"We’re ready to go back to the fast punk rock stuff again.”
Off the back of their latest album, 'Gossip', released last September, Floridian rock five-piece Sleeping With Sirens returned to Slam Dunk Festival for the first time in five years last weekend.
Ahead of their set, guitarist Jack Fowler and bassist Justin Hills joined Lizzie’s Lowdown in a boiling hot press tent to discuss their latest record, their evolving sound and the shut down of Vans Warped Tour...
Congratulations on 'Gossip'! How has the response to that been over the past months?
Jack: It’s been awesome. We’ve just been on a European tour and our German shows were insane, there was a lot of people that saw us on our tour with Rise Against that were singing 'Legends' louder than I’d ever heard it. They made their own signs which said ‘We could be legends’ on it. It’s been incredible.
Justin: ‘Legends’ in particular has done really well over here. We haven’t seen the big signs held up in the crowd in America yet like we’ve seen here for the past three weeks.
With 'Gossip you guys went for a slightly different sound compared to other albums.
By leaning more towards pop, you guys showed you can do lighter music as well as the heavy sound we’ve associated with Sleeping With Sirens. Was there any reason for going more pop?
Jack: I feel like we’re a band that will always do something different. If you listen to our first record, we’re a breakdown emo band, the second record we started going more pop punk, the third was more rock, then 'Madness' was a back step. 'Gossip' is a complete departure and our next record is going to be more rock again.
Justin: 'Gossip' was more of a mid-tempo record, which we didn’t really have in our catalogue before, so now that we have that we’re ready to go back to the fast punk rock stuff again.
So does the music reflect what you guys are doing and going through at that moment?
Justin: We write how we feel at the time and then when we go back and listen to the songs, we have all of these songs that could fit in whatever set we need to play and our wide catalogue means we could tour with a whole lot of different bands.
So we always think about what we could write next so we have some fresh material that we can switch out some of the set with.
Jack: The music me and Kellin have been writing lately is very dark.
We’re not going to take it back to the ‘Let’s Cheers’ days, but it is probably going to be one of the heavier records musically but with more poppy vocals.
Slam Dunk gets referred to as a mini UK version of Vans Warped Tour quite a bit, how do you feel about this year being the last Warped Tour?
Jack: I’ll miss it. It’s you and all your best friends. When we first played it in 2012, that’s what broke our band and made us the band we are today.
It’s our crowd. I’m not being cocky or anything, but I think were one of the most fun festival bands to watch because we’re very high energy and we get the crowd going and Justin is throwing his bass up in the air, I’m spinning all over the place, Kellin is stage diving. You don’t really see that anymore.
Justin: It’s sad, it’s the spot where you get to hang out with your friends, it’s almost like a summer camp, you know? That’s what I liked most and I’ll miss that.
Slam Dunk does feels like Warped Tour, there’s a lot of bands that we’ve played with at Warped Tour that are here now as well, like Four Years Strong, PVRIS and State Champs. We actually tried to avoid the heat of Warped Tour this year, but we even got that here today.
Jack: We’re gonna have to start coming to the UK a lot more. We’re honestly over the US, we’ve played there so many times. We’re just going to come hang out with you guys all the time.
Slam Dunk are the only UK dates as part of this European tour though, are you coming back soon?
Jack: If we’re lucky! We’re gonna do an acoustic tour this summer, then South America and the fall tour. We’re writing a new record and will have new music out so we’ll probably be back in 2019. We’ll be back and we’ll be bigger and better than ever.