Brisbane based five-piece, The Art Of Sleeping are currently winning the hearts and minds of music fans and critics across the country with their indie/folk/rock sound. Ahead of their EP release, Paul Fellowes chatted to frontman Caleb Hodges about beginnings, playing Fat As Butter and their ever-growing fan base.
By Paul Fellowes
There is a little bit of mystery about the band and it’s beginnings – can you fill us in?
Jean-Paul (drums) and Jarryd (keys) went to school together and used to jam as a two piece. I had been writing songs by myself for a while and we started hanging out and playing music. When we first got together, we were just meeting up to play music that we liked and didn’t really have any intention of being a band. Francois (bass) is Jean-Paul’s brother so it was a natural choice. We actually went out looking for a guitarist and found Pat at a blues night in Brisbane’s West End – absolutely pulling the place apart. We are kind of lucky in the sense, that because we didn’t plan on being a band we got the chance to find our feet musically and develop naturally, away from any pre-conceived idea of what our sound should become.
Who would you say are your influences in music?
You might not guess it from listening to our songs, but I listen to a lot of old blues like Robert Johnson or Son House. There is something about those old simple recordings that I really love. I really appreciate the honesty in their songwriting. Also, I got to watch Band of Skulls set at Splendour this year – and it was one of the best things I have ever seen – so I’ve had them on repeat lately.
How have those influences helped to get you where you are?
We don’t really try to force our music in any particular direction. We all listen to a really wide range of music which I’m sure inspires our sound in some way. The one thing that we collectively strive to achieve with our sound is to create music that is honest and heartfelt – because that is what most inspired us when listening to other artists.
You’ve recently released single, Above The Water, which seems to have been embraced upon arrival, explain the buzz you’ve gained over the last couple of months?
The last few months have been really exciting and we have really embraced the opportunity to travel and play in so many great places around Australia. Our most recent release ‘Above The Water‘ is a song that we really love playing live, so it’s good to hear people like the recording. It still feels overwhelming playing in a town where you have never been and people know the words to your songs. We are happiest when we are on the road playing music that we enjoy and if people get excited about it then what could be better.
You’re going to be travelling with The Paper Kites, an equally as respectable band in terms of status, this month. How do you feel about that coming up?
We have been really excited for this one! Being on the road is always fun and watching talented musicians like The Paper Kites play every night for free is an obvious bonus. Also, it’s a great timing to be touring as our new EP will be released just before the tour starts so I’m really looking forward to playing all those new songs for everyone.
Speaking of status, you’ve recently reached over 10,000 fans on Facebook, obviously quite the feat for any band – it must be a humbling/overwhelming feeling?
The Facebook is a naughty beast, but if people liking our page correlates in some way to people enjoying our music then I am happy. We are always shocked and overwhelmed by how supportive people are of our music, so I really enjoy keeping everyone updated on what we are up to via things like Facebook and Instagram.
You recently played Fat As Butter festival – what was that experience like?
We had so much fun at Fat As Butter! The location for the festival was right on the beach and it was perfect spring weather. They had those mini golf buggies to drive the artists around to each stage and because it was really sandy, they kept getting bogged. Our buggy got bogged and our sound guy attempted to push it out for the lovely girl who was driving. In his gallant display of masculinity, he managed to break the whole windscreen off the buggy and smash it into the poor girl’s hand. His face was bright red for the rest of the night.
I always make a point of not missing The Rubens set, which is always good, but the surprise standout for me was Hunting Grounds. I had not seen them play live before and they absolutely destroyed the stage (in a good way) and were so entertaining to watch, I loved it!
You’ve got a few touring plans in Australia to help launch the EP – are you hoping to travel further abroad and head overseas at some stage?
I’m a gypsy and my feet are always itchy so I’m hoping sooner than later, but at the moment we are really focusing on the release of our new EP and letting Aussie ears hear it first.
What’s next for The Art Of Sleeping?
We are just about to release our new EP, which we are really excited about! It’s called ‘Like A Thief’ and will be out on Friday the 12th of October, just before we head out on a national tour with The Paper Kites.
Many thanks to Caleb for taking the time to chat to Paul. You can find out more information about the band, the EP and upcoming tour dates at: http://www.facebook.com/theartofsleeping