By Bigun / January 8, 2021
- How did you come up with the band name ?
The words ‘Sleeper Signal’ came about by way of mindless thought and then after they left my mouth for the first time I thought “Oh, that sounds like it could be a band name!” And then I gave it more thought and put some meaning behind it.
So the story behind it is that I was driving on the highway and I was behind a person that had their turn signal on for miles and they just weren’t switching lanes. And I said aloud, “Looks like we got a sleeper signal over here.” Then I said right after that “Damn that could totally be a band name.” So I held on to it and when it came time to name the project when I was in the studio recording the ‘All She Wrote’ EP ‘Sleeper Signal’ was the chosen name. When putting more thought into the name and what it could mean it made me think of sleeper agents. You know, Spies that are sent on a mission but remain dormant until they are activated by way of a signal/phrase. So I thought “this music, these songs will be the call or ‘signal’ to awaken and start a new rock revolution. This music will literally be the sleeper signal, dude.” *Chuckles* It’ll be pretty cool if that actually happens!
- Tell us about where you come from and how that reflects in the music.
I’m from the Northeast. My family is originally from New York and I lived there and also in Connecticut. I really identify as a New Yorker because of how much time I spent living there as a young kid and then spending so much time in Manhattan in my teenage years into my 20’s. I have only good memories there whether it was wandering around by myself or with others, hitting the guitar shops, exploring the nightlife, Yankee games etc… I had a lot of those experiences when I was recording the EP and it had a huge impact on what I was doing in the studio. NYC has an edge to it, you know? And so do I, I suppose. Anyway, It’s the best example of what opportunity really looks like and all the different ways life can be and that was where I would run to when I was in need of inspiration or just wanted to wander about and daydream… I remember walking around the East Village by myself one afternoon and I was thinking about just breaking free from all the bullshit in my life and the drama around me and just really going full-force with my music. And I wrote out the words “They’ve come to get me but you’re never gonna catch me alive… I ran as fast as I could to make it out in time.” And That is basically how I was feeling and exactly what I did. I ran away to Nashville and couldn’t be happier. That’s where the band came together and we’re working real hard to give it our best and make it count.
- Tell us about the song-writing process, how do you create your music ?
The way it worked for the songs on the EP is that I had riffs that turned into songs. I like to have a guitar riff lead the song and then have a more pop-style song structure follow (Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus Bridge, solo etc..). But it’s different with every song really, a lot can happen in the moment especially when recording and a cool idea pops into your head. That’s my favorite part about recording. Just taking my time with it and letting it happen naturally. I hate being rushed when I’m making something I really care about and want to sound as close to perfect as I can make it; but I also work well under pressure so I guess it really just depends on how hard I want to be on myself that day to crank out quality material. Lyrics usually come last in the process for me. I find that it’s easier for me to sing over a track that’s as close to finished as possible. It gives me more time to feel out what the vocal melody or the hook will be. Writing the lyrics is a funny thing too because it’s usually rapid-fire words coming out no problem, or the exact opposite and then I sit and play with words, leave it alone, come back to it, pull the best words from it and take it in a different direction entirely, etc…
- Who has influenced you the most ?
The Beatles are my favorite band ever and have always been a tremendous influence to me. Bands like Green Day, Queens of the Stone Age, Zeppelin, Rush. Basically bands that bridge the gap between pop music to the heavier, more punk, and progressive and experimental side of things. That’s what excites me the most and how I try to create my music.
- What was the first song you or your band ever wrote? Tell is if you performed it, trashed it, etc….
There’s a song on the EP called ‘Trouble’ and I wrote that song when I was 16. I never thought I’d carry it into my 20’s but I did and the cool thing about it was that I was able to finally give it the performance it deserved. I didn’t have as good chops back when I was 16 because I wasn’t as experienced yet, but the enthusiasm was certainly there when writing it. I guess I always liked the hook and then when I got to record it I gave it a little more structure and energy with a more adult vocal performance. And now we play this song at every show.
- What song are you most connected to or proud of ?
I write in a way that’s really personal to me. I’m a really open guy and my music shows just that side of me. I’d say I’m most connected to ‘All She Wrote’ because writing and recording that song was a huge part of me healing some emotional wounds in that time. That song gave me personal closure, kind of like writing out your feelings in a journal, diary, captain’s log, what have you…
- Do you enjoy playing live and what do you enjoy about it ?
It is literally my favorite thing to do. My biggest fear is that I wouldn’t get to perform enough times in my time here on Earth to feel satisfied. It truly is the greatest feeling and I can never get enough of it. What I love about it is that you could be having the shittiest day of your life, or even the best day of your life, but the minute you get on stage none of that matters anymore. Because it’s go time, and these people came out to see a rock show, and you’re only as good as your last gig, so it’s go big or go home right here in this moment. I personally feel like I perform better in front of people too. It gives what I’m doing more meaning and purpose and brings more energy to it.
- What is next for the band ?
Well, once we’re able to get on stage again I know we’re going to go full-force and when the time is right we’ll do a tour as well. Due to the current health crisis we had to cancel a lot of shows and still don’t have the green light to get booked up yet. So in the meantime we’ve been rehearsing, writing, and enjoying each other’s company. Leo is building a kick-ass studio at his house at the moment and we’ve all been lending a helping hand to him with that. We’ve become closer than ever in these past couple of months and were able to shoot a live-stream performance which went over really well. It’s on YouTube, Sleeper Signal Live Stream, and now Facebook too.
- Any additional thoughts or comments you would like to add ?
I’d just like to say thanks a million for interviewing me and having an interest in what we’re doing. We’re one in a million bands that are all trying to make it so we really appreciate it when people take an interest in us and want to know a little bit more about what we’re up to and the behind the scenes of it all. Can’t thank you enough for your support of not only us but, the music scene as well. Thank you!