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Pittsburgh Artist of the Week: Sweat


Fronted by Swiss singer Sue Pedrazzi, Sweat brings that classic rock-n-roll heat into the modern world. Their latest song – “Dark Horses (White Lies)” – is a therapeutic send-off for anyone who’s done you wrong. Sweat recently spoke with WYEP’s Joey Spehar about thick mattresses and who they think they are.

Sweat are:
Sue Pedrazzi (she/her)- organ & lead vocals
Richard Stanley (he/him) – guitar & vocals
Dan Hernandez (he/him)- bass
Kayla Schureman (she/her)- drums & vocals

This conversation may be lightly edited for content, clarity, or length.

What’s your musical history up to this point?

Sue: I took classical piano lessons as a kid and started writing songs at around the age of 10. It has always felt like a necessity and a relief to express myself through music. My dad is a musician and thanks to his vast record collection and a few pointers, I fell in love with rock music quickly and hopelessly. I had multiple bands over the years when I lived in Switzerland. I think that the experience and the knowledge I’ve collected over the years have made me ready for Sweat, which, in its current lineup, is arguably one the most accurate incarnations of the music that lives inside of me.

Kayla: After playing drums and percussion in high school music programs I started performing and recording as a drummer for songwriters, then as a singer-songwriter myself, and now as a drummer for bands.

Rich: I started playing guitar around age 15. I mostly just tried to play riffs I heard on the radio until high school where I started to get into all kinds of music and played in several bands. I changed my major at university several times before I finally auditioned for the school of music where I studied guitar for a short time. After college I mostly played weekend gigs with different groups around PGH and went on a couple longer tours somewhere in 2017.

How do you describe your sound?

We combine British prog rock sensibilities, the fragile beauty of American folk, and just a dash of that sexy 70s Schmaltz. It’s live-sounding, tune-rich, and unhinged in all the right places.

Your new album is called "Who Do They Think They Are?" So, who DO you think you are?

Sue: We are four weirdos who have been put on this earth to make dad rock cool again.

Kayla: I think we’re really just like most bands these days with so many ties to albums we love and genres we love and are just trying our best to figure out what to do with all of that inspiration. We’re not pretending to be any of our influences but sometimes we get so close that we genuinely have to ask ourselves this question.

Tell us more about the song “Dark Horses (White Lies).” What inspired you to write it?

Sue: There is an assortment of feelings – like internalized rage over other people’s wrongdoing towards me – that has lived inside of me most of my life. For me, the single most effective way to remedy them for a while is to put them in songs; like therapeutic journaling. “Dark Horses (White Lies)” addresses a time in my early 20s when I was the Back-Burner of an awfully mediocre asshat. What a joy and relief to write and sing about it! You might argue the importance of letting go but the songs have to be fueled by something, don’t they?

Rich: “Dark Horses (White Lies)” was a song Sue brought me at the beginning of our band history and we sat in my room with a couple old microphones and hashed it out Lennon-McCartney style. That song is really the beginning of Sweat.

What was the first album that really changed your life? 

Sue: I think for me it was “Savage Amusement” by the Scorpions. I was about 12 when I first heard it and it felt like tasting a forbidden fruit.

Kayla: There are a lot of records that influenced and shaped my listening, but the first record that opened a new door for me was Rilo Kiley’s "Under The Blacklight."

Rich: I listened to the white album by The Beatles on a school field trip when I was 15 and I knew then and there that they would be my favorite band for the rest of my life.

Which Pittsburgh artist(s) do you wish more people knew about?

Sue: There are many but I think right now, my holy trinity is Limousine Beach, Blinder and Rated Eye.

Kayla: Good Sport.

Rich: I4A.

Any other super interesting things we should know about you?

Sue: I like how thick and high some of the mattresses in the USA are built because it makes it harder for my demons to get to me at night!

Kayla: Everyone in this band is gorgeous.

Rich: Rich is scared of MTV brand reality shows from the early 2000’s that depict people exiting a bus to go on a date and subsequently returning to the bus after being rejected by said date. NEXT.

Learn more about Sweat here:


Check out previous Pittsburgh Artists of the Week here.

Joey Spehar is a Pittsburgh native who started as a volunteer D.J. at WYEP, fresh out of college in 2006. He took on any job they’d let him do like editing audio, engineering remote broadcasts, and shoveling snow.