Interview with Sleep Nation
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
When I was 5 years old, the California Raisins really got me into “I Heard it through the Grapevine,” but it wasn’t until I was 7 years old riding around with my grandmother hearing “In the Air Tonight” by Phil Collins.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Watch horror movies, watch documentaries, read biographies, and my wife and I herd 4 cats.
How long has your band been around?
Sleep Nation has been around since 2010.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I grew up in a small town in middle Tennessee where if it wasn’t for my grandmother and my aunt. I don’t believe I would have known rock music even existed. My parents listened to country music. I can appreciate that music nowadays, but up until then it was everywhere. I wanted to be moved, motivated, and enamored by music. Pink Floyd could do that just by choosing certain chord structures, and singing about their long lost bandmate, Syd Barrett. That was the kind of music that I gravitated towards.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
We really just wanted something that wasn’t found on the internet. The media has us entranced by shiny objects on our screens, and we walk around like a Sleep Nation. It is also a mattress company just in case you search google.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
I’ve had the honor to play twice at the Relay for Life Cancer Benefit Event in our hometown because my mother passed away from breast cancer when I was 12 years old. The first time we performed we played one song which was a very emotional song, but they only had one microphone. So, we had no way to plug up the guitar. So, I had to kneel down, and position the microphone at my fellow band members' crotch area while he played guitar, and I was singing into a microphone during this emotional moment. It was kind of funny and emotional at the same time.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Hix Farm Brewery and the Cobra, are two of the best venues around. We would love to play Bonnaroo if we ever got the chance because it was so close to where I grew up.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
U2, Nine Inch Nails, Peter Gabriel, and then yours truly.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Plot your own course, and don’t stray from that initial plan. What I just said.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
“Don't ever, for any reason, do anything to anyone for any reason ever, no matter what, no matter where, or who, or who you are with, or where you are going, or where you've been... ever, for any reason whatsoever…” Michael Scott - The Office
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
“Get Out” because it was one of the first songs that Joey and I officially released as a duo. All of the instruments are played either by Joey or myself.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
“Deeper in Debt '' always gets noticed and recognized even though we haven’t even released it yet, adn “Crybaby” because it’s a tribute to my cat who passed away earlier this year.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Joey and I workshop a riff, and then I take it home and play around with it on the computer. Quickly, after that process a song appears.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
If there is something that is not discussed or talked about. I like to bring that up. For instance, our newest release “Get Out” is about a man who exclaimed “Love is all you Need” and “Give Peace a Chance,” but behind closed doors exhibited a different life. Sadly, in an interview with Playboy, published just two days before he died, John Lennon admitted, "I used to be cruel to my woman, and physically... any woman. I was a hitter. I couldn't express myself, and I hit." We hope this song inspires anyone in a terrible situation to approximately “Get Out.” Whether you are different, weird, nerdy, or broken no one should have to be subjected to any abuse physically or verbally. Be who you are, and if you are in a difficult situation sometimes the best option is to “Get Out.”
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Once we became a duo the disagreements disappeared. So… I don’t know whose fault that is.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Release a Comic Book, 2 More Videos, and a Full-Length Album before the end of the year.