Interview: Sleeping With Sirens
Mon, 09 Mar 2015 09:02:46
Sleeping with Sirens Videos
Sleeping With Sirens engage their biggest chapter yet with Madness. Everything about the new album, out March 17 [iTunes link], feels downright massive. Whether it's the robust guitars and pummeling rhythms or singer Kellin Quinn's towering range, the expanse is deep enough to fill an arena or a festival. As a result, it's primed to be a landmark for the group as their best album to date.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens talks Madness and so much more.
Did you approach Madness with one vision or vibe in mind?
Yeah, I think it's the most complete album. I feel like every song belongs there. I don't know if it has to do with the order and all of that. I think it's one of those things that happens on its own. We had a vision in mind for sure. I wanted certain songs to sound a certain way, and we did a really good job of accomplishing an organic-sounding record.
Did that happen in the moment?
That's exactly what I mean by "organic." It's not so much organic sounds, because there's definitely a lot of production. The writing process was very comfortable. We all went in, sat on the couch, and figured out what we wanted to do. We built these songs together. We did at everything at John Feldman's house and studio. We sat on a couch there [Laughs].
Is it important for you to tell stories with the songs?
Sure! I think the songs are a lot more descriptive. They're more story-esque. The whole storyline is very personal. We took a lot of parts from my childhood and threw them into a song. That's "The Strays." My grandmother had this ashtray that figures into the song. The "hubcap" part came from my uncle always restoring cars. There were parts of cars around. I used to live in this house, and a train would go by my window and light up my room. I put that part in there. I tried to look back as far as I could for key moments in my life and put them into a song.
Is that typically how you write?
That was a different experience this time.
What's the story behind "Madness?"
It's about a man named Craig Aaronson who did a lot for the music industry. He signed bands like Avenged Sevenfold, The Used, and Taking Back Sunday. He basically brought them mainstream. We worked with him at the beginning of this album. He ended up passing away from cancer at the end. The last time I saw him he was really frail at the end of his battle. "Madness" is about what he leaves behind for his kids. It's from his kids' perspective and what it's got to be like for them to lose their dad. He's got this incredible legacy.
Where did "Don't Say Anything" come from?
"Don't Say Anything" is about being on tour, talking to your girl on the phone, and her being like, "Why are you up at two in the morning? Why aren't you bad? What are you doing?" It's that type of vibe.
What did Feldman bring to the process?
He's made a lot of my favorite records. We played Warped Tour, and we ended up talking. He watched one of our shows and had this vision for our band. It's one of those things where we wanted to give it a try. Our guitar player Jack Fowler is obsessed with his production, and our new guitarist Nick Martin was in a band called D.R.U.G.S. with Craig Owens. They did their record with Feldman, and he just raved about how great it was working with him. It just happened, and I'm glad it did. We made a record with Feldman before we made this album, and we ended up throwing it away. There was a sense of, "Holy shit! We need to make sure these songs are better than the ones we threw away, otherwise, what do we have?" We felt really comfortable. Feldman has that way about him. He helped us bring out those sounds. If you're meant to work with Feldman, it's the best partnership there is. He brought out the best in this band.
What inspires you outside of music?
I watch a lot of movies. I don't know if it inspires my music though. When I hear music, it helps me come up with a topic and concept based on what the music makes me feel. That's always been a good thing for our band. The music speaks for itself and takes you where it's supposed to.
What artists shaped you?
Fleetwood Mac is number one. I'd say The Police, U2, Dave Matthews Band, because that was the first concert I'd ever been to, and a lot of nineties grunge like Collective Soul and Nirvana. I don't really listen to anything modern at all. It's a lot of nineties music. That's where a lot of the good songs stem from.
If the album were a movie, what would it be?
Whichever one is selling the most tickets at the box office! Is that a good answer? [Laughs] Let's do a song for the new Hunger Games that's coming out.
Are you excited for Madness? What's your favorite Sleeping With Sirens song?