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Interview: While She Sleeps


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In metal music a band has to do something pretty special to stand out from the crowd. With This IsThe Six  While She Sleeps have done just that, with the immense debut studio album propelling them out of the underground and straight into the forefront of the UK heavy scene. After all it’s not every day that a metal band get played by Fearne Cotton’s on 11am on Radio 1.

As TNS sit down with one of rock’s hot prospects it’s clear that there is a lot of excitement surrounding the band with everyone from Radio 1’s Dan Carter to Kerrang magazine lining up to tip them for huge things. And why not?

In previous years it could be said that heavy music had a glass ceiling, but bands such as Architects and Bring Me The Horizon very much changed the game, with the later headlining the UK stop of warped tour this year. With such bands paving the way, the sky is the limit for While She Sleeps.

Speaking about this breakthrough, guitarist Sean Long said: "A lot more is possible now that the boundaries of heavy music are getting pushed and we’re proud of that. We’ve made our way on to theRadio 1 playlist and we’re probably the heaviest thing on there."

Guitarist Mat Welsh added: "It’s really good to see it spreading and heavy music becoming a more acceptable thing and a more normal thing."

It is a welcome development no doubt, with the stigma surrounding the metal community both unjust and inaccurate.

With the expansion of heavy music leading to the band being played on Radio 1 during the day, another step has been taken in the right direction.

Speaking about the achievement, Welsh said: "It’s very difficult and a massive victory for a band as heavy us to get on that early in the morning. We’re raising awareness of moshers!"

Inside the rock community While She Sleeps have been earning plenty of plaudits as well, including best new band at this year's Kerrang awards. Speaking of the achievement, Welsh said: "We’ve been doing the same thing for almost 10 years, so it's really rewarding to be part of this growing movement in music."

Long added: "It's really nice to see such positive energy from different companies and people. It all seems like a really positive time for us and for heavy music. It’s nice to see everyone getting behind it."

The energy behind the band has led to their album This is The Six being hotly anticipated. It is a ferocious effort and much heavier than The North Stands For Nothing. When asked about the album, Long said: "It’s The North Stands for Nothing but with the contrast turned up."

Welsh added: "It’s a million times heavier; we’ve sort of given it more of a Slipknot vibe without even meaning to."

The album actively demonstrates aspects of other genres in their music, with the band more than happy to display their eclectic influences. Speaking about the sound of the album, Welsh said: "We’re not sticking to a genre, we’re throwing that out the window and we’ve just gone with our gut and what feels right to us."

Long agreed, adding: "We hope it will open peoples eyes and show that you don’t have to be so genre based, and just like music for the sound of it and the feeling it gives you. We’re really not a fan of limiting bands to restrictive subgenres, if you like a band why should it matter?’

One of the bands influences is clear upon a first listen to This Is The Six. The lyrics are undeniably punk in nature and displaying the bands views on what Long describes as: "Our opinions on the nation, the youth, our experiences and the life that we live."

Elaborating, he reveals: "We’re just trying to spread a message and create a positive wave and encourage people to think for themselves and do what they want to do instead of being pushed into anything." An admirable aim as anyone will agree.

Welsh elaborates, expressing his gratitude that the growth of the band has enabled more people to hear what they have to say: "On our last album we were earning a right to speak and airing our opinions. With that album going down really well we’ve earned a new stage to stand on and new people to talk to."

In While She Sleeps heavy music has another game changer. The band are turning the heads of fans of music, not just metal fans. They are a band that are not afraid of pushing the boat out and expanding their sound without sacrificing their integrity. While She Sleeps are ushering in a new era for British heavy music one ferocious riff at a time. 


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