Saturday, September 22, 2012

Local Artist Spotlight - Instead of Sleeping - November 2012

Instead of Sleeping is our local artist spotlight for the month of November. The local quartet formed back in 2008 and has previously released two EP's and one LP. They are currently releasing their new EP entitled The Reds, The Blacks, The Grays. The album is built around different emotions from the songs. Red is for the energetic, black demonstrating the darker side and gray for a bit of mix between the two. There will be a CD Release Show this Friday, 9.28 at the Smiling Moose. Doors are at 6p with show beginning at 6:30p. Tickets to the show are only $10 and can be found here. You can find the album streaming below. 

How did the band come together? Were you all friends that went to school?

For the most part, we were friends from high school except for our drummer Corey. I met Corey at a party that got busted at RMU (this was 4 years ago when we were underage by the way). After we ran and got away safely, he told me he was a drummer. We've been best friends ever since. True story.

Black Light Music Video from Josh Elsass on Vimeo.

How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you? 

I would tell them its melodic indie rock. Lots of pauses and dynamics. We draw a lot of influence form Minus the Bear, Manchester Orchestra, and The Dear Hunter.

Are you all originally from the Pittsburgh area? Families here as well?

Yes, we are all from Pittsburgh except Corey who comes from Butler PA

Do you all create music full time or is this more of a part time venture? 

For the time being, we have only been able to be musicians playing weekend shows. I'm lucky because I am a guitar instructor for my part time job, so technically music is my full-time job.

Do you have day jobs? 

Yes, we have part time day jobs.

How do you create your music? What is the song writing process? 

The song-writing process for Instead of Sleeping is pretty much 100% collaborative. Every band member has brought in a song at one point or another and we all rip into it and tell them how stupid it is. Sometimes somebody brings in something half decent, and we build it up together from there. I write the lyrics.

What are your goals for the band? What would you like to accomplish? Are you trying to get signed to a label?

The goal for Instead of Sleeping is to play as many shows as we can, broaden our audience, increase our fan base, and (long-term) have the band become a primary source of income providing a livable and comfortable income for each band member. A label would probably help us with making more contacts, gaining notoriety, and spreading our music faster than we can independently, but we will see if we go that route with the release of our new album.

What advice would you give to local acts trying to make it?

The advice I would give to local acts just starting up is to not burn any bridges with other bands you work with. Everyone really needs to work together, and you can miss out on so many great opportunities if you ruin a relationship with a fellow Pittsburgh band. Also, quit playing in Drop C, B, or even Drop A. It's been done, and you are now 5 or 6 years late (haha).

Have you all toured nationally? Or do you usually stay more regionally? 

We have toured as far south as Nashville TN, or Greenville SC. As far East as Bloomington IN. And as far North as Rochester, NY or New York, NY. We definitely want to do more touring though.

Being in the Pgh area, do you find it more difficult to try and succeed?

A lot of people bitch and moan about how tough the Pittsburgh music scene is, but I'm not really one of them. We have played in a lot of other cities, and, yes, there are towns that are more receptive to original music, that go out to shows more, have a more diverse range of bands, and pay a lot more money to bands… Okay, Pittsburgh definitely is not as easy to succeed, but I look at it as a positive. If it's this hard at home, then that only further prepares us for tougher towns, tougher shows, and tougher times. We aren't spoiled here is what I'm trying to say here I guess. We have met a lot of very helpful people in this city though, so it's really not all bad.

Is there a venue you have enjoyed playing more than others in the area?

Our two favorite venues would probably be Mr. Small's and The Smiling Moose. We usually go with the moose though because it's right in South Side, pays well, and Drusky Entertainment is pretty easy-going with us on setting up shows there. Best venue of all though is a house show. Nothing beats just setting up at a party, having a bunch of drinks, and going nuts with a bunch of close friends.

More information about the band can be found at these sites:

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