In this age of technological advancement, and the amazing tools available to musicians, we’d just like to remind you that Sweet Cheese is a LIVE band.
While many local and national acts choose to use digital audio workstation software to play pre-recorded or pre-sequenced music that they either mime to, or play along to (“playing to backing tracks” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backing_track), we do not. They do this to play keyboard parts when they don’t have a keyboard player, play extra guitar parts when they only have one guitarist, have backing vocals when only person sings, or they would rather dance than play music. We do not “pipe in” any additional guitars, keys, or vocals. The guitars, bass, keys, drums, and vocals are all played by the 5 guys on stage, live.
You may hear the occasional arpeggiator (a function of a keyboard to play a series of notes randomly or in sequence in a specific rhythmic pattern) or sample or sample loop (a short digital recording that can be played from a keyboard or electronic drum pad), or silly set intro music (longer samples), but they are all triggered on instruments, effectively being played live as synthesizer patches.
All the piano, organ, horn, flute, string, and synth sounds are played with our fingers on keyboards, not by a computer.
The acoustic guitars and sitar you hear is coming from an actual guitar that can be made to sound like an acoustic, or a banjo.
We use digital effects like echoes, reverbs, things that go swirl, and even harmonizers to double parts, but the parts are played live, and the sound changes are made with our feet on our guitar processors. We’re not using amps on stage these days because guitar processors have gotten to the point where we don’t need amplifiers. It simplifies our setup and helps us get a better mix for the audience with the effects processors going straight into the mixer.
You may see phones on stage. They are used to manage our in ear monitors and stage mix, so we can hear ourselves properly, but we are not playing MP3s or streaming music with them (except in between sets when we’re taking a break). You may see us playing with the funny battery packs that connect to our in ear monitors, but again, it’s just so we can hear ourselves. The guy running the mixer is changing instrument and microphone volumes depending on who is singing and who has a guitar or keyboard lead. He’s not running music playback for us.
If other bands choose to play along to pre-recorded songs, or mime along, that’s their business, but you won’t see us do it. You’ll hear us in all our raw glory, mistakes and all, but we’re doing our best with what we have in order to play fun music and play with an energy that you can only get from the real thing. We challenge ourselves by playing a lot of stuff that has a lot of production, overdubs, studio musicians, and craziness. It’s hard work, and we might not always nail it, but we think we get pretty close.
We hope to see you soon!