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Sleeping With Sirens - 05.08.12

Interviewed by: Jake Denning (05/08/12)
I tend to do this really stupid thing where I ignore particular bands, and then realize that I was foolish for doing so. Sleeping With Sirens is a prime example of that -- I totally paid attention half-way to maybe one or two songs at last summer's All-Stars tour, then left for an interview. Sleeping With Sirens have accumulated an impressive 11.5 million hits collectively between their last three music videos; their most recent video, "Do It Now, Remember It Later", is about at 1 million hits.

About a month ago, I had the opportunity to speak with Sleeping With Sirens vocalist Kellin Quinn about their headliner they were currently on, as well as topics such as Warped Tour, an Acoustic album (set to release in June), as well as various other topics.

Be sure and check the band when they hit your area on Warped, and pick up their acoustic album, "If You Were A Movie, This Would Be Your Soundtrack" on June 26th on Rise Records.


So let's talk about this headliner you're on, called "Let's Tour To This". You have Abandon All Ships, Conditions, and Secrets alongside you on this tour. What led you to bring these particular bands out?

Well, because we wanted to be cool with the scene, and bring out all the scene bands...that was a joke.

The reason we brought out a few headliner runs with Abandon All Ships, and they bring out a lot of kids and they're our friends. Conditions is a band that we like to listen to, and we thought it would fit with our sound, and it wouldn't be a typical band you'd expect us to bring out; they tend to tour with a lot of pop bands. Secrets is a band that just starting out on our tour, and it was suggested by our booking agent.

You guys just put out a new video for "Do It Now, Remember It Later". What inspired the music video idea?

The video was inspired by a lot of old MTV music videos; I really like what the Foo Fighters did with their videos growing up, there was a lot of humor behind those, and we wanted to do something along those lines. Our video director Drew Russ, who had done a lot of the A Day To Remember videos had the idea to do a news anchor theme, and we rolled with it; it was a lot of fun making it.

What was the background behind the song?

It's about everyone's opinion about our band. It's the middle finger to everybody [that has a negative opinion]; we're going to make the music we're going to make. We don't make music for anyone else, we make music for ourselves; if fans like to listen to it, then thats's great -- that's the cherry on top of the cake. But I think that if you're not making music that you want to make, then you're not doing the right thing. So that's what that song stands for, doing what you want to do and not worrying about what people think about you.

When I hear mentions of your band, people seem to always mention your video for "If You Can't Hang". Do you feel comfortable being defined by this song? It has close to 4 million hits on YouTube.

I think if you release a record with a song that defines your band, then you're doing it right. I think if you look at our first record, I think "James Dean/Aubrey Hepburn" was the song people associate with that record. If "You Can't Hang" is the new big thing, then great; hopefully the next record has a song like that as well. So yeah, I don't mind people knowing of us because that song.

Sticking with the same theme of online presence, you have millions of hits on YouTube, close to 500K "likes" on Facebook. I noticed Sleeping With Sirens has an official website; what inspired the idea behind the website? why not stick solely to social media websites?

I think it's cool to have something that has everything tied into one, and you don't have to go a few places just to see what the band is up to. I think that's a good step to creating a professional business, because that's what it is; you sell CD's, and you sell T-Shirts. The ultimate goal is to build a website that looks professional. We wanted to make it user friendly, and make it something that was cool for the fans -- we put a lot of tumblr entries on the feed, and a lot of stuff you can see that you can see if you check out the website, so you gotta go there to see it. It sort of gives control back to the band, instead of everyone else who can gather around the internet.

Do you feel with the music industry's ever-changing nature, that bands will eventually shift back to official websites as opposed to social media websites?

It's hard to tell, everything changes so quickly; three years ago, people thought that Myspace would never die...and then it did. So I think that you have to be aware of all the changes and then move forward with it. I think it could possibly go back to websites being the main source of information, but for right now, we're going to use Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, and the website is at the top of it all.

Are there any ways to communicate with you guys through the actual website, as opposed to various social media websites?

Yeah, as I mentioned before we have that feed of Tumblr links that we respond to. We're going to do video chats with people on the website, and i'm not sure if it's finalized yet, but we've talked about our twitter feed being linked on the side of the page. We're trying to make this site the go-to spot, and people can see everything that's there -- you don't have to go to the Facebook and Twitter if you don't want to.

You guys are gearing up to write for a new album, correct?

Well we just did an Acoustic EP that's done, and we're finalizing the cover art and other various stuff. As for a brand new full-length album, we have a few ideas, but we're not going to dig into that until right after Warped tour.

Speaking of the Acoustic EP, what inspired the idea to record that?

Well, when we first started our career, we would sit down and play acoustic songs for people to keep us fresh in their mind, and the idea took off; it was something cool and unique that we brought to the table, and we wanted to give those fans that were into that an album to listen to. Instead of having to download a video quality mp3, we wanted to give them a studio quality version. I think it's rare for a band in our scene to do that; we re-wrote the songs in an acoustic way, and we wanted to give them that light. If you don't want to listen to the high energy versions of our stuff, and you just want to chill out, then they could pop in our acoustic EP and have it be toned down.

Coming back to the topic of the third full length album, is there stuff you haven't written about that you'd like to after you come back after Warped Tour?

Yeah, I think that this third album is going to be the most important album for us; I think the first album was us figuring out who we were, and the second album was us finding out who we were and putting it out there, and the third album is the one where we could do everything that we're aiming to do, we're very excited about it. There's definitely things that i've been excited to write about. We're a very fast paced band, we don't like to wait too long between albums, playing the same songs can be monotonous. It's important to keep things fresh, and we're definitely ready and geared up to do this next record.

Looking back, what was a hindrance during the writing process of your last album that won't be a hindrance on this next writing process for the third album?

I think everything went pretty smooth on the last album. I think we're going to have a lot more time and be in a more comfortable spot, write the album on our own time. Both the first and the second album were done in a quick manner; the first album was written in a couple of weeks, the second album a little bit longer. This time around, we're going to have a few months of writing, and about a month or so in the studio; we're going to do some demos and pretty much have everything ready to rock before we hit the studio. We're going to fine tune some things and change a few details [in the studio] so we can put out an awesome record to listen to.

With as large of an online presence and fan base as your band has, do you have any substantial pressure writing this record, knowing how much people connect with your lyrics?

I think if you don't have that pressure, then you're not doing it right. I think there's always going to be some sort of pressure, because you're being looked at by so many people, and they either want you to sound different or sound the same, so you have to find that middle balance without changing who you are. There's that pressure in trying to do everything in the right mixture and have it come out right; it's exciting to me and the rest of the band, and allows us to do the best we can.

Let's talk about Warped Tour, you're on the entire tour. How exciting are you guys to be on your first Warped Tour as a band?

I'm very excited, very pumped to play on this tour in front of a lot of people; it's going to be an exciting time for our band. We've attended this tour many many times, so we're really excited to be a part of it.

You guys are touring non-stop, and you'll be writing and recording after Warped, but how quick will you guys be to get back on the road after that tour?

Well, there's another U.S. tour we're doing a few months after Warped Tour; I can't really talk about it too much, but it's a tour fans have wanted for a long time, and that should probably be a hint enough, since it's a band that they've been pushing for us to go on tour with. After that tour, we'll be writing and recording, and then we're going to work on gearing up for the next year and touring double time.

Have you considered doing any solo material? People like Tilian Pearson, Jonny Craig, and Craig Owens have done that and it's been successful.

I think the cool thing about our band is that we can do a lot of different sounding stuff, we're not grouped into sounding a certain way; so in a sense, I get to do a lot of the stuff I want to experiment with for a solo album, with the band. The Acoustic EP could've been a solo thing, but instead, it's something that's a part of the band; I want to focus my thoughts and energy and the talent I have (as well as the band) on the band. Maybe later on down the road, i'll do something on a solo level, but right now the band's enough for me -- I like what we're doing.

I talked to Craig Owens a little while ago, and we talked about Isles and Glaciers. He mentioned that if Jonny Craig still wasn't in a position to participate, that they'd probably move on without him. A lot of the comments for that interview mentioned that they'd like to see you in that vacant spot; if given the chance, would you be interested in participating?

I dunno, I think it'd be a really cool opportunity, but I like Isles and Glaciers for what it is; I think the team they had setup was a really good format, I really liked all those voices together. So I think it'd be kind of weird to jump in and do that on my end, just because it was a really awesome formula. I guess it'd just depend on the timing; if it was possible, I wouldn't know where i'd be if I was asked. I wouldn't be opposed to doing it, but I also don't know if it's something that's right for me.

What is one book and one band that'd you recommend to anyone that listens to your band and why?

I read this book called The Road by Cormac McCarthy; it was made into a movie, but the book was way better. It was just a really awesome book from beginning to end; I have a really hard time reading things and have it keep my attention, unless it's really just the book for me.

As for a band, I'd recommend Margot and The Nuclear So and So's. I'm sure there's a lot of people that know who they are, but if you don't, you should check them out; they write really awesome music.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Thank you to all the readers that take an interest in our band, and all the people that show up to our shows and buy tickets and CD's; you guys make us who we are, you make our world rule. A thank you to you guys is the most important thing for me to say. We have big things in the next year or two, so keep your eyes open and we'll be around. Thank you.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 10 of 10.
06:08 AM on 05/09/12
#2
t00latef0rr0ses
Purple Monkey Dishwasher
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Jake, great interview. Chock full of information. Third paragraph in the intro, the title of the upcoming acoustic album is If You Were a Movie, This Would Be Your Soundtrack. Just a small thing so people don't get confused.
06:28 AM on 05/09/12
#3
B.Leibo
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"Well, there's another U.S. tour we're doing a few months after Warped Tour; I can't really talk about it too much, but it's a tour fans have wanted for a long time, and that should probably be a hint enough, since it's a band that they've been pushing for us to go on tour with." ...and now Broadway is pushing the album back for a tour... I mean I know Misha said they'd probably never tour with them... but I can't imagine who else it would be. O_o
06:52 AM on 05/09/12
#4
himynameisjm
IM THE SHIT
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smart dude!
09:27 AM on 05/09/12
#5
Jake Denning
@Jake_Denning
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Jake, great interview. Chock full of information. Third paragraph in the intro, the title of the upcoming acoustic album is If You Were a Movie, This Would Be Your Soundtrack. Just a small thing so people don't get confused.
Gracias; great catch, thank you.
09:41 AM on 05/09/12
#6
t00latef0rr0ses
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Gracias; great catch, thank you.

You're welcome. Love your interviews man. Keep up the solid work.
10:09 AM on 05/09/12
#7
guitarguy211
The Starship Renegade
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Great interview. These guys are one of the best scenecore bands out there.
10:24 AM on 05/09/12
#8
Mario57
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Good interview and great band which keeps getting better and less sceney
10:45 AM on 05/09/12
#9
TSCDavid
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C'mon summer! Ready to see these dudes out on the warped tour!!
08:52 PM on 05/09/12
johnnyferris
5 LARGE PIZZAS
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I hate how they openly admit they made the first album for the strict purpose of getting noticed and big in the scene. Talk about writing dishonest music. At least they're past that now.
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