With the release of 2017’s ‘Gossip’, their major label debut, Sleeping With Sirens appeared to have soared past their post-hardcore days of yore to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the big leagues. They even had their song ‘Legends’ used in the Olympics.
Still, even with those accomplishments, the band have shared that things weren’t quite as well as they seemed, referring to the past two years as some of the darkest in their careers so far. It explains why things went a little quite in the past year or so, as they’ve been working on its follow-up.
Whilst at All Points Festival – currently their only UK show of 2019 – we spoke with vocalist Kellin Quinn and guitarist Jack Fowler to discuss their new record, going back to their roots, why they stepped down from Warner Records, and how they feel about ‘Let’s Cheers To This’ eight years later.
DP!: Welcome back to the UK, guys. This is your first date over here this year, right?
KQ: It is, but we were in Manchester for two days shooting a music video – well, two music videos. Then we’re going to play our set here this afternoon before heading home.
JF: Yeah, we got here about four days ago. We wanted to go to Slam Dunk too, but we were too busy. We’ve just been working our asses off whilst we’ve been here.
DP!: What do you guys think of the UK when you come over here?
KQ: We love it here.
JF: Yeah, we love it here. The people are great, and we love Nando’s. I don’t know why, but it’s just so consistent and so good.
KQ: See, I live in the Pacific North West, so over there the weather is pretty similar so it kind of feels like home when I come over, but just cooler. There’s not so many hicky, white trashy dudes here.
JF: Is that an insult to me?
KQ: No. [laughs]
DP!: Cool. So, I take it those two videos are for two new singles that are coming out? I heard that you’ve been in the studio recently.
KQ: Yep. Absolutely.
JF: The new record is done. There’s not a lot that I can tell you about it, but I can tell you that we’ll be playing a new song today.
KQ: We have a new single coming out in a few weeks before Disrupt, then we have another one coming out at around the middle of Disrupt, and then the record will come out shortly after that.
DP!: How’s the record sounding then?
KQ: Heavy. We’ve gone back to our roots a little bit, but in a grown up way.
JF: That’s right. We’re growing up, and it’s heavy when it needs to be heavy.
KQ: Exactly, it’s not heavy for the sake of being heavy. That’s something that I’ve been kind of saying. The content is very heavy so the music had to be that way too.
JF: Like, you write records the way that you feel, and the last two years for us were pretty dark and heavy times, so that’s how we felt when we started writing for this record.
DP!: That makes sense. So, where does this new record pick up from where you left off with your last album ‘Gossip’?
KQ: [laughs] It basically sweeps that last record under the rug.
JF: That really is the best way of putting it.
KQ: It’s not that we’re not keen on that record, but I think that just how I was mentally during those two years it just doesn’t make sense for us to write or to go up there and sing positive songs when it was such a negative experience.
JF: It was a negative experience and, like, you’re trying to sing about being happy when the whole time that you were writing those songs you were not at all.
KQ: It was just the wrong time for that kind of an album I think for us as a band, and we really felt it while we were on tour trying to persuade people that we were feeling that way when we didn’t. I just think that this new record is very much the opposite of what ‘Gossip’ was.
DP!: Are you still Warner Records for this new album?
KQ: Nope, we’ve signed with Sumerian Records now. We went into the studio on our own dime and made a record and then we just got to be really cool and conscious of where we wanted to take it, and we just really loved those guys at that label and we felt like it was the best home for it.
DP!: Fair enough. Obviously Warner Records is a major label. How did you find working with them?
JF: It was like a learning experience.
KQ: Yep, that’s exactly the best way to put it.
DP!: Oh, were there are a lot of hands involved?
KQ: No, there’s a lot of hands that were involved that got fired right after we were done with our record and they weren’t there anymore, so a lot of new hands then got involved that didn’t give a shit about our band.
JF: So, about two weeks before we put the record out we walk into the offices and we don’t know anybody, and we’re just like “Oh, shit. Well, here it is.”
KQ: You kind of hear about those things happening.
JF: And you want it not to happen, but there’s like a 70% chance that it will happen no matter who the artist is.
KQ: But they were really cool about letting us go, and there’s no hard feelings or anything like that there.
JF: Yeah. They want to focus more on hip-hop and stuff like that anyway, so we’ll let them do that and we’ll continue to be a rock band.
DP!: Everyone wins then. Speaking of your records, a few weeks ago it was the eighth anniversary of your second album, ‘Let’s Cheers To This’. How does it feel to hit that kind of milestone?
KQ: It is quite a milestone, yeah. It’s crazy because I’m also developing a couple of artists and I got the chance to go to Portland to work with Kris Crummett who did that record, and just to see some old photos of us on his wall and that record on the wall and stuff, it just brought back so many memories.
JF: What did we even look like back then?
KQ: We looked like babies, dude. We looked like we hadn’t eaten and we looked like little babies… ’cause both of those things were true. [laughs] But, you know, that was a big record for us and it feels similar to this album ’cause we were kind of in a place then where we didn’t really have any expectations, you know? We didn’t want to do the same thing that we did on our first record, but we also didn’t want to stray too far away from it, so we figured out a way to really be creative and not be concerned with what everyone was going to think or what the outcome was going to be, and that’s the same thing with this record too. We went in with no expectations and just wrote what we felt.
JF: I even woke up today thinking it; I honestly haven’t been more excited to one play this new song but two to put out a record in a really long time. ‘Let’s Cheers…’ was my first record with this band and I feel just as excited about this new record coming out.
DP!: Cool. Well, obviously other than the release of the new record, what else do you guys have planned for the rest of 2019?
KQ: Touring. We’re on the road a lot.
JF: A lot of touring, and you will see us. I can’t say that we will be back here, but probably.
KQ: Obviously we will be.
JF: Obviously we’re always over here, so yeah.
The band’s sixth studio album, ‘How It Feels To Be Lost’, is out on September 6th 2019 via Sumerian Records.