Friday, July 25, 2014

The Inquisition: 016.Sleep Maps

1. How did you came up with the name of the band?

There is a type of brain scan which shows neurons firing in the brain during sleep. The result is called a Sleep Map and I thought it was a fitting name for the kind of music I wanted to make.

2. Do you have a standard procedure of creating a song? Do you just jam around or is there a main riff and the track is build up on it?

Sometimes I have a riff that really stands out, like the main riff of Eternal Wanderer or Telegenesis, and I build a song around that. Other times I will just sit and strum a guitar until something resonates with me. Sometimes its much harder and I'll work on a song for months, refining and editing until its good enough. I usually add samples towards the end of the creative process, after I know what kind of record I am making and what the main themes will be. I tend to think that if a song needs tons of revisions and work that maybe it isn't good enough and should be scrapped. I'll go back and grab parts from songs that didn't make the cut. I think I have released 16 Sleep Maps songs total and I have something like 40 or 50 sitting on my hard drive. Gotta know when to kill your darlings.

3. What are your influences and what kind of music do you hear when you are at home?

When I was young I listened to tons of classical movie soundtracks. I would go out and get hard to find copies of soundtracks by Basil Poledouris and Jerry Goldsmith and listen to them non-stop. I loved the imagery that would get conjured up as I listened to these scores, and even if I hadn't seen the movie I could associate certain images with certain themes. At the same time I was playing classical music with my school bands and learning about some of the masters. It wasn't until later that I found rock music and wanted to build some kind of bridge between the two.

4. Which is the one album you can't live without?

Its Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by The Smashing Pumpkins. Maybe a lame answer, but it was the soundtrack to so many important moments for me.

5. What's the first record you've ever bought ?

I remember the first record I ever received. It was Achtung Baby by U2. I listened to it a lot.

6. Name a band that you would like to share the stage or tour with ?

When I saw Mono play I was really stunned at how powerful their show was. I would love to play with them.

7. Did the internet and specially the blogs helped to spread your music around the world? Name a place (country) that you were surprised to know your music has reached to?

The internet lets Sleep Maps reach out to people beyond my friends. I have sent CDs all over the place. I was surprised when I was contacted by someone in Turkey who really resonated with the first record I released and we have stayed in touch since then. Its hard to say what sort of effect blogs have had. There are so many bands all trying to promote themselves that the most you can hope for is really 1 day of converge.

8. Do you support the idea of bandcamp where fans can decide the price or services like spotify?

Bandcamp is a direct deposit to the artist. Anyone can release an album on it and people can pay what they like. It is a level playing field and you can discover great artists through it. Spotify is a corporate machine that seems uninterested in giving anything to artists. For the independent artist, Bandcamp is the only choice.

9. Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?

I plan on making music as Sleep Maps as long as it interests me. I have several other side projects that come and go, but Sleep Maps is really just me expressing whatever I am feeling at the time. In 5 years I don't think that will have changed.

10. Is the artwork of an album important nowadays in the digital era?

Yes. I strongly believe in the power of album art and what it can do to shape your opinion of music. I work with Hunter Heckroth ( on all the Sleep Maps art and I think we have developed a style that is uniquely ours and adds so much to the whole package. If you look at the cover of We Die For Truth, there is a ton of work and thought that went into that. Its all part of the puzzle.

11. What is you favorite album cover?

Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

12. It seems that a lot of people are turning on vinyl again. Why do you think that is and which is your preferable media format?

In an era of disposable media it's nice to have something to hold in your hands. I love vinyl and think right now its my preferred format for all music. I would love to press vinyl for We Die For Truth and may do so in the future.

13. What's the most vivid story or moment as a band?

I spent 3 weeks in the woods of Delaware when writing Fiction Makes The Future, and it was during that experience that I really discovered how amazing it feels to just let your inner creative person flow out of you. Without any judgement or expectations you can really make something true to yourself.

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