interview: sleepy dreamers
Heralding from the bowels of Melbourne, Sleepy Dreamers are a four-piece band that boast the familiar tunes of Whitley and Mumford & Sons while wrapped in a pensive quality akin to Wintercoats. Their single Winter Make Way is the first single from their debut EP Creatures, which is due out this March. Lip was fortunate enough to catch up with Ed Tripodi from the band, ahead of their EP release.
How did you guys get together?
In 2010 the four of us were at the same high school, but between us we were in three different bands (Shannon and Cal proved inseparable). Within the space of about six months, the separate bands we were in all seemed to dissolve and we were all lucky enough to be musically stranded at the same time!
Your music holds a very folk inspired and atmospheric quality. How do you go about creating these sounds?
When we first fumbled around trying to establish a “band sound” I think it’s pretty safe to say we attempted to rip off bands we really love. I think that process definitely played a big part in creating the music we make now, but it definitely took a while to establish. I think that we were lucky enough to find a style that fits and continually build on the crux of our style.
In terms of the atmospheric quality, I think that aspect of our sound came from when we first played together without drums. Matt didn’t join the band until 2011 and some of the songs we still played were written without drums. I think that gave our first ten or so songs a general vibe we haven’t completely broken away from, even with the addition of drums.
What musical backgrounds does the band have?
We were all in bands at high school for four or five years and played “concerts” (not sure whether school assemblies and fetes count as concerts) and gained a heap of experience from that. I remember seeing a band Matt was part of during my first day of high school! We were all pretty thoroughly involved in the music department at school, by the end of it we came out with a pretty solid base to start a band we wanted to push!
Does this experience impact on the dynamics of the band?
Hugely! Through the trial and error of previous bands we all pretty much had an idea of how to get things going, [and] how it is we wanted to sound when we played. I think we were super lucky to get the experience we got in high school and hopefully we’re seeing the benefit of that experience now!
What can current fans expect from the Creatures EP?
We hope something they like! There’s enough similarity between tracks to give the EP a real vibe, which is something we definitely aim for, but enough diversity between tracks to keep it fresh! This first EP completely sounds like us, we’re really happy with how things turned out, we just hope everyone else likes it too!
What was it like producing and recording the EP? Was it the first recording any of you have ever done?
We’ve all been involved in some sort of recording process, though mostly with bands we played in before Sleepy Dreamers came about. Most of the recording we’ve done has been largely home/school recordings though, which more often comes with a serious lack of equipment or time or knowledge. So I think we all really appreciated, and enjoyed, the chance to use a proper studio and get the songs the way we wanted them instead of having to cut corners.
Were there any difficulties penning the tracks? Why/why not?
The tracks we finally ended up recording weren’t always what we thought the EP would look like, but I think that’s definitely a good thing. Our original track listing has songs we barely even play live anymore and the songs that replaced them have much more of the “Sleepies vibe” to them. In terms of getting them recorded though, I think we had a lot more fun than we anticipated! On listening back to the recordings, I think at some point all of us said, ‘Oh I forgot we did that!’. It helped the songs we recorded take shape by playing around with them for sure.
What inspires you the most when writing music?
That’s tricky! For me it varies depending on the song I’m writing. I know that answer is so vague that it barely counts as an answer, but I guess it’s the truth! I just hope whatever it is that has influenced me to write shows up in the final version of the song. I think it does.
On tour, what has been your best experience as a band so far?
I don’t know if you could call it a tour, but it’s been something! As for the best experience, for me, it’d have to be watching Cal trip and fall into the roller door of the recording studio. Admittedly not a conventional band moment, but it brought so much happiness to so many people that I can’t overlook it as a crucial moment in our band’s history. Sorry Cal, the internet knows now.
You guys said you drink a lot of tea; what’s your favourite type?
It’s questions like these that keep me awake at night. It’s like choosing between children. Pass.
What do you enjoy most about being in Sleepy Dreamers?
Playing live together I think. We’ve gotten pretty close over the past few years and getting to play live is like a big display of how much fun we get to have together!
You can check out more about Sleepy Dreamers here!
By Avrille Bylok-Collard