
Punk Globe: You are from Seattle,how was it to you to be apart of the whole early 90's Seattle scene? was it magical?
AC: It was fantastic. The best part was the way pretty much all young people went to shows. The fans were just incredible. Every weekend there would be several sold-out shows of at least 700 people each. This was just normal then. The question when going out was not "what should we do?" but "what show should we see?" Also the way bands helped each other was so important. Everyone supported each other and made each other better. I think that these two pieces must be there for a great scene to happen. The fans are the most important though - it is a virtuous cycle - great bands make lots of fans which then all expect really good music and raise the bar for better and better bands. The bands get better by watching each other and learning and then in turn setting the example for the next band.
Punk Globe: Who was your favorite band to play with then and now?
AC: Alice in Chains. They gave us a ton of great shows. They were truly an awesome band to behold.
Punk Globe: I know there is another band called Sweet Water, (Editor's Note- "ALMOST FAMOUS") ever any trouble with the name?
AC: Not a lot of trouble really. Of course we started the band before the internet so it was harder to know about this stuff. We found out about them before we release our self-titled record, but didn't change the name mainly because that band had been broken up for a long time. Never had any issues - crossing the fingers for the future.
Punk Globe: So what do you think the biggest change in the Seattle scene has been over the years?
AC: On the negative side, there are less people going to shows. But there are some really young bands that are coming up and many of them are incredibly good players. I expect great things from them.
Punk Globe: How did Cobain's or Stanley's death affect you,or others like Andy Wood and Seven Pearson who never got much of a chance to shine?
AC: Probably I felt similarly to others about it. It was just a shame to see these young people cut down in the prime of their lives.
Punk Globe: What can you say about your new album?
AC: It is the best record we have made so far. We finally were able to capture some of that rock energy that we have on stage. Credo's solo at the end of Grass is Green is exactly what I have been looking to get on tape for many years. In addition to the raw live feeling, we were also able to bring a lot of the experimental and more musically courageous quality of the Parc Boys back to Sweet Water, but in an even more effective way. For example, I really love the piano accompaniment on Hesitation that Cole played - it set the mood of the song. We probably wouldn't have even attempted that in the past. In general we concentrated on realizing the potential of each song for itself, not for some idea of the way we wanted it to be. If something didn't help the song be better it was out. This might sound kind of obvious, but sometimes it is easy to forget when lost in the depths of the endless possibilities of the studio laboratory.
I was able to get some of my best vocal performances as well. I am also happy with the lyrical content. I felt that I had better success in creating a feeling and mood with the words and melody than I have ever had before. I'm not sure why things were easier this time but I think there is some sort of perspective that happens in the brain where I could see my performance in my mind's eye as I was doing it much more clearly than I ever could before.
Punk Globe: Whats the biggest difference from the new one compared to the others?
AC: More of everything, and better. Like I was saying, I really think this record is our best. It's got great hooks, great performances, great production. I'm really proud of what we made together.
Punk Globe: Any big tour coming up to promote it,or staying local for awhile?
AC: We haven't fully nailed down our tour plans yet, other than to say we are going to be playing SXSW this year. We are still talking about touring, and I expect we will kick something off this year - at this point we don't know if it would be just regional around the West Coast, or maybe we would do something bigger.
Punk Globe: I've seen you guys live several times in the past but haven't caught the new reunited Sweetwater,tell me what to expect from your new shows?
AC: Pure rock energy! We haven't changed a lot about the shows. It's the same exact lineup, everyone is still hungry and still loves rock. I always thought that the best thing about our band was always the shows, so we are just hoping to keep that as good or better than before.
Punk Globe: Do a lot of your old fans come to the gigs or do you notice a whole new crowd?
AC: Kind of a mix. We haven't played a ton of shows, so we'll see how things progress. We love and appreciate all the support we have received from our old fans. But I will say that the beating heart of rock is young people. So we hope to connect with some of them with our new record and with our shows.
Punk Globe: Got any plans to keep going and making more music and doing more gigs in the future?
AC: Absolutely! We hope to release a new record every 18 months or so. Maybe even once a year if we can get really tight. We are all writing and just on fire with the desire to make music and to make each record better than the last.
Punk Globe: What was your new years like?
AC: Wild and hopeful.
Punk Globe: Which singers do you admire?
AC: There are so many. Some I admire because of how they perform on stage, some because of how they sing, some especially for songwriting. Just to name a few - Mark Lanegan, Iggy Pop, Mick Jagger, Richard Buckner, Odetta, Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Robert Smith, Bono, Al Green, James Brown, David Bowie, Joe Strummer, Morrisey.Punk Globe: You have a great energy on stage,who influenced you?
AC: Of course Mick Jagger is the master. And he got many of his moves from the great James Brown. I also love to watch David Bowie for his ability to capture a crowd and create drama. But the number one performer for me is always Iggy Pop. No one can match his sexy power on stage... he is ferocious.
Punk Globe: Worst moment on stage?
AC: Oh probably our first show as the Parc Boys. We were so tight as Sweet Water that we didn't really think we had to prepare much for this new thing - plus the whole nature of the project was experimental so we kind of just wanted to "wing it". We were all playing different instruments than normal and it was just chaos on stage. Things got better after that show.
Punk Globe: Tell me a bit about the other members of the band
AC: I am really lucky to be in a band with all of them. As people and as friends, they are exceptional. All have integrity, strength and creativity. You can count on them and trust them completely in any tough time. Cole is the most prolific songwriter in the band. He is constantly writing and bringing ideas to practice. That stirs everyone else and inspires them to do the same. Paul always writes some of the songs too, is a master of great vocal hooks. Often Paul's songs are really the core of a song, so I usually take that great core and flesh it out to a full song. Paul also loves the rock, where Cole is more attracted to the pop song. Credo always brings one or two serious musical gems and it's up to me to bring them to life with melody and lyrics. Occasionally I contribute a musical part but usually I stick to the melody, lyrics and arranging. The best part of it all is that just like when we are on stage, since we have been making music together for so long we really know how to work together and maximize everyone's strengths. This is not something that usually comes to a band immediately.
Punk Globe: Dudley Taft used to be in your band on the first album,why did he leave?
AC: Really we had true musical differences. In retrospect I see that in general it is easier to get four people on the same page than five, so some of that is just natural. I also prefer being in a band with a single guitarist. Everything can move and change so much more naturally and organically. The Who "Live at Leeds" is my favorite example.
Punk Globe: Anything you'd like to say to Punk Globe about how the Seattle music scene is,some think its dead.
AC: Well, like I was saying above, you need a couple of things for an amazing music scene - lots of fans going to lots of shows and bands supporting each other. I think the second part is definitely there, and is pretty much always there is Seattle. The first part isn't happening as much as it did in the past. Lots of clubs have shut down. Magazines like the Rocket have shut down. Lots of radio stations are now controlled by large corporations calling the playlists from a central location. This makes it difficult for people to hear about new local music and makes it difficult to go see it, etc. I am an optimist though, so I believe this will change, once it gets really bad. In the eighties regular radio really sucked, and out of that came all the great bands of the 90's. The trick is for it to suck enough for a lot of people to look for an alternative. Even with all the digital media I don't believe there is any substitute for seeing a great band live and in person surrounded by many other human beings totally engrossed in the same event.
Punk Globe: Do you get nervous before a performance?
AC: I get very excited, but I don't really get nervous in the sense that I am afraid to hit the stage. I love it on the stage; and the more people out there the more fun it is.
Punk Globe: ADAM,it's been great! cant wait to catch a show again,I miss you guys!!