Sleep For Sleepers is a indie alternative band whose debut CD The Clearing was released a few years ago on the Facedown/Dreamt Music label. After a lot of touring all across the country, the band returned to the studio earlier this year and recorded a stunning new EP entitled What Has Been Done Will Be Done Again – this time releasing it all on their own. Although the live shows have slowed down, the band still manages to find the inspiration to create. A brand new Christmas song entitled Weather is now available on Itunes and frontman Jamey Price has recorded solo work using the moniker Forest, Forest. Here is an interview we conducted with Jamey to find out more about the current status and future of Sleep For Sleepers, their sweeping songs and spiritual lyrics, their departure from Facedown/Dreamt Music, and other topics of interest…
Introduce yourself, tell me what you do in Sleep For Sleepers, and how long the band has been together.
My name is Jamey, and I sing and play guitar in Sleep For Sleepers. The band has existed under the name “Sleep For Sleepers” for three years this month, but has been together for six years total.
What is your opinion of the local Los Angeles music scene and how does Sleep For Sleepers fit into the scheme of things?
To be honest, I have no clue what the scene looks like presently. Things have shifted from genre to genre over the years, and bands have come and gone, and because of these facts, I haven’t involved myself in what the music scene fully looks like. What I’ve come to find is that it’s just not the same anymore, sadly… kids used to line up outside of a store to get the new release of their favorite band the day it came out, or would go to a show for the pure love of music, even if they didn’t know every band that was playing… what happened to that?
Tell me about your Christmas single Weather and what inspired the lyrics to the song.
“Weather” was inspired by creating something original instead of covering a song this year. We personally have friends in bands that chose to cover some Christmas classics that sound incredible, but for us, we wanted to write something new and fresh for the season. Lyrically, the story portrays putting yourself in the shoes of someone who experienced the beauty of the night that Jesus was born. What a sight… what an experience it must have been… I will never know what it felt like, but I think it’s the human nature inside of us that wants to put an image to a story we have been told for years. Focusing on the birth of Christ this year is something important to me… to envision the importance of what it symbolizes to the human race.
What is meant by the EP title What Has Been Done Will Be Done Again?
“WHBDWBDA” was partially based on the first chapter of Ecclesiates in the bible. I remember reading through that chapter one day and something clicked. My take on the passage was how much effort we put into the world around us, but not into the very thing that created us. Everything becomes pointless when we live for ourselves. Might be something you have heard before… might be something you disagree with… but for me, it’s exactly what I need to hear on a daily basis. No matter how hard we try to find a way to be unique or creative, the fact is that it has probably already been done in some way, shape, or form before. Take music for example: new genres keep popping up every decade, but the truth in music is that it will always have a beat, or a sound, or a note to it. We do indeed branch off of ideas and create new sounds, but to me, the idea is the same. The original artist already drew perfection, so why can’t we draw for Him for once?
Why is everything Meaningless?
Tying this back into the name of the record, we need to be aware that when we live for ourselves, everything is meaningless. To live a meaningful life means to not live it for yourself. Take advantage of the simplicity of breathing, and start there…
What is the lyrical inspiration for The Heights We’ve Come To Fear? It’s one of the best tracks on the album. It sounds like a love song…
I hold this song closely to me. This is a song of defining a year of persistence, and a year of searching. It is indeed based around the idea of what love is, but is open-ended, and can leave the listener to create an ending that suites them and what their relationship with someone else might look like. I think this song gets overlooked a lot when people listen to the record with it being the slow/mellow jam, but there is depth in it for me, so please give it a chance. It has been my dream to perform this one day at a wedding. I’ve had friends tell me they want that, and I have to say, that has to be one of the best compliments that I’ve ever been given.
Another terrific song on the EP is Of What I Have, Let It Be Enough. What inspired the lyrics on that one?
There is so much beauty in a love song written for someone you care about, but how much more beautiful is it when it’s directed towards God? In a year of seeking out what God had for me, or wanted me to learn, this song stemmed out from inside me. It’s simply saying “God, I don’t have much to give, but what is of mine, may it be yours.” You have to throw your hands up constantly in this life and refocus on the importance of what you are living for.
Why was your new EP not released on Facedown/Dreamt Music?
As the time period for recording a new album came closer this past year, it was a mutual feeling that going through Facedown wasn’t the best option. Jason, Virginia, and the Facedown staff have always been great to us, and to this day, we don’t sit in regret for signing with them. It was a good experience, and a good time to learn for a young band.
What is the current status of Sleep For Sleepers? You don’t seem to be doing a lot of shows. Any upcoming shows?
Lots has been happening within the band these past few months. We indeed are still operating as Sleep For Sleepers, but have toned the work down significantly. The touring has definitely come to an end for us, but plan on performing one last show in the next few months with all our old members, even including ones from “The Red Coterie” days. Chris and I are the remaining two members, and have decided to still write together and release new music every few months for our fans to buy. We might phase out real quickly, or we might keep those die hard fans. We have no clue what will happen, but there is still joy in writing music together, and as long as someone wants to listen, they will have something to listen to.
Is playing acoustically something you might want to do in the future?
We are for sure open to doing something acoustic occasionally. Life happened though, and we all got jobs in order to pay bills, so playing around might look a little differently.
When you look back on your work in The Red Coterie, what do you think of it now?
Good times, good times. I miss the innocent days in this industry.
Would you ever want to go off and do an acoustic solo project?
I have started a little project called “Forest, Forest,” in which I released a free four song demo download. Go pick it up! It’s free! I’m a musician… so I will never stop writing, and this is a way to keep that going.
What was your favorite CD of 2010 and why?
“Yet” by My Epic. Listen to it, and you’ll know why.
Any messages for Sleep For Sleepers fans?
You guys and girls are tight. Thanks for sticking with us and for supporting us. I think we wake up daily and are grateful for the experiences we’ve had with all of you, and won’t forget the good times. Please keep buying the music we release, and we hope you enjoy the new Christmas single! Love, grace, and peace.
(Interview by Kenneth Morton)