Brooklyn rock trio The Sweet Ones work harder … and you should, too. Ed. note: This article first appeared in the winter 2010 Youngstown Pulse. By B.J. LISKO Youngstown Pulse Magazine Editor BROOKLYN, N.Y. – When The Sweet Ones take the stage, it’s on. It’s what the Brooklyn garage rock trio does. Sure, the kids in MC5 shirts and throwback trust fund gear might be able to copy a riff or two, but for The Sweet Ones, living off the floor and navigating by the light of late night joints (both kinds) is life. “You said you wanted to be one,” said singer/guitarist Doug Cote referring to the rock star life. “Now go clean table No. 4,” he jokes of his day job. The Sweet Ones work to rock, and when they rock, look out. There’s no weekend warrior approach here. There’s no hesitation in their delivery or their ethic. When The Sweet Ones say “we work harder,” – appropriately the title of their new album, they mean it. “Definitely drugs,” Cote laughs when asked what keeps the band fueled and continually rocking the great 48 (states, moron). “No, I don’t know. I just think you have to do it the old fashioned way and build up the fan base. The only way you’re gonna grab people’s attention is to get up in their face. It’s just what you do. If you can do it and stay together, it’s even better. We’re all pretty levelheaded, so there are no egos. Touring is part of being in a band, you know. You wanted to be one, here it is.” Cote and Co. have done just that and are set to do it again, currently in the midst of another Midwest tour that will see a stop at Cedars Lounge Dec. 12. The band loves Youngstown, hates Cleveland, and is continually looking for the next great gig to spread their Minutemen, Firehose, Jonathan Richmond, Mike Watt and Misfits-fueled trashy mayhem. “Hopefully you hear in our music that we live it and breathe it,” Cote said. “That’s how important it is. That at the end of the day, it can carry you.” The band formed almost 5 ½ years ago and originally featured Cote, Matt Strauss on bass, Matt Brundrett on drums and Ryan Havers on guitar. Havers is no longer with the band as they continue to slam as a trio without missing a step. The group’s first Youngstown appearance was at Pabstolutely 1, they’ve played The Royal Oaks as well as a featured slot on Pabsolutely 2 and can’t wait to return to the Valley. “Youngstown has been just great,” Cote said. “Youngstown is my favorite town to play. Cleveland is bullshit. Youngstown is definitely the rock town for sure. You don’t get much more hardcore than The Royal Oaks. People have just been really good and really receptive to us. We always want to have our best show when we come to Youngstown. One of the great things with touring, you network so well, and everyone in Youngstown has really been good to us. It’s definitely the town we have the biggest draw, or a draw,” Cote joked. Perhaps the band’s most remarkable trait is it’s passion for spreading its music, even if it’s for a single audience member. “We played Cleveland and literally there was no one there,” Cote said. “We played to the sound guy, the bartender and some dude that just happened to roll in. He sat through every one of our songs, and he asked us to play one again and we just did it. That to me is worth it.” The band’s drive can certainly be traced to its Brooklyn roots where there is far more competition among rock ‘n’ rollers. “From the places that we play, especially in Brooklyn, there’s a ton of touring bands, but everyone is super hungry,” Cote said. “I think in New York, there’s so much music coming out of there. These house shows that happen and most of the spaces are with bands that are touring all over the place. You need to tour, and you need to make that live connection with people. I think it’s more important now than it’s ever been. No one would know us in Youngstown if we didn’t come there.” Thankfully for Yougstown, they have, and they’ll continue to make it an annual stop. “It a blue collar work ethic mentality,” Cote said. “We’re not going to be babies. Music for all of us is our life and a passion and art. It’s just huge.” The Sweet Ones perform Saturday, Dec. 12 at Cedars Lounge. Guitar Bomb (featuring Sweet Ones drummer Brundrett) also from Brooklyn, and Youngstown’s Turbo Lovers will open.