Sleep Out sleep and live in Chicago where they recently celebrated their signing to March Records (Btw, their record release for the debut album, I Was Your Shroud, is July 14th at Schubas in Chicago with Bloodshot Records artists, Cordero). Not surprising, as the band consists of members of Mt. St. Helens and Kleenex Girl Wonder, the latter a standout on the March Records label. Their debut album, I Was Your Shroud, is out now and will soon be available on iTunes, as well. Ex-Kleenex Girl Wonder member, Quinn Goodwillie, took the time to answer a few questions I posed... thanks, Quinn.
*Sixeyes: Has this record been a long time coming? I read that the band now consists of members of two bands, but that it at one time had people from four Chicago bands... did that kind of slow down the recorded output? I mean, was it a while before you found your 'sound'?
Quinn: This record has been in the works since early 2004 and the basic compositions were songs that I had written in my apartment over a period of about a year or so. I managed to recruit my favorite local musicians/friends to join me in fleshing the songs out which took quite a while. We went from a band that never got louder than say, Galaxie 500, and gradually grew into something with a little more oomph to it. The recording output wasn't slowed down because our friend Sean Morrison (Blam Recording) fit us in whenever he could after the basic tracking. We started recording the album in September of 2005 and everything was done by March 2006. I was constantly at the studio working on overdubs and harmonies. Our sound took a while to manifest itself. It definitely would not be what it is now without the effort of all the guys in the band.
*Sixeyes: I've got to ask about the name, Sleep Out, it conjures images of childhood... you know, in the backyard in a pup tent with the pillow from your own bed. Does the name have any significance?
Quinn: The name came from a bad habit I got into of thinking about any problems that were going on in my life right before I went to bed. I would think about stuff and then just try to sleep through it and put it behind me, but of course, I'd always wake up in the morning to the same problems. I don't tend to do that anymore because, thankfully, I'm having a lot of fun right now. I'm generally a pretty happy person.
*Sixeyes: Finally, how are things shaping up for you guys? You're finally found a label home, so the next step must be the six week tour? Or is that pushing it a bit?
Quinn: Things are shaping up really well for us. I think that our first big goal is to win Chicago over. We've been getting good shows and have been getting good responses from the crowds we've played in front of. This is our city and we've played in many bands here over the years. My first shows in Chicago were as a 16 year old in Kleenex Girl Wonder. Lounge Ax would make us wait across the street at Clark's Diner until it was our time to play because we weren't 21. Sleep Out is on the same label that Kleenex Girl was on (March Records) and we really trust them and get along well with them. The six week tour may be pushing it a bit (think: fistfights on the side of the road). We definitely need to hit the road a little harder and we're trying to book as much as we possibly can right now. If you're reading this, send us an e-mail [sleepout @ gmail.com]... We'll play in your town!
And how does Sleep Out sound? Well, for the most part the guitars bear an electric fuzz, which is the underside of the reverbed vocals. And in the middle? An 'oh so sweet' indie rock cream of sing-along melodies. Of the three tracks offered here, "It Wasn't Darkness" is the favourite. The guitar sounding like, well, like it's happy and wants everyone to know. But these guys can, and do, sound like the Jesus and Mary Chain meets The Promise Ring--and that's promise 'ing' (oh, yeah, I know that's bad. If only I had an editor to talk me out of such mistakes.) But then they give off a spacy Americana vibe... which jibes with a couple of influences listed on their myspace, Spiritualized crossed with My Morning Jacket.
Here are some MP3s... now it's time for dessert, Chicago style.
+ the ride home
+ old mare
+ it wasn't darkness
The band's myspace