Let the music play

Anjali Jhangiani
Friday, 7 December 2018

At the ongoing Bacardi Weekender NH7 music festival, we chat up the Australian band sleepmakeswaves

From Down Under, the first day of Bacardi NH7 Weekender saw the band sleepmakeswaves make audiences sway to their sound. Whether it’s the bass or the guitar riffs, you can’t really put a pin on it, but something in their music speaks to you. It takes you on a journey you’re meant to go on, and before you know it, you’re introspecting, feeling your feelings. While some call it cathartic, others, after scrambling for adjectives, just seem to go with ‘wow’. 
The group currently features guitarists Otto Wicks-Green and Daniel Oreskovic, drummer Tim Adderley, and bassist and keyboardist Alex Wilson. 

The instrumental rock band from Sydney got together with the aim of making music that is textured, dynamic and emotive with dramatic climaxes. So far they’ve released one EP called in today already walks tomorrow (2008) and three albums ...and so we destroyed everything (2011), Love of Cartography (2014), and Made Of Breath Only (2017). 

We catch up with Wilson. Excerpts:

What is the story behind the name of your band?
It was the name that Kid, our founding guitarist, had been working under when he joined the band. He brought it with him, along with some basic guitar demos that would become some of our first songs. He says it originates from someone’s Psychology lecture notes or textbook. Fitting enough since we’re all big nerds. 

How did all of you meet?
At university, and then through MySpace. We’d all played in bands before but hadn’t found the kind of creative satisfaction and teamwork we were looking for. We all came from really different musical backgrounds, but there was a real chemistry at the start.

Ten years since your first EP, tell us how you’ve grown as artists. 
I think Made of Breath Only was informed by feelings of sadness, loss and anxiety that weren’t present so much on Love of Cartography. We were drawn to those themes because they were present in our personal lives and view of the world at the time. Our albums all have their own unique aspects, but are unified by our constant exploration of a space where post-rock, progressive rock, metal, electronic and indie music meet.

What is the independent music scene like in Australia?
The independent music scene in Australia is very healthy overall. People there listen to lots of music and love to attend festivals. Australians are often really proud of our bands that travel overseas and escape the isolation that is part and parcel of living on your own continent. Many musicians, including myself, choose to live and work in Sydney. Despite being the biggest city in Australia, it has one of the most difficult music markets — mainly because local government and some residents don’t provide the support and encouragement to small venues, which are the lifeblood of a healthy music scene.

What convinced you to be a part of this music festival?
We didn’t need much convincing. The prospect of coming to play at this festival and meet Indian music fans is a true privilege. I’ve spoken to friends of mine in different bands who have performed in India, and it’s only made me more excited about the enthusiasm of fans and industry people in your country. We can’t wait to show you what we’re all about live, which is where I think our music communicates the most.

What are the future plans for the band?
We may take some time to see the sights in your country before returning home to start writing our next record and hopefully touring more next year.

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