Tasmania’s The Sleepyheads make their return with the new single Nihilist, a playful take on the troubling times of 2020. Another taste of The Sleepyheads’ signature brand of punk-tinged indie rock, Nihilist sees the band team up with Bugs frontman Connor Brooker, who features on the track as a guest vocalist. The band answer a few questions about the single for Hi Fi Way.
How has the build up been to the new single Nihilist?
It was really exciting! We hadn’t released anything since our last single Better Luck Next Time back in October 2019, so it was really refreshing to be getting pumped about a release.
What is the background behind the single?
Nihilist was written in mid 2020. So, naturally, it was heavily influenced by what was happening (and is continuing to happen) to our industry. All that time off was also an opportunity for some self-reflection, which often makes its way into my lyrics.
What has the fan response been like so far?
It’s been unreal. I was a bit nervous about having such a big gap between releases. I thought whatever hype we’d be able to build might’ve fizzled out, but everyone has been so supportive and is really getting behind us!
How would you compare it sonically to some of your other music?
I think this single is fairly on-brand for us. It’s fun, catchy and pretty raw. We didn’t want to do anything too crazy after such a big break, but having Connor on the track really brought new dimensions to our sound. I’m really excited for people to hear the new songs we have in the works though, there’s definitely some new directions in there!
Is the band building towards an album or EP?
Yes! We are currently chipping away at our debut album. We’re very excited about it.
Does the music come before the lyrics?
It’s a bit of a mix. Our process used to heavily rely on me coming to the band with a fully formed song. Now it’s moved more toward focussing on the song structure, and then I’ll slot the lyrics in once that’s done.
Who would you say is the biggest shared musical influence/ inspiration for The Sleepyheads?
Between us we have a pretty wide array of influences. Although one record we all seemed to be clicking on recently is the new Sly Withers record. That’s been a big inspiration while recording our album.
Has the band lost much momentum over the last year due to the pandemic?
We were very lucky to be in a position where we were laying pretty low when it all hit. We had to cancel our own little festival we run, m8fest, which was rough, but other than that we were okay. It’s becoming more of a problem now, having tour dates postponed and airline hoarding our money in “flight credits”. We’re hoping it’ll be a little easier by the time we get our album out…but we’ll see!
Are you looking forward to being able to tour more broadly around the country this year?
We can’t wait. We’re at a point where we just want to release our new music and play it in as many new places as possible. That’s what’s next for us!
Interview By Rob Lyon