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SIC: From the Middle of Nowhere

SIC from Faeroe Islands just stand in front of the release of their second album, more angry and wild than their first production from 2007. In 2009 nominated for a Best Death Metal Award this band has the power to enrich the scene with a lot of energy and awesome metal. Eddie Jacobsen, founder and guitarist of the band, tells about plans, future, metal and life before death.

Welcome to the band SIC from Faeroe Islands! How are you doing? Please, could you introduce yourself and your members?
Hi, I´m doing well, thanks. I am Eddie Jacobsen and started the band back in 2002. However, it wasn´t until 2005 that SIC got the lineup that it still has to this day. The other members are Mikkjal G. Hansen on vocals, Frans Galán og guitar, Magnus Hansen on drums and Gudmar Hansen on bass.

On your Myspace-website you write that 2009 has been the most active year in your career. Could you shortly explain for our readers what happened?
In late 2008 our manager Orpheus Spiliotopolous and I decided it was time for SIC to do a full scale tour throughout Europe. We released our debut album (“Pandemonium”) in 2007 but had failed to follow it up with a tour due to a number of reasons and felt that the time had come for it.
We began working on it and in February 2009 we went to Norway to play 6 gigs and then returned home to prepare for the “Alive and Dressed to the Nines Tour” with the Danish Death Metal act HATESPHERE and our headlining tour in the UK. During our one month stay in the Faeroe Islands, we prepared by rehearsing the setlist each day as well as writing material for the upcoming album, “Fighters They Bleed”.
On April 2nd we kicked off the tour with HATESPHERE in Berlin, in the K17 club. It was the beginning of a two month tour which is by far the longest tour in our career, playing more than 50 shows in over 10 countries! Coming back home by the end of May we immediately went back to our rehearsal room to finish a song the city council had ordered from the band, having only four days to complete it before the opening night, the band was in a hurry! After that we spent the summer playing some festivals and the remaining of 2009 was used to complete the song writing for our upcoming release!

Your - till now - first and last album “Pandemonium” was released February 2007. This is from my point of view a damned great piece of metal music. Some others probably share this opinion: you got 2009 nominated for Best Death Metal Act by Plain Folks Award. How did this develop and what turned out of it?
Thank you. I am glad that you enjoy it, and yes, of course there are others who share your opinion or we wouldn´t by any chance have had the opportunity to remain as active as we have even though it is close to 3 years since the release to put it bluntly. However, 3 years is according to my own opinion far too long a gap between albums, but it pleases me to announce that there WILL be a new album out within the next few months!
What happened was that CdBaby – one of our online distributors – sent me an email saying that submissions were open for Plain Folks Awards. However, knowing that they received hundreds of thousands of songs from all over the world with over 90 different genres, I was sure that I wouldn´t hear back from them. A year later, however, I received an email saying that we were among the lucky few that were nominated. I felt extremely flattered and honoured to be among those nominated – that goes without saying. We did not win the Best Death Metal Act Nomination, but that didn´t sadden us one bit, we had made it into the top 10 within our genre, out of thousands of songs. We´ve used this as a recommendation when sending out to festivals and so on. It´s always good having “Nominated Best Metal ....” it makes the whole thing more credible.

Now about the forthcoming production – what can you tell about the new tracks? What do we have to expect?
We have written 13 tracks that we are pleased with and have titled our upcoming album “Fighters They Bleed”. We recently recorded an 8 track demo – where we selected the tracks that we felt 1) were representing us the best and 2) that we wanted to listen closer to and analyze and we were uncertain about bits and parts of those songs. As it turns out, some things needed a facelift and I am glad that we did this pre-production. The band is as good as ready to enter the studio. We have a producer in mind in Denmark, and if we get our will, we´ll go with him. At this stage, I can´t say anything other than it is not Tommy Hansen (producer of “Pandemonium”). The only thing we are waiting for now is the label granting the final budget to us.

What will be the difference of your next album compared to the “Pandemonium”?
The style is pretty much the same only much more aggressive, angry and vulgar. We still have our way of “riffing” and still have our melancholic melodies in the choruses, but it´s like it has gone to the next level and smacks you in the face.
“Fighters They Bleed” won´t – compared to “Pandemonium” – have those slower or should I say milder songs that appear on the first album. You could say that we´ve drifted away from writing songs like “To Dare To Risk To Regret”, “Fading” and “Rough”. Don´t know if there´s any specific reason for this; the band has simply evolved – for the better!

How do you create your music and songwriting, how do you work together? Do you generally work as a team or does somebody write the music or the lyrics?
It actually varies from song to song. Most often it starts with me and Magnus jamming; I´ll come with a bunch of riffs, he´ll play some drums to them, the riffs start to grow, become alive, form into “a song” and then the others step in, put in melodies here and there and so on. At this stage, we get inspired by each other, and it´s often at this stage as well, that we hit the wall; we start to disagree on what direction we´re taking it and so forth, but this is only good as it eventually makes the songs much better than if we wouldn´t be as “picky and stubborn” as we are! (laughs)
On the first album Mikkjal wrote most of the lyrics, I wrote a few such as “Reach Inside”, “My Hell” and “Fading” and Magnus wrote “Rosegarden In Hell”. On this album Mikkjal wrote all the lyrics – maybe sometimes using single lines from lyrics that either I or Magnus have written – except one lyric that Magnus wrote, titled “Five Fuel Cells”.

What are the lyrics about? Do they contain a message to the listeners? Do they add a meaning to the music itself?
Well, for starters, SIC has no subliminal message in its lyrics as some people claim (laughs). I think most of the lyrics written are in a way “self-therapy”, if you can put it that way. If I, Mikkjal or Magnus have written a lyric, then it has been written from things we´ve experienced and maybe had a tough time with, to eventually conquer and how you move on. There´s always hope in the lyrics as well even though they can be pretty harsh and vulgar at times. I´d say the message is “Fighters They Bleed” (laughs) – if you get kicked down, get up again – you have to be strong, no matter what situation you´re facing, because most often life isn´t easy, and life doesn´t give a shit about you, it is up to YOU to make the best of it, see the bigger picture, don´t let anyone tell you otherwise!

Your manager Orpheus told me about a video which you would like to shoot with an acclaimed director – let me know more about it…
Our friend and hostess (MTV Denmark´s “Headbangers Ball”) Anne Lindfjeld recommended we approached Kevin Custer (HATEBREED, LAMB OF GOD, TESTAMENT, etc) for our next video. I checked out his MySpace profile and the videos that he´d worked on and really liked what I saw; he really knows how to visualize stuff! I wrote him an email and sent him a demo recording of the track and he wrote back right away saying that he loved the song and was eager to work with us and “make it killer!” We´ve also approached 5 hot chicks that have special abilities for this video, but more about that later, as everything on that matter isn´t quite certain just yet, but it´ll sure be a blast and a joy to watch (laughs).

What was the funniest or most exciting or even worst experience you have made on your long 2009 European tour?
There were many moments on tour that were funny and fucked up. Like the one night somewhere in Germany one of the SIC guys decided to jump into a bush of thorns cutting himself up. He was bleeding like crazy – and in his madness he fucks up my acoustic guitar and other stuff as well, up until one point when our tour manager Katrina Thompson punched him with her fist right on his chin. Think the shock from that made him stop (laughs).
Hmm.. HATESPHERE´s reaction when they saw our tour bus; they actually thought it was theirs, given the fact that they were headliners but we had the cooler bus with a flat screen, a playstation, stereo, etc.
The one night where Gudmar (our bass player) gave our band manager Orpheus THE one most EXTREME wedgy EVER!!! And then burned his shorts making all the bouncers in some Eastern European country freak out – NOT a good idea having in mind that earlier in the evening those same bouncers had shown us their collection of guns. Pretty scary come to think of it. (laughs).
And, to mention one more; when Mikkjal (vocals) went up on the stage dead stoned under the impression that SIC was having a soundcheck when in fact it was HATESPHERE and the reaction on their faces was simply priceless! One of those had-to-be-there moments I suppose (laughs).

Such a tour with over 50 dates needs some strength – what do you do to relax and to refuel energy?
It does and after the tour we were all smashed. We tried to make this one rule that “whenever someone in the band wants rest, private time or something in that sense, let him have it, respect it!” However, that didn´t go so well the first 2 or 3 weeks; we were all ecstatic all the time, but at some point we began respecting each other´s need for rest and so on.
We also made sure to have fun during the day and not just sleep the day away; we had outdoor activities such as playing football in the parking lot and so on.

Faeroe Islands are a little bit out of the world – somewhere out there in the North Atlantic. Please explain a little bit about your musical world in which you grew up; is it comparable with the metal scene in for instance Norway. As I know you have your own language… is there a special Faeroese climate in this how you feel and what you do?
Yeah, we are totally in the middle of nowhere and it more than often feels like it! We do have many similarities with countries like Norway. The Faroese people descend from Norwegian Vikings dating over 1100 years back – so it´s fair to say that we share some common background, especially in folklore and so forth. One of the bands we have, that really resemble all this, is TÝR.
I do believe that the climate does play an important role in the overall Faroese sound. We have a long, cold and dark winter; many suffer from winter-depression and so on. The Faroese music has a lot of melancholic melodies in it; it´s rare to hear “go-happy” music from our islands. The nature is harsh and really un-predictable; I guess you could say that that reflects in us more or less.

What the people should absolutely know about you?
That we are SIC, dead serious, dedicated and passionate with what we do! We love making music, travelling, getting new fans, seeing new places!

Is there a favourite place on earth, where you preferably would really like to play?
Interesting question, it is pretty hard to pick out just one place. It is always exciting coming to a country that you´ve never been to before, and each were good in their own way of course. Personally (maybe typical) I´d like seeing SIC invading the States in the near future. We know that we have many fans over there and it´s beginning to feel that we´re really neglecting them and missing out on a lot of stuff. There is a huge metal scene there, so why not!
Then there´s Australia, Japan and other “remote” countries that I eventually hope SIC will get to play. We´ve so far played in around 15 to 20 countries and I want to see that number grow!

What´s the most important thing for you about your music?
It has to be honest! Everything we ever write in the rehearsal room comes directly from us, translating feelings and so on into music. We want it authentic, honest, fresh, and un-compromised and we want it to have a significant meaning to us as well as others.

Who are the Top 10 in your personal music charts (not to say your musical idols or influences)?
KORN, METALLICA, SEPULTURA, PANTERA, MACHINE HEAD, MESHUGGAH, PARADISE LOST, SLIPKNOT, FAITH NO MORE and GOJIRA. I think GOJIRA is the only newcomer on this list, probably because I pretty much started listening to them in 2009. I had never heard of them before we played those two shows with them on tour.
All those bands plus a hell of a lot more have played an important role in my life and have inspired me greatly. I could have easily made a much longer list, but as I mentioned, those bands have somehow managed to stick with me from day one. You could always just check out my profile on Facebook or Myspace for the complete list, it´s pretty long (laughs).

If somebody would present you ten million dollars – what would you do in life with this cash?
I´d buy a house. Then I´d spend money on the album, promoting it and such, and get some kick ass buy-in deals and then go on tour with some huge ass band (laughs). That´s such a huge amount that I can´t even begin to think how I´d use it all but I´d defiantly spend a lot on SIC.

If you would have only one week more to live – how would you spend this time?
With my friends and the people I love. I´d then spend one day recording all the ideas, riffs and melodies that I´ve written. No use to take all that with me to the grave!! (laughs)

Finally the end. Thank you very much for the interview. Is there something else, what you would like to mention - famous last words?
Thanks for putting together this interview!
Hmm... famous last words? How about “Burned babies smell bad”?
I´d like to thank all the cool people reading this and if you want more on SIC then please add us at www.myspace.com/sic or find us on FaceBook, Jango, Last.fm or Youtube. There´s a lot there for the eager fan, and we´d love for all of you to become a part of the SIC Family!

Author: Andreas Torneberg, photos: SIC
Date: 2010-01-22

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