In January 2014, four guys in band shirts sat nervously on a couch surrounded by guitar pedals and did something they'd never done before - they asked their fans to help fund the recording of their album.
Our nervousness was not needed - your incredible generosity led to a successful pre-order campaign, and ‘Love of Cartography’ was recorded on time and on budget, going on hit #31 in the ARIA charts, and achieving nominations for both an ARIA award and a J award.
Now, 2 and a half years later, we're back. Different couch. Same dream.
In case you don't remember us, hello, we're sleepmakeswaves, an instrumental rock band from Australia. As we promised last time, we've been touring...pretty relentlessly. Since recording ‘Love of Cartography’ we've been back to the UK and Europe twice, China, South East Asia, New Zealand, North America and looped around Australia so many times it would make you dizzy if you sped up the footage. We’ve shared stages with some incredible bands – Karnivool, Dead Letter Circus, The Contortionist, Opeth, Monuments, Skyharbor, This Will Destroy You, Tides from Nebula, Entheos to name a few…and of course a very special tour with the reunited legends in COG. We’ve also been able to play to some of the most supportive and enthusiastic fans all around the world and connected with many old and new friends.
In between all of this we've actually been squeezing in time to write again. This DIY touring is expensive and not easy to sustain. We have gladly sacrificed a lot of comforts to live this strange dream. We love doing what we do. In many ways it feels like we have no choice but to do it, but it also means that finding time to work in our day jobs and then save money for another record becomes increasingly difficult. It would take another 2 years to save up enough to record at the level we feel the music deserves.
So here we are again.
We are asking for a bit more than last time. $42,000 to help fund not just the recording of sleepmakeswaves album three, but also to support another touring cycle into Europe, Asia, North America and beyond. With your support, we can essentially fund our album through pre-ordered purchases, enabling us to once again work with production maestro Nick DiDia at the helm. We loved the live production and sonic character Nick achieved on the last album, and we want to rekindle this relationship to push both us and him out of our comfort zones and into something unique, expressive and heavy.
This new material we're working on is some of our most ambitious yet, pushing our musicianship to its limits. It reflects our experiences playing more shows than ever on the road, as well as the more solitary moments on tour while off the stage. We’re relishing the opportunity to record for the first time with Daniel Oreskovic (Meniscus) and his incredible and unique guitar playing. We're also really growing in the electronics side, complementing the riffs with lush and strange soundscapes. We have a strong vision for the music, production and packaging of this record into something very beautiful and unique in our discography.
Add into the mix the incredible support and energy you have given us at our live shows around the world and you can see why we're starting to feel pretty damn excited about what the future holds for this band.
If you’ve enjoyed a show and feel like what we have to say is worth sharing and worth hearing, then please consider throwing us your support. We have prepared a solid list of rewards for your pledges, and just like last time they're a nice mix of silly and serious.
We've also learned a thing or two from the last campaign about the time it takes to fulfil all of these rewards, and we will work harder than ever to ensure everyone gets their orders on time and in good condition.
As with the last campaign – this isn’t a charity and we’re not asking for donations. We’re simply running a pre-order campaign to help raise the cash flow to record and tour the album in advance. If you’re into what we do and have the means to support us in some small way, you know that we will honour that support by putting our hearts, minds and souls into this completely. We understand too that this might not be for everyone and some people might want to ‘try before you buy.’ We respect that. However please consider picking up one of the merch or back catalogue items available here or at our merch store if you want to go for something else – every little bit helps.
That's all from us. You know how this goes and hopefully by now you know that we're for real. We love music, we love performing, and we love his band. With your help, we can reach our next milestone, and continue growing this project that means so much to all of us.
WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? AREN’T YOU RAKING IN THE POST-ROCK DOLLARZ?
As we mentioned above – back in 2014, we did raise enough funds for our latest album, along with our own personal contributions. Since then, we’ve been fortunate enough to tour around the world and reach many more people with our music. Financially, we are in a pretty incredible position where we don’t lose heaps of money on tour and the band sometimes makes enough for us to buy food and pay our rent temporarily whilst we’re not working at home.
However, we don’t earn enough to pay rent the rest of the year, which means we all work jobs to do this. Earning our keep and working is something we’re proud of doing, in addition to being in this band. It just means that in order for us to raise sufficient funds to pay for a big up-front cost like recording, it takes a long time. So rather than go into debt, we’re asking our fans to trust that we’ll produce a record they like – and to pre-order a copy, or some merch, to help us fund it.
From there, it means we’ll have enough in the bank to go play for you around the world, without having to wait another 2 years to do all this. We aren’t asking for charity, or a donation, or for special treatment – this is just an advance pre-order campaign to help with the cash flow and make all this happen sooner, rather than much later. We have always appreciated the trust and support of our fans and will continue to work hard to deliver an album deserving of that support and a live show worthy of your time and money.
SOME OF OUR OTHER WORK
In addition to our travels around Australia and the world, since 2007 we have written and recorded several EPs and two LPs, all released independently. Each of these received some underground attention, culminating in ARIA nominations for ‘…and so we destroyed everything’ and ‘Love of Cartography’ in 2012 and 2014. Not bad for a band who doesn’t even sing, right?
We’ve also been fortunate enough to have our music played on triple j and community radio in Australia, college radio in the US and spins abroad at places like the BBC!
If you're new to our stuff - have a listen here: www.sleepmakeswaves.bandcamp.com
2007 – sleepmakeswaves demo – EP
2008 – in today already walks tomorrow – EP
2009 – split EP with Tangled Thoughts of Leaving
2010 – the obstacle is the path
2011 - …and so we destroyed everything
2013 - …and then they remixed everything
2014 – Love of Cartography
2016 – Audiotree Live - EP
How The Funds Will Be Used
Like last time, we will be heavily investing our own personal funds into this recording, but 60% of what we get here will go straight towards recording, mixing, mastering of album number three. We will also put this money towards artwork, manufacturing, distribution and publicity.
The remaining 40% will go towards upfront touring costs across Europe, North America and Asia. Flights and travel costs (including the dreaded excess baggage fees), van hire, gear hire, and where relevant, accommodation (don't worry, it's not going to be fancy). Visas are also a major cost now for touring bands and form a large part of the tour budget for the USA.
Writing and recording is always a demanding experience for us as we are really painful perfectionists. Before taking one step into the studio we will have every track pre-produced and mapped out in great detail, including everything from guitar parts, drum sounds, electronic EQs, tempo automation. All this will be done at home. The challenge will be enforcing deadlines on ourselves to ensure we don't get lost in the details before even beginning the recording.
Once we're in the studio we will work with the renowned Nick DiDia to translate these pre-produced files into the beautiful lush soundscapes he is known for. We know he will enforce immaculate performances out of each of us for every song, as well as know exactly how to realise the sonic character we want, and that's why we trust him to produce this album.
Another challenge will be Nick's habit of blasting 'Careless Whisper' out of his laptop when we least expect it. That sh*t sneaks up on you.
Touring wise, the biggest challenges are always personal. Leaving behind loved ones and stability to jump on a plane to foreign lands for often months at a time. Beyond that, there are obvious logistical challenges in executing a smooth and well-run tour, and we are lucky to have a strong support team of management and crew to ensure everything happens on time and we arrive at our correct destinations with all our gear (and valid visas).