Flying all the way from Melbourne, Australia, the five friends that make up A Sleepless Melody managed to slot in a few minutes before their sensational set in support of The Maine to give us a glimpse into their lives as a band. We managed to get down to the nitty-gritty of one of Australia’s hottest bands while gushing about their peers in Tonight Alive and discussed the possibility of them appearing on the bill of this year’s Australian leg of the Warped Tour. Digging even deeper, we uncover certain dark secrets that lie in front-man Matthew Seymour’s iPod which might or might not involve One Direction…
Welcome to Singapore! How have we been treating you so far?
(AD) Andrew: Everyone’s been really lovely.
Matt: Some fans even came to the airport when we touched down! That was so crazy! It was really heart-warming dude.
(AT) Anthony: Yeah it was really nice. We’re looking forward to meeting them, let’s put it that way. After the show, we wanna make sure we get out and meet everyone who wants to be met for sure.
For those who haven't heard of you before, how would you guys describe yourselves and the sound of the music you play?
AD: If you wanted to put a label on it, I guess it’d be pop-rock but I feel like our live sounds a little different? So if you come to a show it’s definitely a different sound but on record I suppose it’s a nice, clean pop sound, very honest and from the heart. But live, it gets a bit greedy, a bit dirty and more rock ‘n’ roll. Bit more wild. ‘Cos who likes to come a show and be tamed? Everyone likes to be themselves at a show and be crazy.
What's the story behind the band name then?
AD: Basically me and Matt were just writing a few songs together and we demoed a few songs and wanted to put in on MySpace (back when it was cool) and we didn’t have a name, you had to register a name to actually make a MySpace. So we were throwing around names for hours and I was falling asleep so we just jumbled words up and were like,”Alright, let’s just do it as (A Sleepless Melody) and we’ll change it later, we’re gonna come up with something better.” And then we started playing shows, kids started coming, everyone knew the name and we never came up with anything better. (laughs)
That seems to be the case for a lot of bands.
AD: Oh, absolutely. The name’s the hardest part of being in a band!
Brad: I don’t think any band likes their band name.
Yep, the Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam just to name a few. Did any of guys go to college/university or did y’all go straight down the music route?
B: I’m a high school dropout; Dave’s a high school dropout.
M: I finished Year 12 and attempted to go to university and study but then music became my priority so I dropped out of that.
Ok that’s cool but for that to happen you guys would have to have a lot of passion for music so who or what was the inspiration that led to the formation of the band?
B: I mean like when I was a kid, I wanted nothing more than to play the drums. (Music) takes over your normal life. You have your normal life, your music life and then eventually one takes over the other. One feels better. It feels right and I don’t think I can put it in words.
M: I was just singing from a young age and just thought hey, I do it ok I guess? And then I met Andrew in high school and we started jamming and that was it, we’re just kinda like let’s do something about it.
It was originally a two-piece so when did the rest of you join in?
AD: Well it’s funny, like Brad only joined the band about a couple of months ago, Dave joined a month ago-
AT: Two shows ago!
AD: Two shows ago, Anthony’s been here for a bit. I think we started going full band just over two years ago maybe?
I heard a member left you guys quite recently.
M: Yeah, our bassist. Brendan our bassist left so that’s why Dave’s been playing for us.
M: We love Dave, he’s great.
Ok then, but who inspired you guys, or what were you listening to?
AD: When I was playing drums, Aaron Gillespie was a massive influence. As a songwriter, I’m more influenced by Ben Gibbard of Death Cab Cutie and Ryan Adams, just a lot of artists like that as far as songwriting goes.
There's been a couple of Australian bands making it quite big in the US and other parts of the world recently, Tonight Alive and Hands Like Houses to name a few. What would you guys personally like to achieve when it comes to A Sleepless Melody?
AD: Yeah, totally. I suppose we all wanna play music. We’ve sacrificed a part of our lives, our education and we wanna be able to play music and live comfortably because we can’t imagine ourselves not playing music at this point of time.
AT: For it to be big enough that we can keep doing it.
M: We don’t wanna be the next Queen, it would be nice, but we just wanna get by.
This band called Fall Out Boy was in town recently, and like you guys, an Australian band called Empra flew here to open for them. Turns out, the lead singer for that band was a local from Singapore but moved to Australia to make music. What're your opinions on the Australian music scene, like do you feel that you and your peers are able to grow and thrive sufficiently Down Under or is a shot at a sort of American exposure essential?
AT: That’s a good question, probably is.
AD: Let’s put it this way: the Australian music market is only 1% of the world’s music market so Asia has a much bigger market that we do. You can tour Australia to death, but at the end the day I feel like international success would be much more beneficial.
AT: I think all the Australian bands that’re doing really well, really deserve to be that way? Hands Like House and Tonight Alive, they work really hard and they’re legitimately really good bands to start with. I also think the best usually rises to the top. Well hopefully.
But Australia’s much bigger than Singapore obviously. And that’s why I think, that even compared to us, you guys have a better scene and stage to expand and grow.
AT: The problem with Australia is that the travel kills you.
B: It’s a long way in between each city that’s what it is. It takes a 12-hour drive just to play one show at another town. We drive everywhere but in Singapore it’s like we hardly drive at all.
M: We’re getting a bus to Kuala Lumpur and what’s that, a couple of hours?
About 4 hours.
B: Yeah that’s nothing!
M: That would get us not even halfway to Sydney and that’s another country so.
Speaking of KL, you're heading there with The Summer State after this, and even this show with The Maine in mind, how do you guys engage an audience who have probably never heard A Sleepless Melody before and who're foreigners who might not speak even English? What’s that extra spice?
M: I have to say that when we first talked about playing this show, we wanted to create a set that was really energetic and big and flowing you know? Transitions and things like that, we talk about where we’re from and I guess we’re Australian.
AT: I think as far as connecting with them, I feel like just letting them know that they’re part of our band, we’re not better than them, we’re equal and we want them to share the moment with us. Because it’s especially cool for us to be playing for someone, as it hopefully is for them to be sharing our music with each other. It’s not for us to give to them or anything because we enjoy playing and we want them to enjoy hanging out with us and listening to music.
So you guys try to include them is what you’re saying?
AD: Yeah, of course. I think consciously we specifically try and do a lot of crowd interactions. We put ourselves across the best we can like how we rehearse and prepare ourselves.
AT: And it’s not just on the stage, when we get off the stage we wanna hang out, talk and get to know everyone as people.
Warped Tour will be returning to Australia this year. Will you guys be involved?
AD: Um, no but we would like to be. They haven’t fully booked WT at the moment but I don’t think we’ll be involved.
So which bands are you excited to see at Warped Tour?
New Found Glory’s pretty cool…
D: Yeah but we’ve seen them so many times…
AT: Anarbor’s never came out to Australia so we’re stoked to see them.
So The Maine then. Have you heard of them before this?
AD: We quite enjoy The Maine, we take a lot of influence from them especially they left their major label and went off to do their own thing. We like to take influence from bands like such, people who want to do things themselves, for themselves.
Before we end, what’s one song on your iPod that’d you’d be embarrassed to name?
D: I’m gonna say, (Robin) Thicke, the song is called When I Get You Alone! *Proceeds to sing When I Get You Alone complete with passionate finger snapping*
AT: I’ve got Backstreet Boys on my phone…
B: I do too!
AT: I think we’ve all got Backstreet. I can own that though.
M: I just love music! Love it all!
Even One Direction?
M: One Direction? I used to have them on my phone, yeah.
D: Matt listens to a lot of embarrassing music…
AD: I’m embarrassed by his iPod…
M: I had an intense pop stash about 6 months ago.
AT: Matty crossed to 1D and the Biebs.
M: Not so much anymore but yeah sure.
AT: He moved on to The Wanted now.
M: Ugh, who is that?