LA-Based Band, SLEEP STATE Discusses Their Formation, Biggest Inspirations And More!
Posted On 06 May 2016
Tag: Ableton, All Access, All Access Music Group, Artist Interview, Bob Dylan, Børns, Bruce Springsteeen, Bruce Springsteen, Castle Peak Music, Chris Martin, David, David Greenwood, Diplo, Do You Believe In, ELTON JOHN, Floating Ashes, Frankie Valli, Grizzly Bear, Gwen Stefani, In This Lake, Jack Ü, KCRW, Los Globos, Mac Demarco, Make A Move, Making Up The Rules, Malay Ho, Marvin Gaye, Michael Haua, Motown, MTV, NBC, Otter Box, Parker, Parker Jackson, Shook Up, Silver Lake, Silverlake Lounge, Sleep State, Starbucks, Tame Impala, Teen Mom, Teen Mom 2, Tether, The Beatles, The Satellite, The Temptations, The Voice, The Wayfarer, Today's Top Tune, Tommy English, Troy Ritchie, Whitest Boy Alive, Zayn
The LA based band, Sleep State currently has two singles, “Tether” and “Make A Move” featured as instrumentals on MTV’s Teen Mom. “Tether” is also being played at Starbucks worldwide. There is sure to be more upcoming television placements of their music as well.
The band is fronted by Troy Ritchie, a 2014 competitor on NBC’s The Voice (Gwen Stefani’s team). The other members of the band include
Michael Haua – Keys/Vocals,
Parker Jackson – Percussion and
David Greenwood – Bass/Vocals.
Their sound features a unique approach to indie-pop, drawing influence anywhere from Motown classics to today’s top 40. Sleep State shows an innovative ability to generate a danceable sound that appeals to everyone.
Learn more about Sleep State in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! So, how’s 2016 been treating the band so far? What were some of the highlights of 2015?
Thank you Leah! 2016 has been pretty great for the band thus far. We’ve gotten some sweet placements in an Otter Box commercial, Teen Mom 2, and “Tether” is still playing in the background for coffee sippers at Starbucks.
We finally wrapped up the recording for our upcoming single, “Making Up The Rules”, and could not be more excited about sharing this soulful, groovin’ jam. The music video will be filmed by the same amazingly talented director who filmed “Tether” for us, Adam VillaSenor.
Some highlights from 2015 would definitely be playing shows/residencies at Los Globos, The Satellite, Silverlake Lounge, and The Wayfarer. Also, “Shook Up” making Today’s Top Tune at KCRW was really rad!
How did Sleep State first form? How did you come up with your band name? What other names were you considering?
Sleep State first formed after I, Troy, made 4 demos in 4 days in my little home studio. The sound really came into fruition in those dedicated days and I really wanted to form a band to bring it to life. Michael and I played in bands since High School, so he was definitely down to take on this new sound with me as keyboardist and backup vocalist. We performed as a duo until Parker came to one of our shows and ultimately asked to be the band’s drummer. We played a handful of shows with the band David used to front and later asked him to join as bassist and vocalist.
The name was inspired by my fascination with meditation, the fact that people used to joke that my old music would put them to sleep, and the dreaminess of the music itself. Michael and I went through quite a few mediocre band names (Laughter) and at one point we thought we’d go by Floating Ashes, but Sleep State out shined that.
How do you think being from Silver Lake has influenced your sound? What’s the music scene like in that area?
Silver Lake has such a strong musical community and it’s really inspiring. The sound is pretty eclectic. In Silver Lake, there are definitely a lot of rockers out there, some psychedelics, some indie poppas. I really like to see artists using some sick synth sounds or trippy guitar effects. Each show is different at any given venue and inspires my writing in a new way. Playing shows and seeing all the bands in the area has really motivated me to up my stage presence.
Where did the inspiration for your current single, “Tether” come from?
The song was initially inspired by a few synth sounds that I crafted in Ableton -so much so that I had to finish the song the day I started. As the instruments came together, the sound led me to create a story of a man barely hanging onto a relationship (and possibly sanity) due to different struggles and grievances. I’ve always been inspired by soul singers of Motown, Chris Martin, and Frankie Valli, so I fused all of those together in my own little vocal style.
What does it feel like to have “Tether” played at Starbucks worldwide and to have your music on TV placements too? Have you been somewhere and heard one of your songs yet? What about at a Starbucks?
It feels really amazing to know that we’re getting that kind of exposure to different listeners all over the world. We’ve been getting more and more comments on our video from new fans about how, at the last minute, they “Shazamed” or used some app to find out whose song was playing. The TV placements are getting us psyched too. We all watched Teen Mom 2 when our songs aired- we were so pleasantly surprised that our two songs got played in the first 10 minutes and weren’t buried in the background. We’ve all heard Tether in Starbucks; it’s kind of funny hearing our own music somewhere we frequent, we’re just so baffled that we’ve gotten these awesome placements.
How did your music get to be on Teen Mom?
We have an awesome relationship and partnership with Andrea at Castle Peak Music. She’s been sending out our EP to her contacts in TV, Movies, etc. which led to us getting on Teen Mom 2.
This summer, you’ll be touring pretty regularly. Where are you most excited to play at?
We’re excited to play out in Southern California again. It’s been 4 months since we played due to a wrist injury that prevented me from playing guitar. Venues like the Satellite, Bardot, Los Globos, and The Wayfarer will be amazing to perform at. We’re also psyched to play a few shows in the midwest too, we’ve been getting some cool attention out there!
What musicians have been your biggest inspirations? Who would you love to work with in the future?
I grab inspiration from everywhere/everything/everyone these days. From a songwriting perspective, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Bruce Springsteen, and more get the creative juices flowing. From a production perspective, Zayn, Jack U, Diplo, Tame Impala, Mac Demarco, Grizzly Bear, BORNS and Whitest Boy Alive have been really inspiring the band lately. Someday, we would definitely love to work with BORNS’ producer Tommy English or Malay Ho – they both get lush, beautiful sounds.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
With “Make A Move”, “Do You Believe In?” and “In This Lake”, I really want listeners to realize the how important they are and the impact they have in this world. With “Shook Up” and “Tether” it’s more about conveying an emotion or scenario and relating to listeners that way. When listeners hear “Making Up The Rules” for the first time, I feel like they’ll really relate to what I went through when writing that song. I know a quite a few people that have been strung along or messed with emotionally by someone.
Connect with Sleep State here-