The Soundtrack Of My Life

By Ronnie Shapiro Stoeckel

When you are the ultimate superfan of independent artists worldwide , you deserve your own page . Welcome to the SUPERFAN page and the newest edition to our team , Ronnie Shapiro Stoeckel .
She is going to bring you the independent music scene from the fan perspective .
The soundtrack of my life began to take shape when I was a very young girl . My mom always would tell me that when I was around age 3 , I played my Partridge Family and Carpenters albums until they wore out . ( I won ’ t lie – I still do .) I would walk around singing “ Close to You ,” well , as much as I could as a three year old . My mom is a fantastic piano player , and taught me how to play as a kid . Of course , I wanted to be good immediately and was very impatient when it came to practicing , so the lessons didn ’ t last long . I didn ’ t want to do the work ! ( See my article in the previous issue .) But how to read music stuck with me . As I got older , I would listen to the radio during any free time I had . I had a little transistor
radio , and I ’ d sit there with it up to my ear , switching stations until a song I liked came on . ( To this day I still switch stations constantly until I find a song that suits me , much to the chagrin of the passengers in my car .) This was the 70s , and the pop music from the decade is what I gravitated towards . To this day , “ Rhinestone Cowboy ,” “ Convoy ,” “ Afternoon Delight ,” and many others still have a home on my iPod . Don ’ t worry , there ’ s plenty of rock on there too ! At that time , my dad would sit in the living room and play banjo every night . “ Foggy Mountain Breakdown ” and “ Cripple Creek ” are two bluegrass songs I can pick out when
played . Bluegrass is my dad ’ s go to genre .
In elementary school we always did little musicals . I was in the chorus for “ Oliver ” and “ Oklahoma .” That ’ s when my love of Broadway music started . One of the first albums I remember my mom buying me was the soundtrack to “ Oklahoma .” When I got a little older , I asked for a boombox . Cassettes were the in “ thing ,” replacing the 8 track tapes we had . I was so excited that year ( I want to say it was 1980 ) when I opened up the box with the picture on the front ! However , to my disappointment , inside this box was nothing but 2 pictures . One of my Mom and one of my Dad , each
“ To this day I still switch stations constantly until I find a song that suits me , much to the chagrin of the passengers in my car .!”
holding the boombox that was supposed to be in that box ! Such jokesters , right ? Off I went with my new toy . I got some blank cassettes and hid in my room . The first song I ever recorded on that radio was “ Centerfold ” by J . Geils Band . All of you who are around my age remember the drill , sitting there by the radio , waiting for your favorite song to come on so you can record it .
The frustration of waiting for the DJ to stop talking drove us crazy , right ? You would anxiously await the moment you could hit the record button ( if I remember correctly , it was the play button and the record button at the same time .) Of course I then started buying cassettes . I don ’ t remember what my first one was , but I do know I have quite the collection that I can ’ t play on anything anymore ! As I got older , music became more than just something to listen to . It became a stress reliever , a therapist , a friend , and the best medicine . Going into Junior High school was tough . I ’ m going to get very real for a minute here , uncomfortably real , but here goes . I wasn ’ t as thin and petite as most of the other girls my age . As I am now , I was a bit on the chubby side , and the other kids
never let me forget it . Music became a way for me to hide from the bullying . It let me hide my tears , become a superhero ,
become someone else . In my fantasy world I was a rock singer , a Broadway star , or a pop singer , depending on my mood . Heading farther into my teens , the rock star in me started coming out . Van Halen , AC / DC , Led Zeppelin , they were what I started listening to , and doodling on my notebooks . When the DJ on my local radio station said if you play Led Zeppelin ’ s “ Stairway to Heaven ” backwards you would hear a Satanic message , you better believe I went into my room turned off the lights and listened for the devil . I also got real scared when I thought I did hear something so the lights went back on real quick ! So much for me becoming the stereotypical devil worshiping rock music listening to brooding teenager ! When I was in high school , things did get a little better .
( Continued on page 61 )
Page 27
LOOKOUT ARTIST HAMILTON, ONTARIO QUARTET SIGNS SMART DEAL WITH NAPALM RECORDS. DEBUT LABEL AVAILABLE NOW. In 2011, a band out of the port city of Hamilton, Ontario, singer Skye Sweetnam and guitarist Matt Drake form the punk-style heavy metal band Sumo Cyco. Since 2012, the band has toured consistently with the likes of The Birthday Massacre, Nonpoint and Jinjer, forming a loyal fan base In 2020, the band signed with legendary Napalm Records and are scheduled to release their label debut “Initiation” in May. In Scott Nocon’s debut interview for Total Order, the band talks about the new release and how they were able to weave the frustration of the pandemic into the writing of the new album. This is an exclusive Noconsideration Radio/99WNRR interview with Skye Sweetnam and Matt Drake from Sumo Cyco. Would the track “Bystander” even exist if it wasn’t for the pandemic? Even though you are a heavy band you have a lot of fun with quirky looks and colors. What was the origin of the concept? SUMO CYCO: No, it wouldn’t exist. I mean, it was written completely out of frustration of exactly what you’re talking about. Just feeling like you want your life to move forward. You have these goals, you have these dreams, everything was supposed to be a certain way. We had to change the music video concept because of being in lockdown. Absolutely everything, the entire release strategy of what we were going to do with the record and how long we had to work on the record changed. The world’s a victim to it. Every single person. For us it was obviously frustrating. It just made sense for our first single to be the song “Bystander” because it just felt like we were sitting on the sidelines half the time just racking our brains. Everything changed when we came back from tour- ing in January and February. We’re like all excited, we had just signed a record deal. We’re all ready to go guns blazing and get back on the road. We wanted to get this record out as soon as possible. And then, we had no idea what’s going on. We were in limbo for a while. SUMO CYCO: It’s awesome that you pay attention to that and that you can respect that. We’re a bit of an oddball kind of band. What we do, some people just really hate. When we started this, we knew we we’re gonna have certain people that are going to really get it, and grasp what we’re trying to do and have fun with this. We’re all about bringing ock’n’roll back to fun. I remember at the beginning of the band, trying to not put as much color into my stuff thinking that that’s kind of what I needed to reinvent myself as, a bit darker. And I’m like, I can’t do this, I just love colors too much. I love color. (Continued on Next Page) Sumo Cyco FB Sumo Cyco Insta Sumo Cyco Site Sumo Cyco Music All photos by Francesca Ludikar Page 57