Paul Sacchetti, founding guitarist of Schenectady rap-metal outfit Dead-Lift, has had to scale back his rock ’n’ roll dreams over the course of the band’s 10-year history.
When he first formed the band in 2003 with drummer Tony DiSorbo, he had high hopes of breaking into the national music scene. The band came close, building a buzz around its 2006 debut album “The Struggle” and its 2008 follow-up, “Poor Man’s Anthem,” and opening for such bands as Korn, Powerman 5000, Deftones, Stone Sour, Flyleaf and Madball, among others.
The band’s momentum began to slow in 2009 when DiSorbo and bassist Joe “Hollywood” Reilly quit, leaving Sacchetti, vocalist Scott Thompson and guitarist Brian Kurtz to carry on with a series of drummers and bass players. One of the subsequent bassists ended up stealing most of the band’s equipment.
“That was almost the end of the band,” Sacchetti said. “My stuff was all stuck at his house. He was in a couple other bands, and he sold their equipment on them, so there were three bands that were affected by this one guy’s drug habit, it ended up being. Almost three bands ceased to exist. It was pretty interesting — we had to go through court, and in the end we just ended up buying more stuff.”
Dead-Lift, opening for Green Jelly
WITH: Protocol Seven, Satan Place, Sydney Funnel and Pariah
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday
WHERE: Bogie’s, 297 Ontario St., Albany
HOW MUCH: $12 (doors); $10 (advance)
MORE INFO: 482-4393, www.bogiesny.com
Back in shape
With Reilly’s return to the fold earlier this year and the addition of Joe Hoxie on drums, Dead-Lift is starting to get back into fighting shape. It has a high-profile gig opening for comedic hard rockers Green Jelly on Friday night at Bogie’s, alongside fellow locals Protocol Seven, Satan Place, Sydney Funnel and Pariah, and work continues on the band’s long-awaited third album, which has already been two years in the making.
But with everyone in the band married with kids and careers, not to mention the changing musical landscape, the goal has changed from making it in the music business to just having fun. As Sacchetti puts it, “This is our Tuesday night bowling league, or our Thursday night dart league.”
“Before we were actually trying to make it, go somewhere, do something with it,” he said. “After we lost the key members from the second album, we had to step back and look at the situation and say, ‘You know, I don’t think it’s gonna happen anymore.’ We had to decide if we wanted to go on anymore, and what we decided to do was to keep going and do what we were doing, but not go so crazy with it. Before, every day I had to do something with the band, send a press kit to this person, this, that and the other thing. Now, whenever we get a chance to do something cool, we’ll do it.”
These days, the band only practices once a week, on Sundays, and plays the occasional local show. At times, adjusting to lowered expectations has been difficult for Sacchetti and the rest of the group.
“In the beginning it was hard to accept that we’re not ‘the band’ anymore, because back in 2005, 2006, 2007, we were, quote-unquote, ‘the band,’ ” Sacchetti said.
“We had a CD release [for ‘Poor Man’s Anthem’] with 300, 400 people there, probably more — we packed them in at Northern Lights, and I’m sure people were thinking, ‘Who the hell is this band?’ But we busted ass to get there; we were winning battle of the bands and stuff like that. It was all cool while it lasted, and I’m glad it happened, but we’re always up for something big again.”
Reilly’s return has been a major energizing factor within the band. He hadn’t played any bass in the interim period and needed some time to catch up, but now that he has been fully reintegrated the band is once again writing new material.
“He was there since the beginning — he came in in early 2003 with Scott, the singer,” Sacchetti said. “Those two guys were friends, and me and Tony, the original drummer, were friends back in the day, so it was pretty cool; it all came together. Joe is very — not eccentric, but more artistic than I am in writing songs. Mine are pretty basic rock, metal songs, and he always added these little finesse stops and starts, runs, transitions and stuff like that, that kind of made our sound what it is. When he left, our songs were just straight-up more hard rock and metal; they weren’t as melodic as the stuff he would add to it.”
The band is recording at Crunchmaker Studio in Coeymans with Chris Costakis, drummer for Protocol Seven. So far, five songs have been tracked with Costakis, who was actually one of the first vocalists to try out for Dead-Lift, and has filled in on bass with the group before.
“I never thought I would see that kid again, and here we are 11 years later, recording in the studio,” Sacchetti said. “He’s helped me out with my band — we did our last CD release with him, the last one in 2008 with Driven Further, and now we’re playing this show. . . . It’s weird how everything came around to the first guy we tried out as singer; it’s pretty wild. It’s a small scene, I guess.”