It’s been quite some time since Sleeping With Sirens have released a studio album, but with the wait finally coming to an end with the near release of their 5th album Gossip, and a new record deal under their belt, we nabbed some time to chat with guitarist Nick Martin about the upcoming album and their shiny new sound.
So the new album Gossip is set to be released September 22nd, what aspect are you most excited for people to hear or experience?
“This really feels like the next chapter of the band. Gossip really explores some personal shit for Kellin that I think anyone can really relate to and because of that it feels a lot more mature. It’s really the natural progression of the band.”
What was the recording process like this time around?
“It was strenuous. We thought it’d be easy given it wasn’t our first rodeo but we were really pushed by our producer David Bendeth, to create what felt like the next level. He’s been a fan of the band for years so he didn’t want us to just go in and make something we made five years ago.”
“We initially came in with a few old songs that we thought could fit but Bendeth really pushed Kellin to go deeper with what he was saying and for me to play the best I could you know? We started recording in January and we thought we’d be finished by February, but we were so wrong. So it was way more stressful than what we anticipated but I think Bendeth pushed a better final product out because of it. So it was worth it in the end.”
The sound seems to reflects a ton of different influences, Who or where would you say you drew from most in this case.
“I feel like we tried to emulate other influences when we initially went into the studio and it didn’t really go well. We really just had to sit down as a band and just jam, figure out what we wanted to sound like and really listen to each other. Figuring out what Kellin had to say really was our main focus. It was really all about him and he’s influenced more by artists who had really powerful honest messages like Fleetwood Mac rather than a certain sound. So I wouldn’t say we draw from any specific influences rather in that regard we try to be as authentic as we can. Any influences that translate just came out organically.
So do you think your process have changed drastically from album to album?
“It’s all based on relationships, you know? Being in a band is like being in a marriage. I know the ins and outs of these guys. But we’re really getting the hang of just listening to each other, listening to the band and their input. Kellin is a talented guy so it really pays off to push him to write the best he can and I think that’s what was so great about working with Bendeth. We were pushed to the limit like we had never done before and consequently came out with a more evolved sound.”
You’ve mentioned a lot about working with your producer, but what has it been like working with Warner Bros records for the first time?
“Incredible! I think there is this stereotype about major labels being super controlling and not letting bands make the music they want, but I honestly think it’s the opposite. We’ve had more creative control than I think we’ve ever had. Independent labels have always been more intensive because they want to represent a certain sound which is good and it makes sense I guess, but Warner Bros have been really great at being behind us and what we wanted to do. So working with them has been a really great experience overall.”
What has the response to what’s been released been like so far?
“Super positive from what I’ve seen. I can’t sugar coat it though, there are some fans that want us to make what we were making years ago, but to that I say go listen to those albums if that’s what you want to hear. The stuff we’re making now makes sense to us. Kellins in his 30s, I’m in my thirties. Kellins been through a lot of personal shit this past year and the honesty really translates and I think it’s something that anyone can relate to.”
Well, single ‘Legends’ has been named the official song of Team USA for the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games next year. That must have been one hell of a phone call?
(laughs) “Oh yeah it really was. We were in our hotel in London and our manager was actually there. It’s sort of mind blowing really, I never dreamed we’d be that big, make it that far. Legends was really us taking a risk out of our safe zone and to think of that inspiring people is insane. You always want to be the one to inspire a kid to start a band or give them that urge to really do something. We have kids at shows coming up to us saying that we’re the reason they started playing guitar etc which is already heartwarming but inspiring our team at the Olympics… that’s a whole new level of crazy.”
That leads me to ask what band inspired you to start making music personally?
“Oh wow, I really loved stuff like the Beatles, Queen, Elton John and Stevie Wonder as a kid; Artists who really told stories. Bob Dylan is another example. I was just kind of drawn to it which might be kind of unexpected. but then I was also brought up on the classics like Sex Pistols and The Clash, so it was a huge range of music ultimately.
In the early days right up till now what has been the most “No way this is real moment” for you?
“I have that moment every night I’m on stage. Last night I had that moment playing the Palladium but I also have that moment playing in a record store to 200 kids who sing along to every song. Especially recently, I’ve really tried to take every one of those moments in and appreciate how far we’ve come. We’re all in a very lucky position and I feel blessed everyday with that mentality.”
Gossip is out Friday September 22nd via Warner Music Australia. Pre-Order here
Sleeping With Sirens – Gossip tracklisting
2. Empire To Ashes
5. One Man Army
8. Hole In My Heart
9. I Need To Know
10. The Chase