Alternative rock band Sleeping With Sirens just released their fifth studio album, Gossip, and the fans are stoked to see what else is coming. Lead singer Kellin Quinn says, “Musically, I feel like Gossip is the first Sirens record that sounds specifically like us.” The band is excited to share this new music with everyone and to get back on the road and continue touring the world. We talked to rhythm guitarist Nick Martin and bass guitarist Justin Hill about their new album and their plans for the future.
Cliche: Who are your original musical inspirations? Who has inspired you along the way?
Nick Martin: My musical inspirations are all across the board. I grew up on the Beatles and Queen, but also mariachi music and punk rock music like The Clash, Sex Pistols, and The Ramones. That opened the doors to The Misfits, Buzzcocks, and Cock Sparrer. I also got into metal music and fell in love with Pantera and Metallica and also grew up on classical music. I realized at a young age that I gravitated towards ANYTHING to do with music. I loved all of it.
Justin Hill: I’d have to give my father credit for this since he was a huge music buff when I was a kid. He was always playing air guitar in the kitchen and backyard listening to music full blast. He was also responsible for buying me a bass guitar and an amp for my first local band.
How do you think your sound has changed since you guys formed the band?
Nick: I’ve been in the band for the last two albums. The sound has been a natural progression of where we’ve been at in our lives. I think it’s more mature and it suits us well. We’re not writing songs like we’re teenagers anymore. We’ve experienced a lot of life and our music reflects that now.
Justin: I think when Jack and Nick came into the band, it changed for the better. They’re both great songwriters and bring a lot to the band in a more mature sounding way than before on previous records. I’ve been in the band since the beginning so it was cool to see what they could offer. Growing as a band though, we have just learned what good songwriting really is and it’s just a better version of us.
What are some challenges you guys have faced to get to where you are now?
Nick: Being told “no” or being told I should do something else. Being broke, living in a van, and trying to figure out how to do this still. But for every challenge that’s been presented, it’s only made me stronger and more educated. It’s only fed my drive for what I do and continue to want to do.
Justin: I think a big challenge for a lot of bands is the financial state in the beginning years of touring and trying to break the ceiling to where the group can finally break even. I remember a lot of crappy fast food, sleeping on the van floor, and coming home to bills and no money. We wrote a record in a storage unit in the middle of winter and lived in it, too. We’ve been through the ringer!
Tell us a little about the writing process for Gossip. Did it come together easily? Was there a theme going in?
Nick: It was a long process. It wasn’t easy. And that’s EXACTLY how we wanted it to be. There were no themes going into the making of Gossip. We just wanted it to be a proper reflection of where we’re at in our lives right now. David Bendeth, our producer, was incredible and really pushed us as musicians. It was eye-opening for us and really motivated me.
Justin: Gossip was a tough one. It didn’t come easy at all. This was a record that we all wanted to be really proud of so we didn’t let anything slide. For me, it was about bettering craft. This record made me fall in love with playing and learning bass. Whenever we go in to write and record, I think it’s best to not have a theme and just let it be organic.
What makes Gossip stand out from your other albums?
Nick: The maturity. Not giving a fuck about boundaries or what’s “expected” of us as a band. The lyrical content comes from a deep and special place from Kellin and you can’t help but feel what he’s saying in all the songs. It’s more than relating to them—it’s about appreciating and respecting what he’s saying and what he’s gone through.
Justin: Yes, the maturity and the growth is a huge part. I think the lyrical content and melody shines. Kellin really did a great job on this and, for me, it’s my favorite record vocal-wise.
What do you want listeners to take away from this album?
Nick: Whatever they want. Art and music is totally subjective. I’ll never tell someone what to take from my art or how to interpret it. That’s the beauty in itself. Love it, hate it—take whatever you like from what we do.
Justin: I think what you take away from this is up to you. There’s songs on some of my favorite records that I love the music and some are the lyrical content but, either way, it always makes me feel something that’s really all I want. I want people to feel something like I do when I listen to music and think, “Wow, how did they think of that?”
How was your experience working with producer David Bendeth, who also worked with All Time Low and Paramore, on this album? In what ways did he help the album and the band come together?
Nick: He’s incredible. We really bonded on deeper musical levels that surprised both of us while we were working together. We had a routine of watching Miles Davis interviews on YouTube in the morning before we started tracking or we’d watch guitar virtuosos for a bit. All these really random things really made the recording process different and special. He taught me a lot about the recording process and how to view it differently. I love him.
Justin: I remember him sitting us all down in his basement and having a group therapy session and laying everything out on the table, from expectations to reality.
Your new song “Legends,” also produced by Bendeth, is going to be the official song for Team USA at the 2018 Olympics. What makes this song special? What’s the story behind this song?
Nick: The song is just a positive, uplifting anthem. Now more than ever in this world, I think it’s important to have. No matter where you are in life, or who you are, or what you want to do, you’re capable of accomplishing anything and everything. It may come off cheesy or cliché, but I think that positive reinforcement is needed in the times we currently live in.
Justin: It sounds like an anthem to me. There’s so much positivity in the lyrics. You just have to set goals and reach them.
What can fans look forward to from you over the coming months and 2018?
Nick: So much touring. We have major plans to tour everywhere that we possibly can in 2018. Come hang out with us and have a good time. Much love.
Justin: Yes, a ton of touring! We’re trying to hit as much of the world as we can for the entire year. This record is huge for us so we want everyone to be able to catch a live show.
Read more Music Interviews on ClicheMag.com
Sleeping With Sirens Talks “Gossip” And Touring. Featured image courtesy of Chris Sullivan