Black Sites – Interview
Interview with Mark Sugar of Black Sites and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
MS: We’ve been called “progressive metal,” “old-school metal,” and more recently, “kind of a mess.” I’m not a fan of categorization, but I can’t really argue with any of those.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
MS: At some point in 2015, I got this idea to start what was apparently a progressive old-school metal band. I recruited some friends and ended up making an album called In Monochrome, which came out in 2017. After that, there were some lineup changes, health issues, and other behind-the-scenes happenings, leading up to the present day and the release of our new record Exile, which I’m pretty stoked about.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
MS: Speaking for myself, the first people that come to mind are Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), James Hetfield (Metallica), Piggy (Voivod), Doug Pinnick (King’s X), Greg Edwards (Failure), and John Cobbett (Hammers Of Misfortune). My biggest influence as a human being would be George Carlin. That guy knew what was up, and there was never any bullshit from him whatsoever.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
MS: I’m lucky to have set extremely low expectations for myself early on, and I’ve achieved most of them by now. I guess my “dreams” at this point would include socialized healthcare (we’re American) and for the Red Hot Chili Peppers to finally break up.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
MS: Generally speaking, I write the songs. The subject matter is pretty all over the place — some of it could be considered “personal” or introspective, but more of it is about the human condition in general (especially on our new album).
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
MS: Social media, word of mouth, and filling out questionnaires like this one.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
MS: The convenience factor is nice, but it’s hard for me to get too enthused about “owning” a digital file. I’m alright with whatever, as long as the musicians responsible are in control of their output and are not being taken advantage of.
PD: What’s your outlook on the record industry today?
MS: There’s no money in this whatsoever, but I honestly don’t know what else i would do with myself if it wasn’t for music.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
MS: There’s a lot of those, but I wish I’d come up with Black Sabbath’s “Lord Of This World” and Voivod’s “Tribal Convictions,” for starters. Maybe “Enter Sandman,” just so that I wouldn’t have to work for a living anymore.
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
MS: Stupid people, talk radio, and mayonnaise.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
MS: I’m immensely proud of our new record Exile, it’s easily the best thing I’ve been involved in thus far.
PD: Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
MS: I can only answer half this question, because our upcoming shows are still being scheduled. But our live performances are pretty rare these days, so if we’re coming to your town, I’d suggest showing up because you never know when the next one will be.