Life on the Road and Music Industry Basics
Join While She Sleeps this summer as they let you inside their life of touring the world and what it takes to be a band in the music industry today.
‘Brainwashed’, the second full-length from Sheffield’s While She Sleeps, is not just an album. It’s a mission statement. It’s the culmination of what the band’s five members – vocalist Loz Taylor, guitarists Mat Welsh and Sean Long, bassist Aaran McKenzie and drummer Adam Savage – went through in order to make it, a physical manifestation of pure triumph in the face of adversity. It’s an album that got made both in spite of and because of the things that threatened to prevent that happening – serious trouble with Taylor’s vocal chords that required two bouts of surgery and which essentially delayed the making of the record by a whole year. Suffice to say, for everyone involved, the fact that ‘Brainwashed’ is finally here, is a both a big relief and huge cause for celebration.
Produced by Colin Richardson and Carl Bown, the album’s eleven songs are a terrifying force to be reckoned with, a barrage of belligerent sound that straddles and combines a variety of genres the band would prefer you to just call “alternative rock”. Musically, it’s a sophisticated step up from their ‘This Is The Six’, their 2012 debut full-length, one that’s catchy and confrontational in equal measure. Just listen to the anthemic chug of ‘These Four Walls’ – a song, no less, that Sean’s grandmother says she likes – the powerfully unrelenting and irascible ‘Trophies Of Violence’, or the epic grand finale of album closer ‘Modern Minds’, which soars into a crescendo full of grace and strength. More involved and intricate than anything they’ve done before, each song is a master craft in complex yet accessible writing, layer after layer of sound pummelling both your synapses and your heartstrings.
Inspired by their experiences in making this record – and their triumph at finally getting it done some 13 months after they first went into the studio in November 2013 – a sense of hope does indeed flow through these songs. Yes, there’s rage and anger, but it’s channelled into something positive, something inspiring.
A lot of that positivity comes from the band’s devoted fan base, who have stood by the band throughout the whole thing. It meant that, while the band might have lost a little bit of momentum, their fans – who they prefer to call their family – helped them out every step of the way. “There’s been a lot of support,” says Loz. “The fact that people are still buying the bands t-shirts to keep us fed and watered has given me a kick up the arse to make sure this recovery goes right so that we can get back onstage and enjoy it. Without the Sleeps fans, we wouldn’t be able to do it."