Dave Alexander bassist for the band Sugar Red Drive chatted with me recently about the group’s newest self-titled release. The new CD is an extremely glossy, well-produced, great sounding alt/pop metal record. The melodic, finely crafted songs on this CD are very much in the vein of the Stone Temple Pilots and Seven Mary Three. Here is what Alexander had to say.

Since this is your first interview for PureGrainAudio. Can you introduce Sugar Red Drive and tell us how it all got started, that kind of thing?
Dave: Absolutely! Sugar Red Drive was formed when Mercury Rising “disbanded” in some sense. Our old singer left to join the armed forces so we were left without a singer. Fortunately, Archie posted an ad on MySpace due to his frustration at his school. So he tried out and we were totally cool with his style and sound. That created two issues. First, his voice didn’t match well with our previous songs, so we wrote new ones. Secondly, since the songs are a completely different style and feel from our previous sound, we felt it necessary to change the band name as well.

Now that your brand new self-titled CD is how do you feel about it? Are you satisfied with the outcome?
Dave: I am very satisfied with this CD. I feel that this album is a good introduction to what our future albums will entail.

What indeed was the most challenging for you when you were writing songs for this release?
Dave: The most challenging thing that we had to do while we were writing this album was to write five more songs in three weeks. The label loved the EP, they asked us to write an albums worth of tunes… and we did.

The first thing that struck me about this record personally is how well it flows. It is a very natural sounding album and the songs just seem to complement each other really well. Was this a conscious effort or something that came about naturally?
Dave: Wow. That’s a major compliment. Thank you!!! I guess it just happened. We didn’t really think about the flow, as far as I remember.

Are there any tracks on this disc that are personal favorites or that have good stories behind them?
Dave: Funny that you said that. “One More Time” was the first song we ever wrote as Sugar Red Drive. It actually almost didn’t make the album until our friends from Applehead Studios saw us play it live. They said to us ‘Guys, we need to record this. You’d be stupid not to.’ So we did and it came out so well that we threw it on the album and it became the first single, which is really cool.

When you write where do you draw your inspiration from?
Dave: I can’t speak for the entire band but whenever I write, I just write whatever comes from my brain out to my hands. I mean, sometimes it happens when PJ is laying down a beat, Jimmy is playing a riff, or Archie is singing a melody. It just… happens. There is no proper way to describe it. I know that answer came off a little cheesy but that’s really what happens.

Every band has its musical influences. What are some of the other bands and artists that have greatly influenced you guys and your music?
Dave: We’re all greatly influenced by U2, Alice in Chains, Tool, Stone Temple Pilots, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, etc. I don’t know if anyone can really tell that we’re influenced by those bands through our songs but all of those bands are our heroes.

What has been the most memorable moment of your career so far?
Dave: Well, the best I can do right now is list the most recent memorable moment that spoke out to me. We hung out with Saving Abel a few nights ago and it really opened my eyes. I always thought that every national band that I was going to meet was going to think “Oh, who is the baby band?” or whatever… but it’s really not like that at all. Every major band that I have met is just normal people that you bump into on the street, and for the most part they’re really nice and courteous to you. That really spoke to me and set a good example on how to act. I mean, I’m never mean to any of the bands that we play with but I feel that if my band does take off, I’m going to apply that lesson I learned every day.

Tell me about a book or two that you have read that you think other people should read?
Dave: I don’t want to sound like an idiot but I don’t read books. It’s not that I don’t enjoy reading books, I just don’t have the time or the interest to do so. If I’m not sleeping, I’m running. If I’m not running, I’m at practice. If I’m not practicing, I’m on tour trying to get some sleep. It is a vicious cycle.

Do you have any touring plans made yet?
Dave: As of right now, no but I hope we make some dates soon because I’m already bored being home.

Any closing words?
Dave: When it rains, make sure you bring an umbrella.  [ END ]