Welcome to the supersonic mathcore world of For Sleeping Or Jumping – a Boston based collective whose dynamic tunes will surely inspire music fans from all walks of life. Their latest EP entitled Dead Languages was unleashed on the group’s own Auxiliary Records label. Featured within the grand schemes of things is Ben Weinman of the Dillinger Escape Plan, guest contributing his own method into the aural madness at hand. Here is a recent interview we conducted with two of the FSOJ members to find out more about the new EP, their collaboration with the distinguished Mr. Weinman, fearsome beardrops within the vast wilds of Australia, and other random topics of interest. Read on…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in For Sleeping Or Jumping, and how long the band has been together.
I’m Tom Cawley and I play guitar.
I’m Gio Coviello, I do vocal notes and yellies.
Where is the band based out of and what is the local music scene like there?
Tom: We’re based out of Boston, Massachusetts.
Gio: There are a lot of great bands in Boston. I’m especially enjoying the bands that have been putting their own updated spin on nineties alternative and post-punk, which are both personally great influences on my own music. Of course, Berklee is in Boston, so you get a lot of white-boy funk bands and singer-songwriters, but a lot of Berklee grads take those skills and apply them to rock music which often translates incredibly well.
Is there any story or concept behind the EP title Dead Languages?
Gio: Not really, honestly. We just thought it sounded badass. I actually wrote the lyrics to the song “Dead Languages” after we came up with the name for the EP. I guess now, to me, “dead languages” is a reference to the time before humans got so fucking retarded with smartphones, MTV and filtered news; when people actually used their languages properly, and spoke face to face, wrote beautiful literature, and had no idea what a Skrillex was.
Select any two For Sleeping Or Jumping songs and what inspired the lyrics.
Gio: For the single “Beardrops“, I just asked our drummer Taylor (Pile) to give me something to write about, and he told about this made-up Australian legend that locals would use to frighten tourists. They would lie by telling them to watch out when walking under trees because the Koala bears liked to drop on people and maul them. This was allegedly called “dropbear” but I thought “beardrops” had a better ring to it. The song is basically about a dude getting knocked out and waking up to the legendary dropbears. Our other single “Bone of Contention” is about a certain west coast city that none of us are very fond of. I’ll let you guess which one. But there’s a lot of humor in that song because it’s not like I’m angry that their city sucks, I’m just sort of making fun of them for it. It bothers me sometimes when bands take themselves and their lyrics too seriously. I find this to be especially prevalent in metal. A lot of guys feel the need to write about all this dark shit with false poignancy. It can be just as satisfying to listen to a band when they’re clearly just in love with being in a band and are having a good time. That’s pretty much where I’m at right now.
How did Ben Weinman from Dillinger Escape Plan become involved with the project and what was his overall contribution?
Gio: Before I was in the band, some of these guys used to street team for Dillinger Escape Plan and I guess the dialogue between them and Ben started around then. Once we got tight enough as a band we approached Ben about pre-production and, lucky for us, he was nice enough to help us out. He did the tempo mapping for all the songs which gave us a solid base to work off of. He also contributed some awesome, spooky keyboard parts for a few of the songs which none of us were expecting at all. Super down-to-earth dude. We heart him.
What could one expect from a For Sleeping Or Jumping show?
Tom: I think the best way to describe it would be chaos. You know that scene in 300 where the guy kicks the other guy into the well? It’s sort of like that, but more of the feeling you get when he does it and you say, “that’s so fucking cool” and then you want to go destroy shit? That’s kind of how shows are.
Gio: It gets pretty crazy up there. I already broke a tooth in half with my mic.
At the Wadzilla Mansion showcase at SXSW, you were scheduled to play a 1AM show? Did you wind up playing that late, and how did that particular show go?
Tom: We actually ended up playing later. We didn’t really mind, except for the fact that we had to cut our set short a little bit. Not only was it SXSW, but it was also the night of St. Patrick’s Day so it was extra fun and there were a lot of hot chicks wearing green and puking green everywhere. The show itself was a lot of fun. It was a long day for the Wadzilla show, and wrapping up the event playing after The Thickness, we knew we had to step our game up a bit.
Who produced the EP and what was it like working with them?
Gio: Ryan Siegel of the band Exes of Evil did the production. He’s known for his work on the last two Glassjaw releases, and he was just as good of a fit for us. It was great working with someone who shared the same level of excitement about the project as the band. I recorded vocals at the bottom of the stairs to his attic and he was right there on the other side of the door getting me through it, wearing slippers and shit.
How close are you to writing and recording a full length album?
Tom: We’re writing a full length now, but we’re unsure of when it’ll actually be recorded. Things are going well though. It’s just that with these songs that aren’t your standard pop songs, and with all the odd times and everything, it takes some time getting them down to where we’re all comfortable.
If you could open for any band either around today or who has ever existed, which band would it be and why?
Tom: I’d open for a bunch of bands for different reasons. Every Time I Die, Metric or Emily Haines’ solo project. If Daughters was still around I’d love to play with them. Between The Buried and Me, Sigur Ros would be amazing. I’d love to see the crowd for that one.
Gio: I would want to open up for a reunited Bear vs. Shark because that’s my dream show and it wouldn’t hurt to play it too. But I agree. For Sleeping or Jumping and Every Time I Die would totally make sense together. I would kill to party with those guys. Mclusky and Torche come to mind too because that’s all I listen to these days.
Do you have any touring plans this summer?
Gio: No specifics yet. We aren’t just sitting around though – expect a tour announcement soon.
What other bands were you in or any of the other members in prior to For Sleeping Or Jumping?
Gio: I’m in a rock band called Trespasser. We just came out with a record called Goddamn Pants. Taylor, our drummer, is in an awesome band called Mirror Lady, who have recently been getting some serious blog love.
Any final words of wisdom?
Tom: Thank you so much for your interest in our band, and we look forward to keeping in touch with you guys throughout this ridiculous journey. Practice good oral hygiene and brush your teeth.
(Interview by Kenneth Morton)