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How Sweet? Talking Straight Edge with Dave Cronin of 2*Sweet

Written by: Zoe

Exploring Straight Edge in Pop-Punk

Minor Threat. Gorilla Biscuits. Chain Of Strength. These are the bands that everyone expects straight edge kids to be listening to. And while I have a lot of respect for hardcore music, it’s never really been my thing—I prefer catchier, lighter stuff like emo and pop-punk.

Discovering a Straight Edge Musician in Pop-Punk

Since I don’t dabble in hardcore, I hardly ever meet musicians who are straight edge. But I recently found out that the bassist of one of my favorite pop-punk bands, 2*Sweet, is straight edge. I knew I had to interview Dave Cronin (2*sweet’s bassist) to find out more about what straight edge meant to him.

The Unique Sound of 2*Sweet

But before we talk edge, I have to give you some background on 2*Sweet. While I described them earlier as pop-punk, that doesn’t really do 2*Sweet justice. It’s more like catchy hooks mixed with a rock style that still manages to be loud and make you want to jump around and pump your fist in the air. Sure, there’s no screaming or windmill kicks, but there’s a punky, fast style paired with sing-along choruses that will get stuck in your head—and you won’t even mind. With influences from Megadeth and Danzig to Saves The Day and Lifetime, you know you’re in for a wild ride!

Behind the Name: The Origin of 2*Sweet

2*Sweet (the name comes from a joke “based on what Kevin Nash used to say on World Chamionship Wrestling as a member of the nWO Wolfpac” says Dave) is a 5 piece from Chicago with an EP to their name and a full-length in the works. Having toured all across the nation, they are ready to take over and bring the real deal back to the scene.

Life on the Road as a Straight Edge Musician

But what I really wanted to know from Dave (who’s been straight edge for almost 7 years) is was what it’s like to be straight edge and surrounded by the rest of the band—who aren’t. Obviously, it’s not so strange—many straight edge kids don’t have any sXe friends or parents who drink. But to be on the road with non-edgers 24-7, hanging out sober while they’re all drinking at the venue’s bar? While I know the rest of the guys in 2*Sweet are totally amazing, it still must get tough.

Not so, says Dave. “I’ve been friends with and surrounded by non-edge people my whole life.  Sure, it can get annoying when everyone is loud and drunk and I just want to sleep, or if everyone else is too incapacitated and I have to drive through the night.  But, the joke’s on them when they pass out and I put Taco Bell hot sauce on their faces and beards.”


The Straight Edge Lifestyle and Its Influence on Music

But taco sauce pranks aside, I also wanted to know whether Dave thought that being straight edge affected his music. We’ve all heard musicians proclaim that they can only write well when intoxicated, but what does this mean for sXe musicians?

“Since I have been playing in relatively serious bands, I have been straight edge, so I really don’t know what it’s like to write a sweet riff while stoned, or pen some self-deprecating lyrics while drunk.” Said Dave. “And while I can’t say the same for the other song writers in my band, every lyric I have written and every bass line I write (or that Andy tells me how to play) has been done while sober.  And because I think straight edge is a very positive thing, of course I believe that it has a positive affect on the band and the music we write.  But at the same time, just because I’m straight edge doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy playing sick riffs that sound like Black Sabbath or Queens of the Stone Age.”

Check Out 2*Sweet

Do yourself a favor and check out 2*Sweet. 2*Sweet are on tour for the rest of the year so look out for Dave and the rest of the taco sauce faced gang (Justin Pence, Andy Nelson, Peter Grossmann, and Dan Polak) in your town.

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