For Hits and Gigs © 2018

  • Elise OLeary

Sleepwalkers Shouldn't be Slept On

This band has so much personality, and a positive outlook on the future of the music industry.

Sleepwalkers is the most lit band that can fit five band members on a ten foot stage. The band from Richmond, MD, not too far from DC, created a perfect live show experience to support their exceptional new album ‘Ages’. They had an almost 10 minute intro of just instrumental music, and the whole place was already having a great time. They really cant fit into a singular genre, and honestly it would be rude to try and put them into one. They’re a very fluid band, and you can tell they just truly enjoy making music and playing music. Check out our talk with them below!

Elise - How did you all meet? How did the band form? Well. I mean its pretty obvious how you met. (Austin and Michael are brothers!)

Michael - Our parents were very musical, and went to church. So we started singing in that way and Austin actually taught me how to play guitar. And then we met Alex, our engineer, who was working out of a studio in Virginia

Austin - Then after that we started playing together a little bit in the studio messing around, recorded greenwood shade, and that's how the band kinda started after that record was put out. We were like oh I guess we should form a band, after we recorded our record.

Michael - We started first as a production company. And then we recorded an album for fun and people liked it so much and we said let’s go on tour. So we went with the shins and awesome people.

Elise - That seemed like a really fun tour. I have been listening to the new album which is really really good. What are some of your favorite songs off of it that you’ve written or like to play live?

Michael - “Coyote” is really fun to play live, “American Nights”.

Austin - “I Can’t Wait”.

Michael - It’s great because it’s like a mixture of pop and rock, it’s great to let out some emotion on stage because we are very timid guys.

Elise - How has tour been so far?

Michael - Amazing. Brooklyn was amazing. It’s been really fun.

Austin - Because like said, people like the record. And they wanna hear it live and we are playing a lot of it, but set times are short. Having two records, we can’t play everything.

Elise - What have been some unexpected parts of tour?

Michael - The first day of tour, we rented a trailer and the screw at the bottom of the ball hitch fell off so the trailer slowly detached…

Austin - With all of our gear in it-

Michael - -and us going seventy miles per hour. Luckily we found a little path off the side of the road, luckily we hobbled through two lanes and got it but we almost died on the first day.

Austin - If the chain hadn’t been connected as well it would’ve just flown down the interstate. It was a worst nightmare situation. We bought a new hitch.

Michael - We are all safe now.

Elise - Venues have been good and everything though?

Michael - Oh yeah.

Elise - Sometimes you hear horror stories about venues.

Michael - You know, I don’t know if this is the right time for it but a lot of venues have changed their managers in the past year and everyone is really cool now. This venue is great now.

Austin - When we played rough trade, the sound guy was really sweet to us. And he asked where we were playing next and we mentioned here and he said “Oh yeah I know that guy”. Everyone is just really nice and connected now. Understanding of us being late to shows.

Elise - Positive change in the music industry maybe?

Michael - I think so. I think it’s getting better because indie music in general is getting more popular now. People are giving people a chance. We’ve found that people gave us a chance a few years ago and now its really growing.

Elise - Our fans are super into the music industry so do you have any advice on how to like make it?

Michael - ummm..

Austin - Don’t quit. Don’t be a jerk.

Michael - Be nice.

Austin - To everybody you work with.

Michael - And don’t break up.

Austin - Yeah don’t break up. Just try to play music that you like. If you do that I think there’s always gonna be some place for you to fit in. Because the internet, people can find stuff. If you write something and you like it and care for it, there’s probably a chance somebody else out there probably will too.

Michael - Listen to a lot of music and try to master your instrument. I think that's still important.

Austin - Or if its just your voice.

Elise - If you could open for any band, any time period, dead or alive, who would it be?

Austin - Queen. The Police.

Elise - What about current?

Michael - Tame impala. We’ve been chipping away, trying to get their agents. We have a connection with the band Brancho but, they are on a lower level, we feel like we could tour with them. That's more attainable right now.

Austin - I’d have to say I’d still love to open for Mac Demarco.

Elise - He attracts like cool crowds too. People that are dedicated.

Austin - Right! I think he’s a nice guy so everybody sees that. We saw him play here, five years ago. Now we are playing here.

Elise - What was it like starting up in Richmond? Was it hard starting a band in a non major city?

Michael - Yeah absolutely. But, at the same time because there was not a lot going on, it wasn’t over saturated, so you could kinda get by. You could really get by... actually it was pretty easy.

Austin - Also at the beginning of this band we were not really taking it seriously, on purpose in a way? We were like let’s listen to a bunch of records, play music we wanna play, and record it. It was like a fun project. After our record came out people just found it and started listening to it, people like our music and that's why we are still playing. So we didn't think too hard about it like “you gotta make it” it just happened.

Elise - Band meetings weren’t like “You’re not a part of the band anymore”.

Michael - No no, we just started as friends. We just started producing songs because we loved being artists, and we had a couple bands before so people knew of us, which helped us start. And we thought “Oh, we could probably make a living off this”. It was never serious.

Austin - We actually booked our release show before we started recording our album.

Elise - Oh my god.

Austin - That's how we got it done.

Elise - Obviously you’ve just released an album, but what’s next for you guys?

Michael - We are gonna be on the road for a long time, getting back in the studio. Thinking about some singles, maybe an ep at the beginning of the year. Maybe some christmas songs.

Elise - That would be so fun.

Michael - But mainly I think we are gonna kinda do one offs on the east coast, a little in the midwest, but if we were gonna do west coast or anything it would be as support.

Austin - It’s like touring, studio, touring, studio.

Make sure to keep this band on your radar! They have a show in DC coming up soon, and make sure to stream their new album, and hopefully their forthcoming Christmas album.

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