24 Apr

Revolt of the Apes’ interview with Sleepy Sun is up now at the official Austin Psych Fest 2014 website. Read the entire interview there, and look for the complete text to show up here in the very near future. Here’s an excerpt:

What element of Sleepy Sun that has faded since your earliest days seems most foreign to you now –meaning, what is it that you can hardly believe you once found important about the band, or perhaps, what is it that you ignored about the band for too long, in your opinion?

The early days during the span between our first two records there was a certain naivety about what we were doing. Our approach to writing records and to live performance did not draw influence from industry success or critical response systems. Our responsibilities were limited. Our world was the band; nothing could distract us from our artistic vision. But of course, any upwards swing must come down, and then all of sudden everything becomes complex. It’s not as simple as a group of friends playing music together and touring the world. so I think what has faded, naturally, is the fresh perspective of playing music for no other reason than enjoyment. but what has evolved is a deeper sense of purpose, and a greater courage and discipline to keep making music together.

Is there a single musical experience – first time hearing a certain band, your first live performance, etc. – that you consider to be central to your personal musical evolution? What was it about that experience that was so compelling to you? How have your thoughts about it changed over the years? How do you think it continues to inform the music of Sleepy Sun today?

We were in the studio, having written about half of the material that would appear on our debut album, “Embrace.” One of those songs, “White Dove,” we’d performed live many times before. I always sang it as hard as I could without ever thinking about form or tone; the energy was far more important to me. Then when it came to record the vocals for the album, my belted delivery simply refused to translate on record. It sounded far too urgent and strained. As we played back the takes, Colin (the producer) and I both knew that it just wasn’t fitting the vibe of the song. We spent nearly an entire day playing around with different vocal tones, exchanging equipment, but mostly working with the physical delivery. It was on this day I learned to view the voice as an instrument that could be manipulated according to the song and the tones of the other instruments. I realized it was possible for me to have multiple voices in my repertoire; I could have different tones like a guitar or keyboard. This has continued to inspire me with each record and after five years of touring I’ve been able to work this approach into the live setting, which as allowed me to concentrate more on being a singer than anything else.


Revolt of the Apes is pleased, stoked and chuffed to support Austin Psych Fest 2014 through a series of interviews with many of the artists involved, answering the kind of ridiculous questions you’ve come to know and – maybe – love. Many more coming soon.



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