We Interviewed The Sleeping!

This is the last round of press this week surrounding the new Sleeping album [as far as we know] and you can bet we saved the best for last! Doug [vocals] was kind enough to answer a handful of questions we had about the new album, touring, and the evolution of the band in general. Please enjoy the interview and be sure to pick up their great new album, What It Takes, in stores now!

 

UTG: Hey guys, where does the day find you? How’s the day thus far?

Doug: The day is pretty alright. I am in Las Vegas and I have just woken up from my awesome sleep.

UTG: How was your recent tour with Funeral For a Friend?

Doug: It was great. Totally made some sweet friends for life. Now all we have to do is keep touring together, haha.

UTG: Its been awhile since you really toured heavily, is it weird getting back into the game or is it more like riding a bike?

Doug: I think there is definitely a bit of nervousness in all of us. We were in a really great position right before Cameron left the band. We know the return is always a big thing when a band goes through lineup changes…. but we are all having a blast and I think people who see us with the new dudes realize that we still haven’t lost the vibe.

UTG: You’re a band that is lucky enough to have devout fans. You don’t need a new album to tour and have a solid turnout. Your fans are near built in and simply expanding with new releases and tours. How do you,
as a band, keep in touch with these fans? Many people go out of their way to do something special and others let the label handle their public dealings. Where does The Sleeping stand?

Doug: We are all just real dudes.. we respond to people on our Myspace and whatnot. We always go out and talk to kids. I mean we don’t see it as some sort of task. We’re just coming to hang out after the show for a bit. We like letting kids know that we thank them as much as they thank us for playing. Its special to have such amazing fans.

UTG: A downside to such rabid fans can be their expectations when it comes to touring. There’s always going to be songs people want to hear, but as you grow as a band its obvious you will want to play
newer and different songs. How do you approach the setlist for tours? Especially now, with and album about to drop.

Doug: We just play what we love and try to include everything. We are all about vibe and if something doesn’t vibe well with the songs that are meshing well in a set, then we won’t play them… even if it means sacrificing a song from an older album or whatever. We try our best to play everything but we like to keep it real and also do what we love. Our fans are so awesome though that they don’t seem to get mad at stuff like that which is rad.

UTG: Let’s talk about the album, what’s changed within The Sleeping since the past release? Please refrain from using the term “more mature” in your response unless you go into detail about what that
means exactly.

Doug: Well… it is “more mature.” Haha. I say that because of a number of things. 1. We’ve grown up, as a band and as individuals. 2. We have always been into heavy music but we have made it a point to do away with things like the typical heavy you hear in most music now. We need to keep the music fun and interesting because we aren’t like a lot of these other bands. We don’t want to get big just to get big. We want to be an original entity, and when everyone and their mothers are all about breakdowns that anyone can play you tend to search for something more challenging. Not saying breakdowns are bad… we just wanted to find a different heavy. A more challenging release. 3. We have two new members who, like us, come from a more diverse background then just this scene. So that helped expand our thoughts and ideas even more. I can go on and on about the differences between us then and now but hopefully these are a few good explanations, haha.

UTG: It seems that lyrical, the songs in the past have danced between real situations and straight up stories. Where does lyrical inspiration come from on the new realease?

Doug: All of my lyrics are always going to have a same vibe. It’s just the way I write I suppose. However, in this record, I tried to make it way more tongue and cheek. I love when people can relate to what I write. It helps me get through a lot of shit I sometimes don’t think I can get through. So I do my best to try and make the songs as open to everyone as possible. A lot of this record has come from my past. Dealing with the way I feel as a human being, dealing with accepting the fact that my father is never going to come around and how growing up without him has really done damage to the way I feel and love. A lot of the record touches on topics I feel some people never get to hear from people they look up to. So I am done hiding things and I want people to know that they’re not alone.

UTG: Outside of the music, the album artwork is something to be seen. Its so simple yet intriguing at the same time. Is there a story behind the picture or perhaps a message we should find?

Doug: The layout is a huge thing for us. When Cameron left, of course people were going to make their comments like “Cameron can never be replaced.” Or “I don’t think this can happen without Cam.” We always respect people’s thoughts but sometimes people forget what music is. It is a release and an expression from your creative mind and your heart. When people close themselves off with negative comments, they tend to forget that music is a journey. I love Cameron with all of my heart, he will always be a good friend… but when he left and we got these new members EVERYONE in the band was so fucking excited because it’s a whole new journey and creative ride. We know Cameron could never be replaced. He was unique and an amazing guitarist, but we never wanted to replace him. We just wanted to keep the style Sal, Joe and I have grown with together and we wanted to expand it with new people and see what direction it would go in. The MUSIC is what matters. So the layout is all five of us covered with a curtain which to us symbolized being a tight unit without showing our faces. Letting the music be the main focus.

UTG: Im sorry if this is getting long, so I will try to cut this off soon. Its been about 2 years since we heard a word from The Sleeping in terms of new music. Do you worry its been too long? A lot has changed since Questions and Answers so how are The Sleeping approaching the new scene?

Doug: We are just playing our hearts out and that is all we can ever do. As long as we play as passionate as we always do, then we have achieved our goals.

UTG: Thank you for your time, we don’t have last questions, but rather give you a platform to say whatever is on your mind. Closing remarks that come from you without following any pre concieved guidelines. The
floor is yours:

Doug: February 17th please pick up What It Takes and be sure to tell everyone to do the same… see you soon and thank you for this awesome interview.

*Written By: James Shotwell*

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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