While She Sleeps Interview - Part 1
YOU ARE WE
While She Sleeps are set for the biggest year of their career. Not content with simply releasing their upcoming album You Are We on 21st April 2017, the band have decided to do so completely independently throughout the entire UK. With help from their fans the band funded the album through Pledge Music and have freed themselves from the shackles of a record label.
With the fans passion burning throughout the entire album, You Are We is set to be one of, if not, the best albums of 2017. With amazing singles such as Hurricane, Silence Speaks (Feat Oli Sykes) and the latest face-melter that is Feel already released, the band on on the verge of metal god status..
I recently called up While She Sleeps resident guitar shredder Sean Long to talk all things You Are We. We talk about the upcoming album, going independent and the possibility of a While She Sleeps country album...
Hi Sean, thanks for taking the time to speak with Echion Music. I was told you are in London, how is it going down there?
No mate haha I'm in Sheffield at the minute in a warehouse, its going good mate. We are just practicing now before we head off to our show tomorrow in London.
Is that the first show of your headlining tour?
Yes it is mate, we have two in London before the actual full leg of the tour starts on the 21st April in York.
So the tour is kicking off! Back to the UK. You have been on tour recently with Bring Me The Horizon in Europe, is it exciting to be back playing in the UK?
Yeah we TOTALLY are. No one's heard it (You Are We) yet and we haven't seen the UK in a while. The fact that we are coming back home to headline is especially exiting. We keep all of our stuff hidden away for so long that we can't wait to finally get it out to the fans on our own soil.
You Are We is released on April 21st. The album is being independently released in the UK with help from fans by the use of Pledge Music. How did that come about? Who's idea was it to start a campaign to fund You Are We in this way?
It was kind of a collection of things really. It wasn't like a specific event that made us want to do it. To do this was a collective agreement as time went on. Labels were great for us for a while and then we kind of had a few problems within our old label that didn't sit right with us. It just made sense, when we had the possibility of going independent it just made more sense for the band we are. We looked at how we felt about everything and it was quite surprising that we didn't think about doing this sooner. We aren't saying anything bad about the label system, it was just there was a lot of people in our label that just didn't care about the things that we were doing as much as we did. You could slowly start to see that where we had a team working for us that when things start to fuck up, they don't care because it's not their band and not their problem. It was just another job for them.
Did you feel like just another one on the roster?
Yeah definitely. We started to realise that there was no one in the world that was going to care about our music as much as we do, no matter what they say. We were just like fuck it, lets do it ourselves.
So when you hit your Pledge Music campaign, it must have been an amazing feeling. It must have given you black and white proof that shows how much your fans love your music and want to see you guys progress.
Yeah well that was a bit of a test for us as well. We thought, well now we are finally going to see. I know we are doing well at the minute but you never really know how many people support you. Doing this pledge campaign was a way in which we could finally get to see who was there for us and it really stood out to us how great our fans are.
As Echion Music receives quite a few international viewers i have a question about the pre-order for You Are We. Is this something that is only available in the UK?
Yeah mate, so basically we have gone down the independent route in the UK. At the moment we don't really have the power or the strength to go independent globally just yet. So what we have done is license the record to a few select places around the world. We use the infrastructure of the label to help us distribute and print around the world. We wouldn't have the power at this moment in time and we would probably end up losing a lot of money and failing a lot quicker. Maybe in a few years we will go fully independent. We'll go a few countries at a time as we start to grow and develop. It should be available super soon for everyone. I know for a fact that on April 21st the album is available everywhere worldwide.
Is that the dream? To go fully independent?
Well... I dunno man haha. This is all new to us and it isn't something we really planned out. We went with it and now we are here. Maybe in a few years we will try and go fully independent but who knows. I honestly don't know whats going to happen where just going with it at the minute and seeing where it takes us.
So the album itself. The name of the album You Are We, is this relating to the fact that fans helped fund it? Does it represent how you are now closer to the fans and shows how you are all in the journey together?
Yeah totally it is that. We are trying to make it apparent that we cant really do what we do without people enjoying what we do and supporting us the way that they do. We feel that one of the things that we enjoy singing about is our connection with our fans. They are another member in the band and without this group communication there is no us (While She Sleeps). There is no possible way for us to do what we do, everyone enjoy it and us have as much enthusiasm as we do without these fans that support us so much. Then there is another aspect of the name to show that there is no good without bad. There is a you and there is a we which is kind of another way of saying there is a ying and a yang and a black and white. At the end of the day everything goes together and we are not trying to divide the world up we are trying to let everyone know that the world is all one. On a day to day basis it seems like the world is all divided up, but when you get down to it we are all connected really.
Is that reflected in the artwork for You Are We which has different languages on the cover? Does this tie into the same theme?
Yeah man one hundred percent. We wanted to bring in that You Are We theme and touch everyone in their own native language. We used the four most common languages in the world so that basically anyone in the world can read that cover in their native language and it makes it a little more personal to them.