Under Our Own Wing: An Interview with Sleeptalk

With the never ending changes of the music industry, musicians have to be ready for their world to come crashing down at any given moment. Handing over responsibilities or relying on others may not always be beneficial to the artist but can become a learning experience. Just ask Sleeptalk.

Since releasing their debut album in 2017, the five members spent a year holding back on releasing music due to record label contracts and false promises. Not only was the label changing but so was the industry and how music was being released. They realized that this was their time to step back and understand the progression their world was going through before moving forward.

This was also their time to step back and understand each other, especially because they had brought a new drummer, Tyler Kusnier, into the mix.

“He brought a way different aspect of drumming to our band which led to more possibilities,” vocalist Anthony Fitzpatrick said. “We had to relearn writing with each other again, which was cool that it gave us the opportunity to really dive in on different techniques and different styles… It's extremely different from something that we’ve ever done. It really helped us all grow together and put a different twist on what we normally do.”

“Introducing [Kusnier] to this mix really reinvigorated our passion for playing music in general,” guitarist Justin Melchor added. “Having that in addition to recording it all ourselves really sparked this huge drive to create new stuff without any boundaries. Having all this stuff has influenced me as a musician to be passionate about the music and the creation process itself.”

Enter the month that they call: “Sleeptalk Construction”. They converted bassist Paul McGill’s garage into a full blown studio; flooring, drywall, insulation, soundproofing - they did it all together.

“We took everything under our own wing,” Fitzpatrick said. “We were able to make it how we wanted it and I think that brought us together even more so because we were able to connect on a different level than just music.”

This bonding experience would reshape their passion even more, but also lead them to releasing music in a way they hadn’t before. In 2018 they only released two singles, “I Hope You’re Doing Well” and “Apart from You”, instead of their typical EP or LP route. Now that everything is on their terms, they were able to release the Desert Days EP in 2019 and have several songs planned for 2020, including their current single, “Trouble”.

“Trouble” brings out the electronic influence that they decided on when they released Desert Days and was actually meant to be part of an electronic-themed EP that they’ve since decided to hold off on. While it’s still a possibility they’re willing to consider, they didn’t want to dive right into a full electronic sound and have fans think they are completely changing their style of music. Integrating their rock influences with these new electronic influences is their ultimate goal and the type of music that makes them the happiest.

“We’re all ready to push some boundaries,” Melchor said. “We told ourselves not to say ‘we’re this band so we can't do this.’”

By disregarding many of the stereotypical music industry practices and finding ways to make it on their own, Sleeptalk has gone from dependent to independent in a short amount of time. That doesn’t make it a bad thing; in fact, this change has allowed them to fully understand themselves as musicians and as a family. The music to come will only be the best representation of themselves, and that’s all they’ve ever wanted.