While She Sleeps: Interview with Sean Long

While She Sleeps band photo 2012

While She Sleeps are one of the UK’s hottest properties in metal right now. James was lucky enough to catch up with WSS’s guitarist Sean a couple of weeks ago ahead of While She Sleeps support slot with Asking Alexandria.

So you’ve got the Asking Alexandria Tour in January are you looking forward to taking the While She Sleeps show into much larger venues on this tour?

Yeah, can’t wait I mean we haven’t been out for two months then we’re going to be going out with those guys and it’s like three thousand to five thousand cap rooms every night

Do you think that with the size of venue you’re playing does your setlist or stagecraft change in terms of how your setlist is structured and how you move about on-stage?

Yeah, yeah, totally. In smaller venues we use different intro’s and stuff and for bigger venues we use this other intro  and then you have to play louder because the sound is different in bigger venues.

So 2012 was a really good year for While She Sleeps was there ever a moment in the past year where you’ve had to really pinch yourself and go “yeah, this is really happening”

Yeah man it were the Kerrang awards for me.

Because you won two there didn’t you?

No, we won best british newcomer at Kerrang which were amazing  then we won the “best debut album” in Germany which was also sick as fuck. Just even winning awards is mental.

Obviously you’ve put quite a lot of work into While She Sleeps, does winning awards feel justified to you, given the amount of effort you’ve put into the band?

I mean, best british newcomer we’ve been doing it for six years so to win an award to say that we’re the best in that, it sort of says “ahh sweet it is actually worth it. People actually like it!”

You’ve been touring the UK for six years and you’ve sort of stepped up into the limelight in the past few years was there any particular tour where you felt that While She Sleeps had performed particularly well and that you were ready to move on and get a lot bigger?

Yeah, erm every tour that we do is sort of like one step up and then the next ones even better, its all training I guess. This tour coming up we’re not even nervous, we’re looking forward to it, we want to get playing again!

So there hasn’t really been a particular tour like your headlining tour?

My memory is so shit man its unreal! To be honest the Kerrang tour were quite a mental tour, playing with big bands and letlive and new found glory and stuff and like touring with big bands.

The Kerrang tour was in quite big venues as well and had quite a big impact on the anticipation for This Is the Six, do you think the Asking Alexandria tour might have a similar impact?

Erm I hope so, I don’t know if it’ll be like that. I know its quite a young range of kids in these shows I don’t know if they’re our sort of fans or what but I’m pretty sure that them kids are gonna like us, I think we’re gonna go down pretty well.

Do you have any favourite bands to go on tour with?

I’d like to tour with letlive. again they’re really awesome dudes. I’d like to tour with Polar again err, Feed The Rhino again, Bleed From Within, every band we’ve toured with are sweet dudes and we’d definitely do it again.

So its been Radio One Rock Week this week has it been quite odd just turning on the radio and hearing something like your band playing on Radio One in the middle of the afternoon or do you sort of just take it for granted?

Its just amazing, I mean I’ve got people from school texting me going “oh my god just heard your band on radio one” its awesome, it should be on at that time you know what I mean?

Is there any particular plan for this year? Because you obviously had ‘This Is The Six’ out last year, so is it just going to be more touring or are you going to try and release more video’s, do you even have an overarching plan?

Erm, we’re going to be releasing something, can’t tell you if its going to be a video or new music, but we are releasing something this year other than that its just going to be touring for the year.

You had quite a big reaction to the North Stands For Nothing. Did it surprise you at all when you released that?

Oh yeah, yeah, even more so than this time. That album we just went out to do another little  EP that we’ve always done like a 3-song demo or whatever and before we knew it, it had turned into four tracks, five tracks, eight tracks and then before we knew it we had a little label and they released it and then a year later people got on it so yeah, didn’t expect that at all.

So it sort of built and built with The North Stands For Nothing rather than exploding This Is The Six Has?

Oh yeah, yeah, yeah totally

Just on the subject of touring again obviously you’re doing the tour with Asking Alexandira, what do While She Sleeps spend their time doing in-between when they’re not travelling do you have any favourite band activities?

A few of us like to go swimming most of the rest of the time we’re just drinking or getting smashed on the way to the next gig, sleeping, I dunno I think we’re going to try and do more band activities on this tour I think that’s one of our plans.

Are they any bands that have been particular fun to party with on tour?

Yes. Let me think… erm, my memories so crap! New Found Glory partied pretty hard, Feed The Rhino love to party. Bleed From Within, everyone loves to party there!

Do you think the success of While She Sleeps and the success of the British metal scene at the moment has anything to do with bands such as Bullet or Bring Me? Do you think having bigger bands like that already established has been really helpful for While She Sleeps?

Yeah man, they really put the foot in the door with the whole radio thing, if Bring Me didn’t get on radio maybe it wouldn’t have been possible for us to get out. I think theres a big impact, the fact that we got on and other heavy bands were getting on, I think its just going to become more the norm in the next couple of years.

So do you think theres going to be even more of this rock and metal breaking out?

Yeah, yeah, totally man like one hundred percent.

Well thanks very much for your time I’ve just got one final question – do you think you could deck a horse with one punch?

Deck a horse?

Yeah, knock it out,

Errm yeah, I reckon I could.

Thanks very much for your time

No Problem.

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