Sinnocence – we had no chance after the musical climate changed to grunge

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The Story of Sinnocence could have been totally different if the timing was better and the music industry wouldn’t change its course and interest in the early 90s. The aftermath of this decision is well known and clearly documented. Nevertheless, Sinnocence’s album “State of Grace” proved to be one of the most famous indie releases and Steelheart Records decided to reissue it. A good friend of ours, Alex Kapsiohas, who was the one to put the wheels of the reissue in motion, got us in touch with Nick Tyme and Danny Rose for an in depth interview that will surely satisfy all the hard rock fans out there. Interview: Sakis Nikas

Rockpages.gr: Guys, first of all, it was great to finally revist “State of Grace” with this reissue by Steelheart Records. Tell us how you end up collaborating with this label and why did you decide that now was the right time to release once again this great record.

Sinnocence: Quig had posted something new from The Mylars on Facebook and in the comments a string about our past bands kept growing. We found out that Sinnocence “State of Grace” had become very popular outside of the USA. A comment from Alex Kapsiochas asked the question “Would we ever reissue “State of Grace?” and Quig replied with a “Yes, sure.” One thing led to another and Alex introduced us to Primo Bonali at Steelheart Records. Primo told us what he wanted to do with “State of Grace” as a re-issue and we agreed. It was very important to us that we were given the freedom to remix the record, and Steelheart was 100% supportive of that. We felt it was the perfect time to reissue this album because new audio technology helped us achieve the sound that we heard in our heads all along.

Rockpages.gr: Let’s go back to a trip down to memory lane and start from the very beginning and the first incarnation of Sinnocence under The Way In name. How long The Way In was an active band and what do you remember from those early days?

Sinnocence: The Way In started in 1985 as a power pop band and slowly worked its way into the band that you hear on “State of Grace.” It was our first real original band and we were learning how to be a great band. We worked all the time. We played anywhere and everywhere and we wrote tons of songs. We had a lot of fun in those days. We have a YouΤube show called “Backstory with Quig & Danny” where we tell a lot of stories about being in The Way In, Sinnocence as well as The Mylars.

Rockpages.gr: In the late 80s, the NJ/NY area was almost a hair metal heaven with bands like White Lion, Bon Jovi, Skid Row bringing some great music (and awesome shows) to the hard rock fans. Did the ever increasing popularity of those bands and the genre in general play a crucial role in changing the band name?

Sinnocence: Honestly when it was happening we had no idea we were in one of the two places in America that was a “metal heaven.”   We thought the entire country was rocking out seven nights a week at a different club. It was just New Jersey, New York City wasn’t really metal at the time, however, upstate NY had a cool metal scene that we were a part of as well. I think the changing of the name from The Way In to Sinnocence was partly because of the scene we were in and partly because of what was in heavy rotation on MTV at the time.

Rockpages.gr: New Jersey and New York is famous for some legendary clubs like Stone Pony, The Cat Club, L’Amour etc. I am sure Sinnocence had its fair share of concerts there and you must have tons of stories. How about sharing one or two with our readers…?

Sinnocence: Funny you mention those clubs because if you watch the Sinnocence music video for “Runnin From The Rain” and or The Way In “All American Washout” the clips in those videos were taken from The Cat Club, Studio 1, The Stone Pony, The Fastlane, The Cricket Club and The Cell Block in PA. We had some amazing times in those clubs opening for bands like KIX, Enuff Z’Nuff, LA Guns and so many more as we worked our way up to a headliner ourselves receiving a star on the walls of Studio 1.

Rockpages.gr: Sinnocence couldn’t have expected a better start as you were the special guests of Kix at the Studio One club. You played in front of 2.000 screaming fans…not bad, at all! How was this experience?

Sinnocence: Opening slots were the way Sinnocence grew in to having its own fan base. We took it very seriously and we worked hard to get as much out of those shows as possible. We rehearsed the show until it was flawless; we brought our own soundman, light person, a mailing list, merchandise and put on the best performance we could. It was always a great feeling to be backstage hanging out with the bands you watched on MTV.

Rockpages.gr: Although Sinnocence has been doing regular club shows since 1989, you entered the studio with a 3-year delay and you recorded in 1992 the demo “Rough Cuts”. What took you so long?

Sinnocence: Well, sad to say we hit a few roadblocks that held us up, we changed producers, then a band member or two. After all of that we finally signed our first record deal and that too went bad. It really killed the clock on us.

Rockpages.gr: And a year later you entered the studio for the excellent “State of Grace” album which unfortunately passed unnoticed due to the ever increasing change in the musical climate. In hindsight, do you think that if you had hit the studio a couple of years earlier, things would be drastically different for Sinnocence?

Sinnocence: We have no doubt that if “State of Grace” had been released a few years earlier things would have been very different for us. By the time the album came out things were sliding in to grunge here in the US. At the time “State of Grace” was released Sinnocence were booked to open for Vince Neil, Paul Rodgers, Trixter and several more. All of the shows ended up getting canceled due to the changing musical climate.   They say timing is everything and in the case of “State of Grace” that was very true.

Rockpages.gr: The four songs that are included in the “Rough Cuts” demo were later found on “State of Grace”. Are we talking about same versions or are they any different?

Sinnocence: The “Rough Cuts” EP was what we used to try and secure a record deal. We put the four songs on cassette tapes and gave them out at our shows. The name “Rough Cuts” was actually a nod to Twisted Sister who’s first EP was called “Ruff Cutts”. This led to big things for them and we were hoping it would do the same thing for us. We actually ran into Eddie Ojeda of Twisted Sister around that time and he thought it was really cool that we did that. The songs on Sinnocence “Rough Cuts” are different recordings than those on “State of Grace” but they were both recorded at the same recording studio in New Jersey, The Jungle. We did use different producers for them as well.

Rockpages.gr: Sinnocence has been in the right place in the right time. If you had the chance to go back in time, would you change anything? Any regrets…?

Sinnocence: Well, if we changed anything about the past, we might not be where we are today and we are very excited about the music we are making with The Mylars. As far as regrets, so much of what happened was out of our control and it’s just not worth it to dwell on the negative. We would have loved to see a Sinnocence music video on MTV.

Rockpages.gr: Are there any other unreleased songs floating around?

Sinnocence: There are a few bonus tracks on the Steelheart release and that is pretty much everything we have. There are a bunch of demos and unfinished songs on sorted cassette tapes but nothing of great sound quality. Who knows, maybe a second Sinnocence album some day? Never say never.

Rockpages.gr: The good news is that both of you are still going strong with a great band called The Mylars. As a matter of fact, you have released a really strong debut album. Tell us a few things about this new band…

Sinnocence: The Mylars are the band we always wanted to be in. We both write the songs, we both share the lead vocals and we both contribute to everything the band is involved in. It’s our way of saying, well if it fails this time it was on us and no one else. Our debut album “Melody Records” was very well received. We’ve had the pleasure of sharing the stage with the likes of Rick Springfield, Ace Frehley, The Vapors, and many more. Our new album “Pop’s Station” has just been released and the first single “Satellite Girls” has been getting a lot of airplay. We were just informed that we’ve been getting a good amount of spins on LA’s famous Rodney Bingenheimer’s show. It’s all very exciting for us. Please check out all The Mylars videos on The Melody Records Youtube page.

Rockpages.gr: Now, with this new reissue of “State of Grace”, lots of fans get to know Sinnocence and its great music. Do you see it as a second chance or just pure nostalgia and by the way how would you like people to remember Sinnocence: as a great live act or as a bunch of guys who wrote a bunch of good songs?

Sinnocence: For now our primary focus is on The Mylars and our Youtube show, Backstory with Quig & Danny. All of these things keep us pretty busy, but like we said, never say never. If we had our choice, we would want people to remember Sinnocence as both a great song writing band as well as a great live band. We worked hard and we feel like we became both.