Band Q+A | Sleeptalks

As you probably know, the SF Zine Fest is having a terrific Benefit Show this Thursday at Amnesia, with some great indy bands contributing their time, energy, and musical awesomeness to the Zine Fest cause! Just as we've been been highlighting our amazing exhibitors in a series of Creator Q+As this month, over the next few days we'll be giving you a peek into the lives and thoughts of these great musicians. First up are Jim, MaryAnn, Jas, Will & Dan of Sleeptalks! Stay tuned for more, and we'll see you at the show!

Q. What inspired your current musical project? Influences?
A: Life in general and our good friendship. Of the musical influences we list here, these are some of the stereotypes: AIR, StereoLab, Broadcast, the Stranglers, the Pixies, the Zombies, Black Moth Super Rainbow, KptMichigan, Pinback & Yo La Tengo to name a few. However, our musical backgrounds are a mixed bag ranging from electro psychedelic pop to oldies to punk rock to classic hip hop, etc. All of these have directly influenced our approach as musicians and creators.

Q. What is your all-time favorite band/album/zine/etc (by someone other than you)? Who is your DIY hero?
A: There are just too many great bands to declare a personal favorite and that's a positive thing. We live in an era with so many creative outlets it's almost overwhelming. Though I will say with out artists such as Andy Warhol, Richard Kern, Haruki Murakami, Melvins, Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo and the Pixies our world would be very very grey
My personal DIY hero: Thurston Moore

Q. Do you have a personal connection to the DIY/small-press world? Did you ever do a zine or similar project? Can you describe it for us?
A: Well our ages range from 21 to 32… some of us have been playing in the local scene for over 15 years and for some of us, this is our first band. All of us have a personal passion for music & art and it is who we are. Will has hosted a radio a show called Scatterbrain Radio on 90.1fm KZSU for the past 6 years and has hosted an annual 2 day benefit called 'The Scatterbrain Jamboree' for the past 4 years for the SF AIDS Foundation.

Q. What would you like to see more of in the indy-music world? What similarities do you see (if any) between the music scene and the small-press world?
A: More youth… you could never have too much of that and more connections between the art/music scenes within the Bay Area (ie SF, Oakland and SJ). All three areas have a host of bands that are amazing and we should be doing more to play & work together. The members of Sleeptalks all live in SF and there are so many great places to play, but what Todd is doing at the Gingerbread House in SJ and what Larry is doing at the Uptown in Oakland have been very positive contributions to the Bay Area music scene. The biggest similarity between the music scene (DIY specific) and the small-press world is freedom of expression and a genuine passion with out the influence of greed.

Q. If you could give advice to an aspiring musician or other creator, what would it be? What advice do you wish you had gotten when you were starting out?
A: Stick to your guns and believe in yourself. Don't take things personal when you fail, thicken your skin and keep working. Good projects come from hard work and dedication.

Q. In addition to the kind of music you will be playing at the SFZF Benefit Show, what other creative pursuits do you have? Hobbies? Passions?
A: Well music is pretty much the objective of our lives. I think it's safe to say we are who are as a direct result of the music we've surrounded ourselves with through out the years. As previously stated Will does college radio, but he as well as MaryAnn have done some low budget short films, while Jim & Jas have spent hours at their computers creating tones and new songs.

Q. What are you working on now? What are you gonna do next?
A: We've just mastered our debut EP and are looking to release it in the Fall. We've just worked in a new drummer Dan and we're already working on our next release and should be heading back into the studio in November.