Wailing City Spotlight: Interview With Sadplant

Published July 11, 2024
Interview by Meghan Killimade

You two have a great story – have been best friends since 1986 and have been playing as Sadplant for nearly 2 decades! Tell us the history of Sadplant and how it all began!
Amy: Ben was looking to form a band that was able to tour and was somewhat sober since he had just quit drinking. I had played in bands with him in the past but didn't know how to play the bass, but he felt I could learn. I got thrown into the fire and played my first show on bass a few weeks later. It was awful!
Ben: True story! 

Who are some of the other members (past and present) that have been in the band?
Ben: We've had a shit ton of drummers, but Gabe Fonseca was our longest tenured guy. He joined in early 2010 and immediately made us 1000 times better. Incredibly talented guy and so very sweet. Gabe died in 2021 and he took a piece of me with him.
Amy: Gabe was the best, I'll love and miss him forever.
Ben: Little known fact! Mike Rivkees, the singer from The Rumjacks played drums for us for one show in 2008! He's gone on to such big things and tours the world now. We toured with them for three or four weeks last year and it was awesome to reconnect with him.
Amy: I've always loved Mike since he was a young kid! He was always so super talented!

What do you think the secret is to keeping a band together for so many years?
Ben: Being super stubborn helps! Haha! But I think being into what you're doing is the key. I don't think we could've kept it going this long unless we were truly into it.
Amy: Totally! There's no way we could've kept it going without liking it a whole bunch!

You guys just released a video for your new single “Too Fat to Skate” – tell us about the new song!
Ben: Amy and I are both in our mid-fifties and still skateboard. The song is really just about getting old and slowing down, but I delivered it in that way. I don't mean to bum anybody out. I don't feel you're ever "too anything" to go out and do stuff you're into.

 

It’s been 5 years since your last album ‘I Only Wanna Skate and Play Rock-N-Roll’ was released – what was it like getting back into the studio? Tell us about the new album – where was it recorded and when will it be released?
Ben: The new one was recorded by us at our house! It's just way lower pressure and a ton cheaper than heading into a studio!
Amy: The new album is called "This is Home" and we're doing a staggered release. The first single is out now along with a video, we plan on releasing every month or so with corresponding videos and then release the whole album later in 2024. The album is all done though!

You guys had recently been touring as members of the New York hardcore band, Murphy’s Law – what was that experience like!?
Ben: Joining ML was fucking amazing! I joined before Covid hit with tours booked with GWAR and then Europe with Sick of it All. Then the world shut down for over a year, it was so disappointing! We got working again in 2021 and Amy joined which made doing longer runs possible because she's just awesome to travel with! Inevitably, it wasn't a great fit. I love playing the ML songs but they were written by guys that are fucking legends, I just kind of never got over feeling like an imposter.
Amy: Yeah, it was amazing! But we really missed doing our own thing and kind of felt like we were needing get back to that.

You guys have always had a very strong “DIY – do-it-yourself” ethic – having never had management or been part of a label. How has DIY worked (or not worked), for Sadplant and what advice would you give to other DIY bands just starting out?
Ben: I think DIY sucks in many many ways, but it's the only thing I know. The last few years in Murphy's Law has really opened my eyes to accepting help from professionals. That being said, I'm a stubborn old man and old habits die hard. I feel like I'll be printing my own merch for the rest of my life! But I'm im not discounting the DIY ethic in any way shape or form! Any band just starting out should absolutely do everything for themselves! Its more fun to be 100% involved with your own bands business anyways!

What are some bands/musicians you guys have been listening to lately?
Ben: We spent a ton of time touring with Grade 2 from the UK last year. They are so good! They're on Hellcat and were discovered by Lars when they were fifteen or sixteen. Its a great story and they are just really nice kids. Well, 25 year old kids! Super catchy songs and really good players.
Amy: Yeah, they are awesome! They also let me play on their gear every night for like two months! Thank you Sid, love you dude!

Any memorable stories or influences from growing up this area? Bands? Shows?
Ben: So many great shows! I'm 56 in August so we were around for a lot of the bands coming to CT in the 80's and 90's. The El n Gee was always having great shows. The Anthrax, The Brick N Wood, The Tune Inn. Too many places to count back then for national acts and for local shows. It was a fun time for sure.

What is one thing that not many people know about Sadplant?

Amy: Hmmm. Well, we've had more drummers than Spinal Tap, haha. Not sure the total, but its well over ten!
Ben: That's because Amy is very difficult to get along with. Haha!

Any favorite local bands/musicians or businesses you want to shout out?
Ben: I love Killer Kin! Incredible live show and just really sweet people. I cannot recommend checking them out enough! 
Amy: Totally agree, Killer Kin is awesome in every way!

Besides the new album, what's up next for you? Any shows or more videos to announce?
Amy: I'm in the middle of getting both knees fixed because skateboarding has pretty much destroyed them. So two more surgeries before were playing live again.
Ben: ...but we are still working on videos. A new one will be released throughout the staggered release of the album.


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https://www.youtube.com/@sadplant
https://sadplant.bandcamp.com/


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