A Conversation with the Sweet Things’ Dave Tierney

Dave Tierney performs with the Sweet Things. (Photo by Johan Vipper; courtesy of MSO PR)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

It is a pleasure to welcome the Sweet Things front man Dave Tierney to Jake’s Take.

The Sweet Things are a New York City-based rock and roll band. The group’s line-up consists of Dave Tierney (vocals/guitar), Lorne Behrman (vocals/guitar), Sam Hariss (vocals/bass), and drummer Darren Fried.  

On May 24, the Sweet Things will release their debut studio album: In Borrowed Shoes, In Borrowed Time. The quartet worked with a plethora of music industry veterans in their hometown including Matt Chiaravalle (Courtney Love & Debbie Harry), the Uptown Horns (James Brown), and Rob Clores (the Black Keys).  Several tracks that are featured on this record include “Almost Faded,” “Dead or Worse,” and “Slather.” The Sweet Things were also featured on New York City’s iconic rock station Q104.3 FM and on Sirius XM’s Little Steven’s Underground Garage.

In this edition of “A Conversation,” Dave Tierney shared the Sweet Things’ origin story, previewed their upcoming debut studio album, and teased the band’s United Kingdom tour.

Jacob Elyachar: Could you share the Sweet Things’ origin story with my readers?

Dave Tierney: Just a few years back I was playing in two bands called The Sharp Lads and Done with You, we were going on tour. We needed a fill-in bass player, and so, I picked up Sam Harris, who is of The Sweet Things fame currently. We did about two and a half weeks on the road together, driving from New York down around the American South. We bonded pretty strong over a shared love of music on that trip. Then we got back; we started The Sweet Things. Sam told me, he was like, “I don’t want to be in a side project.” I told him, “All right, fine.” And I broke up those two bands I was in, and we’ve been playing ever since.

Jacob Elyachar: How does the Sweet Things’ sound stand out against other rock bands?

Dave Tierney: I think when we got together, we bonded over a shared love of a lot of stuff, like the New York Dolls and early 70s Rolling Stones, a lot of things like that. But, so to a certain degree we were influences on … actually, as a lot of bands do. But I think, we are trying to make something new. We are not trying to be a throwback. We try to do new things within the context of sounds and styles that we like. I think, even though sometimes you can hear influences shining through, more than anything else, we sound like ourselves.

Jacob Elyachar: What have been some of the challenges that the group faced breaking into the music industry? How has The Sweet Things overcame those obstacles?

Dave Tierney: I do not know, we play rock and roll. We love rock and roll. I feel like people don’t love rock and roll as much as they used to. As much as people still fill football stadiums to see Guns N’  Roses or maybe like the Foo Fighters or something, you do not see as many new young rock bands fill those stadiums. I guess that’s the biggest challenge. In a sense, we’re not too worried about it. We are just trying to get out there and make the music we want to hear. I’m just trying to get the music that’s in my head out of my head. We are just doing what we like. If people like it, that’s great.

The Sweet Things’ debut album drops on May 24. (Album cover courtesy of MSO PR)

Jacob Elyachar: Let’s talk about your debut studio album, In Borrowed Shoes, On Borrowed Time. Could you describe the album’s creation process from conception to release?

Dave Tierney: We released tracks on Lanark Records and Spaghetty Town Records. Next, we kept writing after that and was enough material to make a record. I think the album has kind of a vibe that kind of is a balance between the partying,  things you do on Friday night and the way you feel on Saturday morning. We are trying to show both sides of the thing. We are just telling the truth we know. We are trying to make music that’s a good time to listen to but not overly simple and too dumb. We got together with the producer, Matt Chiaravalle who we worked with previously and heading into Flux Studios in the east village. We went in there for a bunch of days and tracked ten songs. Then, we brought in a bunch of friends that were picking out the songs to give the album kind of a big hootenanny. We brought in Rob Clores to play organ and piano; we brought our good friend Liza Colby to sing with us. We got a couple of guys from the Uptown Horns to play saxophone and trumpet. We got our friend Brian Hurd from Daddy Long Legs to play the harmonica. So, we ended up putting together a record which is kind of a big sound to give all these songs a treatment we thought they deserved.

Jacob Elyachar: Next month, the Sweet Things will travel to the United Kingdom to perform several shows in England. What can your fans expect from these shows?

Dave Tierney: They can expect us to go out there and show them a good time. You know, we go on stage, and we are not bullshitting anyone. We’re just trying to go up there, have a good time, and put on a good show. I think the audience can tell when the bands are having a good time, and it goes back and forth. The energy feeds the audience, and if they are having a good time, it feeds back to us. We’re just trying to give them a fantastic experience. Show them what a good time looks and hopefully feels like.

Jacob Elyachar: Who are the Sweet Things’ dream collaborators (bands, performers, and producers)?

Dave Tierney: You mean people we have not collaborated with?

Jacob Elyachar: Yes. Who are your dream collaborators? Anyone, that you like to work with if money was not an issue?

Dave Tierney: Sure, I like those rules. Maybe we could enact those rules in real life at one point. I would love to play with Keith Richards you know. From my perspective is the main rhythm guitar guy in the band is like Keith Richards and Izzy Stradlin as like the two dudes. Even they like to have the same rules in their group that I have in mine. I think it would be pretty cool to throw ideas back and forth. Just sit there and throw rifts at each other and see what sticks. I think that would be pretty cool.

Jacob Elyachar: If the Sweet Things had the opportunity to meet with aspiring bands who want to take their music to the next level, what advice would you share with them?

Dave Tierney: I would say stick at it and do not get discouraged. It takes a while for people sometimes to kind of catch on and takes notice of what you are doing. I would say practice. Make sure when you get on stage your putting forward a right product, you know? Something that people should want to pay to see. Then, more than anything I would say, focus on your songwriting. To me, that’s an essential part. If you have good songs, that will take you far. Do not be lazy with your songwriting. Take it seriously and try to write the best songs you can.

You can connect with the Sweet Things on social media. Visit their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter channels.


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