03 May
Interview with SLEEPING WELL


We had a conversation with Muppet (Vocals). Enjoy!

Welcome to the FILTHY DOGS OF METAL Webzine.

Tell us a few things about SLEEPING WELL (Members, Starting Year etc).
Thank you for having us! SLEEPING WELL was founded in the summer of 2011 in Hanover, Germany by a few teenaged dudes playing their first simple songs in a rocked down rehearsal room that was located in a car park in the center of town. Most of the members have by now chosen a live void of their idiot bandmates. Still part of the band as a founding member is our Vocalist and Guitarist Muppet. His brother Deuce Simmons as Bass-player and Neo as the drummer both joined in 2013. Since 2022 Luhnatic completes the four-piece as Guitarist. We have started out as more of rock-band without a particular style, but developed our sound cotinuously over the course of time with our recordings. The first album (Rapid Eye Movement, 2016) was indecisive in its direction, while the following two EPs (Rise, 2019; Rings of Saturn, 2020) were much more focused in terms of music. For our new release we worked with Nino Helfrich from Skull Tone Studios to produce the record, now we finally have the sound we wanted to achieve.

You have recently released your album ''Wisdom of the Ages''. What is the feedback from your audience as well as from the press?
The feedback from our fans was overwhelmingly positive, we have certainly managed to convey the magnitude of our evolution and musical development with this work. The reviews we have yet seen were mostly positive and also acknowledge this, while sometimes the sheer length of everything was questioned. Parts of the audience that are less intrigued by full albums and take more of a liking to single tracks also had a bit of an issue with the length of some tracks. Of course we knew that this aspect of the album could and would be critisized, but we still felt that this was the way to go. Although it is not exactly a concept-album, we still saw it as a complete work, like a puzzle with great sounding pieces, but when you put them together, you get the full picture. Still we take feedback seriously – who knows, next time we might do something completely different?

The cover artwork has a great atmosphere! Tell us a few things about it.
Thank you very much! We have worked with the indonesian artist Hyperbholic who brought our vision to life and we are very happy with the result. The owl is widely known as a symbol for wisdom since the ancient times. But there is also a mysterious quality to the creature – just like for most of the themes on the album. Of course, in metal everything is always larger than life, so we wanted it supersized and center staged. Most importantly, it has a third eye. It is always present on the cover in some form or another when we release an EP or an album. It tells us about the search for a somehow hidden truth, maybe the meaning of life, that many people conduct. Therefore the third eye connects to the druids reading and searching in their old scripture from a time long gone.

What about the lyrics of the album?
As was mentioned earlier, the album is not exactly a concept album, but it does revolve around myths and legends. For example we were inspired by the Greek philosopher Platos tale of Atlantis, a once mighty realm that angered the god Poseidon and was then taken by the ocean. Another song inspired by Greek mythology is 'Trojan Horse'. We chose it, because it can be transferred so easily to modern life as well. These stories tell us something about us as human beings, our place in the world and the danger of hubris. Other themes we have explored are occult rituals to gain insight beyond our earthly comprehension ('The Golden Dawn'), an uprising of the poor against the ruling class ('Of Beggars & Kings') and the end of the norse gods ('Ragnarok').

Label or DIY and why?
We do everything by ourselves at the moment. The good thing about this is that we can decide everything without boundaries our stipulations. When we play shows, how the merch looks and so on. That doesn´t mean that we can´t imagine ever working with a label. It just has to fit perfectly for us, especially since we don´t shy away from long songs and albums and have our very own taste in presenting our music and ourselves. 

Is there any funny or weird story from the recordings or from your live shows that you would like to share with us?
There are too many stories to tell or remember, there were a lot of funny situations. This one time after a show, there was this one guy at our merch-table and he was pretty drunk. At the time we sold our own barbequesauce. It was very hot, with chili and other stuff in it, we even had warning label on it. For some reason this dude seemed to think it was an aloholic beverage, although we and a few of his friend repeatedly told him it was not a drink, but a sauce. So he chugged the whole thing away in the blink of an eye. Then he stood for a second, looked into the vast nothingness of the universe and finally burped like a seasick dragon. Needless to say he bought another one.

Do you prefer Vinyl, Tape, CD or Digital Format and why is that?
Vinyl has a special sound and apart from that you really have something in your hands, something physical that you bought. We like that. Sadly we can not yet afford to produce Vinyl for our recordings at this time. Hopefully the chance will come in the near future. We have however no nostalgia for Tapes. The stuff deteriorates faster than anything else there is nothing amazing about it. Digital format is available everywhere and at anytime. That is a blessing and a curse. For one, people everywhere can get to know your music without us being present in certain areas. But it also means it is harder to get recognized in the sea of amazing bands out there. You are just a drop of water in an ocean of musical talent, an anyone can dip their toes in the water to experience a small part of that nowadays. However you look at it, this is where music is presented today, so we don´t let the chance slip to be part of that, too.

Your music style is Heavy Metal. Which are your main influences (Favourite Artists / Bands etc.)
We are strongly influenced by 1980s Metalbands and the most important of them are Iron Maiden to us. Not only have they produced countless classics and shaped music for decades to come, the way their merch and artwork was designed is representative of metal for generations. For us music and stage presence go hand in hand. Their shows were always  atmospheric and theatrical, just top of the mountain. Other bands from the more show-oriented side that influenced us are Kiss, WASP, Gwar or Mercyful Fate – even if it gets a bit in the direction of Spinal Tap, one should not take it all too seriously. With all the work you put into your music, it´s all for entertainment and fun at the end of the day. Purely from a musical standpoint, we also listen to a lot of thrash bands, like old Metallica, old Destruction, Testament or Megadeth. They have a lot of interesting melodies to offer. More extreme bands that really shape our understanding of songwriting are for example Dissection and Immortal.  We also really love progressive music from Dream Theater, Tool, Primus and Opeth. They all have their own way of making complicated music work. We admire that. There is also more unusual stuff that might change our approach sometimes. David Bowie, Depeche Mode or Jeff Buckley are just a few of the artists that we might have gotten inspired by.

Which things do you think a band should sacrifice in order to succeed? Have you ever sacrificed anything in your life for a better future for your band?
We have sacrificed a lot of things in the past just to achieve our vision for the band. Time with your family or better results from studies at the university or holiday were a few of the things that were left behind every once in a while for this to work out. At the end of the day you must be willing to give your time, money and effort for a band to be functional. Going to the studio, playing shows, writing music, rehearsing regularly. All that takes a lot discipline – a word not often associated with musicians, we know. But only with that it can work out. That might even mean, that some people are not willing to go this path with you. Many people will not understand how you can leave so many things aside, they don´t understand what t means to be this passionate about something. But having released an album that people really listen to, playing a show in front of an excited audience – you can´t describe that to anyone who has not experienced it. 

Describe your ideal live show as a performance band. Have you already experienced that?
There are many aspects that define the perfect show – first of all there is atmosphere. A Concert is a spectacle and ideally it should be like its own world without too much outside interference. You want to be immersed, like you would in a theater, opera, cinema, etc. Only then can you celebrate the moment to the fullest. We think the artists should dress accordingly. No street clothing, every show is a special occasion. The stage set, backdrop, clothing and lighting should all be fitting for the tone of the songs on the set and the effect the band desires. The music should be balanced out – start with a banger, hold the tempo, slow down in the middle of the set to give the crowd some air, then turn up the tempo again. Something like that. You shouldn´t just mindlessly waste all your great songs for a great start. If you have something people definetly wait for, you can build anticipation. Also there should be a connection to the audience. I hate when musicians just play their program, then play an encore and leave as fast as possible. People came to see you, you should be very much grateful for that. The band that brings that all together is Iron Maiden for us. They have the classic songs, they know ho to build their set. The show is theatrical and builds a world around you. The connection to the fans is amazing, when you stand in front of that stage, you feel like you are part of a something great. It is fun, feels meaningful and it is very energetic.

What attributes do you think that a new Heavy Metal Band should have in order to gain identity and be unique?
You should be independent in your vision. That doesn´t mean that you shouldn´t be influenced by your favorite bands, but rather that you don´t concern yourself too much with the opinions of people who don´t have a stake in your game. There is going to be a lot of people that tell you what you should do and why nobody listens to your music and why other artists are successful where you are not. But that is not the way to go about it. You have to make your own mistakes, produce your own terrible demos, develop your own vision for the next step knowing what to avoid the next time. You can only see where your next goal is when you walk the path yourself.

Do you believe that Digital Platforms help the new Heavy Metal Bands? Which, do you think, is the ideal way for a band to promote its work?
They certainly help to publish music in a way easier fashion than it seemingly used to be. A release on a digital platform isn´t very expensive, but it doesn´t really pay you money back either. At least chances are high to reach an international audience by promoting your album on Social Media sites. New bands can definetly use that to their advantage. We try our best to do so.

Tell us a few things about the New Underground Metal Scene in Germany (Bands, Fanzines, Webzines, Metal Clubs etc.)
We have a underground scene with thousands of great bands. Sadly they are mostly confined to their local (village or city scene). So connections between big cities are limited. Because we have so many devoted metal fans here, we also have tons of fanzines and webzines of all sizes. From the well established ones like Metal Hammer and Rock Hard to smaller publications that are mostly focused on a certain subgenre. There is also a gathering of metal clubs in every bigger city in Germany. Even in more rural areas you might find clubs that have a lot of metal-shows. The Pandemic however was devastating to the cultural scene in this country, not only for Metal and other Subcultures, but in general. Many clubs closed down and many people lost their jobs. Maybe that is just our impression, but we find it harder to book shows, than it was before.

Do you know anything about the Hellenic Metal Scene?
Greek fans are known to be especially passionate and devoted to the cause. And there are many of them, they are legion. You only need to listen to concerts recorded in Greece. For example 'Alive in Athens' by Iced Earth – the energy from the crowd is amazing. Also there great bands from Greece that are also well known internationally, like Suicidal Angels and Firewind. We hope to one day play in Greece and get a first hand experience of the mighty Hellenic Metal Scene!

The last 4 years, worldwide in the world, we have faced many dark, strange & new situations in our everyday life (covid, lock-down etc.) Did all of this affect you positively or negatively?
We have to say the negative aspects do outweigh the positive ones. Of course we had the time and space to really work on our music and gained a new member with a fresh perspective on things. But still we, not as a band, but as people, have lost so much in that time. Nevertheless we gathered strength from that strange period and rise to be more resilient than ever. There is still so much to come.

What are your future plans?
We want to promote the album by playing shows and maybe release a music video in the near future. Also we are already working on new music for the next work. So be prepared!

Thank you very much for your time & keep up the good work! The closure is yours.
Thank you very much – and thank you to everyone who listens to the album, on CD, or Spotify or where! This chapter is written, but the tale goes on – Stay tuned!

By Steve the Filthy Dog.







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