Sleeping Lessons
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Sleeping Lessons

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"Sleeping Lessons Review and Interview"

Emerging from under the depths of repetitive local powerpop comes Sleeping Lessons, a quartet of what may be considered youngsters. Though young in age, the band’s lyrics, compositions, and melodies are everything but. Aside from almost alarming stage presence, what is most incredible about this band is the ability to do what no recording can’t: amaze. For those of you who are tired of bands who can barely live up to an over-tweaked recording during a live performance, worry no longer. Having only began in the later months of last year, with only a 5 song EP under their belt, the boys of Sleeping Lessons are something you need to look out for. Chances are, you won’t be able to after hearing their songs, on which all musical aspects are ridiculously strong. When you’re not moving your body in ridiculous ways to the songs that we simply cannot define in a single genre, you’ll probably find yourself belting like its nobody’s business. And when you’re not in the comfort of your home or car, you’ll find yourself experiencing some sort of withdrawal, counting down the minutes till you see Sleeping Lessons again. Take it from us. It’s ain’t easy.
The band has been getting a lot of attention, as they downright deserve. We’re not so sure as to what makes Sleeping Lessons so good, but all we can do is sit back and wait for whatever genius comes next.

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Interview and Review by Ella Goldsmith (

At your show, we were quick to compare your sound to a more melodic Gatsby’s American Dream meets Vega Under Fire. What are your biggest influences when it comes your music?
Haha yes! Thanks so much! We all come from slightly different musical backgrounds so there are tons of influences. If I had to break it down and save you from pages of mindless reading I will do an abbreviated version:
Brandon loves Billy Joel, Relient K, Death Cab For Cutie, Mika, Sting, The Beatles (who doesn’t love them?) , Panic! At The Disco, and The Killers.
Andrew (why did i just put myself in 3rd person) loves Death Cab For Cutie, The Beatles, The Decemberists, Stevie Wonder (i need to get my soul on sometimes), Panic! At The Disco, Relient K, Jay-Z (i am in fact a hip hop head from time to time), Weezer, Rocky Votolato, and definitely Red Hot Chili Peppers.
My dearest drummer Preston loves all the pop bands like Paramore, Fall Out Boy, Panic, Anarbor, and Tupac. along with Death Cab For Cutie.
Finally, Colin takes all his influence from Jimmy Eat World, Death Cab For Cutie, and The Decemberists more or less hahah i challenge you to think of a song he doesn’t know how to play by them. And look at that, I just failed at saving you from pages of mindless reading.

You recorded an EP a little while ago with 5 (amazing) tracks. Can SL fans expect anything else from you soon?
You bet! We’re constantly writing new songs! I was supposed to keep this a secret but we’re actually piecing (something special…insert epic surprise here) together.
Brandon literally will skip school (i really hope his mom doesn’t read this) and lock himself in his basement for hours just writing out songs and then come into band practice the next day with bags under his eyes. After our ritual trip to starbucks for Java Chips (you will come to know how obsessed we are with these drinks, it’s getting unhealthy. but, at least it’s not crack!! ..right guys?) we all come together and finish the songs up! So, in a brief answer, you will be hearing tons of new songs at our live shows coming up!

Sleeping Lessons is a fairly young band, age wise. How has your experience been so far as a group?
Well, it is October 2009, and we have been a band since Febuary of 2009. So in those 8 months, we have grown so much I feel. Andrew (putting myself in 3rd person again, is this awkward?) is 17 years old, Brandon is 16, Preston is 17, and Colin is 18. Brandon and Preston have been playing music since the playground days at middle school so they have been playing music together for a long time. I joined in February and we immediately hit it off because we all had good chemistry. Colin joined actually like 1.5 months ago haha and he is a perfect fit for us. We are all like brothers, which is good because it allows us to be comfortable with playing any sort of music and just having fun onstage! I’ve heard people say its bad news to be best friends with your band mates, but our situation on a friend level has just brought out the music so much easier and it would not be the same without that connection.

Haley thinks your vocalist looks like Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco. Any comment on that?
Hahaha that’s awesome, we’ve actually never gotten that one before even though it seems really obvious. It’s mainly mothers going “Hey, you know, you really look like that Nick Jonas from those Jonas Brothers!!” Great. I’m just really happy Haley skipped the “Andrew, you really look like Bob Dylan!” one because if i could add up how many times a day people say that to me, it would create this number that no man has yet to discover (that is such an exaggeration, don’t believe a word this kid says). I guess it’s just my big Jew fro and my awkward glasses that give people the bob dylan vibe i guess.

Its safe to say that you guys are the best band we’ve yet to hear out of a local CT show. What is one other band that you would suggest we listen to?
It’s safe to say that that is the biggest compliment we’ve ever received. That seriously means so much to us. You guys are too cool for us, I wish we were interviewing you! I thinnnnk this question is asking what other local band you should listen to, but it might be what other any sort of band you should listen to, so I’ll quickly answer both to be sure not to disappoint. For a local band, you guys should really check out our friends Forget Paris, they’re a powerpop band from CT that actually was signed at one point. For any band, you have got to check out this band Discovery. It’s the guy from Ra Ra Riot and he does an electro pop album. The song Osaka Loop Line is sooo nice to vibe to.

You guys don’t really have a lot of shows coming up for the rest of the fall? Will this change, come winter?
Definitely, things are really starting to pick up so we want to start booking shows in new york city, it is just hard having parents and being in high school. The band These Green Eyes actually just emailed us during this interview asking to play a show with us october 30th, so there’s one more! Connecticut shows are hard sometimes when dealing with venue owners, and just having places to play at in general. That’s why we love The Space so much! haha, anyways, so yeah we will always have shows, you just have to keep checking back because it gets sort of spontaneous!

If you could put together your very own world tour, who would be on it? (creativity is encouraged)
Yo, for real, when you say the words world tour, the only thing that is in my head right now is Sleeping Lessons x Wham! x Foreigner. I’m just kidding, but I’m a sucker for epic 80s power ballads. How about Stevie Wonder x Sleeping Lessons x Kanye West? I’m really bad at this. I think doing Panic! x Sleeping Lessons would be good just so I could hang out with spencer and brendon (I am such a girl). On the real though, Sleeping Lessons x KISS x Queen x Ringo Starr FTW. Okay, all joking aside: Sleeping Lessons x Death Cab For Cutie or Ben Folds x Hellogoodbye would be so awesome. I could do this all day. I really just wish that Ben Gibbard was my father.

What do you have to say about the music scene in CT?
Um..haha..I will bake you cookies if we could omit this question because I don’t want to come off as a jerk. But, I’ll man up and talk about it. I get really mad at these local pop bands that all sound the same. My band constantly jokes about how many permed legend of zelda haircuts, levi’s 511 super skinny jeans, vans authentic era shoes, and vests (but the v neck white t HAS to be under it, or else you’re not a true musician. and if your neon american apparel underwear isn’t showing, forget about it) we tend to find at local shows that we play at. Not that vests are bad, I love vests, but I feel like everyone is so caught up in figuring out the correct scientific formula to a girl’s heart, that they forget about the muuuuusic. Trust me, Sleeping Lessons lovessssss the ladies with a big ole <3 , but I think the music should come first, and then the “she’s-the-one-i-love“‘s should be sprinkled in afterwards, if applicable. That way, there is this whole open soundscape of creativity that you can work with called music, and then you can try your luck at the girl with blonde streaks in the front row without being pigeon-holed (that’s my saying for limiting your creative abilities) from the very beginning.

What’s the story behind “Yesterdays”?
Let me call up Brandon really quick for this one haha I don’t want to mess this up. *please hold while andrew apologizes for being awkward and phoning brandon* Here’s the deal. We always hated growing up with music such as Death Cab For Cutie where the songs meant so much to us in a specific way because of the way we individually interpreted the lyrics, then to read an interview and have the actual songwriter tell his fans that it meant something completely different. It’s sort of how if you’re in a sad mood, you pick apart every line in a song and see how many can relate to your current situation, even though it may not be what the lyricist intended. I remember the songs still having meaning to me, but in the back of my mind i knew what they were actually about and there was this sort of emptiness that came out of it. So, we want to let you guys interpret our songs in your own way and keep it open. That way, there is no limit or universal standard to what our songs could mean! Make our songs mean anything you want them to be to best suit your life situations!

If I was a label scout and was thinking about signing ya’ll, what would you guys do to impress me besides rocking the hell out?
Well, Preston is one hell of a cook. He makes food creations that I did not know previously existed in this galaxy. Ever heard of a peanut butter and jelly muffin? I haven’t either, but he could make it. Expect delicious treats, mixtapes of our favorite bands showing up at your doorstep, love notes, our dazzling charm (..kidding)…im getting so carried away with this. If you were a label scout, I would try to write a perfect movie script scenario in my head to act out since i wouldn’t want to blow anything; getting signed and having our band as our life career is our only dream in life. I’m just kidding though, we would all be ourselves and hopefully we’re cool enough that that alone will impress you. Does putting “that that” together in a sentence look awkward to you? I’ve done it like 3 times in this interview so far, and its making me feel weird inside. guysssss.

How would you go about describing an SL live show? What’s the best part of being in front of the fans?
Our shows usually result in me losing control of my body onstage. You will never see me dance at homecoming, but for some reason when I have a bass in my hand in front of people, I have to get down. Expect many failed epic jumps to try to make the downbeat seem more cool (i’m getting better at it). We just have too much fun getting all our emotions and feelings out onstage that we can’t just sit there for you guys. Preston always exits the stage with blood all over his shirt from playing too hard. He is too self-conscious to wear drummer gloves, probably because we make fun of him as soon as he secretly puts them on. Articles of clothing seem to mysteriously come off of Preston’s body as the show goes on as well. Look out for really funny faces that we all seem to make when we get into the music. If you pay close enough attention, Preston and I always seem to get lost in eachother’s eyes from the pure joy of making music. it’s not intentional, i swear. Brandon is way too much fun to watch perform because he gets so passionate into the song that he impacts the listener on such a personal level. Ladies and gentlemen, I dare you to look at Brandon and not get lost in his eyes for a good minute before I ruin the moment by thrashing my fro into the frame. Colin is just Colin, if there is ever a dull moment such as me panicking because I thought my big Woody Allen glasses fell off my head or Preston momentarily ceasing to breath, you can always look over to stage right and see Colin rocking his socks off. I’ve actually seen his socks come off his body (I’m lying again, i can’t help it sometimes =P) We just love creating a moment, even if its 3 minutes long, that people can live in where the brain only creates endorphins. I think I can speak for everyone in the band when I say that the best part of being in front of the fans is the pure happiness created in sharing our one passion in life with others…. and having them react positively towards it. I get such a natural high when I see people singing the words to our songs, dancing, smiling, and just having fun because of the impact of our music, it’s completely a surreal feeling.

What can the world expect from Sleeping Lessons in 2010?
It’s more like, what can’t the world expect from Sleeping Lessons in 2010? Wow, I watch too many Will Ferrell movies, just know when I sound cocky and arrogant, I’m just joking around haha. Well currently, Sony Records is listening to us right now and we are waiting to hear back from them. I’m not quite sure how that happened (it was a friend of a friend connection), but we are on our toes about it! My other friend is actually giving our cd to the Jonas Brothers to listen to this weekend, which is kind of surreal and I kid you not. Hopefully they’ll like us, and get us on a show with them! That would be so much fun. Preston is building a custom drum kit, but is keeping it in complete secrecy. All I can say is, expect a light up bass drum, and a ridiculously colored kit. Maybe lime green and light blue? Who knows. We want to just keep getting shows, shows, shows, and more shows! We’re going to keep writing songs in between shows, building the fanbase up, and hitting the woodshed for some awesome t shirt designs! Stickers would be so cool too.

Thanks guys!
Haha it’s our pleasure! We’re always down to talk anytime. Thank YOU for this opportunity! Love, Andrew, Brandon, Colin, and Preston. - Ella Goldsmith from

""We're Gonna Teach You A Few Sleeping Lessons""

*Raise your hand if you know where Old Saybrook, Connecticut is.
*Keep your hand raised if you have heard the band Sleeping Lessons.

Well if your hand is down, have no fear. The Pulse has brought the Sleeping Lessons from Old Saybrook, Conneticut here. These 4 boys have melted together pop, rock, dance, alternative, funk and hip hop music, and sprinkled some good lucks and adorable smiles on top to give you a treat for your ears. Beginning in the winter of 2009, the band began experimenting to find new sounds and then began booking small shows. They just released their first EP The Art of Growing Up and it is marvelous!

The 3 original band members Brandon Clark (Lead Vocals, Piano), Mike Izadi (Guitar), and Preston Briggs (Drums) were long time friends, but agreed that finding the right bassist would fill and solidify the band's sound. *cue entrance for Andrew Seltzer* Andrew Seltzer (Bass), a mutual friend of the band, joined the Sleeping Lessons, bringing his diverse sound as well production abilities. Andrew happens to be friend of mine who I have personally worked with on musical projects. When he introduced me to his band's music I knew that they would have a short shot to success.
- The Pulse

"Sleeping Lessons!"

This isn’t what you’d expect from a band with a name taken from a Shins song, but I’m not complaining. Sleeping Lessons was brought to my attention by Andrew Seltzer, one of my good buddies at an NYU program I was just at. Some might say I’m biased, but I truly believe that these kids (yes, they’re 17) have a lot of talent. The best way to describe Sleeping Lessons would be Panic! At The Disco meets something a little bit more indiepopish - maybe the Shins or Death Cab for Cutie. While the mention of Panic! may turn some of our readers away (even though we’ve given P!ATD some GMM love before), this band is truly worth a listen. “In Control” is the third song on their EP, The Art of Growing Up, and builds with a delightful horn line reminiscent of the Beatles. The rest of the song follows suit, as it’s catchy as hell and has a good shot at bringing a smile to your face. - The Tape


The Art Of Growing Up EP, Slow Motion EP
Break Away, Baby, I've Got Soul, Saved, For What It's Worth



Culminating an eclectic mix of influences, an undeniable stage presence, as well as a hint of boyish charm, Sleeping Lessons strives to thrill and hook fans and critics alike. With roots in pop, rock, alternative, funk and hip hop music, Sleeping Lessons takes pride in their ability to fuse and create an enjoyable end product.

Beginning in the winter of 2009, the band began experimenting, trying to find new sounds, as well as stabilize a lineup. Going through numerous musical and roster changes, they believe they have found the perfect fit.

Having played music together for years, members Brandon Clark(Lead Vocals, Piano), and Preston Briggs (Drums), concluded that finding a bassist and guitarist was crucial for a definitive sound. An essential way to break the mold was to add new influence and tone. Enter Andrew Seltzer (Bass) and Colin Filgate(Guitar),both mutual friends with a solid musical background in various styles of funk and hip hop, as well as ears for production. Their addition has become ideal in accomplishing exactly what the band set out to do.

After intense practices, a few broken instruments, and a few lost voices, the band is thrilled about the new sound. "I really think we've finally found our element," states Brandon Clark, "We really just want to have as much fun as possible." The band has been doing just that, playing all over the East coast, including dates with Sherwood, Anarbor, and Sparks The Rescue, and a slot on the "Better Connecticut" morning show with Scott Haney on CBS.
We hope you enjoy our music!