Post-rock trailblazers sleepmakeswaves have announced a massive start to 2017 with the news that their third album Made of Breath Only will be released Friday March 24th through Bird’s Robe Records, followed by a headline tour of Australia during March and April. Known for the passionate energy they bring to live instrumental rock, the band will take their epic and climactic live show around the country, premiering new material from the album for the first time, as well as favourites from their previous ARIA-nominated albums ‘Love of Cartography’ and ‘…and so we destroyed everything.’
1) Who was your first musical inspiration? Why?
Honestly, my parents. My Mum is a very accomplished piano player and as a little kid I loved to sit next to her while she played, entranced by music. Dad is a huge rock and pop fan and The Beatles, The Doors, Pink Floyd and Jethro Tull would get played on the stereo. That 60s and 70s larger-than-life sound has stuck with me since. In high school I listened to punk, metal and alternative music and realized I didn’t have to be a cool kid to be in a cool band.
2) What advice do you have for someone whos about to set off on their first tour?
Plan as much as you can knowing that it’s probably not going to go to plan. Pack lots of spare undies and a non-gig pair of legwear. Try to do something non-toury in every place you go to, even if it means waking up early on a hangover. Keep in touch with home. Talk to people, you never know what kind of friends you’ll make or where the night is going. Exercise and eat well when you’re not drinking and staying up late. If it’s a bad day, know that none of this will matter tomorrow and all you need to worry about is the next show.
3) What has been one of your most defining moments in your career?
In 2012 we played at a place called dunk! festival in Belgium. The people there were aficionados of our kind of music, made us feel very at home and we played our little hearts out for them. It was a big deal for me to feel that there’s a worldwide community for our music and that it’s possible for sleepmakeswaves to be part of that.
4) How has your music practice changed over time?
I’ve gone from being in a band that toured rarely and to one that places a huge emphasis on live performance. The realisation that we play a good show and that it has a special energy has changed how we write songs, record our music and look at our own band.
5) My top business tip for new artists is…
Take some time to think about your band like an accountant would. Track income, spending, keep spreadsheets. All that boring stuff. If, like me, you’re no good at this then find someone in your band or your team who can do this for you. Information is power and you’ll make better decisions knowing more about the figures.
6) My biggest career mistake has been…
Not putting enough effort into keeping the home fires burning properly. Sometimes I’ve put too much pressure on the band to be everything while neglecting other important things. Devoting 100% of your meaning to being a musician actually makes it far tougher than it should be.
7) In my opinion, the most important issue facing the music industry is…
I think there are a few important issues. I’d like to see more representation of diversity in all parts of the music industry. This is happening at the moment but we still need to stay vigilant and work towards even more equality. I’d like to see a music press less motivated by gossip and clicks and more focused on celebrating artistic quality in all genres, however idealistic that might seem. And finally I’d like to see even more innovation in the business side. I don’t believe in punishing the listener at all but I think we can do better for artists than what Spotify and Youtube offer.
If you enjoyed this Savvy Seven, click HERE to read more.