A photo of the band Sumo Cyco to represent the topic of the article - An Exciting Chat With Sumo Cyco About Mental Health And Life In A Band

An Exciting Chat With Sumo Cyco About Mental Health And Life In A Band

I was lucky enough to get the great Skye and Matt from Sumo Cyco to agree to an interview in a classic exmaple of, “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”. I discovered Sumo Cyco during the pandemic and have fallen in love with their music, so I took a chance, reached out, and bam, got an interview. I hope you enjoy getting to know Skye and Matt from Sumo Cyco.

 

As Skye and Matt take some time away in cottage country out by the lakes in Canada, they took some time away from swimming in the lakes, working on their next music video, relaxing with friends, and having a few days off from work to make time talk to me. After some warm greetings and some getting to know each other small talk, we got on with the interview.

 

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How did Suno Cyco become a band?

What might be surprising to some to hear is that Skye started in music as a teen pop star, she told me, “when I was about 14, I got signed to Capitol Records. So, I had like a young teen pop career and I needed to hire some musicians to play for me and my band and Matt was the guitarist that I had hired at 14. So we’ve known each other for a very, very long time“. 

 

Skye went on to say, “we became friends and Matt exposed me to a lot of different types of music and he exposed me to his band and how he’s been doing things in a DIY punk way for a long time. And I was very inspired by that kind of life, even though I was on these like major, big tours, with Britney Spears and stuff“. Probably not the origin story you were expecting.

 

Because Skye’s pop queen experience with her former label hadn’t worked out the way she’d hoped, she approached Matt and in doing so, it appears we all owe a big thanks to the Welsh band, Skindred, for being the inspiration that helped birth Sumo Cyco. This is all because Matt “played me their Babylon record. And I said, in my head, I want to do something like this. It’s like, you can dance, you can headbang at the same time. And it really inspired me to start something new with Matt, where I could be a little bit more experimental and just kind of reinvent myself and do it with someone who I thought was epically talented and needed to be seen out in the world“.

 

It might be weird to think that you’d want to go from playing stadiums with the likes of Britney Spears to climbing into a van to tour American and playing in smaller venues, but that was the dream that Skye had, “I romanticised this idea of being in a band that grew from the ground up with my friends rather than, I know it sounds weird when you were on a stadium stage and you’re like, all I want to do is tour America in a small little van“.

 

In making this move, Skye found the experiences of growing Sumo Cyco from the ground up to be one of her most rewarding experiences. Skye was also excited to learn “every single aspect of what we’ve had to do to make a band work” as well as enjoying the adventures that came with it.

 

One of Skye’s adventures experiences was getting to do a song with Benji Webbe from Skindred, “that journey kind of came full circle“. How’s that for awesome, going from being inspired by a band to getting to collaborate with them.

 

Over the last 10 years, Sumo Cyco had flown under the radar, but nevertheless, they’d “done over 22 international tours without even having a label before we even met Napalm” according to Matt, who concluded, “we’re gonna make this band the way we want to do it and exactly how we want to do it. And we’ve been flying ever since“.

 

What’s important for Sumo Cyco and Skye is “having these really awesome adventures and going to new places and spreading our music out into the world, rather than, worrying about if our Facebook numbers were at all-time highs or anything. It was trying to reimagine what success means to us. And to us, it’s being able to play music we love with the people we love around the world. And so when you kind of frame it like that, instead of like, oh, I want to have like a million views or I want to do this or that, you end up having the experiences that really matter. And sometimes you don’t even need to have a million views to do those things. You can still do them and enjoy your life without needing to be the biggest band on the planet. And I think sometimes there’s a balance between always wanting to be like the biggest band on the planet and also wanting to just do the music and do the things that you love to do, you know?“.

 

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What is your best experience as a band?

For Skye, “meeting Benji and doing a music video with him was sick“, with Benji showing them around Wales and taking them to some of the local pubs. Another great experience for Skye was being able to play at the Download festival in the UK in 2019 because it “was a big moment for us. And I think what mattered more than, oh yeah the tent was packed, and there was so many new people we got to meet. I think just having the experience with our fans, that so many of them had asked us for years” because it’s “those moments where I think were super special to us, to kind of see the journey of how far we have had come“.

 

Skye went on to tell me about how they were also honoured to open for Devilskin in New Zealand, where they “invited us to visit their beautiful country“, let us into their homes, and introduced Sumo Cyco to their friends who feed them between shows. Devilskinwent above and beyond to make us feel like we had the best experience” for Skye and the rest of Sumo Cyco, with Matt adding, “touring New Zealand was one of our highlights“.

 

Matt went on to say, “every single tour we go on, even rough ones too, like, our bus blew up one tour, but there’s still highlights in the tour. There’s always moments“. Then Matt told me about their tour with Jinjer, a Ukrainian band, and how that allowed Sumo Cyco to meet new kinds of people and getting to know more about their culture, “it was a real educational tour“.

 

Do you keep in regular contact with the bands you’ve performed with?

Without missing a beat, Skye said, “a hundred percent, yeah. I was just messaging with Nonpoint recently and they are working with one of our close friends, Francesca who does a lot of the art for us. So, there’s lots of connections you make. I mean, Butcher Babies we’ve toured with twice, so we’ve become great friends with them“. 

 

Matt soon followed with, “Yeah, we talk with them. Benji, we talk with a lot. Benji’s always messaged her. Roman and I talk online a lot from Jinjer. He’s a great guitar player, good guy” and going on to say, “you message a bit, all musicians are the same, you know, it’s short little messages, but when you get into each other’s towns, that’s when you kind of get to see each other properly, you usually come out to each other’s shows and spend some time together“.

 

Then Matt shared an experience of “when we come back to England, like one of the first guys we ran into who we’ve never played with, but we met through Butcher Babies, was Richard Shaw who plays with Cradle Filth. And he and I have been messaging ever since for like a couple of years, he comes out to the shows all the time and I hang out with him“. Matt concluded, “he’s an incredible guitar player, if you watch him online, he’s a really nice guy too, super nice guy“.

 

A photo of Skye “Sever” Sweetnam from the band Sumo Cyco to represent the topic of the article - An Exciting Chat With Sumo Cyco About Mental Health And Life In A Band

*Credit for the two photo’s used in this article goes to the
photographer Francesca Ludikar and the band Sumo Cyco

 

What have you been up to over the last 18 months, given that you couldn’t tour?

Both Skye and Matt agreed that there had been a lot of ups and downs over the last 18 months, talking about how they struggled to get motivated in the first few months, or as Matt put it, “like it even matters” when it came to working at the beginning of the pandemic. Skye and Matt struggled with the idea that it was somehow wrong to be focusing on work given what was going on in the world around them.

 

But in time, they got through it, and even with the restrictions of the pandemic, Skye and Matt managed to keep themselves busy. Skye and Matt were able to finish Sumo Cyco’s new album – Initiation, created more music videos, and worked on product development, adding new merch to their online store.

 

In fact, they’ve been working hard on their music videos because, as Matt stated, “the music videos were everything, they were so important to us, to put them out and try to connect” with their fans, especially since being signed to Napalm Records. At the time of our interview, Skye was working on Sumo Cyco’s seventh music video, adding to the extensive music video catalogue, which, according to Matt, “we have two more records before Initiation and about 23 videos“.

 

Using their time away from touring, Skye and Matt have channelled their artistic talents into making music videos, even though it meant working without a crew, leaving them to do the filming and editing themselves. Although that was nothing new, as Skye said “we’ve been doing all our own video production and direction since the beginning” having been around for 10 years, largely flying under the radar before signing to Napalm Records. So early on, Skye and Matt invested in some camera equipment and started making music videos themselves, learning as they went, with the quality improving with each video produced.

 

Due to Sumo Cyco’s love of culty B horror movies, Matt describes their music videos as, “culty horror, horror, comedy videos“, but of course, “no video works without the song. That’s for sure. You can still listen to a great song without a video, but a video without the music, you might as well turn it off“.

 

Where do you get your inspiration for your songs and your music videos?

While Matt had a simple answer for where he gets his inspiration from, rock n roll, Skye gets her creativity from several sources. The kinds of things that inspire Skye were what was currently going on in the world, a movie they’d watched, a podcast that got her thinking, or even from seeing certain imagery and art, and then her “fantasy mind takes a hold of that idea“. 

 

For Bystander, the song was influenced by the pandemic and referenced how Skye was “feeling like I’m hopeless“. A line from Bystander, if kept accurate, might have been “see the world through my cellphone” according to Matt. Instead, they re-imagined it so they’re “viewing it through a telescope the way a ship captain would“, as Skye so eloquently put it.

 

Has any of your work been inspired by mental health?

Skye told me how she writes “about the struggle within” with Matt stating that “there’s a lot of emotion in Skye’s writing“. Matt went on to say “we like our music to feel inspiring and upbeat, but I think that we’ve had some pretty serious topics about mental wellbeing. And I think it connects with people“. 

 

Songs like Fighter have worked like a mantra for Skye, “using music as a tool to find my confidence” which has helped her to process her emotions through Sumo Cyco’s music. Thus, when Skye is singing and telling everyone she’s a fighter, she’s “literally telling myself that so that I feel stronger and feel like a warrior“. Doing this has allowed Skye to “become the confident person that I can project to everyone“.

 

According to Matt, songs like Brave and Free Yourself were more than just songs that tell you to be brave, they were meant to “help people get through something when they need it“, and I think we all have songs that have done that for us.

 

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Have either of you ever experienced stage fright, and if you have, how did you overcome it?

Skye told her story of when she was a pre-teen taking part in music competitions where she would feel intimidated. And who wouldn’t be, standing there in a small room, no lights, just “stark white“, and all you see are people’s faces staring at you? Then you have five judges on the judges’ panel whose sole purpose is to judge you, “putting myself in that position to be judged like that, I was like, I am absolutely terrified“.

 

Skye reflected on the fact that at that age, 11-12, you don’t know if you are good or bad, but “being good at singing was so important to me that if someone had told me at 11 years old that I wasn’t good at it, it was going to shatter me“. Understandably, putting yourself into that position to be judged, was scary for Skye, because what these judges might have said could have burst her dream. Thus, Skye got over her stage fright through trial by fire, but it might have been a different story if those judges or anyone else had told her she couldn’t sing, “thank goodness those teachers didn’t tell me that I sucked“.

 

Matt on the other hand only reported experiencing stage fright once, also while he was a pre-teen. However, oddly, the stage fright didn’t happen during the times when Matt’s mom got him into local musicals. No, it happened when Matt was in “Burlington in Burlington, Ontario. We played this local theatre and I played David against the big giant“. However, because this local musical did so well, it featured on TV, which resulted in Matt’s mom believing he was a star.

 

This is where Matt’s run-in with stage fright happened when Matt’s mom took him to Toronto, Ontario, for a walk-in try out for an off-Broadway musical because they wanted ten-year-olds. Matt recalls that his mom got “me on this train, we drove into the city and I went into this huge, beautiful theatre, this huge theatre with a huge stage, and there’s like six people sitting in these seats. And there’s all these kids that have all done this before. They’ve all done these, even at their age, this is nothing to them. They all have their headshots. I don’t even have a headshot.”

 

So there’s Matt, on this big stage, in this huge theatre, and he’s asked to do something he’s never done before, something that he hasn’t prepared in advance to do, and that was dance, “And I was like, I don’t know how to dance. I’m 10. And my mom was like, go up there and kill it“. As Skye rightly pointed out about the other kids at the tryout, “they probably had a dance routine prepared“. So what is little Matt going to do? You guessed it, he “just pulled my arms out like this and just went around in circles for a minute“, yes, according to Matt, he did the airplane.

 

Unfortunately, Matt got a polite brush off, “they just told me it was okay. Thanks so much for coming” and then he left and cried outside. He cried, but not because of the tryout, but rather “because my mom didn’t listen to me when I told her that I didn’t want to go up there and do that“. It can be disappointing when parents don’t listen to you, but you couldn’t help but feel for little Matt, especially Skye, “that breaks my little heart for little Matt“.

 

As embarrassing as the experience was for Matt, it didn’t keep him from pursuing music, “it pushed me harder to play guitar and not do dance moves“. Or as Skye put it, “that’s when his dance career ended and this guitar-playing career started“, and I think we’re all better off for it because, without Matt, there would be no Sumo Cyco. So it’s a good thing that Matt was done being “Michael Jackson, I wanted to be Slash“.

 

One of the benefits of being young is not having all these hardwired self-doubts because they’re blessed with not knowing what it means to be good at stuff like this. As Skye put it, “that’s why kids are so free of inhibitions because they really think that they’re a good dancer, even though they’re acting silly“, well, everyone but Matt, apparently.

 

With the lockdowns easing in Canada, are you looking forward to touring again?

Without missing a beat, both Skye and Matt showed they were more than ready to tour again. Of course, 18 months without being able to tour had left Matt itching to get back on the road. It even had Matt wishing Sumo Cyco were performing at Download 2021 in the UK for its coronavirus test event, “Man, I wish I was there, that’d be so awesome“.

 

However, Matt doesn’t want to tour so badly that they’d put their fans at risk, “just because we want a tour so bad, we’re not going to have anybody being at risk“. So although Matt is “dying to get on stage” and although both Skye and Matt have had their first vaccination, there are still some obstacles in the way, not only with venues and their guidelines but also with a fellow band member. 

 

To keep you in the loop, Sumo Cyco will be touring in late October to early November in the UK as part of the Crusade of Blood UK Tour 2021, should everything work out with the restrictions.. If all goes well, Matt will be able to scatch that touring itch soon.

 

When you are on the road again, how do you avoid having falling outs with your other band members?

Skye shared with me what Sumo Cyco’s trick to a happy band life is, and that’s their family dynamic, “It’s kind of like Matt and I are like the parents and the other band members are like the kids. And so sometimes it’s what mom says goes or what dad says goes“. And according to Skye, “Matt has the tour manager stuff down so they could just be like, Hey Matt, like, when are we supposed to be on stage? And Matt knows the answers“. 

 

However, although the band has a family dynamic and Sumo Cyco are “not the kind of band that has blowout“, according to Matt, they can still have things they need to work through. Right now, Sumo Cyco’s drummer doesn’t feel safe about getting the coronavirus vaccine, even though as of today, 25.9% of the global population (Our World in Data) have had their first shot, which Skye and Matt are very understanding about.

 

However, as Matt said, “how are you going to travel?”, thus presenting a problem. But this isn’t a fight, “it’s just one of those things I’m going to have to deal with” as Sumo Cyco’s dad and unofficial band manager. It likely means they’ll have to tour with a different drummer, come October.

 

Matt was the first to say that even though they’re a pretty stable family and they want everybody to respect each other, he can be “pretty hard on people sometimes when we’re working hard“, but that always comes with respect. Thus, Sumo Cyco has never had a blowout like some other bands have had, so they seem to know what they’re talking about. 

 

According to Skye, “everyone kinda knows what they need to do to get along with each other and things that annoy Matt, we all know what those things are” which is helped by “if we just say at the beginning of the tour, hey, if we’re at a truck stop and you have to pee, sometimes we’re going to be moving on right away, so don’t just sit in the vehicle until like 20 minutes go by and then go pee, you’re holding everybody up“. A good example of outlining the boundaries before touring so you can avoid any potential problems before they happen. 

 

Waiting until you’re about to drive off when you’re on a long tour is understandably frustrating, especially if it happens a lot. Skye also had another tip for touring, because “little things like that can add up” such as “putting your name on phone chargers so that you’re not fighting over whose phone charger it is“.

 

However, there is one rule above all, according to both Skye and Matt, which is “everybody has to be respectful“.

 

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After a long tour or recording session, what do you do to unwind?

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, Skye and Matt ended up having more time than they planned to to unwind after their last tour came to an end in February 2019. Matt said, “Skye, at the end of the February tour, was like, I don’t want to see the road for like three months. I need time off for real, I need to mentally get a little bit more stable again because it can be really punishing every single day. You know, people are trying to give you drinks, you’re trying to sell merch, you’re trying to sing. It can get tiring. So she’s like, I need three months off. And then like, we got home and two weeks, the pandemic hit“. 

 

Usually, when they want to unwind, Skye and Matt just want a couple of days off to do normal things, but according to Matt, they’re not afraid to message “our manager, like mentally, we really need to just be away for four or five days and try not to think“. When you live and breathe your band as Skye and Matt do, Skye feels it’s important to know when to take a break and feel comfortable enough to ask for it, “it’s so intertwined to our identities, and we think about it so much. We’ll be every night at dinner, thinking about band stuff, it doesn’t leave our brain. We go to bed thinking about it and it can be so tiring when you start to realize like, hey, there’s a lot of other things in life other than just like, that“.

 

So when Skye and Matt aren’t touring, when they have some time off, they invite their friends to visit, like Francesca Ludikar, who does all the art for Sumo Cyco. But even when that’s the plan, it often doesn’t always work out like that, as Matt said, “we were like, why don’t you just come up to the cottage and like, just try not to talk about business. And all we ended up doing is drinking and talking about business still. Cause that’s just what we all do. We live for it. Right. So, it is what it is“.

 

When you’re trying to relax, what are your go-to songs or music?

Skye didn’t have an all-time favourite, instead, she goes through phases “depending on what I’m into at the moment. And recently I went back and started listening to the Cranberries because that was something that my parents played a lot around the house growing up and it’s really been giving me some good vibes of remembering my childhood and stuff. So I kind of recently rediscovered them“.

 

Along with the Cranberries, Skye and Matt have also been listening to the album Common Dreads by Enter Shikari and enjoying digging through their back catalogue so they can discover their earlier music. Matt also says he’s been listening to a lot of Calypso music lately, especially Harry Belafonte, while Skye had been enjoying an 80s revival, having a serious 80s jam to Huey Lewis and the News, Genesis, The Police, and The Clash.

 

Out of everything you’re listening to, what’s your favourite track at the moment?

For Skye, there were so many choices, not helped by the fact her preferences change, but she decided on anything by Enur, but she didn’t have any go-to relaxing song, per se.

 

For Matt, it was “anything from Harry Belafonte, a favourite track, that’s hard“. However, although Matt wasn’t able to pick a favourite track, he did remind me where I’d heard Harry Belafonte before, “Beetle Juice featured a couple of his early songs. And if you go back into that collection of that stuff, it’s just all great Calypso, fun tunes with some great lyrics and they just are perfect to jam to when you’re relaxing, they really are“.

 

Matt also said something that is likely pretty common for a lot of us, especially us metalheads, when he’s relaxing, Matt’s “still listening to something pretty heavy“. For example, yesterday, they were listening to the new Atreyu record cracked up to 11, and they “were quite relaxed“, according to Matt.

 

What’re your favourite tracks from your own Sumo Cyco music collection?

For Skye, it’s usually what they’ve been working on most recently that tops their favourite list from their own Sumo Cyco catalogue, “because we just finished a music video for Bad News. That was kind of my fav, but now we’re moving on to a new music video for the song called This Dance Is Doomed“. So now This Dance Is Doomed is Skye’s favourite track. Although it didn’t seem like Matt was aware that that was the next music video they would be working on, “I just found that out, an exclusive“.

 

For Matt, it was Cyclone, because “that’s my favourite one to want to play live“, but also Bystander and Run With The Giants, although for a second it felt like he was going to list the whole album, which Skye seemed to pick up on too, “he’s just going to go through the whole record“.

 

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What do you and the rest of you band to do to prioritize your self-care?

Skye had some self-care options she liked to use, such as doing yoga, using diffusers, and lighting candles, “one of my favourite things to do at the end of the night is to just reset the mood in the house. So I’ll put on the nice lights, the candles, the diffuser, and like, that’s my favourite to just zone out and have this kind of nice little relaxing space“.

 

Another important self-care tip from Skye was to have set times for work and relaxing, so “your brain doesn’t feel like it’s jumping all over the place“.

 

Matt, on the other hand, likes to “play guitar” and “put my phone down” as his way to protect his mental wellbeing. The best thing Matt does for his mental health is to put his phone on airplane mode and put the phone down, that’s because when you’re checking your social media numbers and scrolling and seeing everybody’s life, it “can get in your head in this weird way“. Which, became worse during the pandemic due to having too much time to scroll through his phone, “and I was like, man, this stuff is so stupid. It’s not healthy unless it’s bettering me. I don’t know why I’m looking at it, but yet I still was“.

 

So now Matt only picks up his phone when he wants to, not when he gets a notification. This means that Matt only answers messages when he wants to, so it could be a couple of days before he sends a reply. Matt also reflected on how he “lived at one point without a cell phone and I enjoyed it the more I think about it and how I lived. And, and when I wanted to hang out with a friend, I didn’t just text, I actually went and hung out with a friend and I spent real physical time with that person, and that doesn’t happen as much anymore“.

 

Skye also shared a memory from a time before mobile phones, “hanging out at the baseball field” and starting up conversations with other people hanging out there, and just getting into deep conversations and making new friends. These bonding moments just don’t seem to happen as much anymore, which makes Skye feel sad for those who’ll miss out on such experiences. 

 

But Matt acknowledges that they have to use social media as a band, it’s about “finding the balance“. Matt went on to say that to protect children from developing bad screen habits, “parents need to be really on top of making sure those kids try to understand that there’s more to life than just looking at a screen“. After all, it’s easier to avoid a habit-forming than trying to undo one.

 

Given that my blog is called Unwanted life, have you ever experienced or been made to feel like you were wanted?

Both Skye and Matt believe they’ve experienced that with getting hate when their new album (Initiation) dropped. Matt with quick to point out that a lot of the hate they get is misogyny aimed at Skye, which for Skye, “can bum me out because I’m such a huge fan of thinking that this community is a very accepting place to be” and for Matt, “they say something that’s so derogatory, that, for some reason, all day it’s rattling around my brain“.

 

Skye is very involved with Sumo Cyco’s social media accounts because she wants to make such Sumo Cyco is a success, so she sees a lot of negative comments, sharing an example, “this is terrible or I can’t believe people are liking this band“. Skye went on to say that people have the assumption that “no way Justin Bieber would read this“, but unlike artists like Bieber, Skye is committed to “growing our business and making sure that I know fans” so she does read a lot of it.

 

As Skye pointed out, “I think people don’t realize that it’s not only pushing me away, it’s pushing other females like myself who are looking at that video and saying like, oh, that’s cool that she’s doing that. And they read a comment of a guy saying how it’s, you know“. 

 

Matt said that Skye has been body-shamed, getting comments like, “remove her mole, and then she’ll start doing well in the music industry“, which as Skye rightly said, “that stops a young girl sometimes from thinking that she can do it too because somebody is even critiquing someone that’s giving it their best shot, you know? And that’s really sad to me” and “when you see all those comments, it makes you question that community that you love and want to be a part of“.

 

When Skye isn’t getting comments about her mole, then she’s getting comments about her weight, according to Matt, “Skye, you know, somebody like Skye, you need to go back to the gym. Like she’s gorgeous. Like why, why would you write that to her? Like if you don’t like the song, you don’t like the song you’re literally trying to hurt her. And that sucks. That stuff really sucks. It makes no sense at all“. 

 

Matt’s no stranger to being fat-shamed, and in some moments of weakness such comments have caused Matt to think “I better get losing some weight so this fucking guy likes me“. However, Matt’s able to remind himself that he “shouldn’t care about that shit. Fuck that person. I don’t care if he comes to the shows. There’s other people that care, and you’ve really got to tell yourself that over and over again“.

 

The problem is, we seem to be biased towards the negative, so even though Matt can see the positives massively outweigh the negatives, it’s the negatives that can still stick with him, “we put out this record right now, and we’re really excited about how much traction it’s got, we’ve had so much love. But like on Bystander, you’d go to our music video on YouTube, you know, it’s got like 600 or almost 600,000 views or something in the past couple months, it’s got like 16 or 17,000 likes. But those 2000 dislikes and hates outweigh it, mentally, no matter how much you have all these amazing people that love you and will write you and tell you your great, you still have to read through the shit and the shit will mentally screw you up more than any of that good stuff“.

 

Skye chimed in, “it’s like one step forward, two steps back” because “every time you see the hate, you take two steps back“.

 

Even though Sumo Cyco gets far more love than hate, Matt can’t help “wonder why you have to be so cruel” and was also quick to point out that “those people we don’t want as fans anyways, we already get that, but it’s still a shame to think they go out of their way to do that. That means they’re messed up in their heads. They’re bullies“. Regardless of that fact “it can mentally strain us no matter how well our band’s doing“. But Matt will remind Skye and himself that “even though they’re out there hating us, you know, they’re just never going to be our fan anyways. So fuck them, just weed through that shit, and we’ll take all the ones that like us“.

 

Skye added, “the type of people that have that in their hearts are more likely to comment and the people that are actually happy with their lives don’t“. Nevertheless, the comments from fans telling them their music video was awesome or that their show was great, get overshadowed by these people spreading hate, which gets Matt thinking, “why is this one comment bugging me so much? All these other people have nothing but love for us“.

 

Matt then shared a story about their neighbour their neighbour’s 15-year-old daughter, where the “15-year-old girl is online and she’s being body shamed. She’s 15-years-old. Like, leave her the fuck alone, People, it’s just not right. That’s not good for anybody’s mental health“. Matt told me how he and Skye “talked to her mom and her boyfriend’s a really good guy. They were all very supportive. She seems to be cool. I’ve told her if you’re reading this shit, that just means the kids are just trying to be bullies“.

 

But what can you do when posting stuff online? The only advice Matt could think of was “you’re going to have to be okay with seeing somebody try to tear you down. And you’ve just got to get your head in that space that it doesn’t matter. You’re trying to put it out there to reach the positive and you just have to weed through it“. Luckily, Matt told me that it seems the young lady is “doing ok“.

 

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How are you managing with having to weed through some worst comments on your videos?

Matt described how there’s been a couple of nights where Skye has questioned if she wanted to be around this community because of some of the comments Sumo Cyco had received. Unfortunately, we’re all prone to negativity bias, but Matt believes “we’re not around that community. We’re never been around that community. We don’t tour with that community, that community doesn’t come and see us play. They just want to come online and be assholes“. However knowing that doesn’t stop Sumo Cyco from experiencing some moments of weakness over such people and their negative comments, as Matt said, “you’re playing with our depression a bit“.

 

As Skye put it, “these people don’t need to affect my life whatsoever and I can dismiss this and choose to let this not affect me. And sometimes it is tough as artists. We are emotional beings and we approach things in an emotional way first and then kind of have to stop and step back and think logically about why you’re feeling a certain way“. 

 

But even with having to deal with trolls online, Matt will “Never give up on music, we’ll never do that. That’s for sure“.

 

To someone who has never heard of Sumo Syco, how would you describe yourselves?

Skye describes Sumo Cyco as “like getting your head ripped off by a cheerleader” although she also went on to say “that we approach things is very camp and fun and light-hearted way. And we want people to party and have a good time. But we also have this artistic underneath where we really do care about the music and the lyrics“.

 

Matt on the other hand had a simpler answer, “I call it whatevercore, we play whatever we want“, adding “we just love so much music, we stick it all together, and if you like it, you’ll like it, If you don’t, see ya, that’s how it is“.

 

So there you have it. Once again I’d like to thank Skye and Matt from Sumo Cyco for doing this interview. Skye and Matt are great, as is their band, Sumo Cyco, so please check them out at one of the links below.

 

You can find Sumo Cyco at the following places

 

 

The Interview Videos

 

If you’d like to check out the original recording of the interview or any of the cuts I made, you can do so below, enjoy!

 

 

As always, leave your feedback about my Sumo Cyco interview in the comments section below. Also, feel free to share your experiences of band life and mental health in the comments section below as well. Don’t forget to bookmark my site and if you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications for new articles by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom right corner.

 

Lastly, if you’d like to support my blog, you can make a donation of any size below. Until next time, Unwanted Life readers.

 

 

 

34 thoughts on “An Exciting Chat With Sumo Cyco About Mental Health And Life In A Band

  1. Good for you to have a chance of interviewing this group. I zoomed in on the fact that Skye likes The Cranberries because I love their music!
    They give good advice on dealing with the upset caused by trolls.
    I’ve never heard of Sumo Cyco but I’m interested enough to check then out.

  2. I got to say, every time I read your blog, I learn a lot of new things and I am lovin’ it! I have never heard of this band but they seem awesome and starting out at 14 years old is quite amazing. This is such a great interview!

    Thank you for sharing about them. I would have missed the opportunity to learn about this band if I didn’t read this post, I am glad I did. So, thanks a lot!

    • I had no idea what I wanted to do until I was in my 20s, and even now, I’m back to being fairly unsure. To be that sure at such a young age and then making it happen, is awesome

  3. Great post! I’ve never heard of this band but I really do believe you don’t get what you don’t ask for, and it’s great that you got this opportunity to interview one of your favourites. I’m going to check out their songs now 🙂

  4. An exciting interview to be sure! I love the passion here, the dreams, and the lifestyle. I love also the way the band and each individual has followed their dreams, such as Skye leaving the big stage to tour America in a van. Self-care thrown into the mix of a busy and bustling life makes it a unique and personal experience key to continued growth and passion. Love Matt’s advice on how he handles internet trolls too!
    Thanks for sharing an amazing sneak peek into the life of Sumo Cyco. <3

  5. I never heard of Sumo Coyo, but it was great to get to know them from this interview! Checking out their music now! So glad to read that they all followed their dreams and created the band! Thanks for sharing x

  6. What a great interview, kudos for getting this and for introducing them over to me, I shall most definitely look them up. Nice work.

  7. awesome interview! it’s interesting to hear the perspectives of musicians and the pandemic. luckily we have other ways to showcase a band’s music ie. music videos & merchandise stores. i will def check out their music!

  8. I’ve not heard of this band before, but good for you for going out and getting what you wanted from the interview, It sounds like a really in depth & interesting chat. You’re absolutely right, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. I could maybe take a leaf out of your book!

  9. I must admit I’d never heard of this group before but I found the interview very interesting. I love how open and relaxed it was, opening up about how covid lockdowns had affected them personally and as a group. Although I found reading about their tour plan for the future exciting I found reading their understanding and objectives for their music so expressive and positive. A pleasure to read.

  10. Like getting your head ripped off by a cheerleader???! I’m…. intrigued. Great interview and good job tying in mental health. Some people love to romanticize of life in a band, but great reminder that there are times when it isn’t exactly living the dream, so to speak. I am gonna check them out!

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