Editor’s Note: This interview with Sleep On It was conducted via email. Questions and answers have been cleaned up for grammar and clarity, however, the content has not been altered. Also, check out our interview with Zech as well!
AltWire Interview with Sleep On It
[Samantha Warren/AltWire]: For our fans who haven’t heard of Sleep on It, can you tell us the current members of the band? Please tell us anything you want our readers to know about the band.
TJ Horansky / Sleep On It: Our current lineup is Zech Pluister lead vocals, Jake Marquis (guitar and vocals), Teddy Horansky (guitar and vocals), AJ Khah (bass), and Luka Fischman (drums). We’re from Chicago, IL.
[AW]: What are you guys most looking forward to about being on the road?
TJ Horansky / Sleep On It: We’re really looking forward to meeting everyone and making some new friends. We’re also looking forward to playing some new cities across the country. To be honest, though, I am most excited to eat food.
[AW]: I also love your new website and the Star Wars theme. What inspired that?
TJ Horansky / Sleep On It: Not surprisingly, we just love Star Wars a lot. A couple of us have Star Wars tattoos. I grew up watching the originals and the prequels, now I love the new movies too. I still secretly try to move things with my mind like a Jedi.
[AW]: What bands do you hope to tour with in the future?
TJ Horansky / Sleep On It: We would love to tour with The Maine, Mayday Parade, Halsey, Hoodie Allen, Mouse Rat, and Broadside, to name just a few.
[AW]: Which songs do you perform most frequently? Do you ever play any covers? Do you have a set playlist?
TJ Horansky / Sleep On It: We only have 7 songs available so our options are slightly limited haha. We don’t play any covers usually. My favorite song to play live is probably “See You Around”. We’ve also been playing a new song called “Overexposed” on the past two tours that I’m really stoked on.
[AW]: How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together? What changes can fans expect to see on this tour?
TJ Horansky / Sleep On It: I think we have embraced a lot of different influences both within and outside of the pop-punk scene. When we first started, we had a more straightforward pop-punk sound. Our growth as songwriters has felt natural in that sense. I think our music is accessible but in our own unique style.
[AW]: How do you guys feel about the music industry, being how it is with all of the online downloading and streaming? What do you hope to see change in the music industry?
TJ Horansky / Sleep On It: Downloading and streaming, especially on sites such as Spotify and Apple Music, has helped our band’s reach grow immensely. People don’t buy records like they used to (everyone knows that), but I think it’s important to adapt to changing music trends instead of resisting them. One thing I would like to see is higher royalty rates for streaming for artists. That would help bands on all levels.
[AW]: Do you have any other current projects that you want the fans to know about?
TJ Horansky / Sleep On It: Sleep On It is the focus for all of us right now. When we’re not touring or recording, we all work other jobs to help supplement living costs. Plus, we’re not cool enough yet to have side projects haha.
[AW]: What’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you guys on stage? Have you played any weird venues that stand out?
TJ Horansky / Sleep On It: On our first tour, we played at an Enterprise Rental Car in Portland, Maine. There was this little art space above the shop that didn’t have a PA or anything. People were trying to rent cars while we loaded in our gear. They looked very confused.
[AW]: On tour, you meet a bunch of new people. Who is another band or artist that you would be excited to meet and why?
TJ Horansky / Sleep On It: I’m pretty sure we would all be stoked to meet Halsey. Apparently, she likes pop-punk too, so why not? Also, Chance the Rapper.
[AW]: If you had to do this all over again, would you still pick music? Would you have done anything differently?
TJ Horansky / Sleep On It: That’s incredibly hard to say. Without Sleep On It, I would probably be pursuing music in some facet. We’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way but I don’t think I would’ve done anything differently. I’m proud of where we are. Living in the past or with regret has never helped me.
[AW]: If you had any advice for upcoming artists and musicians, what would it be?
TJ Horansky / Sleep On It: This seems obvious, but you should focus first on writing really good songs. This takes time and gets frustrating, but it is crucial. Next, invest your resources into a really good recording. Don’t record in your friend’s bedroom if it’s not going to sound stellar just to save a couple of bucks. Good songs and a good recording are the foundation. After that, book a show and promote the hell out of it.
Social media is important, but you should be promoting it in other ways. Passing out flyers at other shows is a good way (we did this for a couple of years). On the flip side, don’t play too many local shows. Saturating your market will not help your band’s buzz.
[AW]: What can fans expect from you guys in the future and after this tour?
TJ Horansky / Sleep On It: We just finished recording a full-length record that will come out later this year. We are currently working on some tours for late summer/fall. We will also be playing Riot Fest in Chicago this September.
[AW]: Any last words?
TJ Horansky / Sleep On It: Stay weird and be excellent to each other.