Angry Tears - 2000 Interview with Joey Sinopoli

luigiluigi NZ
edited December 2020 in Interviews all

In the Spotlight - Angry Tears
Interview with: Joey Sinopoli
Written by: Luigi Cisaria

Our spotlight this time turns to a bit of New Jersey history, a local legend by all accounts Joey Sinopoli. Joey has teamed up with a man synonymous in AOR circles, namely Jack Ponti, who once did the rounds with the bands Surgin and Baton Rouge. Their culmination has resulted in the band Angry Tears. Here is their lineup: Joey Sinopoli - vocals, guitars; Jack Ponti - guitars, vocals; Nicki Sinopoli - bass; Andres Karu - drums.

Joey had spent a good ten years with his own band Sinopoli, but really the history of Angry Tears goes way back into the murky depths of the early 80's, when Journey's 'Escape' and Foreigner '4' were squaring off against each other in the US album charts. The creative juices to resurrect Angry Tears came about during ongoing discussions between Joey and Jack.

You've probably all heard by now the fallout that Angry Tears had with MTM Music, for reasons that have been explained and covered elsewhere, which we won't go into here. This resulted in the move to UK label Escape Music. Joey Sinopoli volunteers some information upon questions put to him by Heart of the Rock's Luigi Cisaria.

Lets go back a bit. The New Jersey scene, early-mid 80's, lots of hair, lots of rock and roll, hard and heavy. Bon Jovi blasting through the airwaves, Must've been fun?
You bet! Those were the days my friend. Don't forget the short black skirts, the high heels, the girls would dress to kill at every show. To say it was fun is an understatement.

The Surgin, Baton Rouge, Sinopoli connection, all rolled out of that same scene then?
Yep, you're correct. We sure did. Kind of funny looking back. Sinopoli was first, Ponti and Surgin was next, then Baton Rouge came later, You have to stick Bon Jovi in there too. We can't forget him. But Angry Tears came before all of them, 1981!

Well Jack's been around for goodness knows how long. What's it been like knowing and working with him all this time?
Jack is the best! If there is one person in the music industry I owe it all to, it's Jack. He made me, believed in me. There would be no Angry Tears without him. Ponti put me in this position. I thank God every day. He introduced me to my wife Laura. His entire family has been there for me from the word go.

I'm only sorry I can't spend more time hanging out with him. He is really busy. He manages 26 R+B and Rap bands. Cazzydog Management is his Company. He's doing fantastic. God bless him. We're doing another Angry Tears album, Ponti always makes time for that! Can't wait.

You were a musician then, and you're still a musician now. Compare the scene now to what it was say fifteen years ago. Whats changed for you?
Oh, not even close. That's the problem today, there is no scene in New Jersey. The only band in South Jersey that could pack them in is Sinopoli. Every show is an event. Everybody knows it is gonna be a killer show, so the club is packed. Everyone goes freakin crazy for one night and we all pay for it for a couple of days.

That's what rock n roll is all about! Isn't it? Angry Tears hasn't played out live yet, but we're getting ready. Saturday, November 6th we're playing Nine South in Bayville, New Jersey. Angry Tears has sold a lot of CD in this area, and it's gonna be crazy to say the least!

Your relationship with Escape Music is recent considering the fallout with MTM. Hows that going?
Escape is great. Everyone there is very supportive and nice. I'm very happy there at Escape.

We won't get into the MTM thing, as I'm sure it's been covered before (ie: Marco Spath did some work with you re: On The Rocks wesbsite), but prior to you working with MTM, what was the band's goal? What was it that you really wanted to achieve?
Jack and I always knew we were gonna do an Angry Tears album. We spoke about it a lot.


After all the kerfuffle with the DAT mixes of the album and who got what copies, what sort of sound and direction was Angry Tears trying to achieve with this album?
The Angry Tears record, stands for itself. Angry Tears is a dirty rock n roll basement band, nothing pretty about us. That's exactly what we are, whether MTM liked it or not. Ponti and I achieved exactly what we set out to do, make that particular record. You gotta be true to your music.

I didn't wait this long to put out a record for some record company executive to tell you who we should be. Ponti's a brilliant producer, and the fans and critics have been unbelievable. So we did the right thing, and made the Angry Tears record.

We recall the original song lineup for the MTM release being slightly different. There were some changes obviously on the more recent Escape Music release. Was this your choice or the labels?
Yes true, Jack and I decided to change a few songs before we even started to record and Escape only puts ten songs on their records for Europe. But in reality there were not many changes made at all, that is almost the original record MTM received.

I read where someone said 'Escape made Ponti remix the album three times'. That was funny. The only thing Escape asked for was to raise the vocal in 'Keep Tonite', Period. Jack did a couple of additional things, like raise the guitar solo in 'Eyes'. That's about it.

The subject matter lyrically is quite dark. Almost bitter in some aspects. Was this intentional or did it just evolve that way?
That was just the mind set we were in at that time, we never set out consciously to do that. We were creatures of the night. Angry Tears songs are all angry love songs. I still like writing songs like that. That's cool. Who wants to hear 'I love you, you love me'. I don't.

The song 'Love Fades Away' was written early on in your relationship with Jack. When was the rest of the album written and recorded?
We started to record this album, June 10, 1999. However, all the songs written on this album were by Jack, myself or Nicky, and were written within a three month time span back in 1981.

How many albums is the deal for and are we going to see any Sinopoli material released as well?
Escape has options on three. As far as Sinopoli goes, Man there's a lot of interest in Sinopoli to say the least! You are going to see something for sure, or people are gonna kill me. I've spent ten years giving that band my blood, sweat and tears.

We have a lot of GREAT music to offer and have a huge following. The European rock critics love it. It's amazing, I had no idea that so many people across the world knew who Sinopoli is. It blows my mind! I thought we were just big in New Jersey? Guess I was wrong.

Angry Tears involves your brother Nicky. Sounds like a very musical family. Did your parents encourage you when you were young and what music influenced you early on?
Oh yeah. We come from a real musical family. My parents love the band. My dad has passed away, but he came to shows till the day he died. His favourite song was 'Eyes'. I hope he sees what's going on now! As far as influences go, Kiss was it. When I was 14, I saw them in Asbury Park. From that moment on I knew what I wanted to be. That's when the trouble started!

I know the band have a domain name. Is the website up and running yet? I've had trouble trying to get to it.
We do have our web site up and flying, stop by any time. We're located at and my Email address is [email protected]. I answer all my email, so anyone out there don't be a stranger.

Finally Joey, do you have any last words for the readers out there?
To the Heart of the Rock team, thank you for this interview. They were tough questions to answer. The MTM saga and all. I don't even think about it any more. We've come so far since then. I'm a very positive person, and don't like to talk negatively about anyone, but I guess questions needed to be asked. So I had to answer them.

Let me say this, MTM did get the ball rolling for me. That I appreciate. But I'm glad we wound up on Escape Music. Remember when I said Jack Ponti was the person in the music industry I owe it all to, Khalil Turk has to be # two.

Thanks very much to Joey Sinopoli for his thoughts and answers regarding his band Angry Tears.

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