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Sugarcult - Interview with Tim Pagnotta

  by Julia Willis

published: 15 / 2 / 2003

Sugarcult - Interview with Tim Pagnotta


Californian punk trio Sugarcult recently toured Europe to promote their second Epitaph-released album 'Short Static'. Julia Willis caught up with humorous frontman Tim Pagnotta just before a London gig to talk to him about its release

According to Planetpunk: Sugarcult were formed in Santa Barbara in 1998 and set off on the road with four guys, three chords, two guitars and one van. Their relentless touring schedule’s set about promoting their new CD ‘Start Static’ and Tim Pagnotta, the voclaist and guitarist, has a stinking cold. Not, allegedly because of the vile English weather but from “kissing German girls with bad teeth.” It soon becomes clear that Tim is the master of the comedy-soundbite. He has to be, I’ve got fifteen minutes of rapid Q&A before they’re due on stage… PB : Is it true that Sugarcult were named after a gang of lesbians that lived across the hall from you? TP: That is absolutely positively the truth. You search high and low for inspiration like that. PB : Do you use that kind of stuff as the subject matter for your songs? TP: I like sarcasm and irony. It's much better than being mushy. I like a peverted comic more than I like a priest. I think where you get the best lines is from the perspective of a knife in someone’s back. Elvis Costello for example has a great way with words. I hope people don’t think our songs are funny cos then I’m doing something wrong. You’ve gotta try to have some consistency with the subject matter on a record. So we’ve got a coupla songs about being a kid and moving around a lot, having a shitty job, being young and having a lot of anxiety. I ask myself everyday what I’m going to be when I grow up. (He pauses for a while) Everyday I ask myself that stuff. PB : So do the words and music come to you simultaneously or are they separate entities? TP: I think the words ARE the songs.Usually they come at the exact same time. PB : So where are you headed with your next record? TP: I’ve already written about sixteen new songs. I wanted to change the style a little bit, get better at writing. There are some things I like and some things I don’t. I think I definitely want to expand on the moodier songs and I want to scream a bit more. I think I sang in the lower register a little too much on 'Static'. I just wanna rock is that such a bad thing?! PB : How did you manage to get the actress Tara Reid ('American Pie', 'Van Wilder') to star in your video for 'Bouncing Off the Walls'? TP: It’s amazing what you can get a girl to do when she’s drunk!!! I think musicians have a fascination with actors and vice versa. I think it’s the thirst of attention for those types of people. We asked if she wanted to be in our video and she showed up a week later. She wase was nice. When me and her were kissing she didn’t mention anything about Carson Daly… PB : You’re keen to get your fans to keep supporting the local band scene. Is that a particular thing that’s important to you? TP: Every band for the most part was once a local band and through tons of hard work and having a lots of passion some poke through the surface. There are always going to be more small bands than powerful ones with fanbases. It’s difficult being a young band at times, so if there’s anything we can do to help… All they want is the record deal but it doesn’t work that way. If you’re a music fan and you really like bands the best things you can do is support the scene and buy the t shirts. PB : So what are your goals as a band? World domination, continuing as you are? TP: Making a living, not being too huge. My last job was folding women’s underwear so I want to keep doing this job for as long as I can make it last for. I’m not so sure we want to take over the world. It would be nice to get huge but we’re doing what we want to do making records. Contracting a sexually transmitted from every continent would be a goal… PB : Thank you

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Sugarcult - Interview with Tim Pagnotta

Sugarcult - Interview with Tim Pagnotta

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Palm Trees And Power Lines (2004)
Maddening Californian punk rock, which unfortunately proves to be "the same glob of expelled punk-pop bubblegum you find embedded in the sole of your favourite shoes"

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