Eddie Baranek, frontman of rockers the Sights recently discussed
the curse of the Detroit garage label, via email.

The Michigan Daily: How was your South By Southwest
experience?

Eddie Baranek: SXSW is a total joke. It’s a big industry
wank-fest where people are there to be seen, not heard. Let’s just
say I will never return. People don’t give a shit about the music,
they only care about their hair.

TMD: How is the current tour with the Datsuns going? You’re
about half way through it, any tales of road mayhem?

EB: There is a hotel room somewhere in Atlanta that has a hair
dryer in the toilet, a chair smashed to bits, a clogged shower and
a bolted TV that wanted to be liberated. The tour has been a blast.
Nothing beats waking up at noon everyday and playing shows every
night.

The Datsuns are very professional and hardworking, and their
live show is amazing. One of my favorite bands I’ve toured
with.

TMD: You’ve been touring for awhile now, what is it like to come
back to Detroit? What’s the first thing you do when you get back
into town?

EB: The first thing I do is meet up with my girlfriend, usually
at 6 a.m. or some odd hour. And since it’s usually hard for me to
sleep, we go and grab a bite to eat at my favorite local diner,
Monty’s.

TMD: You’re sometimes being labeled as the little brothers of
Detroit garage rock; bothersome or can you live with it?

EB: I’m more bothered by my three least favorite words, Detroit
garage rock. But as far as being labeled the little brothers, that
is fine by me. We are 21 and 22 in a scene that is more 27 and 30
years old.

TMD:In a more general sense what has the scene meant to you
guys? How do you your own identity and be part of what still seems
to be a fairly tight-knit scene?

EB: People are disappointed we don’t sound like the Von Bondies
or the White Stripes. I like these bands and always have. The hype
surrounding the Dirtbombs and the Stripes has indirectly helped us.
I am very thankful for all they’ve done before us.

But I never started this band to get signed, we knew as a band
that it’s all about the music. And that is where the coolness of
being from Detroit seeps through.

TMD: Can you talk about the evolution of the band’s sound? Early
on you were pegged as mods, but you seem to have a much broader
range now.

EB: I was a mod when I was 16. I’m no longer a mod. But part of
the challenge with my writing is trying to combine rawness with a
pop sensibility.

Now it’s like ‘Hey, you guys aren’t garage rock.’ Well no shit
we aren’t, we never said we were. It’s everyone else in the press
and too much lazy journalism that promotes it. It’s too easy to be
a band that only plays riffs but tries to sell them to the public
as songs. And I see this everyday. It’s disgusting. It’s all about
the songs, when are bands gonna get that?

TMD: What does Jim Diamond (the Dirtbombs) bring to the table as
a producer?

EB: It’s funny, ‘cuz it’s just Jim. Jim is the greatest guy I’ve
worked with, and I can’t see myself working with anyone else. It’s
not like he has a certain sound; he basically lets bands do
whatever they want. When we get stuck for a harmony part or an
organ riff, he’ll throw in some great ideas. What I like about him
is you’ll find him listening to crazy Spanish guitar music or some
weird Brazilian chant stuff. He isn’t just into stupid punk rock,
and that’s his charm.

TMD: What are your plans for the next record?

EB: It will have more dynamics. More slower stuff, some moodier
songs. A bit of a darker feel on some songs as well. Not all of it
is written, but we have about seven or eight songs ready to go.

TMD: Do you have any advice for the few people left in Detroit
who haven’t been interviewed by NME about how to deal with the
rabid British music press?

EB: Basically, just have fun with them. Play with them. I would
make stuff up just to see if they would interview it about me
later, and they would!! I would make up bands and then a few weeks
down the line some dork from the NME would ask me about them. If
you don’t respect me, then I don’t care about you.

The Sights play Saturday night with the Datsuns at the Magic
Stick in Detroit.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.