Slam Dunk 2012: While She Sleeps Interview
05 Jun, 2012
Interview with While She Sleeps
While She Sleeps are one of the fastest growing bands in the UK and EverythingRock had the chance to catch up with Bassist Aaran McKenzie and Drummer Adam Savage at Slam Dunk Festival. Read the conversation below!
EverythingRock: How did you guys come together to form While She Sleeps?
Adam Savage: Myself, Sean (Long, Guitars), and Mat (Welsh, Guitars and Backing Vocals) all went to school together and we’ve all been in bands together for the past 9 years. Aaran joined the band when our old Bassist left. We had a different singer for a while but he ended up leaving before our first tour and Loz (Lawrence Taylor, Vocals) joined after that.
Aaran McKenzie: We always used to play with Loz’s old band so we had been friends for a few years so he was the obvious option and he jumped on board.
Adam: While She Sleeps has been a band for about 6 years but this lineup has been around for about three.
ERock: Do you think this current lineup has contributed to where the band is today?
Aaran: When Loz joined, it was kind of like he was the missing piece.
Adam: No disrespect to our old singer.
Aaran: Of course, he’s a really good friend, but Loz has exactly the same attitude as we have to being in a band.
EverythingRock: Which bands do you listen to when you’re travelling on tour?
Aaran McKenzie: We go through different phases with different bands, but we’re all into the same shit so we’ll listen to someone for ages and then move onto somebody else.
Adam Savage: We have to have a bit of a break from metal from time to time… slam a bit of Nickleback on! But yeah, we listen to everything man.
EverythingRock: What are your favourite cities to play?
Adam Savage: Glasgow and Edinburgh are always sick!
Aaran McKenzie: Glasgow is good. Manchester… Obviously Sheffield!
Adam: Sheffield is good…
Aaran McKenzie: Anywhere in Europe is always fun!
EverythingRock: It’s hard to go into Newcastle and not see someone wearing a While She Sleeps vest top – your logo is becoming a really recognizable image. How do you feel when you see people wearing you merchandise in the street?
Adam Savage: It’s sick! We’ve always tried to have a different style of merch from everybody else because it’s easy to get slotted in a genre with that – we didn’t just want generic heavy metal t-shirts.
Aaran McKenzie: A lot of heavy metal bands just bring out the same type of shirt and follow trends, but we tried to be different.
Adam: We wanted to be like a brand – even if you don’t like the band but you like the top, you can still wear it.
Aaran: I think that’s why you see a lot of people in it – it’s plain and simple and it’s different and it looks cool.
EverythingRock: You have a new album coming out entitled “This is the Six” and you’ve just released the title track as a single. I was really blown away by it…
Adam Savage: We’re very happy about it. All the process around the new album just fit together so well.
ERock: Can you tell us a bit about the new album and how it will compare to “The North Stands for Nothing”?
Aaran McKenzie: It’s heavier, but at the same time it’s more melodic.
Adam: It’s quite hard to explain.
Aaran: Everything that was good about The North Stands for Nothing has been put into This is the Six but there are more aspects as well.
Adam: It’s a bit more angry.
Aaran: But at the same time, it’s not as well.
ERock: A bit more… soul?
Adam: Yeah, that’s it. It’s got more soul in it.
Aaran: It’s got everything in it, and we’re really proud of it and we can’t wait to release it on the 6th of August.
ERock: What’s the writing process for the band?
Adam: Sean does a lot of pre-pros and stuff.
Aaran: Sean is like the main riff writer.
Adam: Then he brings it to the band and we’ll have a listen and a jam, but it’s hard to say because it’s all different bits and it depends on the song.
Aaran: It’s quite different each time but it’s mainly Sean who comes up with the riffs and we’ll just change things around.
ERock: When you’re writing, are you able to write parts for the other instruments or do you have to let that member come up with that?
Aaran: I’m a guitarist – guitar is my first instrument – but I play Bass for While She Sleeps. I was a guitarist before I joined the band, but I joined these guys playing bass and I got really into playing bass.
Adam: Everyone is quite musically knowledgeable…
Aaran: Everyone plays a bit of everything really.
EverythingRock: Do you think endorsements have helped you progress as a band?
Adam Savage: Yeah, they’ve definitely helped us out I reckon. Some more than others, but a lot of companies are really good to us and they help us out a lot.
Aaran McKenzie: Especially Amp endorsements and stuff. Companies have supplied us with cabs and heads which we wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise.
Adam: And you get clothes as well! You can be skint but still be getting great clothes!
EverythingRock: What are your personal views on illegal downloading?
Adam Savage: I don’t really know myself to be honest…
Aaran McKenzie: I just think that it’s the way things work now. There’s not a lot of money in the music industry to be fair and everybody knows that when they go into it.
Adam: I don’t like it, I’d rather people pay money for it like in the old days because it is worth paying money for it.
ERock: Would you endorse people buying your CD’s (at a later point) and merch or getting a gig ticket if they’ve illegally downloaded one of your albums?
Adam: If people like download it and give it a listen and think it deserves buying, then I don’t mind that.
EverythingRock: You’re about to embark on a huge festival tour including Download, Grasspop, Nova Rock, and Make a Scene in addition to touring Australia…
Aaran McKenzie: Yeah, it’s really cool man. It hasn’t sunk in yet.
Adam Savage: I think it’ll sink in on the day when we’re going there.
Aaran: I’m not really looking forward to the flight though to be fair *laughs*
ERock: What are your other plans for the rest of 2012/13?
Aaran: We’ve got the festivals to go, we’ve got Australia
Adam: We’ve got some stuff that’s not set in stone yet so we can’t really say anything, but it’s good stuff!
Aaran: There’s a headlining tour coming up. We’re not allowed to say the dates yet, but there is a headlining tour coming up. But yeah, we’ve got the year entirely planned out. We can’t say much, but put it this way – we’ll be busy.