In 2011, Sleeping With Sirens released a record that helped revive an entire genre nearly dead on its feet. Their second release, Let’s Cheers To This, was in no uncertain terms a post-hardcore game-changer and one that lifted the band’s profile from underground favourites to one travelling the world many times over. Now, just over four years into their existence the quintet have continued to evolve and mature as artists and people, creating an immeasurable blend of rock, pop and post-hardcore that is completely unique to them. With the release of their latest album, Feel, they have changed their musical direction dramatically and guitarist Jesse Lawson says it can be largely attributed to the members of Sleeping With Sirens “growing up”.
Speaking from Brussels, Belgium, Lawson sounds a little tired during our conversation from a lack of sleep, the band adjusting to different time zones during their current European tour. With Feel dropping worldwide this week, the guitarist says this full-length is without a doubt their best work to date. “I mean every record you have the songs that are like, ‘Man, we coulda done something cooler there.’ On this record I feel there’s none of those songs,” he begins. “I do think it’s the best, [most] well-written record that we’ve ever done.”
With their third album, the band approached the writing and recording processes differently to their previous releases. Instead of all writing the record together, Lawson, along with vocalist Kellin Quinn, wrote the entire album acoustically before bringing in the other members of the band. They also had to deal with having to write an entire record in ten days, a fact that Lawson suggests confidently the band thrives off. “That’s how we work the best. We’re all very loud and I can’t really think of the word I’m looking for but if we spend too much time on something we will all over-think it way too much and it won’t come out right.”
The band found themselves in a position where they only had ten days off between tours to write the new record. They booked a beach house on the coast of Oregon and went about redefining their sound. “So when we have that, ‘Here’s ten days to write your next record, can you do it?’ we’re like, ‘Yeah of course we can,’ and we made ourselves do it. We were writing two songs every day, and obviously we eliminated songs here and there but going into the studio we had like twenty solid songs and twelve of them made [it on] this record.” The recording process took the band three to four weeks, but saw each band member fly into the studio separately to record their parts, to allow them more time at home to spend with their families.