While She Sleeps: The Plague Of A New Age

While She Sleeps
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

While She Sleeps guitarist Sean Long Talks Soundwave, This Is The Six and awards.

Having formed in Sheffield in 2006, While She Sleeps quickly gained a large following and by 2010 the band were playing UK’s Sonisphere Festival and signed to an album deal in the USA. That same year the band recorded their EP, The North Stands For Nothing, and began to build a fanbase around the world. By late 2011 the band were headlining shows in the UK and Europe and had started to create interest among Australian hardcore fans.

Over the past twelve months While She Sleeps have cemented themselves as a touring machine, playing a number of European festivals, the UK's Download Festival and their first ever Australian tour (supporting House Vs Hurricane). The band also worked hard in the studio putting together an intense, powerful and impressive debut album, This Is The Six, which was released in August.

Featuring twelve blistering tracks, the album received worldwide praise from critics and fans and featured a guest spot from Comeback Kid vocalist Andrew Neufeld. The band also went on to win Kerrang Magazine's Best Brit Newcomer award and Metal Hammer’s Breakthrough Artist awards.

Australian hardcore fans are about to get their second taste of brutality when While She Sleeps returns to our shores next month, taking part in the Soundwave Festivals which also include Anthrax, Gallows, Blink 182 and Sick of it All, to name a few.

I had the pleasure of catching up with guitarist Sean Long to talk about the bands return to Australia for their Soundwave Festival appearances, their killer new album This Is The Six and having Slipknot’s Corey Taylor present them with Kerrang’s Best Brit Newcomer award.

Sean, it’s great to be chatting with you, mate. I wanted to talk first about the upcoming Soundwave Festivals. The line-up has the who’s who of punk and metal on this year’s bill, no doubt some bands you’ve been influenced by at some point! Who are you looking forward to checking out the most on the bill?  
I want to say Linkin Park. They’re so good, I’ve never seen them and I think they’re amazing. Blink 182 is amazing too; I can’t wait to see them again!  

You were in Australia last year for a tour with House Vs Hurricane, how did you find the Aussie response to While She Sleeps? 
Oh, it was cool, man; it was amazing. We didn’t think that we’d have any fans there, but we did at most of the shows. We had some really good shows over there, it was cool!  

You were fortunate to see more of the countryside; more than what most artists see when touring here, what did you get up to in the downtime?  
We got smashed! [Laughs] One of the days off we went go-carting with everyone, which was cool. On some of the long drives, we would just pull over and chill out a bit.  

For those who missed your last tour, what can be expected when you take to the stage at Soundwave in February?  
Something new and fresh, but dirty and rough... A bigger and better set!  

Since we're talking about touring... what is the best advice you’ve got from your peers whilst on the road?  
I don’t know about advice... we’ve met a lot of good people along the way [and] that’s made me want to stay in a band a lot longer. [Laughs]

At times it can become quite frustrating sharing a bus/hotel room for weeks, sometimes months at a time with other members and crew. What have you found is the best way to deal with each other on the road?  
Every now and then, we will have a fight and a bicker; we are pretty bad for that. We know when we will have a little argument, give it a couple of hours then we’re all alright, it’s bound to happen, isn’t it? When you’re spending that amount of time with five other guys...  

I want to also talk about the most recent album, This Is The Six. That is some seriously kick ass music! You guys must have been really happy with the outcome?  
Yeah, thank you man, we surprised ourselves. [Laughs]  

Now that the album has been released and you’ve had time to digest it, looking back over the writing and recording process is there anything you wish you’d done differently?  
Not at all, not one bit... we hadn’t finished everything before we got into the studio, some of the stuff was written there and then. It came out fresh under the pressure and that bought out some of the best tracks on the album, I wouldn’t have changed any of it! When you’re under pressure you’ll know then and there if it’s any good 'cause you have to have it right, right there.  

How much time did you end up spending in the studio?  
I think about two and half months... but we’d been working on the album for about a year before that; we’re always writing in general!  

Andrew from Comeback Kid has a guest spot on the album; how did he become involved?  
Our booking agent back here knows him, and through her we got to know Andrew. We’re all big fans of his band and his voice so we thought fuck it, should we just ask him; see if he wants to do it? And he agreed!  

That’s pretty cool, man! This Is The Six has twelve tracks, tell us about the song-writing aspects for the album... where did you draw inspiration from?  
I don’t know... I don’t get inspiration from one certain thing. I think it comes collectively from things I listen to throughout the year, and then subconsciously the inspiration will come through what we’ve been doing and what we listen to. We just write stuff that sounds good and makes us feel good!  

It’s safe to say that most musicians walk away from working on an album session having learnt something new, or adapting something new to their style or outlook musically. What did you walk away from these sessions having learnt?  
We [still] don’t really know our own sound, but I guess we’ve worked out a little bit of that doing this album! If it sounds good we’re gonna use it regardless if it’s going to be put into any sub-genre. We didn’t... think this one’s a bit too light or this one’s a little too nu-metal; we just used it when it sounded good. I think that’s going to be our way of thinking from now on! A lot of bands just class themselves as a straight up hardcore bands which is fine but then you restrict yourself from being able to do anything outside of that box. We just don’t want to put ourselves into any boxes; we just want to be able to do anything and people to like it if it’s good music.  

Mate, we’ve hit the part of the interview where our readers find out more about the real you, growing up and the band... what was the first concert you ever attended?  
My first show was Blink 182, so to now share the stage with them is incredible!  

Did you always envision yourself as someone that would be playing in a band, touring the world and recording albums or growing up were your goals different?  
We’ve been in the band for so long that this is just what we do, but I guess we never actually thought that it would work out, we’re so happy with it!  

Last year Corey Taylor presented While She Sleeps with Kerrang Magazine’s award for the Best Brit Newcomer. Take us back to that night. What went through your minds when you won?  
I can’t even explain it! It was one of the best nights that I’ve ever had in my life. We didn’t even think that we were going to win it. We had heard off someone else that another band had won it, so we walked into the awards pretty bummed out. When Corey Taylor [Slipknot/Stone Sour] announced us as the winners we went insane, it was a really good night!  

Sean, let’s go right back to when the band first formed... the dream of recording an album, getting on a great tour, getting billed for festivals etc. When you look back on the early formation of the band what comes to mind?  
It’s so hard to think about it, being in it! To be honest it doesn’t even seem like it was that long ago; it feels like it was two minutes ago! It’s all been one fun experience!  

The band formed in 2006 and in that time you’ve been able to achieve many great things, what do you feel have been your finest achievements to date?  
My finest achievement is this album; we have surprised ourselves so much. We haven’t stopped listening to it since we got the mix back. I’ve been listening to it again today, I am so proud of it!  

And you should be, mate, it rocks! As we wrap it up, thank you again for your time, mate, and I look forward to seeing you at the Soundwave Festival’s next month! Do you have any last words for our readers?  
Yeah, can’t wait to play for you all! Go and buy This Is The Six! You’ll love it! While She Sleeps play the following dates on the Soundwave Festival:

Sat Feb 23 - RNA Showgrounds (Brisbane)
Sun Feb 24 - Olympic Park (Sydney)
Fri Mar 01 - Flemington Racecourse (Melbourne)
Sat Mar 02 - Bonython Park (Adelaide)
Mon Mar 04 - Claremont Showgrounds (Perth)

Let's Socialise

Facebook pink circle    Instagram pink circle    YouTube pink circle    YouTube pink circle

 OG    NAT

Twitter pink circle    Twitter pink circle