Deep Sleeper
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Deep Sleeper


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Close Look: Deep Sleeper Talks New Album, Recording Process

Posted 6 hours ago in Features

Earlier today Chris Gennone, the vocalist and one of two guitar players for the NJ based band Deep Sleeper, took some time out to answer a few questions about the bands latest musical endeavors. The group, further featuring Andrew Merclean on guitar, Marshall Green on bass, Harrison Bieth on saxophone, and, most recently, Cris Slotoroff from The Deafening Colors on drums. The music being created by this project seems almost surreal, with its wavy vocals echoing through the speakers and freely moving guitar riffs. Highly melodic and undeniably put together for something that feels so relaxed, natural and real, it’s a sound that manages to possess not just one likeable aspect, but quite a few. There seems to be a comforting nostalgic quality about the whole thing, but a forwardness that is not rooted in the past. Having released a slew of striking demos and singles in just the last half year, they’re now preparing for the release of their first full length. Hear what they’ve got planned for 2013, and make sure to check out some of the self released tracks and EP’s below.


Musechase: I know you guys are in the middle of working on your first full length record. Tell me what’s going on with that. How far along in the process would you say you are?

Chris Gennone: It’s going pretty well. We’re recording on Andrew’s 8 track machine, so it’s taking a long time, but it’s also very rewarding. We’re just trying to get the best sound possible. Right now we’ve got the record mapped out with ten songs, and we’ve got final takes done for the guitars on four or five of the songs. Marsh is starting to lay down some bass tracks and I’ve been doing some scratch vocal takes. We’ve also been focusing on incorporating Harrison’s sax parts into the mix, giving it this heavy depth.

MC: Who would you cite as the main creative sources of the group? Or is the writing process mostly a collaborative effort?

CG: It’s kind of both. Lately it’s been more collaborative, but usually what we do is I have a rough draft of a song and I play it with Andrew, then he comes up with his leads and solos and we’ll decide what changes we need to make, if any. But every song is so different for us. Some of them we’ve been reworking for months and others just come very naturally and we won’t make any changes with them. Our guitar parts are very intricate and complicated at times, so it’s really important that Andrew and I are on the same page.

MC: How would you explain the means by which you came to the realization of the bands sound? Are you heavily influenced by specific genres, artists, or styles? And if so, how do you incorporate these aspects while still maintaining your individual tonality?

CG: I think it’s just been us slowly evolving over the years and becoming more comfortable with who we are and what we want to do. With Hyawatha (our old band) we started exploring different sounds and started focusing more on just playing songs instead of jamming so much. And that has carried over to Deep Sleeper. I think we’re finally making the music we want to make and there’s really no restrictions or boundaries. As far as influences, between all of us we listen to a lot of music. Andrew listens to a lot of Hendrix, which you can see in the fluidity of his guitar playing. It’s very loose and tight at the same time. Marshall and I are really into Neil Young and 90's bands like Sebadoh, Dinosaur Jr, Throwing Muses, and the Pixies. And we all love My Bloody Valentine and Julian Lynch, but I guess the idea is to just absorb all these sounds and make it ours.

MC: Would you say that you’ve approached writing for Deep Sleeper any differently than other projects you’ve been involved with?

CG: A little bit. Hyawatha was more of a big spontaneous jam while this has been more about the song itself and the sound. It’s more focused and straightforward.

MC: Can we expect to see any of the singles you’ve released through bandcamp on the debut LP?

CG: Yeah, “Domino”, “Alaska”, “Bermuda” and “Skidder” will all be on the full length. But we’ve re-recorded all of them so it has a fuller sound. The record as a whole is very cohesive sounding so far, each track flows into the next pretty well.

MC: Where and when exactly is the new record going to be available?

CG: That’s tough to say, but I think it’ll probably be out by the end of spring or early summer. We’re planning on getting it mastered and it’ll be out digitally on Bandcamp and physically on CD and cassette. we really want to do vinyl but it’s a little out of our budget right now.

MC: What does this step mean for your solo project, Winnebago? Do you plan to try and keep the material from both projects entirely separate?

CG: At first Winnebago was just kind of a stress release for me, but now they’ve just been new songs I’ve been working on and releasing online. Some of them we’d like to try with the band in the future and some of them are just better by themselves. I’ll always continue to release Winnebago demos, it’s just a matter of what could work with Deep Sleeper or not. But, who knows? I might do a whole Winnebago album or play a show or two. But my main focus is with Deep Sleeper.

MC: As far as promoting, are there any events or shows coming up that you’ll be showcasing the new material?

CG: Our last show was at the Eris Temple of Arts in Philly a few days after Christmas, but right now we don’t really have anything planned. We’ll probably do a lot more shows this spring/summer with The Deafening Colors and possibly some basement shows with Alien Father. But for now we have the demos up online, and we’ll have more coming soon. - Musechase

I was an external ungrateful, until I became grateful when it wouldn’t matter. I went all over the country. In part because I had the desire to go where very few other people had gone. North Dakota, Kansas, meaningless places that left no mark on the map except that they were marked on every map. Also I hate New York, and Los Angeles, and other tall places. In part because I always wanted to test how charming I could be. In part because I found amusement in people with homes, where they stayed, almost all their lives. I went all over the country without plans except to keep going. In ever place I picked up a stranger. And with that stranger I picked up a bed, and food, and a toilet, and liquor, and sometimes, but rarely some sexual amusement that was somehow more amusing than the people and their homes. At the end I gave them an address in Los Angeles. A charming address. A Hollywood sort of charm. I wrote the address on a piece of paper and left without saying a thing. I didn’t feel as if I had to. I couldn’t have meant much to these strangers. There were hundreds. I only knew a few of their names, and all whom I knew the names of were the ones I’d stolen little things from, those I could remember. For some inexplicable reason, eventually I returned to the address I had written for them. The door I jammed pushed over the stack of letters that sat on the dusted floor. The stack looked like a city. I hated it more. The letters were from the hundreds of strangers who I toured the country through, and stole from, and sometimes fucked, and charmed. After reading a few, from the strangers whose names I could remember - I felt an overwhelming debt. I couldn’t understand why I meant a thing to them. These hundreds of strangers who lived in the hundreds of homes. The debt I felt was overwhelming. It was an overwhelming debt I owed to them. Anyhow, what could I do now? I was in Los Angeles, and I would finish myself in Los Angeles. At least the strangers got to write to Los Angeles, the Hollywood. At least I gave them that. - Verb/Re/Verb

Some ambient-not-quite-rock from New Jersnicks Deep Sleeper before I head off into my own deep sleep… - Goldsoundz


'Domino' single
1. Domino
2. Newtown

'Alaska' single
1. Alaska
2. Autumn Hallways

'Bermuda' single
1. Bermuda
2. Growing Pains

'Skidder' single
1. Skidder
2. Suitcase

Deep Sleeper full length: 'At Last' due this summer '13



Deep Sleeper is a journey through the sub-conscience and through your deepest fears and desires.

We like:
My Bloody Valentine
Neil Young
Julian Lynch
Dinosaur Jr.
Kurt Vile

We are spontaneous, separating the live experience between the studio listening experience. The music is a swell.