Lock 9 – a Rock and Oddities Interview with Liam Sweeny

Written by on September 18, 2023

With Rock and Oddities Con coming in the end of October, we thought we’d pre-game with the band Lock 9. So we had questions.

RRX: So let’s get caught up, first. You had an EP released in July, titled, accordingly, “ReLEASE.” I’m listening to one of the tracks on it, “Nowhere.” It’s got a really haunting sound, definitely something to groove to. Can you tell us what went into the making of “Release?” Was it a hard slog or an energy filled couple of days?

L9: Our latest EP, reLEASE, was basically just that, a release of long held onto songs and studio jams from our pre-COVID lineup at our old studio. Kind of a way to clear the slate for the current transition of sound and the new era. The first track “Run” is a fully mixed and mastered studio track single with an accompanying music video. The middle three songs were written over the COVID lockdowns and were recorded with digital drums composed by our singer and analog guitar/bass/vocals. The final track on the EP, “C-Sections”, is a mashup 38-minute long collection of over a dozen raw studio tracks that were solid enough we felt to be heard, but time and fate kept them as is, raw and recorded straight from the practice space.

RRX: You’re going to be playing Rock and Oddities Con in Saratoga in the end of October, the 28th, 29th. The lineup is pretty great, Brick by Brick, Psychomanteum, Suicide Puppets, and many others. And this is a whole con, so it’s not just about music, but even if it was, it would be a sight to see and sounds to hear. What can you tell me about it?

L9: It looks like a killer inaugural event, especially around Halloween time and including art vendors and a visually-creative scene, its going to be great and we’re stoked to be included. We’ll have some of our original stage prop artwork at our bassist Anthony Richichi’s live painting booth all weekend as well, so you can catch some more Lock 9 visuals if you miss our set on Sunday.

RRX: Speaking of large events, you just played GEMFest (‘just’ being relative.) That was a pretty amazing get together too. Do you see Lock 9 as preferring festivals and cons, or smaller, more intimate venues, like rock stadiums and roadhouses? And if you would choose a smaller venue, why?

L9: GEM Fest was blast as always! As fun as it is to get on a big outdoor stage like that and play those day/evening shows, nothing beats a late load-in up close and personal in more of a small theater/bar scene climate. We’ve played The Chance Theater a few times now and that’s a great little intimate metal theater that’s been around since the early 1900’s.

RRX: You won a 2023 Listen Up award, which, as you and I know, are fan nominated, and fan voted. And getting one in metal band, you had to beat out stiff competition. Now, I know what the awards ceremony was like, but it would be interested to hear what it was like from the perspective of an award winner. So what was it like?

L9: A huge honor, anytime you’re recognized by your peers and fans to the point of winning an award is very humbling. It’s nice knowing the music and energy we’re putting out there is being felt.

RRX: I’m always fascinated by band names, and where they come from. I have to wonder if the Beatles would’ve gotten as big if they had named themselves ‘John and Paul’s Buggy Band.’ So Lock 9. What is it? Where did it come from? And has the meaning evolved over time?

L9: Around the time the band was forming our lead singer found an old map from the 1800’s in the lower level of a steamboat that had “Lock 9” (like the locks in a Canal) labeled right over where our barn-turned-studio was located. So we figured that was the key.

RRX: I guess at the last question, we should be asking about future happenings. We’ll stay away from shows, as we never know when this interview goes out, or when someone is going to happen upon it. As far as happenings, any Eps in the works? Any new merch coming to the table?

L9: We’re currently in the studio cutting tracks for a new full length studio album and compiling a bunch of album artwork that’s all done in-house by our bassist. Per usual we design unique posters and t-shirts for each concert so we’ll have some of that dropping soon as well. And as always with Lock 9 Halloween shows we’ll have plenty of new original paintings to smash our heads through on stage.

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