Rock Eyez Webzine
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Rock Eyez Webzine


 

Interview with Martin Sweet
(Guitar - Crashdïet)

Martin Sweet <photo: mette jensen>

Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: October 7th, 2006

Martin Sweet and CrashdÏet have regrouped after the tragic passing of Dave Lepard lead vocalist and dear friend of our site, to work once again as CrashdÏet.

With a tear in my eye and emotions running ramped, I am truly honored and excited to have a friendship with guitarist Martin Sweet, and this has to be one of the most anticipated and uneasy interview I have ever done. Please welcome our 2005 best band winner CrashdÏet's guitarist Martin Sweet.

Welcome Martin, after the passing of the late great Dave Lepard, CrashdÏet released a press statement, which read:

“In a joint statement released to the media, Martin Sweet (guitar), Peter London (bass) and Eric Young (drums) said, "As a band member, but most of all as a person, Dave Lepard we will miss him for all eternity. Dave was nothing but a genius and a very special person. CRASHDÏET will definitely not continue as a band. CRASHDÏET consisted of four people and now one has left us."” - blabbermouth.net

What changed your mind later to continue?
That was what we felt at that time. I mean we were in shock. We couldn’t believe he wasn’t coming back, ever... It still feels like he’s on a long vacation sometimes. But now it’s been quite a while since it happened. We’ve discussed the issue with a lot of people includingphoto: mette jensen some of the Lepard family and they’re very positive about us keeping the name. We believe that if we do so, we will keep Dave’s legacy alive in many ways, ‘cause we’re still heading for the top and releasing albums (including "Rest in Sleaze") in every damn country there is! We’ll also pay tribute to him on stage, when the time comes to tour...

CRASHDÏET is our favorite band and we don’t want anyone to miss out on the kick ass rock ‘n’ roll that comes with it! 
You decided to close the forum for a time why, since many fans were also hurting it would give them the chance to say their good-bye and feelings?

Yes, we shut it down on the day it happened out of respect for his family, ‘cause of all the speculations and so on. We later on opened a special forum dedicated to Dave where people could express their feelings. 

Another press release that was posted on the net, (Not by CrashdÏet camp)

‘During the first weeks of 2006, there were signs that everything was not well in the CRASHDÏET camp. The other members were rumored to be fed up with Hellman's excessive drug intake and were on the verge of leaving, or already had left. Hellman, 25, made no qualms about his sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle.’

Is this true or false “The other members were rumored to be fed up with Hellman's excessive drug intake and were on the verge of leaving, or already had left”?
What can I say; we had internal problems, like in any other band. But we never had intentions of leaving the band, because we loved the band... I mean for me, CRASHDÏET was my whole life, and still is.

Did you notice any kind of change in Dave?
Not really. He must have been pretty good at hiding whatever weaknesses he had, because I never would have thought in a million years that he could make the decision to leave this world. He was a confident person in my eyes... I wish I’d known more about what was going on inside his head. We tried to help him a million times you know, take him to rehab and shit but he was determined to quit drugs on his own...

After the release of the CD “Rest In Sleaze,” which charted high in Europe, you were suppose to come to the USA for a show, was there also a full tour scheduled for the US?
We were supposed to go to Japan, and yeah we had further plans for the US and rest of the world too, nothing scheduled though.

It was stated by the Aftonbladet newspaper that Dave was not heard from for twenty days. Is this true? And what were your thoughts during that time?
That’s not true. Last time I talked to him was about a week before he was found. And there was nothing strange about him staying at home not returning calls or emails for a week, it had happened a number of times before.

After the passing of Dave what went though your mind?
I felt anger, sadness, confusion, weak, guilt, you name it... I still have some of those feelings every other day.

You were signed at the time to Universal records. Is your deal with them still intact?
Yep, the deal is still intact.

CrashdÏet was bringing some great music to the masses, playing many shows, doing videos and even commercials. As a young band how exciting was that and did you feel you were on your way to the top?
Definitely, Universal had huge plans for us.

Let’s get into some of your past as a young man. What was the first record, tape or CD you ever bought?photo: mette jensen
I got Europe’s "The Final Countdown" when I was about 7, and I was blown away. Then I purchased Kiss "Crazy, Crazy Nights" and I was knocked out of my boots, *laughs*

How about the first concert you attended?
My first concert was with Europe on their "Prisoners in Paradise" tour. I was there with my mom.

What kind of kid was Martin Sweet growing up?
You know, just an average rebellious teen. I was pretty shy back then, though.

Have you played on any releases before CrashdÏet?
Nope! Only on demo-CDs…

What was it like working with Chris Laney in the studio?
He’s the coolest guy! I love that man, its great working with him. We’re both huge KISS and W.A.S.P fans which makes it even better!

Do you plan on working with Chris Laney again?
We’ve already recorded some demos with him. But time will tell. We haven’t gotten that far in the process yet to decide what producers to use.

Tell me your experience first meeting or working with Dave Lepard?
I first met him on Christmas day back in 2002. Peter brought me to Dave’s place. I was nervous as hell ‘cause I really wanted the gig, but he was really cool with me. He was this amazing guy, a genius musically and had this sort of rockstar aura surrounding him...

When we wrote songs together, we fought a lot, but that was what made the magic, for instance, One time I sent him this song I had recorded called "Breaking the Chains". But with no Vocals or lyrics and he hated it. So I had to really convince him to write some vocals on it. And it came out kind of good, didn’t it?

How did you come up with the name CrashdÏet?
Dave came up with the name, back in 2000. No one really knows where he got it from.

photo: Micke ErikssonWhat was the most memorable show CrashdÏet played?
It’s hard to say. There was so much craziness on and off stage, so there are like 20 of those moments. There was one gig back in the day, before we got signed. We got this great opportunity to show our pretty faces for the masses at a Swedish festival called "Rookie". We knew this was our big chance. But we had like a 4 hour road trip to get there. And when we at last got to the festival, we had to wait another 8 hours to get on stage. So of course we began drinking early in the morning. And by the time we hit the stage we were drunk out of our asses! So we’re standing there on live web cast trying to play. Dave was so drunk he hardly could do anything. So I got pissed and pulled the plug on his guitar (‘cause he played in the wrong key), therefore he tosses his guitar out in the audience, hitting someone in the head with it. He then starts head banging so hard he looses control and falls of stage. It’s pretty funny. Less than a year later we got signed to Universal *laughs*

Since the band decided to continue, will you still be going by the name CrashdÏet?
We’re 98% sure that we will.

I have heard some of the new demo’s like “Falling Rain,” “Screamin it Out”, “In The Raw”, “Like A Sin”, “Out of the Cold”, “Open Your Eyes”, and “Wrecking Machine”. The new material sounds a bit like a mixture of Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and a CrashdÏet. I really like the opening track “Falling Rain”; it has some melodic Kiss “Black Diamond” riffs with a hard edge entering and an explosive chorus, fucking great song, which will bring the dïet fans to their feet. So I guess we might see a new CD soon. If so, When?
Of course you will see a new CD out soon. We just have to find the right singer, and we’re pretty damn determined to find one before Christmas. We have so many demos now that we could do 3 albums, but we’ll probably only choose the 10 best ones.

Another killer track which blows my mind is “Screamin It Out”. It has all the making of classic CrashdÏet and has chart busting vocals, since you’re doing the lead vocals have you stepped into the lead role?
I have no plans on taking over the lead singer role, but I kind of enjoy recording demos, cause I like to get the vocals down on tape while the idea is still fresh in my head. I have a bad memory you know *laughs*

Seems like your guitar playing is a little heavier on these demos?
Yeah, some of the tracks are heavier. On "Rest in Sleaze" we didn’t tune down our guitars as much as when we played live. Now I’m kind of using the same "heaviness" of CrashdÏet playing live. I kind of like it that way, simple and heavy but still sleazy.

What was the feeling the first time you started working on demo material without Dave?
Dave and I did most of the songwriting on our own. So when it says "Sweet/Lepard" on the album, I wrote an instrumental track which Dave put vocals on. So what I miss the most are his mind blowing lyrics and vocals. I miss him as hell, when I am putting songs together. He’s still my mentor though. I still use the same tricks we used then.

How many demos do you have at this time?
About 30…

Give us the names of other demos that you have done that could be on your next release and a little bit about the songs.
The songs we sent you have good chances to end up on the album. We also have titles like:
2nd to none
Hold on tight
I can sense a lie
One of a kind
Thrill me
Perfect day
Etc.
Some of them have already leaked, but that’s not really a problem cause the songs are just demos and will probably improve a lot on the album.

Is there any CrashdÏet material done with Dave that you have stashed away which could be used in the future?
We have a lot of that material too, but those songs are a bit sacred for us. We wouldn’t want to to record those again… it’s better to release those together with other old Crash-demos. We will most certainly do so in the future.

Is there a chance of a Video diary or a DVD coming out? Many fans are asking.
We have a DVD all set to be pressed and released. We just have to sort out a few things first. The DVD will be kind of like a bootleg, Very raw. No overdubs and shit. There’s one complete concert and about an hour of bonus material from different gigs, video shoots, backstage etc. We put it together ourselves.

What is a typical day now for Martin Sweet? Take us from when you first wake up until you go to sleep.
My life isn’t that interesting at the moment. I’m just dying to head out on the road again. I pretty much wake up, go to the gym, write songs, listen to the songs, write more songs, listen to the songs, watch Seinfeld, hit the sack *laughs*

What band did you have the most fun with playing live besides CrashdÏet?
Crazy Lixx and Mamakin... We have some good memories..!

What is the biggest memory of Dave that you will miss?
I will always miss those days when he would just light up the whole room with his presence. He really was the most interesting person.

If you could say something to Dave, right now, what would you say to him?
Wish you were here. Luv Ya.

Martin it has been only a short time and your music will be heard once again. Would you like to say anything to the CrashdÏet fans in conclusion?
Be patient my dear friends! We’re working day and night to get this circus moving again. We’ll be out there before you know it! Lots of love! Martin Sweet - CRASHDÏET 


This interview with Martin Sweet would never had been obtained without the gracious help of our close friend and member of Zan Clan and Animal - Chris Laney. He worked with and was a close personal friend of Dave Lepard and CrashdÏet. Chris wrote an open letter to Dave after his passing. You can read that letter here.

Photographs by Mette Jensen

 
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