SONIC X INTERVIEW:
May 26, 2005
Sonic X is a newer Canadian rock band that released their killer debut album late last year and are currently working on a follow-up. Often compared to rock icons like Skid Row and the melodic Dokken, Sonic X has a bright future in the hard rock genre. Vocalist Adam Troy and founding bassist Joseph Cumbo agreed to talk about the band’s history and future plans.
SR: Your incredible debut album was released late last year, but when were those songs actually written and recorded?
AT: The songs were written and recorded a while ago in a galaxy far away or so it feels like it anyway.
JC: The songs were actually written a while back. When we decided to make the change to get Adam in the band we basically started over from scratch. We ditched all the previous songs we had and wrote all new songs for what was to be our Debut CD in the mid-Nineties. Things happened and the CD was shelved until 2004 when we signed with Z Records and released our Debut CD. Our Music was suddenly in style again so we were able to secure this record deal.
SR: Did Triumph’s Gil Moore play much of a part in the recordings, because the album sounds very professional for a newer band?
AT: Gil Moore has been with us from the very beginning of this band he’s been a great friend and was instrumental in getting me hooked up with the guys initially.
JC: Gil and all the guys in Triumph are great friends of ours actually and we respect them very much. Gil played a big part in our development as a band in that he has great knowledge of what goes into making a successful band. He knows the business side very well and was a wealth of info whenever we needed him. He wasn’t directly involved in the recording of the album except to make the Metalworks Studio available to us whenever we needed it. The Engineers deserve much of the credit for the way the record sounds.
SR: Were you pleased with how the album came out, or were there some things you wished you would have done differently?
AT: There are always things you wish you could have done different when recording an album, at some point you have to say this is it, this is the album.
JC: I’d have to agree with Adam, you can beat your brains out trying to perfect everything but at some point you’ve got to stop and say that’s it and just release the thing.
SR: How have the sales been for the debut album?
AT: According to Z Records the sales have been better than expected.
JC: Yes, up to this point we’ve exceeded the expectations that both we and Z Records had going into this deal.
SR: How has it been working with Z Records and will the next release also be handled by them?
AT: Working with Z Records has been good, and the plan is to release the second record with them.
JC: It’s a relationship that works fine as we have creative control over our songs and CD. They don’t put excessive demands on us which suits us perfectly.
SR: How much progress had been made on the follow-up?
AT: We have 9-10 tracks demo’ed and we’re finishing up a few more.
JC: Yes, we are hoping to finish up and release the record by late Fall of 2005 or early 2006…hopefully!
SR: Will the sophomore album have the same sound as the debut?
AT: Yes and no, the song writing has grown as well as technology has changed in the last few years.
JC: So far it’s more focused and sounds better as far as I’m concerned. We have let a few people hear a few songs and the feedback has been great so far.
SR: In the mid 80’s the band was known as L.A., how did a group of Canadians come up with that?
JC: Lawrence, our Guitar player, lived in L.A. for a while as he studied at the M.I.T. When he returned and joined the band we started the process of picking a name for the band. Everyone was telling us we had that L.A. sound so we decided to go with the name L.A. Pretty simple except everyone used to ask us Why L.A. and also what does it stand for.
SR: How close was L.A. to receiving a record deal?
JC: L.A. was very close to signing a record deal a few times and with various labels. We had development deals with Capitol Records, MCA/Universal and also BMG came very close to signing is as well.
SR: What was your reaction when first hearing vocalist Adam Troy and what was the recruiting process like?
JC: When I first saw Adam perform I knew that he would fit in perfectly with what we were doing both from a Musical perspective as well as his Stage presence. The way it all began was, Gil Moore from Triumph had seen Adam play in a club down in Orlando and had suggested we check him out since we had fired our Lead Singer and were on the search for a replacement. I made the trip down to Orlando and hooked up with Adam; I saw him perform and knew almost immediately that we had to get this guy in the band. The big challenge of course was somehow convincing him that he should leave Florida and move to Canada…Ironic since most bands move to the U.S. to make it big.
SR: Why did you decided to change the band name to Zara White, and was that name based on the famous porn star?
AT: I have no recollection of that Senator!!!!!!
SR: What did the various members do when the band first broke-up?
AT: I ran back to Florida as fast as I could and joined the circus…actually the club scene which is basically the same thing.
JC: We were all so burnt out that most of us just took time off to recover. We had a very rigorous rehearsal, recording and playing schedule so the last thing any of us wanted to do was jump right into another band right away. The emotional toll of putting all the many years of work on the shelf had an effect as well. Eventually we all worked on other projects to keep us busy and in the musical loop.
SR: Why did you decide to reform as Sonic X?
AT: It was the right time for us personally and musically.
JC: Agreed, this type of music is gaining popularity again and also people that were hearing our tapes suggested we should do something with the record, they were right.
SR: What were some of your musical influences growing up?
AT: Kiss, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, you know the big dogs.
JC: Same here, just throw in AC/DC, Queen and of course what kind of Canadian would I be if I didn’t mention Rush & Triumph.
SR: Being in the music industry, do you think hard rock bands are starting to get more recognition again?
AT: Absolutely, and it’s about time, music went through an interesting phase for a while, now it seems to be back to what it should be, good song writing.
JC: Yeah, there are loads of great Rock bands out there right now. It’s great to listen to the radio and buy CD’s again. I really like what Breaking Benjamin, Audioslave, Simple Plan, Disturbed and Sevendust are doing, great stuff.
SR: What bands have you toured with and how did they treat you?
JC: We haven’t toured yet as “Sonic X” although there are plans to do so in the near future. Way back we toured with “Bad Company” (The Brian Howe version), “Nazareth” and just some one off gigs as the support act. The Big bands treat you alright…you don’t really get to see them all that much as they basically go from Hotel Room right to the gig then back.
SR: How does the internet and file trading help or hurt a new band like Sonic X?
AT: The Internet is no different than the radio. When I was a kid I would record songs off the radio onto my tape deck, and pass the tapes around to my friends. It’s the same thing today only for some reason (MONEY AND LOTS OF IT) people in the industry have their panties all up in a bunch about it. It’s the best thing that could have happened, because radio stations have become so political, new bands can’t even get airplay. With satellite radio and Napster, Internet radio, the people who buy music have all collectively said, this has to change and it has. So I say Bravo. As long as they want our music I don’t care how they get it.
SR: After September 11th, how have things changed in regards to entering other countries to play?
AT: It has become more difficult, now they want DNA samples, stool samples, you know all the stuff that makes crossing borders exciting.
JC: It has tightened up alright but as long as you have a clean record and all your documents in order you should have no problem.
SR: How helpful has Gil Moore been for the band and does he ever mention the bad blood between Triumph members?
AT: Gil has always been very helpful to us and nice try on the last part of that question (No recollection of that Senator) ha ha ha.
JC: Gil is a great friend and has been for a long time. He is very unselfish with his time and is always willing to help new bands out. He has a tremendous amount of business savvy and has been a mentor to me personally…Re: the Bad blood…all I can say is the guys in Triumph were and are very professional. I was around them all the time back in their heyday and when they broke up it was a sad time…However, they kept everything behind closed doors and whatever issues they had were not made public and they don’t really talk about it.
SR: What can fans expect from Sonic X in the future?
AT: World Domination…hopefully, and a great 2nd record.
JC: Just write songs that we ourselves would love to hear played on the Radio and would motivate us to go out and buy. The new Sonic X CD should be released in late Fall 2005 and we may play some live dates around that time as well. Keep checking in with us, our web site is: www.thesonicx.com. All the info on the new CD & Tour will be posted on the site. Take Care all and we hope to see you soon!
Thanks to Adam Troy, Joseph Cumbo and Sonic X