While She Sleeps

author PP date 31/08/11

Interviewing someone from a young and inexperienced band can be frustrating. Having the entire band present for the interview, minus one guy, even more so. Not only do the young bands rarely have much to talk about just yet, but they also continously speak over each other, shout obscenities, and generally are unaware of the regular interview etiquette, which you of course can't blame the band for, but it makes my job as a journalist extremely difficult when trying to extract halfway reasonable answers out of the bunch and afterwards decipher them from the tape. So the While She Sleeps interview below may well seem a little disintegrated and all over the place, but bear with me and check out what these up-and-coming British metalcore/hardcore/post-hardcore youngsters had to say at the Hevy Music Festival earlier this month.

RF.net: First of all, thanks for the interview. Lets start with a round of introductions.
Lawrence: I'm Lawrence Taylor and I sing for While She Sleeps.

Sean: I'm Sean Long, and I play guitar.

Matt: I'm Matt, and play guitar, and do vocals-ish.

Adam: I'm Sav (Adam Savage), I play the drums.

RF.net: So what's new?

Lawrence: We're writing a new CD, a new album. Looking forward to it.

Sean: For next year release, I think.

Matt: We've been busy touring, so it's quite hard finding the time to get the album in as well.

Sean: But we've got no more festivals, so we've got lots of time now do it.

RF.net: So we're here at Hevy Music Festival, what are your thoughts and feelings about the festival?
Lawrence: I like it, I think it's good.

Sean: It's the smallest...

Lawrence: You don't have to walk miles to get somewhere.

Sean: It's like a mini-festival, you've got everything packed compact.

Matt: Yesterday, we saw a few killer bands like The Ghost Of A Thousand, Ceremony, and a band called Bastions.

Lawrence: That's the first time I've seen them, they're really cool. We're really looking forward to La Dispute, but we might miss them because we play almost the same time as them.

RF.net: So what should we expect from you guys tonight, or from any of your sets?
All: Carnage!

Lawrence: Trying to get everyone bouncing and going a bit mad.

Sav: Yeah, you gotta fuck shit up!

RF.net: I've heard and read rumours about your live shows and how crazy they are supposed to be. Where do you source that energy from?

Sav: From the crowd, I think. If the crowd is going crazy, it's a lot easier for us to do the same.

Lawrence: Sometimes you're trying to put on a show and you're the underdog, that's what used to happen to me. And that just builds up aggression. I just love being the underdog and throwing it out there.

Matt: Like just trying to prove something.

Sav: We try to write about shit that we're actually thinking of, so it obviously comes through when we're on stage. We just lose it a bit. [laughs]

RF.net: The band name, While She Sleeps, first of all, who is she?
Sean: It came out of a chap magazine, there was a story but I don't remember what it was. What was the story?

Lawrence: Some shitty magazine. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Sav: We were young when it was made, and now we can't change it.

Lawrence: Yeah, the band has been together for how many years? Six years? So they were pretty young when they thought of the name.

RF.net: So you have a record out called "The North Stands For Nothing", it's been out for a year now. What do you guys think about it today?
All: Love it!

Lawrence: We recorded it all ourselves in an old barn, so we're really proud of it.

Matt: Yeah, it's cool what we did.

RF.net: Would you ever change anything about it?

Lawrence: Yeah, a few bits we'd definitely change, but we're looking at that now that we're bringing out a new CD. We learned from that one, and we're learned from that one. We're really proud of ourselves though.

Sean: A year later and I still love it, it sounds good.

RF.net: So what does the title mean?

Lawrence: It has two meanings to it really. It can either mean, like we're from the north, so we were thinking that we're not gonna take any shit from people, like people in the North might think that. But there's also the other side of it, which means that doesn't matter where you're from, get involved with us. So it's like a double-meaning.

RF.net: So like you mentioned you're working on your new record. So what's the new album going to be like in comparison to the old record?
Lawrence: In a lot of ways it's going to be quite similar. It's gonna be the bits that made "North..." what it is, but emphasis on the best bits of that.

Sean: Just a bigger "North Stands For Nothing", really, hopefully.

Matt: I think it's gonna be a bit more meaner.

Lawrence: We're not gonna be one of those bands who just release an album, and then release another one completely different. We're gonna stick to the same kind of shit with minor modifications.

RF.net: What sort of things influence your songwriting?
Lawrence: Lyrically for me, it's stuff that I see, that happens to people that I know.

Sean: It's all about impact for me [bangs hands together], just like *bam* *bam*, just powerful stuff. If it makes you wanna bang your head then the riff is sick.

Matt: Yeah, in your face shit!

RF.net: So what about bands?

Lawrence: Everything! It's hard, because what music do you listen to, mate? [laughs]

Matt: We listen to everything from pop to all the way down to really heavy stuff.

Lawrence: I can listen to "Friday" by fuckin' Rebecca Black, do you know what I mean? No but just for the record, that song is terrible, I don't listen to that, I'm only joking. We just listen to everything. If someone from the band comes up and says "I've got this new band that I've listened to, check this CD out", we'll put it on. A lot of bands that we talk to sort of sit in their vans with their own iPods in, but we just put the stereo on and whatever goes on, goes on loud.

RF.net: I've read that you guys have been endorsed by the UK street fashion clothing line Drop Dread, and also Fred Perry. What does that involve, and how did that come about?
Lawrence: New threads...because we're sick! [laughs]

Sean: The guys that run that are one of the reasons we're doing so well.

Lawrence: We're from the same area, and Oli likes our music, and they have a sick band, and they help us out loads. They've been at the same place we're at right now, you know, just trying to get there and stuff. So they're just trying to help us out.

Matt: Yeah, they just came to us and said "we like your shit", and we were like "cool, we'll rep it".

Lawrence: We've only gotten to know them in this past year. We literally live like 10 minutes away from where they live, so it's weird to only getting to know them now, but they're good guys.

RF.net: So you guys are a part of the really growing UK heavy music scene, the underground scene, a lot of bands in it right now, especially young bands like yourselves. It's been really flourishing, so what is your opinion of the British underground heavy music scene, and why do you think that the movement here is so strong right now as opposed to say, 5-6 years ago.
Sav: More good bands coming out, I think.

Lawrence: Everyone's getting better. A lot of young bands that we know are just fuckin' on it.

Matt: I think that bands are learning that you just have to go out. There are lots of bands doing the standard thing, where they get a t-shirt print, and then they are a band, and then they play. But there are a lot of bands trying to do it more DIY. Like we do all of our own shit, the whole last album was done by ourselves. All our t-shirts are designed by us.

Lawrence: I think that bands are waking up to the fact that you can just do what you want. If you work hard, you're gonna get it out there.

Matt: But at the same time, they are learning that it's not just a piece of piss, you gotta work for it, which is cool.

Lawrence: But as far as our opinion of the scene goes...there's a lot of negativity, I think, in some areas.

RF.net: How so?

Matt: Just people with stupid opinions, I think.

Sean: If you're like in a hardcore band, that's all you listen to.

Lawrence: As a hardcore band in between every song they wanna be like "this goes out to bla bla bla", and they just make up this bullshit reason, which they probably don't even believe themselves, and it's just like "shut up mate. Just get on and play your songs and write good music instead of that". They put more into saying what they want in between songs than in writing music. And it's just like: "fuck off mate, you're just talking bullshit".

RF.net: Do you guys reckon that the success of a band like Architects or Bring Me The Horizon has attributed to the growth of the scene here?

Lawrence: Definitely, they're massive bands for a lot of us.

Sean: They write good music, that's the main reason.

RF.net: Would you say that those guys have been some of your influences?

All: Definitely.

Matt: They're putting the time in. They've been doing it for years already.

Lawrence: What a lot of people don't realize though is that we've been doing this for six years. We haven't been known for six years, but at the same time we've been at the same wave length, we've watched them do a lot of this stuff. So we have lots of respect for those bands.

RF.net: I also read that you guys are headed to the US for a tour this fall. Tell me a little bit about that?
Lawrence: Yeah man, can't wait!

Matt: We just got asked to go on tour with that lineup, and we were like...

Sean: Best lineup in the world.

Lawrence: I've never been there before so it's gonna be cool.

RF.net: So what do you expect from the crowds over there? Do you reckon you're playing in front of people who don't know you at all, or do you have a fanbase there?

Lawrence: We have an American label, Good FIght Music, so hopefully they've been repping a bit, so lets see what comes out of it. But we'll go over there to have a good time.

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