Instead of Sleeping
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Instead of Sleeping

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Indie




"Pittsburgh Indie Band Instead of Sleeping plays Erie"

Instead of sitting still, Instead of Sleeping is plunging forward with its music -- expanding its reach and often majestic pop sound. At most shows, the melodic indie Pittsburgh band includes horns and an extra drum kit.

"Sound people always roll their eyes when we get on stage -- 'these guys, with two drum kits,'" said Shaun Sweeney, who sings, plays guitar and occasionally drums, as well. "But it really has added to the aesthetic of the show.

"As well as having more instruments and more things to do or more things to look at and more things to hear, it really adds a thickness, I guess."

Sweeney said the band began adding extra percussion after noting that one of its major influences -- Manchester Orchestra -- would feature an extra floor tom.

"We decided to bring a whole extra drum kit, as well," he said.

The extra drums will be included, but not the horns, at Saturday's show at Basement Transmissions, where Instead of Sleeping has built a devoted following. In Pittsburgh, the group has landed some big opening shows, including one for the Dear Hunter and another for Fun.

"It was before they did that 'We Are Young' (song); they were doing 'Walking the Dog' back then," Sweeney recalled. "They already had the show sold out, like 700 people. When they came on stage for an encore, the lead singer downed like a whole fifth of Jack Daniels or what was left, and they did a cover of the Rolling Stones' 'You Can't Always Get What You Want.' It was by far one of the coolest things I've ever seen."

Instead of Sleeping started about five years ago after high school friends Woody Wright (keys, guitar, drums) and Sweeney joined up with drummer Corey McClaine.

"I met Corey at a party that got busted in college, and he was able to tell the police a fake birthday right off the top of his head, which I was impressed with," Sweeney said. "Jeff (Binando, the bassist) we met through the local music scene."

The past two years, the band picked it up a notch, recording several projects, including the 2012 CD "The Reds, the Blacks and Grays" and a just-released single, "Two Chords." Instead of Sleeping has also ventured beyond Steel City to New York City, Indianapolis, Kentucky and Rochester, N.Y.

"Our plan right now is expansion," Sweeney said. "We've been doing shows out of town almost every weekend because we all still work at home in Pittsburgh. We're going out of town until we can increase our radius and be able to tour full-time, eventually, and make enough money that we don't have to work at home."

Then, Instead of Sleeping, they'll be driving all night long. -


Instead of Sleeping
The Reds, the Blacks, the Grays

A 20-minute EP from the local indie-rock four-piece. Clean, bright vocal harmonies, well-written tunes dealing with relationships and such. This band is on the cusp of pop-punk (especially in the vocals), but the tunes are generally a little too downtempo, and the compositions a little too complex, for that label. (At times, Ben Folds even comes to mind.) Not too earnest, but not too jokey; a fine listen.

— Andy Mulkerin - Pittsburgh City Paper

"INSTEAD OF SLEEPING "The Reds, The Blacks, The Grays" Review"

Instead of Sleeping, a four-piece indie rock ensemble from Pittsburgh, have established themselves as a true band to watch in the last few years. Touring with the likes of Fuel, fun. and Hawthorne Heights, their star is certainly on the map, and it is undoubtedly rising with each new release.

“The Reds, The Blacks, The Grays,” the band’s latest five-song release, is an atmospheric jewel with those clean pop-punk-inspired vocals and melodic, jangling guitars. The opening track, “Indian Giver,” begins with a sparse and unassuming acoustic guitar which leads in to a booming entrance from the entire band.

Earnest lyrics like, “It’s so easy to be a man/Hard as hell to be a good one” are crisp and clean, and themes of loss and forgiveness make this track relatable to the listener. Songwriting aside, the production value and harmonies are really what grab a hold of you first.

The track is a solid introduction that leads into the more pop punk “Black Light.” The tune has that crashing, wave-like chorus that makes this particular brand of indie pop so appealing to fans of the genre. But the dark, spacey, oftentimes psychedelic cymbals and guitars set this one apart from the rest.

“When In Sligo” is perhaps where the band’s skillful playing comes best into play, with an ever-evolving guitar sound, rumbling bass and drum rolls for days. Odd noises pop up as the track plays on, as do sweet, angelic female vocals and a bright and bubbly xylophone. This is the standout track on the album for its clever collage of sonic experimentation.

The disc concludes with “Mr. Wright Now,” a more straightforward, melodic rock track that wraps the release up nicely. Instead of Sleeping is sure to impress with “The Reds, The Blacks, The Grays,” and they are sure to take Pittsburgh by storm after their release show Sept. 28. - Buzzbin Magazine

"THE ATTIC, DAYTON OH Booking Agent"

"Instead of Sleeping is a professional band that has repeatedly put on quality shows at our venue! We do not usually book bands that don't have an established fan base in the area, but they have proven that, when given a chance, they will do everything they can to establish and grow local support.  We have seen their fan turnout continue to climb.  They are easy to work with, respectful, and fun to work with!"?-Elizabeth of The Attic (Dayton, OH) - Elizabeth Kilby (Attic Booking)

"SUN ROOM STUDIOS- Instead of Sleeping"

"Instead Of Sleeping have come up with a unique combination of aggression and hope on their debut LP. I had the good fortune of mixing a very honest and sincere effort from a talented young group who are only just discovering their extraordinary potential. The message in the songs touched on a very personal note for me, specifically the call to arms for all who have big dreams to stop at nothing to achieve them. Being an artist and believing in your own success in this world can be incredibly difficult, and this record inspires courage in those who have less than conventional aspirations. The song FOOTPRINTS continuously had me jumping up out of the mixing chair, fists raised, and voice raised... singing along with a truly inspirational outro. This is definitely one of the most ambitious records I've had the pleasure of working on and sky's the limit for this great young band."
- Dan Coutant of The Sun Room Studios - Dan Coutant of Sun Room Studios, NY

"PINK TELEPHONE- Instead of Sleeping"

"...their sound has developed and matured since is very impressive. now their sound is one thing but their live show is a whooooooooooooooooooooooole other thing. if you're a fan of local music or just having a good time in general i HIGHLY recommend seeing these guys play asap."
-Brian Howe of PINKTELEPHONE - Pink Telephone


Still working on that hot first release.



Instead of Sleeping has built up a strong reputation as an independent rock band touring regionally on their most recently released EP, "The Reds The Blacks The Grays". They are now touring to promote the release of their upcoming album, "Young Lungs". The band has been privileged to share the stage with notable national acts fun and The Dear Hunter. Since 2010, Instead of Sleeping has evolved into a multi-instrumental outfit comprised to two drum kits, horns, keys, and a myriad of other sound that transforms the band from a traditional indie-rock quartet into a swelling stage presence that captivates audiences up and down the East Coast.

Instead of Sleeping has been given the opportunity to share the stage with...

The Dear Hunter
Good Old War
The Fall of Troy
Envy on the Coast
Hawthorne Heights
Madina Lake
The Classic Crime
Twin Atlantic
The Loved Ones
Kris Roe (of the Ataris)
Yukon Blonde
Audra Mae

Band Members