sleepmakeswaves are a post-rock instrumental 4 piece from Sydney. Since their formation in 2006, they have supported the likes of Pelican, Laura and Mono (JPN), and are proving to be unique and strong voice in their field.
Questions answered by Otto Wicks Green of sleepmakeswaves.
How would you sum up sleepmakeswaves in three words?
post rock geeks
Your musical influences are obviously rooted in instrumental post-rock, what are some Australian acts that inspire you?
I got into postrock seeing bands like Meniscus and Laura live. These guys continue to inspire and push us to be better. Newer bands like Solkyri and Tangled Thoughts of Leaving (WA) have also brought an amazing energy and sound to the mix. It’s a great community to be a part of, very supportive and eclectic.
What is your dream Australian festival to play at?
I’d love to play Falls in Tassie or maybe even Harvest when it swings back around.
How did your musical journey begin? What were the key factors in helping sleepmakeswaves finally breakthrough into the Sydney music scene?
I joined the band a few years after it began, so a lot of the groundwork had been established. I know that Tom (previous guitarist) met Alex at a USYD tute and bonded over their love of ep1c metalz. they were into instrumental stuff and they got in touch with kid who had put up a solo myspace project called ‘sleepmakeswaves’. they jammed a bit with Tom’s mate from school Will on drums and decided that they could be a band. I think the key thing that broke the band was the unique progmetal meets post rock sound, along with Alex’s originality and experimentation with Ableton Live onstage and in recordings, adding that electronic element. A good response on the internet also helped generate buzz internationally.
What is your favourite venue in Sydney to play in and why?
Manning Bar is probably the biggest venue we’ve played at (usually supporting other bands) and I’ve always had a lot of fun there. Often it’s a crowd mainly of people who haven’t seen us and the challenge is to convert them. Always a treat.
Sydney’s music venue ‘crisis’ is seemingly the talk of the town, reasserted by Tone’s recent announcement of closure. As an Artist regularly playing around Sydney, how has your band been affected by the venue ‘crisis’?
Sydney’s live music scene has been on the ropes for a few years now, especially when compared to a thriving scene such as Melbourne. I can’t say we’ve been affected hugely compared to smaller bands who rely more on smaller rooms such as the Hopetoun and the Excelsior to get started. We were lucky to have ‘graduated’ to bigger rooms like the Annandale by the time these smaller places really felt the burn of rising costs and low attendance. The rapid thinning of Sydney’s music venues is a problem in its own right, but is sadly indicative of a much deeper crisis in Sydney. Live music is the lifeblood of a city, and Sydney’s relentless march towards homogenous clubs full of expensive drinks, oppressive bass and top40 hits is seriously concerning. It’s as though as a city we have forgotten what an amazing experience it is to go out and see a new band you haven’t seen before. To feel that incredible energy of a bunch of people pouring their hearts out to a receptive crowd, or to sing at the top of your lungs the lyrics of your favourite song by the band who’s guitarist you went to school with. I can only hope that our culture can find some balance between these clubs and musicians who have more to give than pounding bass and LFOs.
Since your formation in 2006, sleepmakeswaves have already managed to support prolific acts such as Mono, Pelican, Russian Circles and Unitopia. You have also released an amazing split EP with Perth’s Tangled Thoughts Are Leaving. Are there any other new projects or tours are on the horizon?
Thanks! There sure are. We’re capping off what has been a great 2011 for us with a couple of special shows in Sydney and Melbourne in December with our label buddies Meniscus, Toehider and Pirate, before playing Peats Ridge on the 31st. Next year we will be touring nationally in Feb/March before heading to Europe to co-headline Dunk! Festival with Pelican in Belgium, and hanging around for a month playing some shows in other countries up there. We’ve also tentatively booked some studio time for next February, but more on that later!