Minneapolis, MN-based rockers Sleep Signals have returned to the road on the In Our Wake Tour, with Atreyu, Memphis May Fire and Ice Nine Kills, which began November 9th in Phoenix, Arizona and concludes on December 13th.
Sleep Signals continues to thrive as a band in 2018. The band has toured heavily in support of their latest EP, At the End of the World, which was produced by Grammy-nominated producer, Justin Rimer (Saving Abel, 12 Stones, Wayland).
Sleep Signals: “Edge of My Sanity” [Official Video] from the EP, At the End of the World:
Music Madness caught up with vocalist Robert Cosgrove just prior to the tour kicking off.
Music Madness: What’s going on man? Are you stoked about kicking off this new tour tonight?
Robert: We’ve actually been out for a week. We just had some connecting dates, but the main leg of the tour kicks off tonight. Yeah, man, we’re really pumped. For sure.
Music Madness: The band’s last EP At the End of the World has been out for a while and there are some new faces in the mix. How is everything coming together with the band and your health?
Robert: Yeah, we’re still kind of pushing that album. We’re starting to write some new material for a new album for next year. Yeah, we have gone through a few member changes and stuff and we’ve had a pretty set lineup here for a little bit.
We had a fill in for me on the last tour. I had a stroke back in August. Just kind of a weird surprise to have. Yeah, we ended up having a fill in on this last tour for me and we are back to our normal lineup again here.
It’s good to be back out on the road and it feels really good to be here.
Music Madness: Now that everyone is healthy and your back to touring, it will inspire you, as you work on this next album.
Robert: Yeah, for sure. I’m sure we’ll definitely pull some inspiration while we’re touring with new bands.
Music Madness: As 2018 wraps up… What is Sleep Signals looking forward to next year?
Robert: We are writing some new material, so looking to put out a new album, and just keep grinding out on the road as hard as we can. We’ve been touring pretty steadily now about six months out of the year, so we’re going to keep that up, and were feeling pretty good about the band right now, and maybe looking to sign with a label here in the next year or two.
Music Madness: Very cool. As an independent band, is it stressful going through that process of signing with a label?
Robert: Yeah, we’ve been an independent band for the four years that we’ve been in existence, so we’re pretty constant, getting out there, doing a lot of stuff on our own. We’ve been able to, obviously, land a couple of big tours and stuff like that without label support. We’re not really in a hurry to sign a deal, but just looking at different options. When the right deal comes along, we’ll probably jump on it.
Music Madness: So you don’t want to sell your soul. I’ve heard some horror stories and I am sure it would make most a little gun-shy to pull that trigger.
Music Madness: All right. What is it looking like, set-wise, on this tour?
Robert: We’re playing the 30 every night. I think most nights, we are first on the package, so most nights, we’re playing first, opening up the show. I know there are a few shows that have some local support on it too. Looking forward to doing the 30 every night and we still have our off dates pretty full on this tour, so we’ll do some headline one-offs and stuff wherever we can and we’ll play 45 on those.
We have the 30, so I think we’ll play about seven songs. We’ll play most of our latest album and a couple songs off our older two albums. I think a couple of the songs off the older albums will make it out onto the new album that we put out next year too. It’s a good mix of stuff. We get a cover that we play too, but I’m not sure that we’ll play it on the Atreyu run.
Music Madness: Oh, that’s cool. Does the band typically do filler dates like that when you are on a non- headlining tour?
Robert: Yeah, I mean, if we’re out on tour, we’re trying to maximize the fact that we’re out on the road, so we’re trying to play six, seven nights a week every time we can. Definitely gets exhausting and everything, but just trying to play as much as we can while we’re out there. Why else tour if you’re not going to play shows.
Music Madness: Covers seem to be hotter than usual of late. Always fun to see how bands make it their own.
Robert: Right. Yeah, we have a cover that we’ve been playing for a couple years. We did actually lay it down in the studio. We’re going to make some changes and at some point, we’ll probably release it. We are just waiting until we release it before we start playing it on these bigger tours.
Music Madness: Right on. How did Sleep Signals come about?
Robert: We started back in 2014, and the band has gone through several iterations. A lot of members early on. It’s difficult to get a group of guys together that are able to tour. A lot of people want to tour until they get out and experience it, then they question why they’re doing this with their life. Like I said, we’ve gone through some members over the years, and just a lot of different iterations. The current lineup that we have, we’re all from different bands that have been touring over the past few years, and just guys that we’ve met in other bands that have been dealing with the same thing that we have, trying to find guys that can tour six months out of the year and live that lifestyle.
Music Madness: Is everyone in the band from the Minnesota area?
Robert: Well, truth be told, the band is from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I’m the only one that’s relatively close to that. I live in Wisconsin. I’m right over the border from Minneapolis/St. Paul in Wisconsin, a little town called River Falls. Our bassist lives in Fargo. Our other guitar player is in Chicago. Two of our guys are in Salt Lake City. We are pretty spread out.
Music Madness: I’m sure that makes it difficult during down time when you guys are trying to work on new music together and everyone is so spread out.
Robert: Yeah. I mean, we can do a lot of our writing and that kind of stuff remotely. We can manage pretty well. We get together and rehearse for a good solid week or something like that before we go out on a run. It’s pretty natural.
Music Madness: Right on. The band worked with Justin Rimer (Saving Abel, 12 Stones, Wayland) on your last EP. He produced it. How was that?
Robert: Yeah. Yeah, that was awesome. Really good producer. I think we brought about 40 different song candidates into that recording session, and I think we were there about two and a half weeks, putting together that EP. We brought 40 song candidates, and sat down with Justin, and we all just worked together to figure out what the best songs of the bunch were, and Justin was just a really easy guy to work with. Smart guy. Really good at helping us develop the songs.
Music Madness: When you work with different producers, does it help to evolve your sound and do you always take something away from that experience?
Robert: Yeah, definitely. I mean, we’ve put out three albums now, a full length and two EP’s and every time is different. Every time, we mature as a group. Every time, we mature as musicians. We definitely take away different styles and like I said, the maturity is really a big thing. The songs just come out. You can listen to the evolution of our three albums, and you can definitely tell that there has been a lot of growth there. A lot of it is due to working with these different guys and just picking up different things from each of them.
Music Madness: There’s no pressure as the opening act but you guys set the tone for the entire evening.
Robert: That’s right. Yeah, and we have Ice Nine Kills coming up right after us, and they’ve been just absolutely killing it, so there’s no pressure there, either.
Music Madness: I actually caught them on the Warped Tour and they bring it. Have you seen any of these bands perform live before? Do you make it a point of checking out the other bands on tour with you?
Robert: Yeah, I’m excited to see all three of them, honestly. I haven’t seen any of these three bands live. It’s crazy that I’ve been listening to Atreyu for at least 15 years now from Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses out on Victory. I’ve been listening to those guys for a long time and they were a really influential band for me. I mean, yeah, it’s pretty cool, definitely, for us to be on the road with those guys and getting to watch those guys every night. We’re excited for that.
Every night when we play, we always try to watch all the bands. Whether it’s a big show like this, or a smaller show, on headline tours and stuff like that, we always try to watch all the locals and support everybody. It’s really important to us. It’s also really important for us to make sure that we’re out meeting all the fans and everybody that’s coming out to the shows, especially as a small, independent band like we are. It’s important for us to build our fan base and the best way to do that is just to meet as many people as we can, and that’s why we do this. We get out on the road and we’re just trying to make as many friends as we can. Between watching sets, we’re usually trying to hover around the merch table and walk around and talk to people and meet people, shake people’s hands and take pictures and all that kind of stuff.
Music Madness: Do you have someone handling the merch, or do you guys draw straws for merch duty?
Robert: We do have somebody watching our merch, but we still try to be there as much as we can. Like I said, we’re trying to meet as many as people as possible. It’s really important to us. Like I said, even just beyond trying to build a fan base in each of these markets, we’re really sociable guys, and we just like to get out, hang out, and party with people and meet people and just have a good time with people. It’s no better way to connect with people than music, so we’ll usually hover around the merch table as much as we can and try to hang out with people.
Music Madness: Very cool. I’m expecting you to have some awesome poses on stage, because I’ll be in the pit shooting the show in Tampa.
Robert: All right. Right on, man. That sounds awesome.
Music Madness: Best of luck on tour. Which song should my Florida peeps be ready to go crazy on when they hear it?
Robert: Yeah. Our fan favorite, I think tends to be either “I’ll Save You” or “Suit & Tie Suicide”. The one we’re pushing right now, we just put out a music video for it a couple months ago, it’s called “Edge of My Sanity”. It’s the latest single off our EP. People should definitely check that one out, for sure.
Dates with Atreyu, Memphis May Fire, Ice Nine Kills:
11.9 Phoenix, AZ The Van Buren
11.10 Albuquerque, NM El Rey Theater
11.12 San Antonio, TX The Aztec Theatre
11.13 Houston, TX House of Blues
11.14 Baton Rouge, LA The Varsity Theater
11.15 Winter Park, FL Haven Lounge
11.16 Fort Lauderdale, FL Revolution Live
11.17 Tampa, FL The Ritz
11/18 Destin, FL Club L.A.
11.19 Atlanta, GA Buckhead Theater
11.20 Greensboro, NC The Cone Denim Entertainment Center
11.21 Baltimore, MD Baltimore Sound Stage
11.23 Harrisburg, PA Capitol Room
11.24 Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom
11.25 Boston, MA Paradise
11.27 New York, NY Gramercy Theatre
11.28 Rochester, NY Anthology
11.30 Detroit, MI Majestic Theatre
12.1 Fort Wayne, IN Pierre’s
12.2 Chicago, IL House of Blues
12.4 Denver, CO Summit Music Hall
12.5 Salt Lake City, UT The Depot
12.7 Seattle, WA El Corazon
12.8 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theatre
12.10 Sacramento, CA Ace of Spades
12.11 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
12.12 San Diego, CA House of Blues
12.13 Anaheim, CA House of Blues
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