Now as the band prepare to celebrate their 13th birthday party we pinned Anthony McCaughley to the floor, and threatened to take away his guitar until he told us a little about those 13 years, what was coming next for Sinocence and...well a lot more. Including a declaration about keeping going and going...
Back in 2001, to quote Douglas Adams: "men were men, women were women and small green furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were small green furry creatures from Alpha Centauri" and metal was once again rising, undefeated by trends or fashions, and the 'Sinners' were just starting off.
Looking back on it Anto had this to say: "Christ, that’s so long ago!, when we started I can honestly say there were no expectations at all. I can remember just wanting to get playing at RocKD in Belfast. Coming from Lurgan, Belfast was the “Big Smoke”.
"There was nothing going on compared to what its like now in the local scene. We were just happy to get a carryout and hit practice."
And, the band really didn't expect to be still going. "I’d have to say not a chance in hell," said the six-string slinger.
"Things happen, people move away, get married, have kids. You don’t tend to think will I be doing this coming 40!! Still, the feeling in the room when we play and write is as fresh as its ever bee. When that stops, then we’ll stop. We’ll not be faking it.
It has been quite a ride, at which they have played with rock and metal luminaries such as W.A.S.P., Prong and many more.
But was there an act that Sinocence learned from?
"Out of all the bands we’ve played with we learnt the most on the Blaze Bayley tour," said Anto. "About what to do and more importantly what not to do.
"Playing has never been an issue in the band, it's more being prepared and having the right gear. We got a lot of great advice from Jay, one of Blaze’s guitarists at the time. The Fyredogs in Germany just laughed at our gear haha when they seen it.
"This, and Jim, joining prompted the move from pedal boards to real tube sound. On the live front you can’t help but learn from bands like Machine Head and Prong… pure Pros."
Machine Head is also a gig that features highly in the memorable top shows the band have played, and we wanted to know what was the band's top gig, and what has been the favourite show Anto has attended
"Played? Over 13 years that’s a tough one. Nottingham Rock City sticks right up there but then the local shows we did in Lurgan looking back were fucking crazy!. Off the chart, never see that level of intensity at any of the locals shows these days.
"To pin it down though to one show it would have to the Machine Head gig in Belfast. A band like that, sold out show. Pure volume! Was just fantastic!
"Attended? Flying in the face of metal and thrash the Skid Row/Ugly Kid Joe gig in Dublin was just another level. The vibe between band and audience was something else, everyone looked like they were loving every second of it. Super positive gig and just tapped right into that."
At recent shows Sinocence have played tracks from the long-awaited Vol. 2 of No Gods, No Masters. When can we expect to hear it?
"Closer than everyone thinks!" he said. "We’ve four and a half done so just the final part of song five. Looking at going into the studio end of October.
"Songs feel really fresh and the reaction to the ones we’ve played live has been great so we’ll be ready to nail that down soon."
When that is down the challenge for Sinocence is what lies in store for the next 13 years?
"Well, 'No Gods, No Masters' Vols 2 & 3 will be getting finished", said Anto. "We’ll be shooting a few videos and hopefully hitting the UK next year for a few festival dates and shows with the UK bands we have been bringing over this year.
"But we have delusions or wild dreams. We're not too concerned about getting signed or any of that stuff.
"We are self-signed and we are best sorting ourselves! As I said there as long as the energy is up and the band are writing decent material we will continue."
With 13 years behind them it's also a time to reflect on what Sinocence would like to see as their legacy.
"Touring the world 5 times over with Slayer after 13.5 years on the go!!" said the guitarist.
"Seriously though its something I never been asked before to be honest.
"Has to be the song writing and hard work. Ask any band together for awhile how hard it is to keep it going. It takes stamina and real will to do it. I am proud of the fact that we are still going and proud that we are the strongest we’ve ever been at the minute."
Anto continued: "Sounds nuts but it's just how we are feeling at the minute. The new songs are rocking, we have a fantastic back catalogue to choose from live, our gears now top notch.
"I’ll tell you what, ask me that again in five years. I'm not ready to fully answer that fucking question just yet!"
On Saturday 6th September in Limelight2, The Sinocence 13th Birthday Party Bash takes place featuring Ourselves, Collaspe (UK), By Any Means, Cutter & Donum Dei. Doors at 4pm.
Anto said: This bill is one of the strongest you’ll see this year! Get down early muckers! "
\And we're NOT READY FOR STOPPING ANYTIME SOON!!! \m/>< \m/"
Normally we don't let anyone use capital letters like that, but he seemed so emphatic...