Sweet Apple is more than just a question of Cobra Verde’s John Petkovic and Tim Parnin having some teenage kicks with Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis and Witch’s Dave Sweetapple. It’s the answer to the heartache, grief and depression that led Petkovic to drive from Cleveland to Vermont, where he rediscovered the healing powers of rock ‘n’ roll with some help from his friends. Love & Desperation (Tee Pee) isn’t a fountain of youth, but it’ll do in a pinch: a combination of stomping ’70s arena-rock riffs, Petkovic’s well-honed T Rex swagger and Mascis’ hard-wired guitar leads servicing lurid tales of sex, drugs and vampires. The members of Sweet Apple will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our Q&A with Petkovic.
Petkovic: I’ve always found Baltimore to be one of the craziest—and most interesting—places on earth. One time, I got lost there while on tour with Cobra Verde. We asked five people for directions, and every one of them was high and out of their minds. Another time, I hit some bars in Baltimore’s Hampden neighborhood, because John Waters got the inspiration for his weird characters there. I met a bartender who boasted about how well endowed her son was. Of course, she started tracking his “progress” when he was 14 and even had pictures to prove it. I passed out in the bar that night—and not from the photos. She made some crazy “hometown” drink that messed me up so much that I almost drove into the Washington Monument. (Yeah, they have one in Baltimore, too.) So it was no surprise when I saw HBO crime show The Wire. It’s considered one of the grittiest shows ever to hit TV, from the drugs to the weirdos to depravity to city hall. It’s a masterful epic about urban America, where lines between good and bad, black and white, blur and no one wins. And yet it’s so clear to me, because it’s Baltimore.
Video after the jump.