Sleeping Giant & the Word of the Day
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Sleeping Giant & the Word of the Day


Band World Reggae


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Laid Back Reggae with a Political Edge"

The music of local band Sleeping Giant & the Word of the Day was made to be played at the type of establishment where you can kick back and have a beer with your buddies. Not surprisingly, on a breezy weekend night in late January, the band members could be found drinking glasses of Winter Ale at Jimmy Mac's in High Falls. The low-key sports bar is where Sleeping Giant got its start. "This is the first club in the city that gave us a chance to play and really start building a crowd," says bassist Aaron Williams.

The Rochester four-piece — Williams, 32; singer Jacob Fraser, 32; guitarist Steve Dushanko, 24; and drummer Dylan Hoyt, 25 — have been perfecting their style of roots reggae for three years.

Originally called Sleeping Giant when they formed back in November 2004, the band soon received an e-mail from a Christian band of the same name that had just gotten signed, telling the Rochester act they should change their name. The Word of the Day was a previous band Williams played in, and the guys thought the name matched Fraser's socially conscious lyrics.

"We're trying to save the world through music," says Williams. "One song at a time."

Listen to ...

A telling example of the band's "save the world" mentality can be seen in "Green Light," a song that starts off as a laid-back jam, but quickly turns into a politically charged time-bomb, as Fraser goes on a lyrical tirade, crying out "The city streets resonate with sounds of revolution/Speaking out against this here political pollution," before following up with, "I love this f---in' country, but I just calls 'em like I sees 'em."

All show, no band

Although Sleeping Giant credits Jimmy Mac's with helping the band get its start, the quartet's first show was actually at the Penny Arcade. Back in 2004, Fraser booked a monthly show for his band at the venue, but there was one problem — he didn't have a band yet.

"I went to (Williams and Hoyt) and said, 'Hey we got a month, you want to put some shit together and go get paid?'"

They later added Dushanko to solidify the lineup.

During the past year the guys have been working towards recording a live album and have been playing up to seven road shows a month. The members of Sleeping Giant credit their progress to friends in popular local acts Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad and, especially, The Buddhahood, who have guided Sleeping Giant and had the guys open up big shows for them.

"The Buddhahood really helped us through the transitions we made last year in a big way," says Fraser. "If and when those guys come around again, we'll definitely be right there for them." - Insider Magazine - Troy Smith

"Don't Wake the Giant"

By Nick Dean

Sleeping Giant and the Word of the Day will play Carol's Silver Dollar in Jamestown on Friday night. The gig is being billed as a dance party.

Hailing from Rochester, Sleeping Giant is comprised of singer-guitarist Arthur Fraser, drummer Dylan Hoyt, bassist Aaron Williams and lead guitarist Steve Dushanko.

In a MySpace interview earlier this week, frontman Fraser signed his messages as Jake. It's only just now confusing me. Is that a nickname for Arthur?

NICK - In addition to the Carol's Silver Dollar show, I also see a Fredonia show listed on your MySpace. Have you played Chautauqua County before? Or these venues? Or will Carol's and SlyFest be a first time in Chautauqua County for you?

JAKE - We have played Jamestown three times before, once at Mojo's with Smackdab, and the other time at the Active Artists Alliance Spring Showcase. We played Carol's Silver Dollar the same night as the AAA show, directly after. The AAA dudes are 95 percent the reason we play in Jamestown. They are fantastic with their drive to showcase original art in the region and abroad. We met the AAA dudes at Blind Baby's Holiday, an annual music and arts festival held in Lockport - in its 15th year this year. It's happening again from Aug. 7 through 10. We play Friday night.

NICK - Where did the band's name come from and does it hold a special meaning? What will the word of the day be for Friday?

JAKE - The name Sleeping Giant is meant to symbolize the dynamic between the percentage of the population who control the world and those who take orders and consume... Basically showcasing the fact that 10 percent of the planet dictates what the other 90% can do, eat, fuel their cars with and etc... And the irony in the fact that the 90 percent fuels the dynamic by buying the resources the 10 percent are selling.

Basically the concept that if the good intentioned population of the earth communicated effectively, we could work as one massive effort to bring about change peacefully by leveraging our buying power. The 'Word of the Day' has to do with the fact that music is a form of communication that transfers information on a much higher plane than simple verbal or physical - and the goal is to use that tool to effectively accomplish communicating relevant topics through our music - but to combine that effort with inspiration and the power of music to hopefully have a positive effect on the situation our country and world are currently a part of in hopes that our kids wont have to deal with the same bullshit.

NICK - How did you guys happen upon your sound? There are a couple of genres listed on your MySpace and in your EPK. Does everyone in the band bring something different to the table? Or are you each versed in all the varied genres you list?

JAKE - Our sound has changed every week for the last four years. It began as more of a singer-songwriter/edgy folk project and has blossomed into this ever changing animal.

Aaron had played in probably eight different bands before SG, ranging from rap/DJ turntablism/punk /rock and all sorts. Plus he loves all kinds of music. I think it's just crazy, so it adds that dynamic. Dylan, our drummer, played in a classic rock band that played rock and blues, so his background is that of a hard-hitting rock drummer, but every band we play with and every show we watch as Dylan learns from the drummers he meets and sees. He has developed a blended style of rock/reggae drumming that is just awesome for rocking out. He really is the best drummer i could ask for. And Stevo brings a whole other level of technical showmanship to the table. He is a classically-trained cellist and it shows in his licks.

Myself, there is no good way to describe what I do. I just get on stage and go and it has seemed to be working so far. I think the key was simply playing music all the time. The product is just a manifestation of that which already exists within.

NICK - In addition to the classic jam, rock and reggae bands you guys list as influences, there's also a lot of 90's alternative artists. How important is that era to Sleeping Giant's music? Some of the bands you listed have been credited with popularizing the blending of reggae, jam and other genres with alt-rock. Would you guys be playing this style of music without them?

JAKE - Very important. Sublime more than anything influenced me to write lyrics the way I do. The mix of the reggae and worldbeat sound with more coherant, more in-depth lyrical parts fascinated me. We are truly lucky because some of our biggest influences hail from Rochester itself - two bands - Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad and The Buddhahood are friends of ours and from being at countless live shows of their's we've learned so much about how to perform, be good people and make good music.

NICK - And I guess that last question leads to the generic question about how you each got involved playing music and came to play together in this band.



2 self titled, self released EPs -
1) Sleeping Giant 2005
2) Sleeping Giant 2007



Sleeping Giant & the Word of the Day is a five piece band formed in 2004 in Rochester, NY. Dub Reggae, Rock, Psychadelia, Jazz and Hip-Hop are fused to form a unique sound, catchy, even poppy, yet at the same time daring and experimental. Sleeping Giant & the Word of the Day have spent the last three years touring incessantly throughout the Northeast, playing in front of packed houses from Buffalo to Boston, Pennsylvania to Plattsburgh, sharing the stage with the likes of The Wailers, Max Creek, Kevin Kinsella, Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad, and many others. Featuring thoughtful, inspiring lyrics, intense, intricate guitar work, solid, hard hitting grooves and a rhythm guaranteed to make you move, the band, consisting of Lead Vocalist / Rhythm Guitar player Arthur Fraser, Bass Player Aaron Williams, Drummer Dylan Hoyt, and Lead Guitar Steve Dushenko, is currently in studio working on a forthcoming LP, tentatively titled �Songs for the Latest Revolution�