An Interview With I've Tried Sleeping
The latest from I've Tried Sleeping is a massive self-titled album that ranges in varying styles of arena rock from different decades all rolled into one warm and edgy record that spans a progressive tonality and some psychedelia as well.
The self-titled album release is absolutely vast and sonically outstanding as it brings gigantic guitar sections that feel like songs you listened to growing up.
The real deal classic rock influences are beautiful here and the artist does an excellent job of designing songs that feel cinematic and impactful with wailing leads and that kind of 90's alt edge.
I've Tried Sleeping is almost like cross breeding bands like Yes or The Who with bands like The Pixies.
In other words, this is awesome. And from start to finish you get a feel for memories brought to light, chapters in his life, and it's all got such perfected explanations and descriptions lyrically that you really can visually see the things he's singing about.
Now, I've Tried Sleeping is a full band, and each member really lays it down enough to make an impact on the sound heavily, but the songs are born from Charlie Edwards or at least the project is the brainchild of him.
This was an endlessly addictive and genuine form of rock that we actually miss these days so we're thankful for this band bringing it back into full swing like this.
With the release of such a killer album, we wanted to touch base with the band to find out where this all came from and what may be next for them.
Here's what happened.
Buzz Slayers: Let's kick things off with the self-titled I've Tried Sleeping album. This album has a genuine classic hard rock feel to it. Where did this record come from?
First let me say, thanks for the interview -- it's a pleasure to visit with you. Most of us who've spent time with a guitar in their hands, knows what it is like to have a very limited budget and make some sort of demo recording that is not particularly awesome. This is my 23rd studio project. There are good reasons why you haven't been rocking out to projects one through twenty-two. Each was its own study in one way or another of "out of time, out of tune, out of money, and what were you trying to say?" I made a number of me and a guitar recordings, where I could clearly hear these amazingly rich arrangements behind me - but no one else could. Not to get too heavy-duty on you here as we get going, but I just battled stage 3 colo-rectal cancer. I went in for the requisite colonoscopy and came out of the daze, with everyone around me in tears. Seven surgeries, skeletal, etc. to now have a clean bill of health and no worse for the wear. I wrote this record from the cancer bed and made the resolution that if I were given a chance, I would make it count. I absolutely love this record. It is the fucking bomb. I never get tired of listening to it. It is my response to this shitty "age of the song" we are enduring. It is a 10 song cohesive whole meant to be listened to in its entirety at loud volume. It is written in the traditions of vinyl from the golden age of rock. The last two songs totally bottom out. And this time, everyone can hear all of those rich arrangements I was always hearing.
Buzz Slayers: So when did music start affecting you? When did you know making music was something you wanted to be doing?
I love this question. I knew when I was 10 years old that music affected me much differently than those around me. For most people, music is just another thing -- like pretzels at a party. I mean, when I would listen to Dark Side of the Moon, it was like I'd go there and somehow make it back. Listening to that amazing rock music from back in the day was life changing. I was always very physically and emotionally moved by music. Even classical music could bring me to tears with its beauty and power. The road to making music is a long one. I learned to play other people's songs. Started writing my own. Got the courage to busk. Played in bands. Started making unconvincing recordings. The answer to your question is, I knew that making music was something I wanted to do when I was 17 but it was a dare not say it dream because there was such a long road ahead and I was just starting out. With each step, the dream was a little closer.
Buzz Slayers: What inspires you to write a song?
I can't not write songs. Am a piece of work in this way. I have to. And I love to. It is a maddening process. Truly. Having these strong feelings and then trying to put them into words. Fumbling and bumbling around with these complicated emotional pieces that don't fit together. Distilling. Walking away, coming back. The songs come to me. They are a gift. I try to be receptive to them when they do show up. There are droughts and monsoons for sure. Sometimes I chew on songs for long periods of time. On this record I wrote one of the songs in a day, another I'd been working on for 26 years.
Buzz Slayers: This record has some great styles! Can you give us some of your top musical influences?
Lyrically, I'm a Bob Dylan-head through and through. I learned so much about songwriting from Paul Simon, I can hear him in there. There's definitely a Harry Chapin, Steve Stills activism thread happening too. When I listen I can hear The Clash, Stone Temple Pilots, Counting Crows, R.E.M., Peter Gabriel, U2, The Police. The ladies too - Liz Phair, Aimee Mann, Tori Amos, PJ Harvey.
Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
I'm an athlete and love doing anything outside, love the woods, big wave body surfing, high speed roller blading, lakes and rivers, animals, LOVE all of my relationships with people, all art, enjoy taking it all in, what an incredible world we live in and what an exciting time to be here!
Buzz Slayers: Who's in your headphones right now?
This is kind of lame, but when I'm in songwriting mode I really don't listen too much to other artists because I unintentionally and oftentimes embarrassingly end up stealing their material and thinking that it is my own. This past summer, I spent a lot of time at the waterpark with my kids and they were constantly playing "867-5308 Jenny Jenny". So of course I wrote my reconstituted version of it - which rocked in a heavy-handed, straight ahead kind of way and then introduced it to my band. After a bit, like the Emperor and his clothes, AJ the drummer said, "hey, that kind of sounds like Jenny Jenny." After which, it was all hands on deck, do whatever could be done musically to make the tune NOT sound like Tommy Tutone. Anyway, that song didn't make the record, so all was ok -- but no, not listening to other music now because I'm writing the next record.
Buzz Slayers: Are you doing any live performances right now?
This record has great size. It's somewhere between a large hall and a stadium. It needs lasers. I'd see this band for sure if it came to my town. I'm not interested in the KCRW stripped down intimate acoustic version of this material. I want to see it huge and loud with big theatre, like Roger Waters. That of course is outrageously expensive. I hope the forces align and we can get a big tour going. I don't know if it will be this record or the next or the next, but it's going to happen.
Buzz Slayers: This album feels like a big undertaking, is there any advice you'd give to other up and coming artists out there?
Thank you! Yes, this record was a big deal. Definitely not written in a day. It took forever and cost a lot of money. Real players playing real instruments, huge drum room, multiple tube stacks, lots of layered guitar tracks, Hammond C3 from the '50's, NO auto-tune, tambourine, percussion, patiently mixed with the best gear, mastered, the whole thing. Sure is a fucking satisfying feeling to listen to that 46 minute piece without a stray word or note. My advice? Hmmm. Don't sell out. Never try to be someone other than yourself/be yourself, you're awesome. Do the work. Take the risk but don't extend yourself so far that you can't make it back. Collect great muses.
Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?
I don't know what is going to happen, but I want to do the whole thing. Big ass next record, huge-ass in your face rock show coming to your city.
Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Thank you so much for listening. It makes me feel a little less like a freak to know that there are other people out there in the world with similar resonances. Appreciate you -- Turn it up!!