While She Sleeps

Sonisphere UK 2011 Interview: While She Sleeps

Sheffield, England garnered a worldwide reputation for steel production during the boom time of the industrial revolution, earning itself the nickname “Steel City”. One only has to hear the opening moments of While She Sleeps “The North Stands For Nothing” to know that the character of Sheffield, the band’s hometown, has permeated them to the core.

While She Sleeps formed with a blue collar and hard-nosed work ethic that resulted in them playing close to 300 shows across the UK and mainland Europe. Their hard work steadily began to pay off as their album “The North Stands For Nothing” started to receive critical acclaim from European music publications like Kerrang and Metal Hammer. Their songs and videos also started getting highly sought after spins and views on major European media outlets like XFM Total Rock, Scuzz, and Kerrang TV in the U.K. As their profile began to ascend, the opportunities being presented grew bigger accordingly. They became one of only two bands in the U.K. to be endorsed by Fred Perry, the renowned U.K. street fashion clothing line.

Having amassed an impressive string of accomplishments in the UK and mainland Europe, While She Sleeps now get to turn some attention to the US and Canada after signing to Good Fight Music and announcing a US tour with Bring Me The Horizon, Parkway Drive, Architects and Deez Nuts.

With the band riding high and having the best year of their careers to date, I had the chance to interview Adam at Sonisphere to talk about their new album that is in the works, the crazy year that they have been having including their upcoming first American tour with Bring Me The Horizon and more.

Be sure to check out the band on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and Vimeo.

Watch the band’s latest music video below for their brand new song ‘Be(lie)ve’.

How you doing man?

I’m good man, seriously fucking sweet!

How was your performance earlier on?

Aw mate it fucking went smooth and we good got a good reception at half eleven in the morning.

Yeah you were one of the first bands on today, one or two just before you but you opened that [Bohemia] stage.

Yeah exactly, one of the first on but the fans impressed me so I’m pretty happy.

You sticking around now that you’re finished or are you away?

Yeah we’re here all weekend so we’ll be dotting around everywhere. It’s kind of shit that sometimes you miss people like Gallows are on now but it’s all cool.

There were a few festival dates leading up to this one, how did they go down?

Aw mate they were fantastic. It’s a different thing for us as we played Sonisphere last year and that was like the first festival we had done and then we did Grasspop last week or whatever and we smashed it, it was so good for us. To go over to Belgium and for people to be into us was great.

One of the tour dates I’ll need to ask you about and that was your recent performance in Glasgow.

I love Glasgow, not just saying that [laughs], but they are proper troopers over there as they show us so much love so we always want to give it back. That was like a 400 people sold out headlining show which surprises us so it was just great to have that there.

Then you had the after show at the Cathouse.

Christ that was mental [laughs]. Everyone came and we just partied hard for the rest of the night but it got messy.

While She Sleeps The North Stands For Nothing ArtworkBack in February you gave away your album [‘The North Stands For Nothing’] with Metal Hammer which really took the band to a new level with your name just spreading like wildfire so how does it feel now knowing that just that one little deal has sent the band to a completely new level?

We didn’t expect to get that kind of offer, it was huge but we didn’t really didn’t know what we were doing when we did it, we just thought ‘let’s put it out and see what happens’ and it got a good response. There was no way we could turn it down and we weren’t interested in making any money, if more people could hear our shit then great.

How did it come around?

They just offered it to us like ‘do you want to put your CD on the front of our magazine for a month’ and we just said ‘yeah’ and that was it [laughs]. We did the album ourselves so we just thought it doesn’t really matter man, give it out and that was it.

The most recent material that you have released was the new song ‘Be(lie)ve’ with the brackets around the word ‘lie’, was there a specific reason for that as to the meaning of the song or what?

It was really just a little bit of a play on words with believe and lie but it does have a couple of sides to it with religion, the government and that sort of shit. People seem to get locked in and believe in shit but most of it is just a lie.

Was that a brand new song that you had wrote or was it an old one that you decided to record?

It was one after the album. We just sort of felt like that we should release a new track and keep everyone going. We don’t know if it’s going to be on the [new] album, I don’t think it is.

More or less a track to sort of remind people you are still there and coming with new material

Yeah, just a little refresher.

How is the writing coming along for the new album?

It’s wicked, we’re just chilling and getting the first layer down and I think around November we’re going to start recording. I’m fucking excited.

Is there going to be much different from the demos and that first layer that you have built?

Yeah it’s pretty much going to be, well we’re not losing anything because this is us and that’s it but hopefully it’s going to be a lot more intense, heavier and at the same time still us.

There is a BBC session also that you did to come out this year as well. What was the session as I missed the broadcast and details so was it like a live recorded performance or did you do acoustic or what?

No it was us playing live; it was just created for us man. We had never been in a studio before that.

Ah cool so you all have your own personal home studios then.

Yeah so the first studio we had been in was Maida Vale and it was pretty intense but we got through it and it was cool man. I think we’re going to release that soon because it was on the radio but I think there will be a download of it available soon.

It has been some year for the band considering you have been around for five/six years, the last year has been major.

Yeah man we’re just trying to take it in. It’s cool, we all love it and we’re going to be here for a long time so we will take it all.

One of the things I read about the band is that a few of you or maybe even one of you are vegans?

Yeah there are three vegetarians in the bands.

While She Sleeps BandDoes it become difficult on the road or especially here at Sonisphere as every food stand you hit they are just selling meat?

Yeah well I’ve been a vegetarian for twenty one years so it’s not that hard for me to work around it, it’s my life man but it can cause problems. If it gets difficult then I’ll just eat a cheese sandwich, we pretty much live on cheese.

I imagine then on tour it might be hard to actually find a lot of restaurants that will fit to your own needs so you’re not constantly eating sandwiches and things on the road.

You try get around it as much as you can but when you’re in a city or whatever you pretty much end up stuck with cheese; some really shitty eating on tour.

You talked before about never being in a studio before but now do you think you might, for the next album, take that jump with some money and record in one?

Well that’s the thing man we are DIY to fuck. I can’t stress it enough like the screens we have on stage with us, we made them in one day but while it’s cool to pay for stuff to get done, if you can make them yourself then go for it. In terms of the album we’re opening our eyes to different things so we could record ourselves but if we can get some dude in to get another aspect on it then that’s a step for us. We’re kind of on the fence about things like that.

Yeah I suppose you don’t need someone in to produce or such, just another ear to give some views, if you disagree then bin them.

Yeah man cause we’re so passionate about this and we need our input in as much as the next dude but we just don’t know yet.

When you look at the current line-up of who you have right now, what is making this unit really strong?

You mean since Lawrence [Taylor] came in?


Aw mate, no offence to our old singer because he is still my bro but it hadn’t felt like this before. I’d known Lawrence for six years before and it was kind of meant to be with all the pieces coming together. It sounds cheesy but we’re best friends, that’s what it is and I don’t go out with any other dudes apart from them so I see them a lot.

Obviously that chemistry with Lawrence is felt not only within the band but at live shows as you have been highly praised for the live performances that you put on. So are you someone who prefers the live show or do you like the creative process?

I’m not sure man as it’s different things. I love different areas of the band like I love playing live but then we all like writing plus we all design shit you know what I mean. I do love everything but I think when we’re live we get to unleash so that’s cool.

I saw the recent tour announcement before we came to Sonisphere and that was the big US tour with Bring Me The Horizon, Parkway Drive, Architects and Deez Nuts which is a massive opportunity for you guys.

We’re stoked man! We’re so appreciative to be on the tour and the dudes in Bring Me The Horizon have helped us out so they’re cool dudes. We played Grasspop and met them there then they asked us if we would play a couple of shows in Germany so that tour is going to be insane! We’ve never been to America so it’s going to explode.

While She Sleeps BandYou’re saying how Bring Me The Horizon are cool dudes but have there been any bands you have toured or worked with that you just didn’t really get on with?

To be honest not that many as we’ve had a good run but of course you will get dudes who are being a bit of a dick but to be honest I’ve come across that many bands, we’ve had a good run. It’s good when you come to a festival and everyone knows each other and can just party so I can’t really say a bad word.

The band has been fighting for a good number of years to get to this level with the correct amount of publicity and things but say tomorrow it all went tits up and you had to give up, what would you do for a job or career?

Aw mate that is tricky shit. Aw I really don’t know, I’d probably be a gigolo or something. We’ve all sort of took everything off and jumped in the deep end with this so I don’t know, probably live on the dole for the rest of my life. This really is the only job for me.

To wrap up I’ve been asking the same question to all the bands across the weekend and that is if you could go back to when you first started to really progress in music, with all of the knowledge that you have about the industry and stuff now and give yourself one piece of advice, what would you tell yourself?

I don’t even know man, that’s a tough question, I really don’t know. Man that’s hard but I’d probably tell myself to go back and get more into my instrument than I have done. I started off early as we all did but I think to work on your instrument. Yeah I think I’d go back to doing that more than what I have done so that’s what I would tell myself.


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Michael is the owner and creator of EspyRock. He is your general all round geek; sports fan; TV show fanatic. You can find him sharing his thoughts on his personal Twitter account. Contact Michael on Twitter or via Email.

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