While She Sleeps chats DIY vibes and Brainwashed!

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The same night we spoke to Asking Alexandria, we were able to grab some time with lead vocalist of While She Sleeps, Lawrence “Loz” Taylor! I’ve interviewed the band in the past but it was in the packed atmosphere of Warped Tour and I wasn’t able to experience their live set yet. This night though, the band absolutely killed it and left me fully impressed. We talked about how he believes their latest record Brainwashed has been going over as well as the work they are doing on their own DIY space back home in Sheffield. Read on for our new one and keep your ears pealed for new music from this talented group!

A soft one to start, you are coming to the end of this run with Bullet For My Valentine. It’s been quite the run, a full English tour. Maybe how has it been going as the opener for you? 
Really, really good. Obviously when you get offered a tour, you debate and kind of work out whether it’s going to be strong for you. But I mean the tour in general has been absolutely amazing for us. The response we’ve been getting every day is been like ‘We’ve never heard of your band before and you guys were absolutely amazing”. We’ve been selling tons of CD’s and T-shirts. So it’s been an amazing run for us.

And you’ve been steadily touring since Brainwashed came out. Obviously Warped Tour and then this tour. Maybe how do you think the record has been going over so far? It is about the year mark. 
I mean yeah, obviously, we had the time off due to throat surgery and stuff. It was a bit worrying going into that album as to whether people were still going to be on our side and waiting for new music. You know what it’s like with the current climate of music. The genre is getting very saturated with bands. It’s easy to find bands that they click with but since it came out, the response has been really good for it. We feel like we’ve bounced back stronger as a unit as well as a group of friends. We’ve come through a bit of a difficult period in our band. The process of writing it, recording it and finishing it was a very long chunk of time. So as much as it was nice to get it out there and people to here it, it was nice to put a little bit of a cap on that sort of cycle. Not the cycle but like the recording of it and finally push it out to people. The response has been wicked kind of across the globe, not to sound big headed. Everywhere we’ve gone, I think the general vibe is that it’s a good follow up to our debut which is the idea. Second album jitters. You’ve had all your life to write your first album if you like but the second album is always a bit like ehhhh. So yeah we were stoked with the response and it was good to finally get that out.

And you talked about how there was kind of a cap to that recording cycle. Is this something where you’re currently working on new music, maybe some of these songs are much older I assume. 
Yeah I mean Sean, our guitarist, is constantly working on new stuff. He’s always backed up with riffs. We’re constantly writing stuff. It’s an ongoing process if you like but we’re getting on moving a bit more. We’re looking to hopefully release something a lot sooner than it happened between the other two albums. So we’re writing, yeah.

Perfect, you talked about how Sean has been working on guitar riffs and stuff but is it something where you work as a group, like collective songwriting? 
Yeah it’s kind of a process of elimination. Like Sean’s backed up with good ideas. It’s a case of which are our are strongest, which is going to work. Putting lyrics to them and all. So it’s kind of like skimming through all the good stuff Sean’s got and lyrics that we’ve got. Picking out what we like more then others and things like that but we all come together with that and we all love it. We all love like a unified idea of what we want to sound like. So yeah it’s good! We all bring ideas to the table. So it’s nice. It’s exciting that things are starting to come together and we’re going to work on our third CD.
That’s exciting, considering how it was a little while due to complications you couldn’t control. 
Yeah! And also we’re building our own DIY space from the grounds kind of upwards in Sheffield. Which is going to be like a HQ if you like. Hopefully that will help us create a little bit more of an organic band sound. Our other stuff was written a lot more on the road because we were touring so much. All our ideas are coming together on the road but with this, we’ll hopefully have a little bit of time to dig our teeth into it and jam everything. So hopefully we’ll have a nice organic feel to how it turns out.

Perfect and I wanted to ask you, just from interviewing Asking in the past and tonight, this is a full British tour. You all have a very strong presence back home. Maybe how has that been touring with all English bands?  
I think there’s always that interesting thing where it was kind of vice/versa in the UK that would work for like a US tour and obviously does work very well for bands coming overseas. I think it’s a really good way of saying that we do have some great bands without blowing our own horn. It was nice to be invited on to this run and I think it worked really, really well. We’ve toured with the bands before. So it’s been nice. An easy one really. You know like blind dates with people where you’re like is it going to be cool. We knew all the bands before so we knew what to expect. It’s been a really sort of chilled backstage vibe. We’ve had a lot of partying and just hanging out in general. So it’s been really natural, yeah.

Then I wanted to ask you, the record has been out for a while. I believe it came out March 22nd of last year.  You talked about how you’re writing new music, you’ve been touring constantly. Kind of what’s coming up for While She Sleeps, like for the rest of the year? 
Plans are we’re going to go back home from this and do a sold out UK run. It’s really cool actually. We’re hitting up a load of sweat box venues. Like venues we haven’t sort of played for a long time. We’re doing our hometown and really small venues and stuff which is going to be really, really nice to have like that unified vibe. In such a confined space. It will really feel like the energy’s there. So we finish that, that’s all sold out. So that’s going to be really, really fun. Then we’re going to finishing DIY’ing this new space we’ve got. Then we’ll be writing and finishing the record. We have a few festivals during that period of time. So we’ll have a nice little bit of time off and get our teeth into making the next record.

Then to maybe end it off, you talked about how you’re going to be making it yourself. Really making these headquarters for While She Sleeps .Is it something where you’re going to self-record the next record, is that kind of the plan? 
Yeah, a think lot more then the others have. I don’t think we’ll do it all ourselves. We’ll still get the other guys that have been involved in the records. Keep them involved but we don’t want to stop learning ourselves and that’s why we’re sort of building this thing from the ground up because we’re quite useless with stuff like that anyways. It’s a big learning curve for us as well as it is exciting. Eventually we want to be able to turn the space into like I said an HQ so we’d like to get our teeth into recording other bands eventually. Having a bit of an open house for our friends bands to come over and hang out. I think in true Sleep’s fashion in having a bit of a punk DIY vibe to everything that’s going on in our camp and that’s how we like it. We don’t like to rely much on other people so it’s going to be a nice special unit and there will be a lot of punk rock ethics going into all our stuff.

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Colleen has been writing about music since 2009. Interviewing bands since the glory days of Warped and has continued to do so for now over fourteen years. As well as doing freelance for other publications, the love for everything rock continues today.

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