LLTM: How was the band name Sugarcult created?
Marko: Well, it has to do with hippies and lesbians… When our singer Tim Pagnotta first moved away from home at age 18, he lived in an apartment across the hall from a lesbian gang of sorts that play fully called themselves “the Sugar Cult”; according to a legend, a “Sugar Cult” was slang for an all girl (& possibly lesbian) hippie commune. It’s one of those cautionary tales of: be-careful-what-juvenile-pseudo-clever-idea-you-use-as-your-band-name-when-you’re-just-doing-it-as-a-fun-hobby… ’cause you might actually become professionals & get famous eventually!
LLTM: If Sugarcult could have a big come back tour with three bands,who would you want to be part of your lineup?
Marko: Our Singer Tim, has become an extraordinarily successful producer and I love many of the bands he’s made records for ( Neon Trees, Walk The Moon, Dreamcar, Waters, Coin, ect.) so it would be fun to bring some of them. And an underrated band we owe a lot to for early influence and inspiration was the 90s band “Superdrag”, so maybe them. Then we probably throw in the Foo Fighters, Green Day, Madonna, and/or Katy Perry a bone and let them play first.
LLTM: When was the big moment you realized wow we have made it?
Marko: There where a few watershed moments along the way: -about a year into being a local band (in our hometown Santa Barbara CA), when our friends stopped encouraging us to give it up & instead starting asking if we would put them on the guest list (+1); which meant, being at a Sugarcult show was becoming a hot date & could possibly get you laid! -When we 1st loaded our gear into the recording studio to make what would become “Start Static” (2001) -When we first heard our song “Stuck In America” randomly came on the radio while we were on tour, in our van, stuck in hopeless traffic on the way to Chicago. -When One of our all-time favorite bands, Green Day, invited us to be their opening act on their “American Idiot” tours of USA & Japan. Those where all some of this-feels-like-the-real-thing moments.
LLTM: You played your first show in six years on May 14, 2017 at the Fonda Theater in Los Angeles California, what took so long and why that particular venue and event?
Marko: Well, to be clear, that was not a Sugarcult show; it was in all star jam of sorts to raise awareness and money for Sweet Relief http://sweetrelief.org which helps musicians with health and medical needs. I was part of a supergroup for the night with my pals from the band 5 Seconds of Summer* (drummer Ashton Irwin & bassist Calum Hood; who, as it turns out, are big fans of Sugarcult!) and an old friend and former tour-mate John Feldmann from Goldfinger*, who is an incredibly successful record producer now ( Blink 182*, All Time Low*, The Used*, etc). It felt so good to play in front of a big crowd and reminded me how much I love playing live!
LLTM: Of all the Sugarcult albums, which is your most accomplished piece of work in your opinion?
Marko: I know this sounds overly diplomatic in non-committal, but we love all of our children equally, even as diverse and unique as each of our records are, they were all really fun to make (not unlike actual children, by the way!) Sadly, our most overlooked record is probably our last one,”Lights Out”, which is probably the closest we came to achieving this sound and vibe we were searching for all along.
LLTM: If you had a one person audience who would you want it to be and why?
Marko: Maybe my mom so she could console me as I cried. In our early days I actually recall playing to a one person audience; the bartender at an empty dive bar show.
LLTM: What piece of advice would you have given yourself about the music industry when you first started in the 90s?
Marko: Pick your battles, don’t freak out about every little nuance in detail. Communicate more compassionately. Trust the process and be sure to keep it fun and romantic. It’s only rock ‘n’ roll!
LLTM: If you could walk in the shoes of anyone, dead or alive who would it be and who would you like to walk in your shoes?
Marko: We’re all on our own path, so I’m not so sure this would do any of us much good. Plus, I have very expensive taste in shoes, so y’all can just get your nasty paws the hell out of my Saint Laurents!
LLTM: Sugarcult has released six albums, when can we expect number seven?
Marko: I would love to make another Sugarcult Record, I still feel like our best is yet to come; our America Idiot, Joshua Tree, Exhile on Main Street, later-in-career classic y’know? The truth is, it’s all on our singer Tim Pagnotta; he’s The only one preventing us from making more music, playing shows, etc. He’s so busy with his career as a producer for other people’s records, that he simply has no interest in fronting his own band anymore. As sad as this makes me ( and our fans), I don’t blame him, if anything it makes me respect and admire him more than ever. He is a true artist that follows his heart and does what he’s passionate about and not just what’s expedient and expected of him. Tim could care less that there is a huge pop punk/emo revival happening right now, he is the least nostalgic and sentimental person I know. All that said, I think for those same reasons, when/if we make another Sugarcult Record, it won’t be a throwback to “Memory ” and “Bouncing Off The Walls”, it will be a living, breathing reflection of this day and age. Fingers crossed!
LLTM: Are there any plans of A full length tour this year if so when and if not, why?
Marko: Nothing on the books as of now. See above and do the math! I am hoping to do a book soon; so look for me out there doing guest lectures and speaking engagements, DJ gigs and hopefully jumping on stage with my guitar here in there with anyone that wants to party!
For more info on Sugarcult, from music, merch and more check out Twitter.com/SugarcultMarko Twitter.com/Sugarcult Facebook.com/Sugarcult
Peace,Love and Music
Hope Romine ❤️