[MUSIC: Interview] Sleepmakeswaves
Guitarist for Sleepmakeswaves, Jonathan “Kid” Khor, The Snowdroppers’ Johnny Wishbone, and Dom Alessio – now the host of triple j’s Home And Hosed – were looking to form a band over six years ago. The trio branched out into their various corners of music, but the bandname (coined by Alessio) stayed the same, underwent a few lineup changes, and eventually settled into the instrumental post-rock outfit that we now know. A lot of time has passed since those beginnings, and bassist Alex Wilson explains that the band are still adjusting to the steady trajectory on which they’ve found themselves.
“It’s a very weird feeling for us,” Wilson says. “I think we’ve all been musically ambitious and I think we’ve always wanted to write really good music, but I remember we had an interview with someone once who said that we had ‘niche band complex’. I think we did have that for a while, and we still kind of do. For the first five years we would play our shows – and it is instrumental music, and in a lot of ways it’s quite bizarre compared to what gets pushed on radio and in the press – so we just assumed that we’d plod along doing our own thing in complete obscurity. The last 18 months has been so strange because we haven’t changed what we’re doing or our attitude. To have people suddenly take notice and offer us overseas tours and supports has meant that we’ve had to make the personal decisions to really take this on.”
Releasing …and so we destroyed everything last year cemented the band’s place in the Sydney scene, followed by support slots for Japan’s Mono and Boris (among many others) and a self-funded trip to Austin for this year’s South By Southwest. Instrumental post-rock is hardly the most supported genre on Australian radio, but with international bands like Explosions In The Sky and Sigur RЧs paving the way for local groups, Sleepmakeswaves were able to garner a surprising level of support. It would be foolish to ignore the industry friendships that have helped the band along the way, but success is only ever sustainable if the fans follow suit. “There have been certain people that have come along and given support to our music, and I think that has really assisted us,” he says. “Dom [Alessio] is one of those guys who has always been in our corner, he’s always supported us. [triple j’s] Fenella [Kernebone] and Andrew Hogue have always gotten behind our music as well. I suppose all of that support came together when we released our last record, and a lot of people came out of the woodwork. It was astounding to us that triple j ran with our singles for quite a few months.”
With so much touring on the agenda, one concern for Sleepmakeswaves is exactly how the band will be able to find the time to write more music. “That’s a big question in our position,” Wilson says. “Our album has had a reasonably positive reception, and we now have a fan base for our music who are going to expect something from us in the near future. We want it to be even better, [but] at the moment, with all of the touring, we have had to focus on our live show being the best that it can be. We have made the first forays into writing the next set of songs, but it kind of remains to be seen how this next set of songs will turn out…”
Where: The Standard
When: Friday September 7