“When you write something, and someone tells you that they’re in the same boat, and they, like, relate to it, it feels good to know you’re not alone,” Deanna Belos, aka Sincere Engineer, shares in the latest video from Zero Platoon.

Don’t be embarrassed if you haven’t heard Sincere Engineer yet. I only discovered her last fall in my research before covering Riot Fest for Music Mayhem. It didn’t even take one full song for the garage/punk band to become the band that was at the top of my list of must-sees at the Chicago punk festival. Unfortunately (and fortunately), I got too caught up in doing interviews that I wasn’t able to catch their set. But Belos herself was cool enough to exchange information to set something up the next time she passed through New York. Unbeknownst to me, and unannounced at the time, that “next time” would be as Sincere Engineer was the opener on Bayside’s tour promoting their new album Interrobang.

So we caught up with Sincere Engineer at Bayside’s “Home town” record release show at The Paramount in Huntington, NY, which, I have to say, is one of the nicest venues to catch a show around NYC, and has the coolest staff I’ve ever come across. Huge thanks to them for taking care of us and giving us a quiet spot to shoot in that made for the best looking Zero Platoon video yet.

In our chat, Belos tells us how the songs on her first record came together, and opens up about how she can relate to fans who think they’re awkward, and how she deals with anxiety and is very aware of her nervous energy.

Even with as good as 2019 went for Sincere Engineer, and with 2020 sure to be better with a new record on its way, Belos admits, “I still get nervous for like a half-hour before I play…I don’t know if you notice, I’m like always looking at the floor…That’s just how I am, I’m a very not confident person.”

After watching her kill it on two nights of the Bayside tour, which I showed up early for just to see that’s hard to believe, even though that conclusion is easy to draw from her gritty self-deprecating lyrics of self-doubt and self-awareness:

“I’m gonna screw up again
I’m gonna ignore advice from all of my best friends
And they’ll all think I’m nuts
But I don’t give a fuck
Just as long as they let me come crawling back”
(From “Screw Up”)


“I could’ve been a doctor, if I cared enough
But I didn’t have it in me
I got distracted by a bunch of stuff
I’m so stupid and empty
My mind just wasn’t in it
And neither was my heart
And the drive was a lie to myself from the goddamn start”
(From “Overbite”)

But the balance is found in creating the art that comes from it.

“It’s something that’s therapeutic, to put it on paper, and listening to it, and going to shows. It’s like something to fill the void in your life.”

YouTube video

And that’s why Zero Platoon exists. Watch the full episode below to see the whole interview with Sincere Engineer, and subscribe to Zero Platoon on YouTube and follow the Zero Platoon Facebook to see more bands talk about how music has helped them get through life.

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