Following up from their huge success on triple J, the month of March sees Sydney-based band Slumberhaze with a new single and a tour about to take place. We asked lead singer Sasha to take a few moments out of the band's hectic schedule so we could ask him some questions and get to know the creative minds behind the music, their ten years together (so far), the life cycle of writing and recording, and a dream duet between Ol' Dirty Bastard and the High Priestess of Soul.
How would you describe SLUMBERHAZE to someone who’s never heard your band before?
Music for the Left Fielders, Right Brainers & Straight up Trippers.
I read that you’ve dedicated the last 10 years to music and the band. I’m sure its been one big crazy roller coaster of a ride. How has that journey shaped you as an artist?
When I started writing, I was of course young and naïve and motivated, and over the years the stark realities of the music industry, the scene and being in a band have slowly but surely weathered me to the point that I'm like the basketball Tom Hanks had in the movie Cast Away. Granted, that ball is hard to bounce but durable as an elephant's foot. That rollercoaster ride definitely shaped the music, and helped me trim some of the ego and pomp and connect to people more. Its all a process of stripping the ego, life that is.
What is your favourite part of making music? (e.g. the writing process, recording, live gigs)
The writing part is my favourite. It's so beautiful. When an idea is delivered, you are excited and euphoric, you nurture it and think about it, and foresee its future. Like being a controlling parent. Then the recording comes in, and everyone gets involved, like teenage peers. It starts drinking and smoking and becoming cunty and you wonder why you made this decision. Then the product is done and its like a 21 year old graduate, you know the prickiness underneath but you still see the beauty of the baby. Finally, playing it live is when the kid leaves home and you're finally free again to pound regularly and do what you want.
Your three-part EP is called Rhyme, Rhythm and Romance. What influence do these three elements have on your music?
All three. The reason we called it this was a reflection of the tunes and lyrics and influences. I am very hip hop influenced and that gives the Rhyme element, you will find moments of raps in the 3 EPs. The rhythm is one of our biggest points of difference. We are very unorthodox in rhythmic styling. But its not math rock or some calculus pop. It's tricky and spontaneous rhythm. And of course Romance, what's life without romance? Love is what drives everything, even crude, dishonest government people love their money.
The new single is called “Run as Fast as You Can, Kids!” what are the kids running from?
They're not running away, yet. They're being told to run as fast as they can. From a young age, we are pushed. We are pushed to learn, to run, to consume, to fight, to win. There is a double edged sword in the title, to run as fast as you can and do your best, and to run as fast as you can because you don’t have a choice.
The past few months have seen so many of the musical greats sadly pass. If you had to choose an artist to pay tribute to, who would it be and what song would you immortalise them with?
I love the eclectics, and I would probably choose Ol' Dirty Bastard & Nina Simone, and we would mash up "Sinnerman" with "Baby I Got Your Money".
Catch Slumberhaze's single launch show for "Run as Fast as You Can, Kids," at Marrickville's LazyBones Lounge on Saturday March 12. Below, check out the single's awesome 32-bit video game-inspired video.