The Atlanta-based quartet The Sexual Side Effects defy easy categorization, seamlessly combining elements of ‘80s post-punk and New Wave with modern pop and indie, served with a healthy splash of space-rock psychedelia, but the band’s overriding focus is clear: bringing their haunting and majestic brand of music to the masses. They joined us for our 5GB series.
What’s the first gig you ever attended?
The first show I ever saw was Sonic Youth at the International Ballroom in Doraville, Georgia. I grew up down the street from there next to the oil pipelines and industrial wasteland. They were playing with Superchunk who I really enjoyed that night. I was probably about 13 or so and kept trying to crowd surf at the show. It was a blast and about half way through the show the bands kept yelling at us who were doing it to stop. At the time I was like “whatever”, but now I understand why it’s not so cool. Fugazi played over a thousand shows and through all of those shows over 10 people are now paralyzed from people crowd surfing and hitting them on accident. I just can’t begin to fathom being responsible for people never being able to walk again. Sorry if I got a little off topic, but it makes a difference to see it in the perspective of the band who just want to do their art and have people enjoy it…plus I felt like a douche every time Thurston Moore yelled at me from the stage.
What is the best gig that you ever played/performed?
We played over the summer of 2012 in Washington DC at a festival called “Phase Fest”. It was at the oldest known lesbian bar in America called Phase 1. We had been on the road and played a lot of shows with the band Hunter Valentine who are now in a successful prime-time reality TV show on Showtime called the Real L Word. Their main crowd (the lesbian/girl crowd) were really receptive to our show. That night we were playing with them again as well as other amazing bands like Vanity Theft and our good friends Glitterlust from DC. The show sold out at 300 people and they had to turn away 200 people at the door! It was crazy! The place was packed to the max, and I was surprised the fire marshal didn’t shut it down. When we played our last song the entire crowd was singing along, and they didn’t even know our lyrics! We cant wait to play DC again, what an amazing city and amazing people!
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
We played a show in Miami with this band called Radioboxer and when they hit the stage everyone eyes lit up! They can be described as the Cuban Flaming Lips from Hialeah The energy, the sound, the way the crowd melted into their hands, captivated at every moment was so amazing! What an astounding band! They would even sing in Spanish from time to time but they still had the ability to cross over the language barrier to “monolingual” English speakers at the show with their amazing energy.
Gig you would most like to play?
Wow this is a tough one. Most would saw Coachella, Lolapolloza or some crazy festval date in front of thousands. We have played a lot of festival shows and I have to say we prefer to play clubs a little more.
It’s so easy to get lost in the music in a club. With a crazy light show, smoke, the energy of the people right there with you. It’s like an out of body experience. Though a bit bigger than a regular club, I have always wanted to play the Fox in Atlanta…and sell it out! One of these day, with enough hard work I am sure it will happen.
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
We would love to open for Placebo, also David Bowie would be another big one. People keep telling us that we sound a lot like Placebo, and Placebo’s fans have been very attracted to our music. David Bowie has always been an idol for me, such a unique artist. If I could choose another it would be U2. I have always love The Edge’s approach to guitar and the whole time I would most likely be chatting with his guitar tech about his rig!
Catch The Sexual Side Effects at The Drunken Unicorn.