No Rest for the Rockin'

The Sleeping launches yet another tour, dozing be damned.

Ingmar Bergman Cries and Whispers Smiles of a Summer Night
The Long Island screamo band the Sleeping released its CD Questions and Answers more than a year ago. Singer Doug Robinson estimates they’ve had only a couple weeks off since then. “We’re just trying to reach new fans now,” he says. The group recently launched its first headlining tour, which Robinson says is a shot of inspiration. “We get to see how many people we’re bringing out.”

Robinson was born in New Jersey, but he says his proximity to the other members’ New York hometown and a shared list of favorite bands made them an ideal match from the very start. “It was the punk rock I grew up with mixed in with the melodic things people were doing on Long Island,” he says. The Sleeping released its debut album, Believe What We Tell You, in 2004. Not long after tours with Fall Out Boy and Taking Back Sunday, Chicago-based emo giant Victory Records scooped them up. “Every idea we had went on the first album,” says Robinson. “We’re now focusing more on melody and effects, and taking it all up.” Questions and Answers’ pummeling sound makes for an ideal video game companion. Little surprise that some of its songs can be heard in top-selling games. Anyone who’s spent more than five minutes playing Madden NFL ’07 or Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam should be familiar with the Sleeping. They’ve even been tapped for next year’s Guitar Hero III. “We’re definitely a tighter band now,” says Robinson. “We know each other so well, it’s a lot easier to mesh. We know each other’s styles.” But the record isn’t all crash-and-burn. Traces of prog and some truly abstruse noise waft through the album. “We’re like a jam band,” laughs Robinson. “We don’t structurally write songs. We just sorta jam together, and whatever sounds cool comes into play. We become hippies.”

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