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Sleeping At Last

Night must end

Immagine articolo Fucine Mute

Umberto Lisiero (UL): How did you have the idea of forming a band? Is it true that the name of your band has been inspired by this Psalm of the Bible: “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.” (Ps 62.1)?

RO: When I was about 13 years old, I listened to a lot of the early 90’s alternative music and started to understand how music can be such an amazing and powerful communication. I saw these bands that I loved making music and thought that maybe I could try something like that, so I taught myself how to play guitar, and then a year later I taught myself how to sing. Then I put together a little band. As for the name “Sleeping At Last,” it means finding calm in a restless, crazy world, which ties into that verse, in a way.

UL: Your music has been compared to that of U2, Zwan and the early Radiohead due to its intensity and mass. What major influences do you think are reflected in the sound of your band? Your voice reminds me of Thom Yorke and Chris Martin….

RO: Well, thank you very much. That’s quite a compliment to be compared to Thom and Chris. Our earlier influences were: Sunny Day Real Estate, Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead, U2, Beatles, Bjork…

UL: I really love your lyrics, especially their poetic approach, their ability to speak about love, faith and at the same time, about despair and depression; all things which are typical of youths in crisis. How do you manage to combine these apparently contrasting facets of life?

RO: I appreciate that. I suppose that combination just came naturally… life is dangerous and beautiful.

UL: In “Currents” you sing: “God will you help us understand the meaning of it all? / Will you send your angels down to us at our every call?” Personally, what do you think? How would you like everyone listening to your music to perceive the world?

RO: That’s a good question… the world can be very, very discouraging. But, I believe that out of those dark places, there is hope waiting for each of us, in this life and after.

Immagine articolo Fucine MuteUL: Your first EP, “There is a quiet understanding”, was released late in April ’99 and contained four songs. In 2001, you released your first independent album, “Capture”, which made you famous even outside of the Chicago area. For your last work, “Ghosts”, labelled under Interscope Records, you have gone on a national tour with Switchfoot and Bleu to promote it. Can you explain this “increase in importance” and the major events that put you into the limelight. What were the positive and negative changes?

RO: We feel very blessed to have had the opportunities that we have had. Since we signed with Interscope, I suppose in our minds it started to click, that now music is our job. Which can be really exciting and sometimes a bit scary. Because music is something creative, and in creativity, you can’t force anything you can’t wake up and put in the hours and go home, with your day’s work finished. You can only do what you’re inspired to do, you know? And when that becomes something that you’re supposed to do, it can get in the way. But, each of us love music so much and couldn’t’ be any happier and honored to be doing this with our lives. We hope to do it as long as we possibly can!

UL: What was it like working in Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio Studio, with people like Bjorn Thorsrud (Dandy Warhols, Zwan, Smashing Pumpkins) and Alan Moulder (U2, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails)? Are you afraid, perhaps even only at an unconscious level, that your link with a big music label may change the way you do and create your music?

RO: It was an absolute honor to work with all of those wonderful people! Electrical audio is such an amazing studio with truly wonderful people be’ind it. Bjorn works really, really hard and is a good friend. And alan is great. an extremely talented and kind person, who made mixing our record an amazing time for us. As for the way we go about music, nothing is different at all. Everyone, including Interscope, has been very trusting and encouraging towards our music.

UL: In “Trees” (Hallway of Leaves) you suggest: “the darkest of fights proves we’re almost there”. How do you think the Sleeping As Last’s journey will proceed?

Immagine articolo Fucine MuteRO: Well, that line means a lot to me, because we have felt it in our lives, inside and outside of sleeping at last. Whenever something becomes discouraging, it always turns into something important and necessary to the right direction in our lives, afterwards. And we look back at the time that we were discouraged, and we finally understand why things went they way they did. So, we always believe that when things seem pretty hopeless, we’re on the right track.

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