Today, I got the chance to interview Mark Goodwin, the hard-hitting drummer of renowned group Sick Puppies and ask some hard-hitting questions.

PS: First of all, I would like to thank you for giving us some of your time to speak with us today.
MG: No problem.

PS: The tour kicks off in a couple of weeks in Texas. Does that have anything to do with your new vocalist being from the rocket city, or is it just a coincidence?
MG: Actually it’s just a coincidence. I think the second show is in Houston, but it wasn’t really planned that way. It’s just how the tour was booked.

PS: What are you doing to get ready for the tour? Is it constant practice, or relaxing to the max, or something in between?
MG: We’ve actually been really busy. We just did three shows in Alaska. One in Fairbanks, one in Anchorage, it was really cool. We had an hour and a half set time. We played three or four new ones, some old ones, some singles and just had fun.

The new Sick Puppies - photo by Goldy LocksThe new Sick Puppies – photo by Goldy Locks

PS: So of course I have the obvious- About Bryan Scott. Did you find him on craigslist or does that only happen once to a band?
MG: No, actually Bryan reached out to us. He contacted Emma on Facebook and kind of met through there. He started messaging through that, and we just kind of took it from there. We met up, he came out to L.A. and jammed, it just worked and we went from there.

PS: While touring, is it just endless hours cramped up on a bus followed by hours of sound checks before the shows, or do you actually get to enjoy the cities you visit?
MG: I try to enjoy the city. I like to go for a walk and go eat lunch or whatever in cool places, I do a little research before sometimes, to find a cool place to eat, stuff like that. I usually have a bike when we’re on tour. The shows are usually end of the afternoon, evening night thing, so during the day we have time to do what we want.

PS: Do you feel that living together like that tends to strain or strengthen the relationship between the band members?
MG: It can be a little of both. It’s been both in the past. It depends on who you are with. We have a crew we’ve been with for a really long time, and we get all along really well. Considering the grind, not everything is positive or inspiring, but there is definitely a better vibe now, for sure. But it can get tough, sometimes when you’re out for eight, ten, twelve weeks at a time it’s hard, but for the most part it’s awesome.

PS: Our tour stop happens to be between two of the biggest hard rock events in the state- Which do you prefer? The festival atmosphere or something a little more intimate, like the Social?
MG: You know, they both have their strengths, but for me, I guess I like the festival setting, with the outdoors, during the day is cool, but the close shows is what most of the shows are going to be on the tour. They have a great vibe, too. You get that more intimate setting, you can interact with the crowd a lot better, things like that. I mean, there’s great things about both of those environments, it’s nice to change it up, though. To go from a big crowd to a small club. It’s cool.

PS: When you’re at the festivals do you get to enjoy the other bands’ sets or do you just cool off backstage? What do you like to do?
MG: We’re not a very big band or anything, so we’re usually on pretty early, so we get to walk here and there after our set. We’re friends with a lot of the other bands too, and it’s nice to be able to chill with them. It works out good, you know, it’s kind of like a family reunion.

PS: Rockfest and Welcome To Rockville are headlined by some of the biggest names in heavy metal right now- Are you a big metal fan, and is there anyone you hope to meet?
MG: We’re fans of metal. I grew up listening to Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax, all that stuff, definitely looking forward to that, and the chance of meeting them. We’re really big fans of Bring Me The Horizon, but I don’t think they’re on that date.

PS: Bucket list: Is there anything you would die happy knowing you’ve done- professionally or personal?
MG: Hmmm. I mean professionally, I feel every band wants to be seen around the world. We want to take it to the next level. We made an album that we’re super proud of, and that’s my dream, just take the band to the next level. That would be it.

PS: When and where can fans buy the new album?
MG: I can’t say exactly, but it’s going to be in May sometime. There’s a video out right now, it’s going to be on the radio, and we’re excited.

If you haven’t already, check out their newest single- Stick To Your Guns here: 

PS: Is there anything you want our readers to know that I haven’t asked already?
MG: The tour dates and our website, , there’s going to be an upgrade available. There will be a set before the show, they are going to get a bunch of goodies: Like a duffel bag, a lighter, a poster, all that stuff.

Mark Goodwin, everybody. Come see them on their Hard Drive Live Tour with some other awesome acts: Red Sun Rising, Stitched Up Heart, and Hudson at the Social, downtown Orlando, on April 30th or don’t miss them April 29th at 98Rockfest in Tampa, or Welcome to Rockville in Jacksonville on May 1st if you are the proud owner of any of those tickets.

and buy it at iTunes: 

Check out the upgrade Mark mentioned here: