Updated: 02/10/03

Sick Of It All remain underground legends with a mighty catalog of songs and are now presenting a live album after 17 years of existence on Fat Wreck Chords! Entitled Live In A Dive, the show was recorded at the venerable Bottom of The Hill in San Francisco. Since SOIA are pretty well known in the scene, we’ll just let vocalist Lou do all the talking…

Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Sick Of It All and how long the band has been together.

What's up! This is Lou, I'm the "singer" of S.O.I.A. We've been around since 1986. So we're 17 years young!

And this point, what made you guys decide to release a live album?

Well we noticed after joining up with Fat [Wreck Chords label]. That a lot of our new fans didn't know some of the older stuff. And older ones didn't know the new stuff. So to make it easy on the lazy bastards, We put out the live album, with a good sampling of our musical past and present. Plus it's giving us time to write the next CD.

With a number of shows to choose from, what was special about the Bottom Of The Hill appearance? And do you think Bottom Of The Hill likes being referred to as a dive?

It just worked out better for us all. Our tour with the Dropkick Murphys ended out west. Fat Mike had a good deal with the mobile recording unit out there. And we had played the Bottom Of The Hill before and love how it's laid out. Plus we've always had a great following in San Francisco so why not. As far as being call "a dive.” It depends on how you look at it. It's cool if you think of the word "dive" in a pulp fiction, guys and dames sort of way. You know the rebel outcasts of society.

What changes have you seen on the punk/hardcore scene since 1987?

There is a lot, but the one thing that bugs me is the separation. Punk went more melodic and lost its angst. And hardcore, well a lot of new hardcore, is just bad Death Metal. And neither wants anything to do with the other. I like it better when you have a good mix of both and smart lyrics, not just stuff about your broken heart or how depressed you are.

When you look back on your earlier albums on Relativity and East/West, what do you think of them now? Would you ever want to be on a major label again?

The 1st one on Relativity has great songs but the performance sucks. The second one, Just Look Around, is an underrated album. The ones on East/West were great. Scratch The Surface is our biggest CD so far. As far as going back to a major, it would have to be a sweet deal. ‘Cause we are very happy with Fat and they listen to us if we have any problems, and we work it out together. They are very open to our ideas and tell us when the idea is too far fetched.

How many people in SOIA are actually vegans?

Just Armand, and even he has to cheat sometimes when we're on the road.

What do you think has kept SOIA enthusiastic and still going after all this time?

We love this music. And we just wanted to make it a full time thing. I can't see any of us doing anything else. We just committed ourselves to this because it puts us in charge of us! Not some boss or corporation. So if we fuck up, there's no one else to blame.

Could you comment on how the death of Joe Strummer affected you and the band?

It was a hard blow. Another one of our heroes is gone. It's different than some other singer or performer dying. He was a pioneer, a peer, he was one of us.

If SOIA were invited to participate on a “Punk Goes Metal” tribute album, what song would you do and why?

Angel Dust by Venom cause it's so raw. Or Battle Hymns by Manowar 'cause that song makes me want to dress up like a Viking and storm the building next door and kill.

At what point do you think a war with Iraq would be okay?

I don't want any war! Can't they see we're going to end up looking like the bad guys? We need to catch him with his paints down. Instead of sending in the inspectors we should be sneaking in and finding shit out for real. I think we should keep and eye on him, but lets go after the terrorist that are not so easy to find. Maybe that's why Bush is doing this, 'cause he can't find the other guys.

If Britney Spears asked you to leave SOIA and go on a world tour with her for a year as a musician in her band, what would you do?

How much is she paying, and do I get to be her oil boy before and after the show.

The Bush daughters invite SOIA to play two songs at their latest drunken party. What songs would you play for Jenna and Barbara and why?

Well they'd most likely want to hear an Andrew W.K. song, so we learn one of his. We'd play Scratch The Surface and have them do the Braveheart wall of death with the sisters on opposite sides.

Years from now when all is said and done, how would you like the music of SOIA to be remembered?

To be remembered at all would be great. If they remember us with the respect and admiration that we get now. I'd be very happy.

Do you have any messages for long time fans or even those few who have yet to hear what your music is all about?

For everyone, it's not over yet. We have 11 new songs so far and are itching to get back out on tour. If you've never seen us live... well just ask around, and then come see for yourself.

The last word is yours…

Thanks to everyone for their support over the years. See you all soon!


SICK OF IT ALL: Their Official Home Page!
FAT WRECK CHORDS: The Record Label for Sick Of It All!
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