OBM: For those people who haven’t heard of "Sleep Serapis, Sleep", could you give us a brief life story?
The band originate as a rock-pop unit known as “Burn These Pages”. More and more we came to see that metal is the only fitting route for our message to be heard. We evolved slowly but surely, through musical and line-up changes to the band you see today. We are constantly changing, and I hope improving!
OBM: Who came on the idea to start with the band?
Our current drummer and guitarist are the founding members of the band, Ean and Mike respectively. At first they just jammed out to Blink-182 covers in Ean’s basement, they eventually became organized into a power-pop emo group called “Stuck in an Awkward Moment”. Their success was limited, but they gained some valuable experience that would come into play later. Then the band took it’s turn for the dark side, and slowly became heavier and heavier, changing names, styles, members. During the midst of all this I came over to Ean’s and sang horribly to “Gatsby’s American Dream”, which was (unbeknownst to me) an audition. I then became the lead vocalist of the band, and have stuck through the thin and thick of things since.
OBM: Did you know each other before you set up with the band?
Mike, Ean and I all went to high school together. The rest we’ve met through the music scene.
OBM: What is the meaning of your band name "Sleep Serapis, Sleep" ! is there a deeper background on it?
To me, all our lyrics, and band name included, are subject to interpretation. Not solely because I want them to be, but because people will always have their own opinions, that’s the long and short of it, and I think that’s something to be celebrated. ‘Sleep Serapis, Sleep!’ recognizes the power of something greater than the self. It is an effort, a questioning of this power. We are bidding it’s mercy, and attempting to calm it’s fury, while simultaneously admitting we have no true power of it. And why Serapis? It’s romantic, in the true sense of the word. The long forgotten Egyptian god of the underworld, couldn’t be more fitting to our sound, and it also gets people thinking what makes this god any different than other gods in our history. That’s an open-ended question, which we’d love for everyone to try and answer.
OBM: How would you describe your own sound?
Melodic Metalcore, with southern rock influences.
OBM: What are your musical infuences?
As for me, I can say that I am inspired by ‘Fear Before the March of Flames’ lyrically and vocally. Oliver Sykes from ‘Bring Me the Horizon’ is probably my vocal hero. My other musical influences include but are not confined to: ‘xLife Ruinerx’, ‘All That Remains’, ‘After the Burial’, ‘August Burns Red’, ‘The Bled’, ‘Every Time I Die’, ‘Norma Jean’, ‘Mortal Treason’, ‘Oh Sleeper’ and ‘Symphony in Peril’.
OBM: Is "Days of Epiphany Years of Regret" your first EP or how many CDs have you recorded up to now?
Yes, the demo is our very first release. Even now, we are planning an EP release which will be recorded in July and released sometime in the Fall/Winter. The CD will be 7 tracks, with much better recording and album art. Even though our fans are few, they have much to look forward to. ‘Dead Man Walking’ is just around the corner!
OBM: Where have you recorded the EP and who have mixed it?
John Akbar recorded, mixed and mastered it in Jared Logan’s (7 Angels 7 Plagues) studio. Jared actually graced us with his presence, by pounding on the door and pretending he was the cops. We were all pretty scared, but he listened to our recordings and called us ‘Brutal’. I think all of our hearts skipped a beat that day.
OBM: How long did you work on this record, on which part have you particularly worked for a long time?
This record was done with some planning, but mainly was designed to promote our sound and name. Our next release is going to be much more intricate, and I don’t think it’s breakdowns are to be taken lightly either. It’s slightly more aggressive, but at the same time more musically challenging. It’s gotten heavier, more southern, and more melodic all at once. At any rate, the part we focused most on in ‘Days of Epiphany; Years of Regret’ trying to create a mix with a live-music feel, that would have mass appeal. I think we have succeeded in this department.
OBM: Where do you find inspiration when you write/make music?
While I have musical suggestions about how to structure our music, I can in no way take credit for the music itself. Lyrically, however, Derek and I have written in conjuction. “‘Optimism’: The Game Won By Not Playing” was actually written by Mike and myself. Most of the demo I wrote single-handedly because Derek was a new addition. Our new material will have some vocal inspiration from Derek’s experience with southern-metal friends, the late “Gabriel Hunter”.
OBM: How important is the lyrical side of “Sleep Serapis, Sleep!” compared to the musical side?
As the lyricist, I will obviously tell you, “EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!”. There’s room for both to be expressed and understood. If we can, we like to have people singing along, and hopefully they wonder what it is they’re saying. I could have filled the 14 minutes and one second of ‘Days of Epiphany; Years of Regret’, with ANYTHING. Why I chose the words I did IS important. Obviously, I feel there is SOMETHING worth saying, that deserves to be said to the tune of metal, and deserves more than anything else I could have possibly conceived. Don’t be frustrated, you’re not MEANT to understand what I was thinking. All you can ever know is quite simple: What does it mean to YOU? If you look hard enough, I’m sure you can find out.
OBM: What are your songs about, what will you express with them?
‘Optimism’ is about the danger of stereotypes. The persona, ‘Ourself’ is a symbol. It is both plural and singular at the same time. It represents what we do with our own appearances that bind ourselves to a collective identity that really doesn’t exist at all. The message here is pretty simple, those who are categorized and stereotyped aren’t really the victims we might think, but the perpetrators.
OBM: What are the strengths which make your band unique?
I think we have a unique way of being gentler in a metal/hardcore scene that is overrun by bands that are trying to do the same thing, except rubbing off a bit cheesy. Instead of the usual emotional high-notes sustained with an accompaniment of screams, we have a more genuine approach. I think our new album will more accurately reflect this. But when all is said and done, we just want everyone to have fun, ourselves included.
OBM: Do you have a record label in prospect, or do you search for one?
We actually have a few looking into us, and we will be showcasing in June for the one that really interests us. Sorry, but I can’t really comment further on this!
OBM: At the moment the metal-hardcore scene is growing up. Is it hard to be accepted in the metal-hardcore in the U.S.A.?
The way I see it, you start out and no one knows you. Furthermore, they don’t owe you anything, not even a listen. We’re willing to work our fingers to the bone just to get anyone and everyone to hear us, not because we deserve it, but because we want it bad enough. Generally however, people have been very considerate, and gone out of their way to pay a visit to our merchandise table, which is MUCH appreciated!
OBM: What are your future plans and aims for "Sleep Serapis, Sleep!"?
We have already selected the major label we’re shooting for in the long run, but again I can’t really say anything about that. My goal is quite simple: To have our own brand potato chip.
OBM: Thanks for your time. Anything else you want to say?
Music is about fun and expression. Stay safe and have a blast!
Link - www.myspace.com/sleepserapissleep