Infinite Sleep Interview
Written & Produced by Meryl DeWitt | Edited by Tamara Grant
Photos by Watkins Media, Kena Crawford Photography
Melodic Hardcore/Post-Hardcore band Infinite Sleep hails from the heart of San Jose. Like any good band, they strive to create great music that people enjoy listening to. Recently I had a chat with the band about their music, influences, and more!
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Meryl DeWitt: Back in April, you released an album, “The Tradition of Falling Cycles”. What is your favorite song to play live off of it?
Jesse Leandro: My favorite track would have to be "Way Of Sorrows". The song starts of with a riff that when playing it live feels like a deep inhale and then an intense 30 minutes (or however long our set is that night) exhale of conviction. Also, lyrically wise it's my favorite because its letting people like ourselves know, hey, we may not fit your molds or worship you idols, but that doesn't make us wrong, just like it doesn't make you right. Get off your soap box.
Randall Woo: My favorite song to play off that album is "Without Me, There Is No You" because it starts off with a lot of energy and, in my opinion has some fun and unexpected changes.
Meryl: Is there any song you feel is a black sheep on the album?
Jesse: Hmm the black sheep would have to be “Days Of Nothing" in my opinion. It's a little out of left field. We probably should have just released that as a single like we did with "A Secret Goodbye" which is available on our Bandcamp for free.
Randall: Definitely, I feel like there are a few candidates for black sheep of the album, but my vote is for "Chuck Mosley" since it's one of our softer songs and it sounds pretty different from the rest of the album.
Meryl: What's your favorite local venue to play and how do you feel about your local scene?
Jesse: My favorite place to play was Rockbar in San Jose but unfortunately it has shut down. I've played and seen some of the greatest shows there! It was run by a real hero in my opinion; a rad guy named Jimmy that gave bands a shot and was always kind no matter the stress level. The Bay Area scene all in all is pretty great. Don't get me wrong there's cliques like a mofo but the Bay Area is a place that is starving for heavy music and I think touring bands that play there can sense that, hence the great promoters like Joel Haston being able to bring huge awesome bands into closet sized venues.
Meryl: Craziest thing that's ever happened during a show?
Jesse: Craziest thing that ever happened during our set was last year at the Sofa Fest (one of the Bay Area's only music fests) some, rather I say stacked, InfiniteSleep supporter decided she didn't need her knocker supporter and watched the whole set topless! It was a bit distracting and pretty crazy! In a cool way (laughs).
Meryl: Who's the band's trouble maker and what's the worst trouble he's ever gotten himself or the band into?
Jesse: I'd have to say Infinite Sleep has always had drummer issues in the past. From drummers not showing up for a show with Suffokate, to a drummer making us get a replacement drummer for a two week tour 14 days before tour. All that's behind us now though; we’re good.
Meryl: At band practice, who's the most likely to eat the entire kitchen?
Jesse: Justin (bass) would probably eat the kitchen. That dude’s like all buff but he eats soo much crap! He must take gnarly dumps!
Randall: My vote is for myself. I'm always looking for good places to eat any place that we have a show!
Meryl: Who's most likely to be late?
Jesse: I'm always late I'm on telemundo time which means I don't get to practice till Metástasis (the Spanish Breaking Bad) is over.
Meryl: Who usually is the hardest to find before a show and where will you end up finding him?
Jesse: Usually Cris (guitar) is the hardest to find. He's like Houdini; you'll be laughing with him about something one sec and then the next you'll get a text from him saying that he's home. Freaking Houdini over here. It's not hard to find him though, just follow the smoke and Cheech and Chong like aroma.
Meryl: Is there anyone, real or fictional, that you could credit for initially inspiring you to become a musician?
Jesse: My musical inspiration came from an old SNL (Saturday Night Live) repeat on Comedy Central. The host was John Goodman and the musical guest was none other than Faith No More. I remember being blown away by his awesome voice and seizure-like headbanging. After that, I was hooked on Everything FNM (Faith No More). Mike Patton's range is soo wide and soo creative, and as a kid seeing that just made me want to do what he did; it made me want to be in a band like FNM . Keep in mind, growing up I was only exposed to cholo oldies and my mom's Aerosmith records. But Faith No More showed me that music could still be pretty and soothing and still remain heavy and creative. Thanks, Lorne Michaels!
Randall: What first got me into music was playing saxophone in the school band throughout middle school/high school. I did eventually lose my interest in that, and discovered the guitar, which I've been playing ever since. I thought it was so cool being able to play along to my favorite songs and bands such as Foo Fighters and Thrice.
Meryl: What three albums do you want to be buried with?
Jesse: I would like to be buried with Angel Dust by Faith No More. To this day, I still find new things such as sounds,textures, and whispers I've never noticed before. Far Beyond Driven by Pantera. This record got me through soo much horrible shit in my life. One line in particular: "Orphaned to the dope and drinks, I learned my lesson well somehow from you. No tears. Can't clutch my regrets. But these years of detachment." And Jane Doe by Converge. Simply Put Jacob Bannon and Kurt Ballou are amazing fucking geniuses.
Randall: Diary by Sunny Day Real Estate.I still get chills when I hear songs like "Seven". I'd never heard anything like this band or Jeremy Enigk's voice when I heard it for the first time. Thursday by Full Collapse. An album in which I know every song by heart and that I will never get tired of listening to. And Misery Signals - Of Malice and the Magnum Heart. To this day, I feel like there's nothing else out there like this album. Even the band's other albums don't compare.
Meryl: Finally, where would you like to be in your career exactly a year from now?
Jesse: I would like Infinite Sleep to be making music we love, touring to places we've never been before, and paying our dues! Opening for whoever to show that we actually give a shit, we want to be here, and we want to play music that we love for people that will lend us their ears.