Exclusive Interview with The Sweet Kill on Lockdown, Sobriety, and New Music Video “Crazy”

The Sweet Kill is out with a new pop-rock song that we can all relate to during this lockdown life. The lyrics of “Crazy” go into the dark emotions that many of us are feeling during the quarantine. Even though the lyrics go deep emotionally, the music feels uplifting and inspirational which gives this song an overall feel-good vibe. The production of the song brings a strong sense of belonging to me. It makes me stop and think “Okay, you’re going through all of this too? Same. We’re not alone in any of this, even though it may feel that way right now.” 


Pete of The Sweet Kill talks about “going crazy” as he is separated from the ones he loves, and stuck in isolation. Good thing he gets to create music and stay distracted with his creativity!

The song does have a positive spin to it. The lyrics go: “I’m going crazy, the world is trying to lock me down, I’m going crazy but nothing is going to keep me down.”  The message is clear; we are going to get through this really difficult time, this really difficult year. It’s normal to be feeling these intense and distressing emotions right now. Most people are. None of us are alone in these feelings. I guarantee you that there is someone out there feeling the same exact way. This song proves it! Listening to music is one way that we can distract and cope. I think many will find “Crazy” by The Sweet Kill so relatable that they will find comfort in it. I know that I did.

The music video is day in the life style of a man locked in isolation due to the current pandemic. Look familiar? It features many personal moments that are extremely relatable. Enjoy it on YouTube now and scroll down to read the official interview!

Pete has been releasing music under the name The Sweet Kill for about two years now. We highly recommend checking out his full length record called “Neon Black.” The Bob Dylan cover, Masters of War, was my first introduction to The Sweet Kill, which got me hooked on his sound! Read the official RTP interview with The Sweet Kill below. He talks openly about being a sober songwriter, life during lockdown, and touring!

Rock the Pigeon (RTP): How did you start the Sweet Kill?

The Sweet Kill (TSK): I started right after I found out the singer in my old band Dirty Blonde committed suicide. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her and the songs I write are a tribute to our bond, chemistry and musical connection. We both had our unique and very similar struggles and I sometimes wonder why not me instead of her. The conflict of being caught between heaven and hell is what The Sweet Kill embraces. You can’t have the dark without the light.

RTP: Where has been your favorite place to tour so far and why?

TSK: Definitely Europe especially Russia. I really love the history there and how they were so important in winning the Second World War. I love the literature of Fyodor Dostoevsky (Notes From Underground), the movies of Andrei Tarkovsky (Stalker, Solaris and Andre Rublev) and the music of IC3PEAK. As an artist I crave the darkness this country pools from and when I went there on tour I wrote and recorded with Lolita and Anastasia from the band the Fans. The Sweet Kill song Give It Up was tracked in my hotel room at the Four Seasons in the Red Square. We created something from nothing pooling from the darkness, which is prevalent in her voice. I love writing deep from this place to create identification with misfit souls as I’ve always felt an outcast growing up. True art has the responsibility to inspire questions within the listener.

RTP: You’re sober right? When did you get sober and why?

TSK: September 13 2004. I’ve been in bands most of my life and the first band is where I did most of my using. We all drank excessively together as part of the ritual of rehearsals and playing shows. One member went off the deep end and I saw first hand how addiction destroys all things worthwhile in life. He got sober and showed me what it looks like to live a spiritual life. I wanted what he had but was under the impression that if I didn’t put a needle in my arm I’m ok. I started to unravel realising I had no control over my alcoholism and finally I met a few people that were integral in holding space for me as I battled myself. For 10 years I really wondered whether I was or wasn’t an alcoholic. Finally I was encouraged to “try” some controlled drinking and I went for the goal of having just 4 beers. I closed out my tab, walked home and tried to prayer. I couldn’t connect and remembered my roommate had bottle of vodka in the freezer. I found myself pounding it and waking up hung-over with the resolution to stop this 10-year experiment of delusion. I asked a guy to be my sponsor and felt a weight lift as I stood up and said I’m Pete and I’m an alcoholic. I also knew that I would continue repeating the patterns prevalent throughout my life unless I had a shift on the inside so I pursued the spiritual life as my life depended on it. My band and I weren’t getting along, certain clubs wouldn’t let me in, my friends were few and far between, my family was either disappointed in me or estranged but the rooms welcomed me with open arms and presented solutions to all my problems including my co-dependent relationship with alcohol. I’ve had many ups and downs in sobriety but I wouldn’t change anything to go back to life I had. I have access to tools and an application of principles to any and all situations life presents to me. I’ve had plenty of train wreck drinking stories that would’ve sounded good if I ended up sober and all went well but my last drunk was pretty tame compared to those war stories. The difference is I had an internal bottom where I was tired of being tired. I saw the path blazed by my predecessors and took it whole-heartedly.

RTP: How does being sober impact your music writing and shows?

TSK: I am way more disciplined now and can actually follow through when opportunities present themselves. I don’t chase people, places or things but I do push the flame of the talents the universe has bestowed upon me. I fearlessly expose the darkness of emotion in the music I write, I feel identification is key but I do like living in the light. The “darkness before the dawn” or “dark nights of the soul” is poetically said for a reason. The statement that feeling better equals getting better is a misconception. I find that when I’m in the height of pain, the tectonic plates of my soul are shifting and I’m going through yet another spiritual, emotional upheaval. A tsunami starts with the earth shifting ever so slightly starting the ripple wave, which turns into a storm. These shifts lead me to live a better life. There’s a saying if you want to improve your art, improve your life. This construct I can attest to with certitude. So whether I’m playing a show or writing everything I do comes from a place of divine charity and service. 


RTP: Can you tell us what’s next and all about your brand new single “CRAZY”? 

TSK: “If you can’t laugh at yourself you’re missing the biggest joke in town” The purpose of this song is to give you a peak into my insane creative process under quarantine. Inspiration struck I witnessed the turmoil in Italy from the hospitals being over crowded and the surge in deaths. I was moved to write a ballad at first and then it just got crazier and crazier. I needed the subject of the song to be lighter and more reflective of the 16 year old inside me, which never really grew up anyways as you’ll see in the video. My neighbor Pauley Perrette loved the idea of the video being comedic and offered up one of her houses for us to shoot in. Then I got the idea of actually starring in the video as the drummer, bassist and guitarist as I played all the instruments on the recording anyways. I liked the idea of being in a vast naturistic setting with no one around in the realm of social distancing. I melodically referenced the hook in “Its Time To Say Goodbye” by Andre Bocelli and Sarah Brighten. This move honoured my original emotional reaction to turmoil in Italy. Please see for yourself and subscribe to youtube.com/thesweetkill and enjoy this fun video.

RTP: Can you give our viewers some insight to what is keeping you mentally healthy during quarantine? 

TSK: It’s really simple for me as I live 69 steps from my recording studio here in the Hollywood Hills. The studio is underground below the parking structure, which is below my building. So minus the sun it’s a very creative Zen Zone, dojo, and man cave type vibe. . I attend a spiritual zoom meeting daily and keep an equilibrium in my mental and spiritual health which leads the way fro my emotions and physical. There’s a bunch of meme’s that state “oh you want me to shelter in place all day for months, oh I got that down years ago”. I definitely walk, hike, meditate and eat minimally as its survival during these times. It’s just my thoughts, my actions and me. I stay productive and am lucky other artists need music to be created and completed so I’m entrusted to do so. I get it as I’m an artist at my very core, I just happened to acquire the skill set to take a song, engineer it, play multi instruments on it, produce it, sing on it, mix and master it and make it up-loadable within a short period of time. I love music its all I’ve ever known. No matter what I say or do it’s always there for me, in times of victory, loss and everything else in between


RTP: What tips do you have for those who are struggling with creativity? 

TSK: I definitely do the full 12-week program of the book “The Artists Way”. This is so well written and structured. It contains a bunch of weekly activities and tasks that are counter intuitive which eradicate the “blocks” of my flow state. Those I talk to about this book usually say, “oh I started reading it but stopped”, I then chime in saying that it’s not a book to read it’s a book to DO. I love it, its fun, it’ll push your comfort zone for sure but don’t believe a word I say, have your own experience. Discipline is key. I was taking the train from London to Brighton and met a painter on the way. We struck up a conversation and she asked what my creative process was. At the time I said it was that I wait for inspiration to strike and then I start writing. She was aghast and asked where is the discipline in that approach? Instead of defending my right to be wrong I answered her question with a question what is her creative process?  She replied that everyday she serves the discipline of the craft of painting. Whether its good or not its none of her business. She added that she finds inspiration in the discipline of consistently creating. Her statement absolutely blew my mind!

RTP: What’s your favorite thing about music?  

TSK: I can’t see it, touch it, taste it, smell it but it makes me feel good shifting me into worlds of emotion I’ve never known. It’s the soundtrack to my life! “Find what you love and let it kill you.”

Listen to Neon Black on Spotify:

Written by RTP Staff 

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