Interview: Michael Del Pizzo of Sunflower Dead

It\’s been a hell of a week for you guys,  The new album \”Time to Get Weird\” drops tomorrow. Tell me how excited you guys are to get this record out to the public tomorrow?

  I am excited even though it\’s only going out on digital right now in North America but we\’re working on the world wide physical release.  I\’m really excited to have people hear it because we\’ve been taking our  time with putting out and getting everything in order.  It\’s exciting to finally  give it to the fans that have been waiting for it. We did a little preview the other night people seemed pretty excited about it so were all stoked!  

Coming off the cell tower records, what did you guys want to really accomplish with \”It\’s Time to Get Weird?\”

 Well you know, with touring so much, we really learned who we were as a band  and what we did was made notes the whole time that we were touring of what worked, what didn\’t work and where we wanted to go. When we got home and started to write the record and got with the producers, we told them exactly what we wanted and the direction we wanted to go. They helped us get that and helped make it what it is. It  is a very focused and  polished version of who we were. We wanted to really get across that even though we\’re dead serious, we\’re also having a lot of fun and we like to walk the line like between being serious and having fun. It\’s hard to take yourself 100% serious we when you painted up what we are. Yet we\’re not a joke band be either


You have a definite appearance to the band, yet you\’re also very serious as well. How hard was it to find the balance with the seriousness, the fun and the appearance of the band?

It\’s not hard for us at all because what you\’re seeing is such an extension of our five personalities. We all are kind of funny and yet also, there\’s a no kidding around aspect as well. I think it took us about two tours on the first album cycle for us to figure out who we really were as a band. We kind of knew, then you come out one night and then see people react and think hmmm. Then you do something out of the ordinary and we just kept going with it and our fans seemed to appreciate it.  

Can you tell me a little bit about where the idea for the appearance came about and how important that is for the band.

 The idea of it came when we got the guys together.  We were writing the songs and in the beginning we didn’t want to be another band in jeans and t-shirts.  That was a different part, we just really wanted to entertain people and we wanted it to be known that that was our focus. I think the people still get confused a little bit with the look at us, they think that were trying to be this serious, dark and evil band. My look was based off of the Thirty Days of Night character. I love that vicious Vampire look. We actually went to our first photo shoot not really knowing what we were going to look like, thankfully… it worked.  

Can you tell me a little bit the song \”Dance With Death\” specifically?

Originally, it was a piano ballad that I had written for the first record. On our last tour for the first record I had written some chord progressions and actually started humming Dance With Death over the chords and the lyrics popped in my head and I quickly realized that this song was no longer a ballad. I took it to the guys and we all just loved it. I knew instantly that I wanted it to be the 1st single off the new record. It just set up our record well and it means basically that there\’s no obstacle in our way that can stop us from achieving what we want to achieve. That is the metaphor of dancing with death.  

One song that sticks out to me is \”Nothing\”  It\’s feel like you did like the perfect spot on the record too because it just shifts gears so well you almost don\’t expect it. Can tell me about where that song came from?

That’s one of my favorite songs on the record. I wrote it when I was 19 and then I re-wrote it for this record. I really thought we could achieve a song like Evanescence\’s \”My Immortal.\” The producers got where I was wanting to go with it. I don’t know what it is about that song but it\’s really special to me. The theme of it is moving on from your past or finding something that helps you move on from the past. I am really proud of it.

 How did the collaboration with Jonathan Davis of Korn come about?

Right after we finished with the new record we started meeting with labels about releasing it and someone from one of the labels suggested since we were touring with Korn in Europe to see if he\’d sing on one of the songs. Oddly enough, we asked him and he agreed to do it. Actually, he is going to do a dub step remix of the song also so there will be three versions of the song.  

 Where did the whole accordion thing come from?

I bought an accordion when I was younger out of boredom. I bought some books and taught myself how to play it. It just really felt right in my hands. I played it in another band too. When we started this band, Jamie convinced me to play it. We open up the album with the accordion and I look at it like, when you hear that music you know that you\’re listening to \”Sunflower Dead.\”

What does \”It\’s Time to Get Weird\” say to you about being a songwriter?

This record says to me as a whole that Sunflower Dead is groping for it and we\’re not fucking around!  As a songwriter, I just know that this is the best thing that I\’ve ever been a part of in my entire life.