Interview: While She Sleeps

imageWhile She Sleeps are arguably the British metal band at the moment; 2012 was a hugely successful year for the Steel City 5 piece. They have relentless toured not just the country but the world promoting a début album (‘This Is The Six’) which received nothing but praise for most bands that would have been enough. 

However WSS have done something not just for the band but for the attention of British metal; what could be considered their biggest achievement is their domination of the British airwaves. BBC Radio 1 finally opened their eyes and made metal part of the mainstream playlists. WSS could be heard at dinner time with their take on melodic metal – a huge deal for metal fans and the band themselves. The Telegraph even picked up on this and has hailed 2013 the year of Metal and it would be ignorant to say that WSS didn’t have a part in this.

Already Heard caught up with Sean Long, guitarist for the band to ask him about the bands 2012, the progression from their mini album to their début and how they intended to make 2013 an even bigger year for the band.

Already Heard: 2012 has been a hugely successful year for you guys with an album which has had nothing but positive reviews, countless tours around the world and national airplay on BBC Radio 1. How have you felt about receiving such positive feedback about every aspect of your year in 2012.
Sean: It’s been amazing, we didn’t really expect to do so well and now we are, it’s fucking amazing, the biggest problem we have now is that we have to write a better album. We have Radio 1 watching us now so you know. It is more than we ever expected anyway.

AH: You guys have certainly been a prominent force in the UK metal scene this past year and just the other day The Times have hailed 2013 as the year heavy metal makes a return citing yourselves and other acts such as BMTH and BMFV as the forerunners. Do you think this is a sign that the mainstream are finally paying attention to heavy bands again or have just not realised it sooner?
Sean: Yeah I think so, I think just generally it has started to become more acceptable anyway. They’re starting to play metal more in general, like we used to get loads of shit in school about it, but it is now more the norm.

AH: Your debut album ‘This Is The Six’ has been out since August and has been growing in success gaining mainstream radio play, featuring in a number of end of year polls. How would you say it compares to your mini album ‘The North Stands For Nothing’?
Sean: Erm I would say it is an extended more mature version of that, I mean that was the idea we tried to take everything from TNSFN and build on it, so yeah it is a more mature version of that.

AH: The album has a running theme about the state of the country and it incorporates the ‘North Stands For Nothing’ ideology into some of the new songs, as a subject are you trying to make more people aware of the issues we face as a country?
Sean: Yeah, yeah I guess and because we just wanted to talk about something that means something instead of something that a lot of people have heard before like your wife or girlfriend, plus we wanted something that people could jump on board with and be a part of and get annoyed with.

AH: In tracks like ‘Dead Behind the Eyes’ and ‘Be(lie)ve’ the riffs are unbelievably heavy yet as a band you combine melody and heavy elements perfectly, what inspires the musicianship behind your tracks? What processes do you go through to write the music?
Sean: I think it just a collection of everything I listen to anyway, then when I come to write I sit on my guitar and just play about, and I have Logik and just stick it on, play a riff record it, if I don’t like it I delete it and just hope something good comes out of it.

AH: You’re about to embark on a UK/European tour with Asking Alexandria, Motionless in White and Betraying the Martyrs, how have you been preparing for the shows and what can fans expect to see?
Sean: We haven’t done anything yet, erm sorting out all our gear out at the minute, then start practising on Monday for a week straight, we are using one of our old sets then banging the new stuff in…

AH: Your last headline tour saw you take out Polar with you another rising British band, as a site we have just composed our ‘Bands to Look out for in 2013’ feature, what bands are you looking forward to seeing/hearing in 2013, are there any bands we should be looking out for?
Sean: Erm, that’s a tough one, I know my friends in Architects are writing and I am interested to see what that is like… Oh and Letlive I am pretty stoked on that.

AH: Finally we have already spoke about how 2012 was an amazing year for you as a band, you are already jumping back into touring, how do you think 2013 is going to compare? What can we expect from WSS in 2013?
Sean: It’s going to be a well more busy year, I think we are like away for 8 months of the yeahlike this is our biggest touring year. It’s going to be a big writing, touring mess really, like we are away for so long but we’ve got to be writing at the same time, so yeah touring and writing.

‘This Is the Six’ by While She Sleeps is available now on Search And Destroy.

While She Sleeps links: Official Website|Facebook|Twitter|iTunes

Words by Robert Maddison (@bertmaddison)

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