Hailing from Hanover, PA Sugar Hysteria is the brainchild of lead singer/rhythm guitarist Gwyneth and lead guitarist Chris Ellis. In August of 2018, Chris began searching for bandmates through social media. Gwyneth - a former schoolmate - took a chance and responded. Although their musical tastes differed, something clicked for them. Combining Chris's love for classic rock in the vein of AC/DC and Kiss and Gwyneth's angsty pop-punk roots from early Paramore and Avril Lavigne, the two began their search for a rhythm section. By 2019, Sugar Hysteria emerged on the local scene playing a mix of original and cover songs at smaller venues and bars.
After a series of coincidences, Jon Spielman joined Sugar Hysteria in June of 2020 replacing the original bassist. Jon's old-school punk style - reminiscent of the Ramones and Sex Pistols - brought a raw edginess to the band. Sugar Hysteria's sound was taking shape and by 2021 the band was building momentum playing larger shows and regional festivals, winning competitions, and working on their debut EP. Despite this growth, the original drummer announced his departure later that year. After several auditions, drummer Kenneth Noble (Southpaw, Solitary Set) joined the band in January of 2022. Influenced by 90s/00s punk, Kenneth's drumming brought new life to Sugar Hysteria's catalog pushing their sound toward melodic punk. With the new lineup in place, the band has quickly regrouped and is ready to take its music to the next level.
Combining elements of modern alt-rock, melodic punk, power-pop, and classic rock, Sugar Hysteria creates a catchy, yet unique sound that will make you want to tear up the dance floor and sing your heart out! They have performed throughout the Mid-Atlantic headlining local shows, supporting national acts (Sumo Cyco, Black Satellite), and rocking regional festivals. In 2022, Sugar Hysteria was invited to SXSW (Austin, TX) sharing the stage with up-and-comers Halfway Atlantic and Nominee at the Headbang for the Highway's Officially Unofficial showcase. Their debut single, "Disengage" was released in March of 2022, and they anticipate a full-length album in Spring 2023!
What has 2022 been like for YOU as artists?
It's only June and Sugar Hysteria has had a busy 2022! Kenneth, our new drummer, joined the band in February. In March, we were invited to the Headbang for the Highway's Officially Unofficial showcase at SXSW in Austin, TX. We released our first single “Disengage” - available for purchase or streaming on all major platforms. We are also playing shows - expanding our reach into new venues and cities and opening for national acts. Lastly, we are working to finish our debut album which we will record later this year.
Can you tell us how you've transformed from the beginning to now as an artist?
Beginning in 2018, Gwyn and Chris formed Sugar Hysteria primarily as a cover band with ambitions to write and record original music. By 2019, the band emerged on the local scene playing a mix of original and cover songs at smaller venues and bars. In 2020, Jon joined the band replacing the original bassist. Jon’s style is reminiscent of old-school punk and brought a raw edginess to the band’s sound. By 2021, the band was building momentum playing larger shows and regional festivals, winning competitions, and working on their debut EP. Despite this growth, the original drummer announced his departure later that year. After several auditions, drummer Kenneth Noble joined the band in January of 2022. Influenced by 90s/00s punk, Kenneth's drumming brought new life to Sugar Hysteria's catalog pushing their sound toward melodic pop-punk. With the new lineup in place, the band has quickly regrouped and is ready to take its music to the next level.
How did you come up with your latest project?
We are actively working on our debut album which we intend to record later this year.The songs for this album explore love and heartbreak, relationships, mental health, and coping with trauma. Working on this project has been cathartic as it has provided us the space to examine triggering situations in our lives giving us an outlet to express deep angst and emotion through music. We hope to take our experiences and channel them into songs our fans can relate to and appreciate.
Where are you from originally?
The band is from Hanover, PA, but we frequently play shows in the Baltimore area.
Gwyn: Suffolk, England
Chris: Westminster, MD
Jon: Hanover, PA
Kenneth: Jackson, AL
Where do you live now?
Band: still based out of Hanover, PA
Gwyn: Hanover, PA
Chris: Westminster, MD
Jon: Hanover, PA
Kenneth: Baltimore, MD
Do you think where you live impacts how your music is made?
As far as our sound? Probably not too much. Hanover, PA, isn’t really known for its alt-rock/pop-punk scene. We draw on our lived experiences to create our music. The lyrical content and general theme of our songs is based on past and current relationships.
What was the inspiration to make music your career?
We all discovered at a young age that music was an important and influential part of our lives.
Gwyn: When I was younger, my favorite artists were Avril Lavigne and Elvis Presly! Other than loving their music, I was drawn to how much fun it looked when they were performing and how people reacted to them. I knew that I wanted to do the same thing, so here I am!
Chris: My Dad is a musician - plays guitar. From as early as I can remember, he was always listening to, or playing, music around the house which definitely contributed to my passion for guitar.
Jon: When I was younger, I saw a clip of AC/DC performing and thought to myself “I want to do that.” It’s the only thing I know how to do well, and I’ll do whatever it takes to make music my career.
Kenneth: Green Day “Dookie” was the first album I ever owned. From that day forward I knew that I wanted to play drums in a punk band. After that, I joined the school marching band which I stuck with all through high school and college. At the same time, I played in various punk and indie bands. I draw much of my musical inspiration from 90s/early 00s punk rock, Midwestern Emo, and marching band.
How do you want to shape your career?
We want to shape our career by building relationships with bands and promoters while continuing to write songs and develop our sound. Our goal is to build a following throughout the Mid-Atlantic while expanding to new venues and cities. We recently launched a new website and are taking steps to grow our social media presence. We are excited about what's to come for the remainder of 2022 as we plan to record our debut album and release new merch. Our plan is to release the album in early 2023 and tour shortly after.
Do you work on a tight timeline always or do you go with the flow when it comes to your music?
We don’t necessarily keep a tight timeline, but we definitely like to set goals for the band. We commit to weekly rehearsals and communicate regularly discussing song ideas, gigs, and plans. Some songs take months to develop, while others come together after a single practice.
How did your latest title of your music come to be?
The title of our debut single is “Disengage,” which means to be detached or separated from someone physically and/or emotionally. Gwyn wrote “Disengage” to cope with negative experiences from previous relationships. The song touches on themes of heartbreak and neglect.
Is it hard to let go of the music when it is done?
At first, yes. For example, Gwyn wrote the song “Dream Life” over a year ago but didn’t share with the band until April of this year. After a few practices, we finished the song and performed it for the first time in May. Now, it’s our favorite song to play!
Do you feel an emotional attachment with your music?
Absolutely! All of our lyrics are personal accounts of things that have actually happened to us at some point in time. The songs are very meaningful to us as they explore past relationships, mental health, and personal traumas.
How would you describe your music in one word to someone who hasn't listened to it yet?
Where do they go to listen NOW?
We are available on all major platforms: Spotify, Itunes/Apple Music, Pandora, Amazon, and our website!
What has been the best fan reaction to your music?
Our last few shows have been awesome! We’ve had great reactions from the audience, positive feedback, and fans asking for autographs and pictures. It’s been incredibly rewarding and a huge motivator for us to play more shows and finish this album! We are definitely thankful for all of our fans - they mean so much to us!
Is there anything exciting coming up for you?
We recently opened for Sumo Cyco and Black Satellite - that was huge! We are also opening for Eyes Set to Kill in July.
Are you performing the song anywhere LIVE?
We play our debut single “Disengage” at every show!