While She Sleeps announce new album, new single and new fan community
Welcome to the Sleeps Society!
Sheffield's metalcore veterans While She Sleeps have been one of the most important British bands in recent years. Not only have they been a driving force in heavy music, but they have also been a driving force in reshaping the business side of the music industry. This is something that they're taking all the way up to 11 with their new album Sleeps Society, which will spawn a Patreon-powered fan community of the same name in an attempt to create a fairer and more sustainable business model for the band.
"Our goal is to create a sustainable model for artists and creatives, to break from the traditional industry mould by building and developing a true interdependence between the band and fans," explains vocalist Loz Taylor. "With the future of live performances uncertain, the Sleeps Society will enable a secure existence for WSS and gives us the opportunity to stay connected with our fanbase, developing new ways to provide for our supporters and fill the void left without live music. In these uncertain times, this is the difference between life and death for the future of WSS. We aren’t prepared to be another band forced to give up simply because the system isn’t designed to support the artist."
The idea of the Sleeps Society was inspired by the band's constant harships of being within the music industry's current business model and them wanting to create and prove a newer, more direct method of funding not only their band, but other bands who are in the same boat as they are. "Having overcome mountains of hardship and financial debt, it feels important to share what we’ve learned along the way with those who are drawn to a similar path as ours. This model will provide a new route for upcoming artists and bands similar to us, using our knowledge and guidance to help achieve a realistic career in the creative industries."
Fans who sign up to the Sleeps Society will be required to pay a membership fee that varies across different tiers of support. In return, Sleeps Society members will receive "a plethora of informative, exciting and engaging videos, as well as special events to get involved with and many exclusives to members." These goodies will include "full album guitar and drum play-throughs, a tutorial series for songwriting, studio production, vocal techniques, art and branding, self-management, videography and much more."
As well as all this stuff, Sleeps Society members will get access to "an in-depth look into making the forthcoming album and livestreamed studio sessions where members can help make decisions in the writing stages of songs" as well as "early access to tour tickets, exclusive merchandise, warehouse meet-ups, events and secret ‘members only’ shows." Sounds pretty amazing, right? Well, according to the Sleeps boys, that's only the start of where they want to take the Sleeps Society!
So, what'll be the benefit for the band? "With the monthly support of our fans, the band will be able to break free from the traditional music industry method of ‘cash advances’, where artists are essentially borrowing large sums of money and giving up the rights to their songs, only to spend the years that follow in debt which oftentimes becomes insurmountable and crippling," they explained. "The Sleeps Society ensures a solid future for WSS and creates a new model of survival for artists and bands alike. We will be delivering the highest level of fan involvement and fostering a symbiotic relationship as the Sleeps Society becomes an integral part of Sleeps’ existence."
Just when you thought that was already enough to take in, While She Sleeps then decided to treat us to the first single of this new era; the album's title track. Setting the tone with a press conference that looks like something out of the 1970s, the band then sets up in what looks like their Sheffield warehouse headquarters and erupts into the new song, an acid bass-fuelled metallic hardcore powerhouse that only Sleeps could provide. It makes me very optimistic for how Sleeps Society will turn out!
Sleeps Society will be released on 16th April 2021. That may be a long way away, but hopefully by that point we'll all be able to go to live shows again!