Interview: Sleep Steady

A rather spontaneous project that was completed over the course of a few months, ‘Summer Over-Seize EP’ features production from artists overseas topped off with vocals from the Seattle-based duo Sleep Steady.

The concept of the EP sort of plays with the idea of both physically and psychologically traveling to foreign places: each song on the tracklist has a unique sound as each is produced by a different artist, and each song touches on different states of mind.

The Find Magazine hooks up with both Perry Porter and CARLisDEAD of Sleep Steady to discuss their brand new EP.

In the press release you say every track has its own sound. Can you elaborate on that? What sounds and how do they match your lyrics exactly?

CiD: Each track has its own sound because we had a different producer compose each track (me, King Zigg Zag, Doctrations, ICBM, and Peter Prosetti). I don’t recall asking anyone except ICBM for a specific type of sound. We told him the concept and asked him for some beats that remind him of summertime, but other than that we just picked our favorite beats from the other producers.

From there we just listened to the beats a few times and discussed subject matter according to the emotion felt in the beat, and we arranged them like a comedy with the lighter songs opening and closing the EP, surrounding the darkest song ‘King of Golgotha’, produced by Doctrations.

We emphasize concepts and lyrics differently than most rappers- we attempt to match our vocals to the beat emotionally and translate its sound into comprehensible words more than we try to impress people with our wordplay and punchlines (though that is something we strive to do, it’s not our main goal).

Subject matter such as depression and loneliness sound serious. Is everything based on true personal stories?

Perry: Everything I write is a personal story, it’s more meaningful that way. My idea is to write my pain into a coded language. Forcing listeners to keep listening, and hopefully they will grow a connection with me through my music.

CiD: I base nearly everything I write off of true personal stories that are sometimes embellished to make it more extreme. The point is to use real experience as a foundation, and then to draw out each emotion to the extreme.

Is the EP be as serious as the subjects, or does it also contain more playful material?

CiD: The EP definitely does not sound as serious as the subjects. We like to touch on heavy subjects in a lighthearted way because it adds a little uncertainty for the listener. Plus, no one wants to hear artists whine that much anymore. The only song that’s more about analytical listening than enjoyment is ‘King of Golgotha’. ICBM’s ‘Funky Sunn’ is pretty serious too, but is still a somewhat easy listen. All the other songs, especially ‘Run Boy’ and ‘Del Boka Vista’ by King Zigg Zag, are pretty playful and relaxed.

Was it done on purpose to select producers mostly from overseas? If so, why?

Perry: Well, we were already in talks with most of the producers before the EP came to the table. So the EP kinda created itself, I guess. It just took us some time to realize the blessing of having such a wide range of talent over the globe. We just had to use it to our advantage, and thus the EP idea was created.

As an artist, how do you make sure the end result is exactly the way you want it to be without being able to meet the producers face-to-face?

CiD: We just tried to remain real flexible and not do anything too unorthodox on this project. It was a last minute type of thing, and we figured the best results would come with a simple result given our timeframe. So it just took recording according to however each song was previously arranged by the producer, and then letting them take it from there. We were confident that each producer knew how to make their song shine.

Can you describe every producer you worked with on this EP and describe why you exactly loved working with him?

Perry: First off, it was an amazing experience working with everyone. Everyone brought so much to the table. We had dudes like ICBM and Doctrations that kept going back to the beat and switching things up to add to the song itself. You know, all the little thing people never realize. They’re the two hardest working producers I’ve ever had the chance to work with.

Then we had Peter. You can still he was hungry to get his music out here, so he was always choppin’ it up with us about song concepts and structures. You could really feed off his passion to make something big.

Y’all already know Ziggy! I mean. He did My Walk, Man people, haha. We got a good bond on a friendship level, so the music just followed suit. Making music with him is like kicking with the homies. You sit around bullshitting and joking about ideas and BAM! We got a hit. And there’s really no point bringing up CiD, haha. We’re Sleep Steady. We’re pretty much the same soul in two bodies. It’s gotten to point where we don’t really talk about the music anymore. It just happens.

The concept of the EP is about physically and psychological travelling. If I’d give you an unlimited budget, what would be your personal ultimate holiday/trip and why?

CiD: Easy- a trip around the world that stops at every single major music festival throughout the year. Of course, I’d be going along with my besties Whit, Tom, and my lady Jess (she thought up this grand idea). 

Perry: Shit. Around world stopping at every major art museum and landscape, just me and my girlfriend!

What ‘journey’ are you taking as an artist now; what do you want your ‘final destination’ to be?

Perry: Just focusing on making good ass music, man. I love pushing myself with new sounds and concepts, so I couldn’t really tell you where it’ll take me. But I know forsure I do want Sleep Steady to be a full band sooner or later, haha, that’s a must.

CiD: I’m focusing on straying away from sampling. I’d much rather create music using my bass, guitar, keyboards, and my MPC (but as a drum machine more than a sampler). Eventually, I hope that Sleep Steady grows into a full band. If not, then I hope The Forte (me and my bud Zach) grows into a full band.

More info: Sleep Steady
Download EP: Here