Interview with Sugar Red Drive’s Archit Tripathi

Sugar Red Drive has been burning up the radio charts with their single “One More Time” from their recently release self-titled debut album.  Lead vocalist Archit Tripathi sat down with us to discuss what’s happening with Sugar Red Drive.

Type 3 Media: How did you like playing at Edge Fest in Altamont, New York?

Archit Tripathi: It was really great. The bands playing that day were just kick-ass. It was a lot of fun for us, we had a great day. There were a lot of people out. Even though we went on early we still got to meet a lot of people and see a lot of great bands. I’d love to go back there again.

Sugar Red Drive

Sugar Red Drive

T3M: Which band did you like seeing play at the show?

AT: Ever since I heard about the line-up that would be there I got really psyched-up for the Toadies. All the other bands are great, don’t get me wrong. I used to listen to them and I’ve been a fan for a while. They’ve got a new song and everything. They were great on stage.

T3M: It was cool to see how many people from the other bands came over to watch their set.

AT: Did you see all the crowd surfers? I was standing near the stage for The Toadies and for Black Label Society. There was one girl I saw come over the barricade like four times in a row.

T3M: Tell me about the new album?

AT: Today (August 18th) is the official release of our new album. We’ve been selling it at shows and it’s been on iTunes since March or so, but it just got into stores. We were at Best Buy today doing a meet and greet.  It’s in Best Buy, FYE, Coconuts and Strawberries. We’re very excited.

T3M: How has the album been received so far?

AT: It’s been pretty good. Obviously since this is a brand new band not that many people know who we are just yet. We’re still making a name for ourselves. Everywhere we go, everyone we play to, everyone who listens to the CD, or all the people we add on MySpace… it’s always a positive response. It’s been very good in that aspect.

T3M: Didn’t you meet these guys through MySpace?

AT: I was going to Vassar College and I really wasn’t digging the music scene on campus. It’s a little more indie-hipster oriented, and I’m a rocker. I got really sick of trying to find musicians and just not finding anybody. I started putting up ads for a singer looking for a rock band, answering anybody who had the kind of stuff I was looking for. Somewhere along the way our paths crossed, and it’s been history ever since.

T3M: That’s a great way to connect. I think that’s the first time I’ve heard of using MySpace for that.

AT: They have this great classified section called Musician XChange where people put up equipment for sale and also wanted ads. There’s a whole lot of bands who are like ‘we want a guitar player.’ It’s really cool and under-rated. Not that many people know about it.

T3M: What was the recording process like for the new album?

AT: We went to Applehead Studios in Woodstock, New York. The guys up there, Mike and Chris, are just amazing and extremely talented. They have great equipment. We went in there and saw the studio and thought it looked so nice. We were like ‘alright cool, I’m going to like working here because it’s a nice environment.’ It was our first time recording a full-length serious album. We actually knocked this thing out quickly. We recorded the first five songs in about two weeks, then mixing and mastering about a day or so for each of those.

T3M: You have an unusual background. Your father was an Indian diplomat and you traveled around the world a lot. I recently read an article about Indian musicians in American music, and how there’s only few recognizable artists, like the bass player from No Doubt (Tony Kanal) or the guitar player from Flyleaf, (Sameer Bhattacharya) to name a couple.

AT: The guitar player from Flyleaf is Indian? I did not know that, that is very cool. Well hey, he’s a guitar player, the other guy is a bass player, I’m a singer, maybe if we can find an Indian drummer we can start a new project.

I think in general you’re starting to see more minorities and different ethnicities getting into the business. You can’t stop good music. To put up certain boundaries… If you enjoy something, you enjoy something. Just go out and do it. I don’t really think about it too much, I just focus on writing good music.

T3M: Tell me about your upcoming tour.

AT: We are co-headlining with a band called Papercut Massacre, signed to Wind-up Records. We’re going to be going out with them in September for about a month-and-a-half. It’s called the Operation Rock Tour. The great thing about this tour is that it’s geared to the people in the armed forces. We’re trying to play in towns that have a military presence or have a military base nearby. We’ll have reduced ticket prices for the men and women in uniform. It’s our way of bringing a little entertainment to the troops.

T3M: Is this tour going across the entire U.S.?

AT: Right now we’re doing mostly the southern states and mid-west. Unfortunately we wont be hitting the west coast on this tour.

T3M: The single “One More Time” is hitting the charts right now. What’s next for Sugar Red Drive?

AT: Just to keep doing what we’re doing. Get more radio stations to play us, keep trying to go out there and play shows, make fans at every show, shake hands and meet everybody. Step-by-step we want to take over the world.

T3M: And for the long haul.

AT: The one thing we’ve all had in common, before we met each other and since we were kids, is that we wanted to be rock stars. We had these idols, like Aerosmith and Guns N’ Roses… well, Guns N’ Roses for longevity I don’t know so much. But in terms of success, we want to be the best, and we want to be the best forever.