Posted On 22 Jun 2017
This progressive rock group re-released an expanded version of their album ‘Sleepwalker’ in early 2017, which included bonus tracks, a full remix and re-imagined artwork.
“Close Your Eyes” marks the first new music from Sages since releasing “Sleepwalker.”
“Close Your Eyes” continues the visceral, spiritual and auditory journey of this Northern California group, which pens intelligent metal-influenced tracks laced with lyrics that are often atypical and open to interpretation. Reminiscent of a Periphery meets Deftones sound, Sages takes key pages from rock favorites and add their own distinct chapters. Sages wrote and recorded the track in their hometown of Sacramento and feel confident in what early press has called their best work to date.
Sages was recently featured by Alternative Press and Substream, and the band continues to tirelessly play shows, festivals and regional tour dates, spreading awareness of their latest music. Numerous tour dates have been announced, included an August support slot with buzz band Black Map.
Learn more about Sages in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! Where does this interview find the band today?
Thank you for having us! I’d say it found us at a pretty exciting point in our journey as a band. We just released our new single “Close Your Eyes” a couple weeks ago, and we’re getting ready to start filming the video for the next single. We’re all pretty excited about the recent progress.
What are some words you would use to describe 2016 for this band and your music? What were some of the highlights? What has been the most exciting part about this year?
Man, 2016 was wild. That’s all I can really recall about that, haha. I must say though, the biggest highlight for me was the completion of our album Sleepwalker. I spent almost the entire 3rd and 4th quarters of 2016 engineering and producing that record on an old Sony Vaio laptop and an Mbox 2. For my fellow recording engineers, you guys know what I was dealing with, haha. I’m genuinely grateful though that the laptop, being such an old piece of shit, didn’t combust in the middle of the sessions. It lagged so much and would freeze and crash numerous times per session, because it just didn’t have enough juice to run Pro Tools. I can’t even believe that record got finished under the circumstances to be honest, and it was actually way worse than I’m making it sound, haha. So yeah, it was a huge highlight of 2016 to finally finish that album.
The most exciting part about this year would have to be the response we’ve been getting to that album [Sleepwalker] and the new single. It’s been awesome and totally worth the crazy journey.
How did you come up with your band name? What other names were you considering?
Somewhere down the line in my practice and study of spiritual psychology, shamanism, and the slew of other spiritual practices and philosophies I’ve been acquainted with on my journey thus far, I realized that we are all shamans, we are all sages, we just have to be willing to feed and nurture that part of ourselves to unlock the magic that exists within it. I suggested naming the band Sages to serve as a reminder to remember who and what we all are, especially during this point in time where it’s easy to lose site of that.
How do you think Sages has been influenced by being a Sacramento-based band? What is the music scene like there these days?
We’ve all definitely been influenced by the history of the Sacramento music scene. Big time. It’s funny, a couple of the guys- Logan and Ryan, came up in the scene watching my old band Track Fighter play. House [who was also in Track Fighter] and I came up in the scene watching Matt’s old band Simon Says play. Simon Says came up in the scene watching Deftones and Far, so at the end of the day I think it’s safe to say we’re all heavily influenced by each other and by the Sacramento sound in general, ranging from the nasty 90’s Sacramento rock sound to the early and mid 2000’s rock sound. Back in those days I remember some friends and I would just show up to local venues like the Cattle Club or Bojangles or whatever, and not even know what bands are playing, but we would show up, because we were fans of music and just dug the whole vibe of the rock scene. It was really energetic and fun. People were really into it, and it made us really into it. The scene just had this magnetism to it that words can’t express all that well. You just needed to be there to experience it, you know? It was a vibe, and it was awesome. Not that it isn’t that way now, it’s just different in 2017 the same way the industry is different in 2017.
Let’s talk about your newest single, “Close Your Eyes.” Where did the inspiration for this song come from exactly? How does this track fit in with the rest of “Sleepwalker”?
“Close Your Eyes” was inspired by a real life experience and it has a couple different meanings. In one context, it’s about a man who is broken over losing a loved one, he wants to reconnect with her in his dreams, but she keeps telling him not to fall asleep, because she’s going to haunt him. It’s kind of an interesting situation, haha. However, in a different context, it’s also a reference to staying “awake” and not falling asleep to the illusions of desires and attachments, such as the attachment he has to her, which continues to hinder his ability to focus on the things that really matter in life. Even though this single will be on the upcoming record, I think it still fits in with Sleepwalker by sharing a similar overall vibe.
Why did you decide to re-release your album “Sleepwalker”? Where did the re-imagined artwork come from?
We re-released it, because we wanted to do a proper release. The first release of Sleepwalker was just a local release. We printed 200 copies and put a couple songs on Soundcloud and a couple other sites. We never did any PR or really anything with it other than put it out for some local friends and fans to find online if they searched for it, or to pick up one of the physical copies at a local show. After receiving the feedback we did from that release, we decided to give it a little more energy, remix and remaster it, get some real artwork done for it, and get it in stores for people all over the world to find if they want. The artwork came from a local artist by the name of Sam Shepard (www.samsheparddesign.com) who took the overall concept of the album’s message and vibe, and created a visual representation of it. I think he did an incredible job.
Who are some of your favorite artists? Who would you all to work with in the future? What would
be a dream collaboration for this band?
I think it’s safe to say that some of our all time favorites and dream collaborations in general would include: Metallica, Devin Townsend, Failure, Filter, Deftones, etc., but we all listen to a little bit of everything so it’s definitely not limited to just rock music.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
For me, when I listen to music, I want to be moved. Make me dance or make me cry, or make me contemplate life, or make me fall into meditation, but move me in one way or another. I hope our music moves people in some way.
What advice would you give to someone just getting started on this music path? Or even to someone young that is thinking of becoming a musician one day?
I’d would say to follow your heart and do what you love. Focus on your dream, your vision, your vibe, and eventually the corresponding business situations will fall in your lap.