Anthony Fitzpatrick and Justin Melchor of California-based alternative band Sleeptalk took time out to chat with Loud Hailer.
Sleeptalk recently released the single “100x.” Over the last few months, they have been working on new material, including the two latest tracks. As with many others, this quarantine hasn’t been easy for the band, specifically while writing. Musicians typically draw from real-life experiences when writing new music, which is made particularly difficult when they’re not able to perform or tour.
Anthony and Justin chatted to us about the struggles of writing during quarantine, an exclusive update on the changes they’ve made to their release schedule, and how they’ve contributed to campaigns to save their favorite music venues like the iconic Troubadour.
LH: Hi! How are you guys?
Anthony: Good, how are you?
LH: I’m doing great!
Anthony: Yeah, despite everything that’s happening, you know, we’re doing alright.
Justin: Yeah, making it through day by day. How about yourself?
LH: Honestly, about the same. Trying to make the best of everything.
Justin: Yeah, we were kind of… we had talked about it like earlier in the week. We were like shit, you know it’s not really the time to be doing this but we’ve had it set up now for like over a month and a half so we were kind of like shit, we kind of need to go through with it you know and, but here we are.
LH: Yeah, and it’s been three years since I last interviewed you guys and I know a lot has happened. You guys have achieved a lot, released a lot of new stuff and I still listen to that self-titled album to this day.
Justin: Oh thanks! That’s awesome. Yeah, thank you for listening. Yeah, definitely very true. A lot has changed in three years, our sound, just kind of like the way we do music as a band, the recording process to doing our own shows and all that stuff. Being on tour we’ve had some experiences throughout this year we definitely have taken into our new music that we are releasing. It’s supposed to release today, actually. That song sounds more like the album than the song that came after.
Anthony: Yeah, that’s for sure.
LH: How has all this quarantine stuff been for you guys and your families?
Anthony: It’s been alright, you know. It has definitely been a change, you know. We were as a band, you know, we used to meet up almost every single day, if not every day like three to four times a week and when all this went down we really, we’ve been taking it seriously so we haven’t really been seeing each other so much, so that’s been kind of hard on us. But, you know, we pulled through and we’ve done a couple of days where we were able to shoot the music video, shoot the cover and all that stuff. As far as our families, it’s been hard on everyone. You know, it changes your everyday routine, and it’s really hard, but everyone’s well, everyone’s healthy.
LH: That’s really good. Have you been watching TV shows or everyone’s been baking back when quarantine began? Anything special?
Justin: It’s been so long I feel like it has been a year that we’ve been in quarantine. Man, I’ve watched a lot of stuff.
Anthony: I thought it had been a year.
Justin: I know, man. I’ve watched I think Space Force on Netflix. I think that came out during quarantine. And then actually I’ve been watching a lot of shows that have been out for a long time that I’ve never watched them. Like this show, How I Met Your Mother, I just started watching that.
Anthony: Great series, great series.
Justin: So been kind of doing that. I’ve been getting through my movie list. Paul, our bass player, and Tyler, our drummer, helped me create a list of all these classic movies that I’ve never seen and everyone always goes, “How have you not seen them still?” I’m getting through them.
Anthony: My girlfriend and I cook every single night and we were baking a lot. I’ve definitely watched a lot of movies. Our roommate has never seen any of the Marvel movies, so we went through the whole MCU in order. And we’ve never seen any of the Harry Potter movies, so we watched the Harry Potter series. I’ve also watched a lot of TV shows in full.
Justin: I did just finish all of the Lord of the Rings. It was quite an accomplishment.
LH: Those movies are so long!
Justin: Yeah, well. Quarantine, you know.
Anthony: How about you? Are you just running through shows?
LH: Right now I’m running through all of CSI.
Anthony: Nice! Which one?
LH: Las Vegas.
Anthony: Hah! At the beginning of quarantine, I watched like six or seven seasons of it, and I kind of just stopped. Like, I stay up and can’t ever sleep, so I stay up until 5am just watching CSI.
LH: I’ve also just been rewatching Glee because I used to love that show.
Anthony: Yeah, I haven’t seen Glee in years. That’s been around for like 10+ years, right? It’s crazy.
LH: What are some big differences writing during quarantine and this whole situation?
Justin: I would say, obviously, we can’t meet up. Usually, we are able to crank out a new one or an idea, get a demo recorded together. But we have been…. it’s been kinda weird going into quarantine with a lot of material already recorded. We were already into the next stage of mixing and getting the artwork and planning out the releases, also getting the videos shot. Not past the writing stuff, ’cause we are always writing but, we do have a whole batch of songs that are already completely recorded and just need to get into the rotation of the release schedule. So doing that has been kinda challenging because usually, we are able to plan shows around the release and have more of a normal release. We are trying to adjust to the COVID situation and release accordingly.
Anthony: For me, writing, as Justin said. Literally, the week before quarantine happened I finished recording vocals on four songs.
Justin: Yeah, four or five.
Anthony: And then we had those songs done for a while and we have a ton more. And normally when I write, I write of experiences and situations I’ve been in, and stuff like that. So with the whole quarantine situation, not being able to go out, not being able to experience anything, I’ve really had to take the backseat in a way, and think outside the box. So it’s been a little difficult. At first, I was very unmotivated, I just wanted to play video games all day.
Justin: Dude, same.
Anthony: But, I think it’s starting to work itself out. But it’s definitely been an experience writing during quarantine, that’s for sure.
LH: What video games have you guys been playing?
Justin: Madden. We played Madden for a little bit there.
Anthony: Yeah, I was playing Madden. I played MLB: The Show, and then I also played Grand Theft Auto Online.
Anthony: And I played NBA 2k for a while and a little bit of Fortnite here and there.
Justin: Not Call of Duty.
Anthony: Yeah, I’m not very good at Fortnite. Grand Theft Auto is very funny because you have all these little kids selling drugs and then killing you, and then talking crap to you. So it’s pretty funny. I’m really excited for the new PlayStation. It’s only a couple more months.
LH: So, two new singles were just released. Does this mean a new album is coming soon?
Anthony: So that’s a great question.
Justin: Should we spill the beans… or what?
Anthony: Yeah, let’s spill the beans.
Anthony: So as Justin said, right before we went into quarantine, we finished nine or ten songs. I think ten. Originally, we were just going to release them all singles. We had about six singles planned out throughout the year, and then at the end of March of next year, we were planning on putting together two EPs while we continue to write and continue our growth. But due to everything that’s been happening, we decided to only put out four songs this year. We are gonna release them all as singles, but once the last single is released, it’s gonna be a full project, which is gonna be called, as of right now, it’s gonna be called A Reason To Stay EP. It’s very electronic.
Justin: We may potentially put out a remake of an old song, or an older song, or something like that. We are sort of playing around with different ideas. Some things that we haven’t done before. Maybe an acoustic song or a cover. We are definitely still trying to figure out those potential extra tracks on that EP at the end of the year.
Anthony: The EP will be fully out by December 1st. So yeah, it’s gonna turn itself into an EP and we have another EP ready to go for the next year as well.
Justin: The EP in December is gonna be a little more on the electronic side like Anthony said. And then the next one after that in the new year is gonna be back like that [self-titled] album kind of vibe. Like a whole band, just that Sleeptalk sound.
LH: That’s really exciting how close we all are to the release!
Justin: Yeah, we’ve been working really hard. Me and Anthony always FaceTime and have shared notes. We worked really hard, trying to keep the content rolling.
Anthony: Yeah, “100x” just came out, and we are already halfway through getting everything done, or actually 75% of the way, for the next single that comes out in October. You’re the first to hear that, but yeah. We are shooting a music video for it next week. The month has come super fast, like it’s already September.
Justin: I can’t believe the song’s out now, like woah!
Anthony: Yeah, it’s all coming up quick. It’s good, keeping ourselves busy.
LH: What are your favorite songs you’ve written? Past, present, future, or never gonna be released.
Anthony: I’m gonna go with one of the songs that is gonna come out next year.
Justin: Yeah, me too. I think we are talking about the same one.
Anthony: Yeah, as of right now, the working track is called “Boys” but I think its gonna be called “Trip With Me.” It’s about a Coachella experience that I had last year, the last Coachella ever, as of this state. Yeah, that’s my favorite song. If you wanna talk about the older stuff, I would even have to go with our first full length and say probably “Midnight / 3,2,1” or “Love.” I really love those songs a lot.
Justin: Yeah, mine is “Indio, California.” “Indio” is tight, too. I would say the new one for the new stuff, and “dontbesoblue” and “Desert Daze.”
LH: Who would you like to collaborate most with?
Anthony: For me, in the same session it would be really rad to have Tom DeLonge and Matt Healy.
Justin: That would be so gnarly, I would be so stoked. But I was just listening to the new Lovely The Band record, I think it would be really cool to collaborate on a song with them. They’re really good songwriters, the new album sounds great. I’m also a really big fan of Tycho and Odesza and Disclosure and stuff like that. I think it would be really cool to have a Sleeptalk/electronic collaboration. That would be really cool.
LH: Who influences your music the most?
Anthony: I can speak for almost everyone in the band, but Blink-182 is a huge inspiration to me and my brother, Jason, the other guitarist. We grew up listening to Blink. So Blink, The 1975 for me.
Justin: Instrumentally, Angels & Airwaves, for sure.
Anthony: It kind of all varies, we all listen to a lot of the same music, but we also all listen to very different music. Not so much country, but we pretty much listen to anything. It depends on what kind of mood I’m in. I listen to a lot of electronic music, as well as rap music. I think it all varies
Justin: I was listening to Juicy J the other day.
LH: Besides the new singles and EPs coming out, what do you see in the future for Sleeptalk?
Anthony: Touring. A lot of it. If we are ever able to play shows again.
Justin: Totally agree. I miss it. I had some of my best memories on tour with the guys, so I definitely can’t wait to do that again. I would also like to see our numbers go up on Spotify and have more people listen to our music. It’s sort of our goal.
LH: Loads of venues have been shut down due to COVID. What’s your favorite venue?
Justin: The Troubadour.
Anthony: The Troubadour. 100%. It was actually really cool. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the band Moontower, but we did a virtual show with them, back in early July. Half of the proceeds went to the Know Your Rights Campaign, and this campaign that was helping venues stay open and giving proceeds to them. So it was really cool to do that. Actually, the Troubadour was on that list of possibly not being able to stay open and keep going. That venue is just so iconic. Elton John has played there, that is where he made his come-up. Tons of bands have come up out of there. It’s really cool that some people are doing that. The Troubadour is like our home.
LH: Will we be seeing more live-streams?
Anthony: Yeah! We are gonna do one tonight, like a little IG Live. We are gonna try to stay more upstate with that. We have our own studio that we built, and we f**ked the electrical up.
Justin: We blew all the fuses. When we filmed our live videos that we released a few weeks ago, for “dontbesoblue,” “Apart From You,” and “Trouble,” we filmed it all, got it all, tons of power running the whole day. And when we are all packed up, and about to leave, the power in the whole room went out. Everything done. I was like “Well, at least we got everything that needed to get done.”
Anthony: But once we get that all up and ready to go, we plan on doing some live-streams where we are actually playing some music, and even teasing some new material.
LH: What are your tour plans looking like next year?
Anthony: As of right now, we are planning on possibly doing another virtual show, getting some content out like that, and trying to get people together on the virtual side. But once 2021 hits and everyone is able to start going to shows again, we do plan on playing a lot of shows. Especially here in our hometown.
LH: I really hope you guys end up coming to the east coast!
Justin: Oh, we would love to.
Anthony: That’s our next goal, to get out there. If it’s right, and we can do it, then we are gonna be there. We do plan on doing a whole US situation, once everything gets going.
LH: Is there anything else you want to add to those reading?
Anthony: Thank you to everyone whos been listening and sticking with us.
Justin: Go stream our new song, that just came out, “100x.” We got a music video out for it. Stay posted on our stuff, turn on post notifications, we are gonna be releasing a lot of stuff coming up here, we got a lot of stuff planned.
Anthony: And our new merch, should be up by Monday.
Sleeptalk’s newest single, “100x” is out now on all streaming platforms.