White Pulp : EXPOSED!
Conversation with Sonny Lanegan
By Reb Sixxx
photos by Amy
If you packed a bong with part Manson weed and part Nine Inch Nails weed, you'd be getting high off White Pulp. This Italian band is a goth-rockin freakfest that's sure to make your body parts writhe with passion and make your mind think the unthinkable. You will be cheering long after the stage has cleared and the crowd has gone home. This band's going to knock you on your ass. And you're going to love every delicious industrial second of it.
As I saw the email enter my inbox from my 15 year old niece Rachel squealing that she had found a new band for me, my eyes rolled. She has good taste in music, but not always. I opened the email and read with boredom what she had to say, and clicked the link she sent me. The page appeared and instantly my body exploded with sheer lust like fireworks on goddamn New Years Eve. Masturbation was not an option; it was mandatory. Not only were they HOT, but their music assaulted my eardrums in a familiar, yet unfamiliar way. Rachel did good.
I hurriedly listened to brief moments of each song, then settled in to listen to each of them in full. Each song better than the last. Each song different than the last. Ding, Ding, DING! We have a WINNER, Ladies and Gentlemen! Pure Rock / Electronica / Industrial at it's finest. I immediately contacted Sonny Lanegan, the singer and brainchild of White Pulp, and the conversation began. This was no ordinary musician. This was no ordinary man.
He graciously sent me his latest CD, "Ashamed of Yourself" and when I received it, I was stunned. Why this band isn't already famous surprises me. They have every single element needed to succeed. They are the perfect package. All they need is a little exposure and I am more than willing to watch them expose themselves. ahaha
I began researching the band, reading other reviews, looking at videos on YouTube, talking to their fans that have seen them live, and doing my best possible stalking. I was seriously impressed with what I found and you will be, too. Apparently I'm not the only one lusting after Sonny Lanegan, as rumor has it he's one helluva showman who causes the females in attendance to pleasure themselves during his performances. I thought only Elvis, Tom Jones, and Motley Crue could pull that sort of stunt off. I was wrong.
So yesterday I had a chance to sit down and talk to Sonny, one on one. I had to duct tape myself to the chair to keep my hands off of him, but a professional will do whatever it takes to remain professional. I actually think he liked me being tied up, but that's another story.
SB: Good morning, Sonny! Thanks for meeting with me.
SL: Ciao, Rebecca! It's my pleasure.
SB: So let's start with the basics. First of all your band is called, "White Pulp". Who are the members in your band?
SL: I sing, and play guitar and synths. Nuke plays bass and samples. Charles plays guitar. And Archelao plays drums live.
SB: And how long have you guys been playing your instruments?
SL: I don't know exactly. I know Nuke's been playing a really long time and I've been playing well over 10 years.
SB: So tell me about your members personalities. Describe each of you for our readers so they can get an idea of who you all are.
SL: I'm the strong, determined lunatic. (laughs) Nuke is the serious member and is a total perfectionist. He plays things over and over until they're perfect. Charles is more shy and a really great guy to hang out with. Archelao just loves everybody. (laughs)
SB: (laughs) So how did your band get together?
SL: Well, we all knew each other and started jamming a couple years ago. Then about a year ago we got really serious about it and recorded, "Ashamed of Yourself" in Los Angeles. It seemed everyone loved it and wanted more. We started out playing gigs with maybe 20 people in attendance, and soon thereafter we were filling 400 seats or more.
SB: For those that have never heard of your band, how would you define your music?
SL: The music is a mix of calm and quiet with lot of noise and distortion. It's like my personality. I need both aspects to feel a song is complete. I also don't like us to be labeled in any certain type of musical genre, but of course if you like N.I.N., Tool, The Smashing Pumpkins, Depeche Mode, and other similar bands, then listen to us and maybe you will have a new band to follow around. (laughs)
SB: (laughs) So who or what has inspired you the most?
SL: Concerning music, Trent Reznor and Billy Corgan are the artists I was most inspired by. I love their lyrics, their way to make music, and the choices they made during all of the years they played. Other than that, my own life experiences are have what shaped White Pulp the most. Without living my life the way I've lived it, I wouldn't have anything at all to say.
SB: Very profound. So what other bands do you like?
SL: Besides the ones I've already mentioned, I like My Bloody Valentine, A Perfect Circle, Skinny Puppy. I mean there are lot of bands I like. These are just some of my favorites.
SB: Out of curiosity, what was the first song you ever wrote?
SL: It was called, "A Lie in Everyone", and you can find it on one of the 10,000 demos out there...somewhere. (laughs)
SB: (laughs) So what is it about your band that is different from all the rest?
SL: I think White Pulp is an honest project and we are able to have different kinds of people enjoy our music. Metal, grunge, rock, dark, pop. I keep hearing that people seem to find a lot themselves inside our lyrics too, which is really cool.
SB: Yeah. I can definitely relate to them as well. What have been your biggest triumphs and successes?
SL: You know, we are from Italy. I know for you over there in the US it may not be that big of a deal, but one of our best triumphs was when we went to Los Angeles for a mini-tour, a year ago or so, and performed in some of the most legendary clubs. The Whiskey, The Cat Club, places like that.
SB: And your biggest barriers and disappointments?
SL: The music industry is basically a disappointment day after day. Everyday you have to invent a new thing to get the word out, and sometimes you basically forget to be a musician because you gotta take care of lot of business things too, you know? I also think sometimes that labels and promoters are a huge barrier for a band and it doesn't have to be that way. We need each other to survive.
SB: What is it like being on the road and touring?
SL: I love traveling. I love to experience different foods and cultures all around the world, so this is clearly one of the best parts of touring. Then, of course, you always get to meet new people, and you get to do what you love to do, which is play music. Touring is definitely my best cure to everything. I don't really love being stuck in a studio recording. I do it because I have to, so everyone can hear my music. The very best part is performing live though.
SB: And what's your bands attitude about fans and groupies?
SL: Well I think groupies were more an 80's thing. (laughs) As for our fans, we love them. I can't even tell you how much I love when people are singing our songs, listening to them in their stereos, cars, etc. When I'm online, I always talk to the fans or answer their questions. Maybe it sounds kind of stupid to say, but a band is nothing without their fans, so I respect them a lot.
SB: That doesn't sound stupid at all, Sonny. So what are your current plans and future plans?
SL: Actually we're going to be playing a few more shows coming up and just keep working on our new record. We are also planning to be part of an upcoming benefit show that will earn donations to go to the people devastated by Italy's recent earthquake. We really want to help with that. And we also want to tour the US again soon, because we are getting more and more fans from there. I think that would be a great experience for both White Pulp and for our fans.
SB: So how has White Pulp changed your life?
SL: The band didn't change my life; music changed it a long time ago. It basically gave me direction and helped me a lot. And I think it saved me from a lot of shit, too. Of course White Pulp means a lot to me, but it's more music in general that lets me feel alive. This is the most important thing for me.
SB: Finally, what is the one main thing you want to say to the people reading this?
SL: I really hope to come back soon to the United States. So wherever you are, I hope to come to your city, so we can have lots of fun together.
SB: Thank you Sonny for allowing me to interview you. I truly appreciate it.
SL: You're quite welcome, Rebecca. It was fun.
After Sonny left, I realized what a truly nice guy he is. I also felt a little guilty for being a filthy sexist pig in the beginning over how hot he is. But I couldn't help it! I'm a hot-blooded American woman! But he didn't know I thought any of that anyway, so don't tell him. Ssshhh! By the way, he is WAY wrong about groupies only being an 80's thing. That guy's going to be mauled by American women the moment his plane lands. Ssshhh! Don't tell him that either. We'll let him be surprised! ahaha
Sonny was also cool enough to give you all a free song download. It's a song called, "BlackOut" and you can download it HERE. If you can't wait that long, just check out the video. And make sure you're all alone, if you catch my drift. (WHAT?! Oh okay. I'm sorry. "I am a good girl. I am a good girl. I am a good girl." Damn I need to work on that.)
"Ashamed of Yourself" is on the Echozone label (Germany), and can be found at many locations which are all listed on their MySpace profile, so go check it out.
This CD is a MUST for any truly groovy CD collector. I swear on my beautiful breasts you will not be disappointed.