Having only been a band for the better part of a year and a half, …
“It’s not an easy place to be and it’s really not an easy way to make a career so huge shoutouts to you, anyone reading this interview and anyone who has ever supported our band,” says Lawrence ‘Loz’ Taylor, the group’s long-time lead vocalist.
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When you see a band touring internationally, selling out shows and gearing up for their massively anticipated fifth studio album; you would assume that they are at the top of their game.
While you may assume it’s true, spearheading a scene doesn’t always mean you are simultaneously living the lavish life of rockstars depicted in Almost Famous.
In fact, a lot of the time it can be quite the opposite. All it takes is a look into the Architects documentary 100 Days to see the difficulties of making music your livelihood.
For While She Sleeps, the same truth exists.
The band is about to release their fifth album, Sleeps Society, a nod to their inclusive fan-oriented society of the same name; but for the English lads, the last decade has been a slog or hard work, medical emergencies and label mismanagement.
“We have come through so many changes in our industry and we have had to sort of figure out ways to do it and meander through different changes and it feels that people are starting to notice our work ethic and they seem to be enjoying it,” Loz says.
“We have never really been scared of wearing our heart on our sleeves or saying things that needed to be said or trying to work in a different way. As long as we are entertaining people and they are enjoying our music then that is great for us.”
And a truer word couldn’t be spoken. With Sleeps Society including moments of rap, industrial and even at times 1980’s ‘Goa Trance’ inspired 303 basslines, it’s evident the lengths While She Sleeps push to innovate, even if at times it may be a risky move.
“The industry is a vicious place, at the click of a button on YouTube you can find your next favourite band,” Loz says. “It’s very dog eat dog at the moment, as much as I speak about that sense of community; bands popularity and how readily available all their music can be can make it quite tough for the next band.”
We are trying to raise a platform of awareness and if we can do something positive that will help others then I think it’s only a positive thing.
[ Lawrence ‘Loz’ Taylor ]
As a response to the harshness of the industry, While She Sleeps’ “Sleeps Society” has acted as an inclusive community for all fans and aspiring musicians.
“I’m hoping that this model can help up and coming artists” Loz says. “The way that we consume our music has changed so much but I don’t feel like the industry has changed as much.
“I feel like the Sleeps Society, in our own way, gives fans a chance to do that; a chance to discuss all things While She Sleeps, meet others that want to start bands and all things like that. It’s already creating so many positive relationships and helping us as a band sustain our career. It drops a bit of the smoke and mirrors for the people who want to know what we are trying to do as a band. It’s really about addressing these problems so that up and coming bands in the future have got a fighting chance. We are trying to raise a platform of awareness and if we can do something positive that will help others then I think it’s only a positive thing.”
Having first founded this community atmosphere for their fans via the release of their first independent album You Are We in 2017, Loz said, “It’s amazing to see what it has evolved into but it’ll be amazing in the future to grow that relationship even further.”
A prediction that seems prophetic considering Sleeps Society single streams indicate it might be While She Sleeps biggest release to date. Pushing their sound even further, the group also employed the help of guest vocalists on certain songs; a fate that is logistically incredible considering While She Sleeps already include three vocalists. Of the guest’ vocalists, one has particularly sparked interest, especially considering their recent feature on the newest Architects album; Simon Neil of Scottish arena rockers Biffy Clyro.
“That was a bit naughty of Simon there because we had no idea he was on the Architects track,” laughs Loz. “We actually had to go to Architects at a point and go ‘ummmm, you do realise that we have the same guest on our song.”
“I don’t think it’s made a difference to either track though. Simon Neil is such a great frontman that he brings something different to both of our songs and it was really great to work with him. I think we kept literally everything from his demos in the actual song and I think it turned out great.”
As for the song, it was born of struggle. “It’s a song that Sean wrote a lot of when he was going through some difficult times and I feel that’s the emotion we hear in the song and especially during the isolation of a pandemic I think this song can do a lot for people. It’s already dug me out of a few mental holes and I think it can become quite a positive and inspiring song for others so I hope it’s received that way.”
As Loz humbly concludes, “If you’re open minded and you like rock, metal, punk and hardcore then go check it out. I think there will be something for everyone.”