Monday, July 12, 2010

Interview with Sleep For The Nightlife

Thursday, July 15th marks the Ithaca return of international super-stars Sleep For The Nightlife! OK, so that's exaggerating but, these four are from Toronto and many people enjoyed their performance last year with Zona Mexicana.  This time around they're be performing with Boston's Ladderlegs and local favs Makeshift and BRIAN!  The band is a year older, a year wiser, and - as all DIY bands - a year broker.  Is broker a word in that context? Regardless, SFTNL team captian Brandon chats it up with Ithaca Underground's Bubba Crumrine with what's old and what's shiny and new!

IU: What have you all be up to since we last saw you last July?

SFTNL: Wow, I don't even know where to begin...Well, we're all a year older, considerably poorer and continuously amassing new debt. We've been playing as much as possible in as many places as possible, writing a lot of new material and working on having a full length out for early next year.

IU: How did the mini-tour with Hey Predator! go?

SFTNL: It was a lot of fun, the Hey Predator! boys are our most-bestest-band-like-buddies, so to do a string of shows with them was awesome. We did one show in an auto shop and played facing each other, trading song-for-song... which was a ton of fun! That show culminated in a drunken 10-piece jam of Neil Young's "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World" complete with each of us taking the biggest jerk solos we could muster. Originally we had planned to do a lot more shows together this summer but ended up deciding to break up the dates into two sections, so we're hoping to visit them in the fall and do some more shows together.

IU: I believe you mentioned you’re on a new label when we spoke in the spring. How did that come to be?

SFTNL: Sure, We've recently struck up a relationship with Easy Tiger Entertainment, a Toronto indie label that's on the verge of doing some big things. They're going to be taking care of us in Canada and helping us get a full-length off the ground, hopefully by the second quarter of 2011. They're absolute sweethearts and have already welcomed us into the family with open arms. How this will affect the USA, I don't know- for now we're just focusing on promoting our current EP "Human People", visiting with all of the wonderful people that we met last year and making as many new friends as possible.

IU: So you mentioned you have new material in the works?
SFTNL: Always, we can't help it. We're bringing a ton of new stuff with us for your lovely American ears to critique and judge harshly and then when we return to our frigid homeland we will begin working on a new full-length which should be out next spring (hopefully).

IU: How did you all meet and how did SFTNL come to be?

SFTNL: We've all been crossing paths with each other over and over again for about ten years now while playing in bands that we'd rather forget about and growing up in the suburbs around Toronto. I guess what started the ball rolling on Sleep was a combination of boredom and frequent relocation. I was living in a small town about an hour north of Toronto and teaching guitar in a local music store. Danny happened to track me down and he told me that he was moving to town and over the course of the conversation he jokingly asked me to get him a job at the music store, which I took seriously and did. We started writing in the store when we weren't teaching and Danny somehow managed to trick Mitchell (who I hadn't spoken to in years) into jamming with us.

We originally called ourselves The Question. In the spirit of Abbott and Costello's "Who's on first?" bit, we thought it would be funny to hear members of the audience conversing,

"hey, what's this band called?"
"That's The Question"
and so on...

On the eve of our first show we kidnapped Devon from another band and transported him to the venue in the trunk of my car (sorry about that, buddy)... I think that band might still be looking for him, so if you see his face on the side of a milk carton don't be alarmed, but feel free to collect the reward; we have him brainwashed to the point that he'll just come right back to us anyway. We changed our name after about a year, once the joke got so old that just announcing the band name would send us all into uncontrollable fits of dry heaving during a set. As SFTN We're a fairly young band I suppose, but going on a half decade together I'd say we're in a pretty serious relationship.

IU: What are the biggest challenges you face as a Canadian band touring to/in the US?

SFTNL: Mainly it's just the traditional financial shortcomings of being any sort of struggling musician/performance artist/painter/sculptor/photographer/birthday clown/hobo/etc... as well as a perpetual fear of border guards.

IU: Any particular cities, people, or spaces you're looking forward to in your latest trek back to the States?

SFTNL: Although this tour is considerably bigger than our last trip, we're very much looking forward to visiting all of the friends that we made last summer. I think those stops are going to almost seem like off days, You know? Ithaca is going to be so much fun for this very reason. We're so excited for every stop though so unless you have a few hours that we can chat about this we should probably just move along.

IU: Any final words for those who came out to see you last time and for those coming out to see you on July 15th?

SFTNL: For those who came out last year, thanks for lending us your eyes and ears, being so kind and supporting your local scene... And if we'll be seeing you on July 15th, please be sure to come over and say "hi" to us if you have a moment. We're nice people and like to converse with other nice people about nice things.