Sworn Enemy's Danny Lamagna is as Real as it Gets

Sworn Enemy an act like many who has faced its ups and downs in the music scene are back! Since getting themselves reorganized, having tour relentlessly, among other mishaps, they have been demoing, writing, and recording for their upcoming yet-to-be-titled fifth album. Percussionist Danny Lamagna (Suicide City/Sworn Enemy) says "The songs are fast. There are a lot of thrash and hardcore elements fused together on this one. Lots of double bass and groove. Lots of aggression and gang chants. I think we did a good job at covering the old vibe of the band without really trying to force anything writing wise." He went on to add that the band is currently in the process of creating an Indiegogo.com campaign to help raise funds for this release, and help get the band up and running again!

1. Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Sworn Enemy, and how long the band has been together.

Danny:  I am Danny Lamagna. I play the drums. The band has been together in its current state for about 2 years.

2. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Danny: The band is based out of New York. We are right smack between Manhattan, where all the clubs are, and some of the venues that hold national acts on Long Island. So the music scene is pretty bustling over here. Local bands I like are Nonstop to Cairo and Alekhines Gun.

3. You guys were once known as Downfall then Mindset even releasing a few things here and there, have you performed any of that material in any of your sets or is that history?

Danny: I don't think we really touch any of that stuff.

4. How did you guys come up with the name Sworn Enemy? What does the name represent and mean to you guys personal and as a whole.

5. How has the band been evolving over the years?

Danny:  The band keeps evolving. The last three tours have had some different personal added or subtracted aspects. But I don't think we're an on again off again band. We're a band that doesn't get a lot of press, people who like our music often only find out we are playing in their neighborhoods at the last minute when they see us loading gear or hanging around the venues.

6. It's been four years since the release of Total World Domination. Why such a long time period between albums?

Danny:  The band had to reorganize. There were line-up changes. Two tours of Europe and two in the United States. New York got hit with severe flooding in November and two of our band mates ended up homeless for a few months. Sal also had some serious leg surgery in the last few months. All of those obstacles in front of us, we still managed to write a lot of new music and its all being professionally demoed as we speak.

7. So what can you tell me about this new album?

Danny:  The songs are fast. There are a lot of thrash and hardcore elements fused together on this one. Lots of double bass and groove. Lots of aggression and gang chants. I think we did a good job at covering the old vibe of the band without really trying to force anything writing wise. We have been playing 4 or so new tunes live and they sit well in the set. The feedback has been positive.

8. Have you chosen a title for the album?

Danny: We don't have a title yet, but some song titles include "Broken Hope" "No Mercy" "Do or Die" and "No Apologies".

9. Do you know if this will be a concept release?

Danny: The lyrics do have themes. I don't feel it's an intentional thing.

10. Where are you in the recording process of the new album?

Danny: Pre-production just ended. We are ready to commit these tunes to tape and send'em out to be mixed/mastered.

11. Who is producing the album? How has the producer aided the recording process?

Danny:  It's self produced. We do rough demos at my home studio, then we take them to a legit room to record them with higher grade gear.

12. Where are you recording the album?

Danny:  We are most likely going to work out of the MEI studios in Westbury LI.

13. Did the band have any definitive goals they were shooting for before the recording process began for this album?

Danny:  To just get a new record out and get back out on tour. That means securing management, distribution an agent, etc. We are breaking back into the industry. Some of the personnel mentioned have fallen into place. Others are close.

14. Are you using any new instrumentation you've never used in the recording process before?

Danny:  Nope. Bass, drums, and guitar. The basics.

15. When did you start writing for this album? How was the songwriting process different/similar to previous Sworn Enemy album?

Danny:  A while back and we all write separately so we bring in different riffs and just jam until it's a combo of everything.

16. How is the vibe in the studio currently?

Danny:  It's good. It's a laid back place we are all comfortable in.

17. Can you go into one or two tracks on the new album? If so, can you give us the track title and brief description of how the track sounds and how it came about?

Danny:  Aside from the songs I mentioned above there's the track "No Mercy" it's an up tempo one. There is a lot of thrash in that one. A new element bought into the band shows itself in that one. The guys ride the low strings and I double there rhythm. We is that device on a few songs. Some audience sing-along's are in their as well. It's a good one live.

Another tune I previously mentioned and one we road tested is "Broken Hope". It's got some rolling bass and drum grooves with a vicious main riff. It's another one that's punishing. It floats but it's got a lot of quick pinches and twists.

18. Do you feel any pressure to do this follow-up?

Danny:  I personally feel no pressure. We wrote a record that captures where we are at. That's really all I ever think about when I write or record with anyone. Pay attention to now. People will compare it to past records. I'm not interested in that. It's new players. They play differently and have different things to say then whoever wrote the last records. As a fan of the band I'm happy to hear a more organic Sworn Enemy that sounds more like the live show then some machined display of editing software and samples. Hopefully that live feel and sound will resonate with fans of the band and people searching for a cool new thrashy hardcore sound.

19. When can we expect the new album to be released?

Danny:  That all depends on a few factors. If a support tour presents itself, we may rush it out. If the right label deal presents itself, it's in the labels hands. We are about to roll out our Indiegogo.com campaign. It will be at least two months before that runs its course and we get the capital to even finish this recording. If all goes well I'm hoping for a fall release. You never know though. We were all  sure it was gonna be out this summer. Shit happens and deadlines expired but we are still pushing forward.

20. What can the fans expect to see from you in the future?

Danny:  Plans are in the works for some US touring. I know there have been submissions for support on some really cool tours. I also have been hearing some chatter from the underground about a headlining run later in the summer. Nothing is set in stone. If you come see us live you will not be disappointed. We play a LOT of songs and the energy is always there whether it's 5 or 5,000 people. We hit it the same every night. There is no other way for us. So expect a show that'll leave you thinking hell yes! A recording that you will have helped make, and some really fun ways to spend time with us.

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