In the Baltimore metal scene, there exists a band unlike the rest: the female-fronted Sweet Suicide. Sweet Suicide is a 5 piece metal band based out of Baltimore, MD. Born out of the combination of “death metal and a female lead,” Cindy Parr (lead vocals) and Greg Lane (bass guitar) from the industrial band Dying Design merged with the death metal group Heschant, bringing Jesse Jenkins (lead guitar, vocals), Ronnie Ward (rhythm guitar) and Moses Wells (drums), the group started to make music in August 2011. Enjoy our interview with Sweet Suicide’s front-woman, Cindy below!
ET: How did you all form as a band? Was metal the genre that was always destined to be played by everyone?
Cindy: Our band formed in August of 2011. Greg and myself were in a industrial metal band before forming Sweet Suicide. When that band “broke up” Greg and I decided that we wanted to stick together and get right back into or forming another band. We put up a craigslist and after a few failed auditions we found Moses, our drummer. And luckily for us Moses came with a best friend who happened to be a metal guitarist, Jesse came to practice shortly after Mo joined and that was the core line up of Sweet Suicide! Jesse and Mo were in a death metal band for a long time together, but ultimately that band broke up and they found themselves needing a vocalist and bass player. It was like our other bands broke up for a reason. Our new rhythm guitarist ,is new to the band but he was actually the rhythm guitarist for Mo and Jesse’s former band – so it really is like two bands broke up exactly the way they needed to in order for the 5 of us to come together and make music.
For me, being in a rock or metal band has always been the only option. I enjoy many kinds of music but the genera that I want to be “known” for, the music that I was to PREFORM is metal….I LOVE being a women who fronts a metal band. There’s a power that comes from standing in front of all these guys and “throwing down” and it’s a feeling that I don’t think I could get from any other genera. I’ve actually played in couple acoustic “bands” and preformed with them and its been fun. I love to sing so any opportunity to do so makes me happy, but its not the same feeling at writing my own music, singing my own lyrics and feeling the power of electric instruments behind me. As far as the fella’s I know that they wouldn’t be in any other kind of band. Hell I cant even to get them to do a cover of a popular song just for fun!
ET: Whats the story behind the name Sweet Suicide?
Cindy: Ahhh, the story behind the name…it’s pretty simple actually. We went un-named for about 3 months, most of us brain stormed and came to practice with a few different names. I had a few that I really liked, including Sweet Suicide but I think that we choose Sweet Suicide because its easy to remember, it has the doubles S’s and a lot of the time I use “SS” when talking about the band on social media. Our band name isn’t complicated or fussy…it’s just a band name. Personality, I like it because is a bit….ummmm, disturbing, I guess is the word I want to use. I enjoy the shock on peoples faces when they pull up behind my car at the gas station and see SWEET SUICIDE on the back of my car. They probably think I’m in some kind of cult, it’s pretty funny. I also feel like the name sounds like a women should front it, its “feminine” but brutal at the same time. Something the whole band can stand behind.
ET: How has your hometown of Baltimore, MD influenced your sound, or character as a band?
Cindy: Baltimore is a city full of really great bands. Not all metal, but we do have a lot of female fronted bands and they are good! So I don’t know if the city itself has influenced the band or our sound but our “competition” in our city has definitely made us step up our game. I don’t want to be the band that falls behind everyone else and doesn’t get the gig call because so many other bands like us are evolving and gowning into better bands. So the competition around here really makes us keep up on our own material. I think each of us are influenced by the music we love, individually. We all bring something very different to this band and luckily for us, right now its working!
ET: You guys are very unique, as you have a front-woman in a metal band, thats YOU! – which is killer! How do you feel this is used to your advantage as a band? Does it turn more heads?
Cindy: I feel like it is definitely an advantage, especially in recent years. When I started paying in bands about 6-7 years ago there were not many lady fronted bands in Baltimore, but now we are everywhere in this city! I feel like every new band that pops up has a female lead. Which tell me that women are really starting to make their mark in our scene. And I’m proud to be part of it. Metal has always been a male driven genera and for the most part it still is, but us girls wont back down and we can get up there and throw down with the best of those boys. It’s funny because we do a lot of local showcases where it’s specifically a female fronted night and those are great. We get to meet a lot of people who obviously enjoy metal fronted by women. Most of us are friends, or at least friendly and we have a great time playing shows together. But then we do the shows where I am the only women on stage in a 5 band line up and I get off stage and I feel like….Hahaha, I just did what all you boys are doing. It’s a really great feeling! And in some cases I do feel like it turns heads! Our music can be very heavy at times and Jesse adds in his vocals which are very death metal, but then I’m singing over top of it in this light airy voice and some how it still works, and a lot of times after sets people come up to me and say they were glad they stuck around for our set, and that they really enjoyed it. And really that’s what it’s all about, surprising people and making new friends/fans. .
ET: If you had to choose out of your current make up of songs, which would be the favorite and why? (I know its hard to pick favorites!)
Cindy: Right now I’m really in love with one of our newest songs, not yet recorded. Its called “Porcelain Crown.” Like all my songs it’s very personal and a true story of my life, that is the only way I know how to write. If you want to know anything about me just listen to our songs. I divulge a ton of information! So I’m very excited to get that song on record. But I also love our newest single called “Stolen Innocence,” It’s the most personal song and it was hard for me to write and preform. In fact, the first 6 shows we played that song I cried through most of it. We have a lyric video up on YouTube and you can hear and read all the words and perhaps you will cry also. I’ve had a few messages from people who have listened to the song and said that they couldn’t make it through the whole things without crying, and to that I say I’ve done my job. I invoked emotion and that was my goal.
ET: What are your plans as a band for the rest of 2014? Tours, releases, etc?
Cindy: I keep my expectations low for not just my band but for life in general, but I do have hopes that we will keep recording new songs and release an EP later this year. We have not made it to the point where we are “touring” but we gig here in Baltimore at least once or twice a month. We hope to branch out to other cities soon. If the right gig comes along in another city we would be open to playing. But I think for us right now we just need to focus on being a better band and getting more recordings….This music world is all digital and if we don’t get on this train we might miss our stop, ya know! So having music up online is the #1 priority for our band. And like I mentioned before we just released a new single, “Stolen Innocence” it’s available for purchase and again we have the YouTube video. People can find more information about us and the songs on the usual social media pages, Facebook, Reverbanatin, Soundcloud, YouTube, Big Cartel, Twitter…etc, just Google us and you will find all the information that you nee to know about us!
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