Sleeping on the job

Sleeping on the job

Columbus’ Sleep Fleet record release at Blind Bob’s

By Josher Lumpkin

Photo: Guitarist Corey Montgomery and Sleep Fleet celebrate the release of Hudson & High at Blind Bob’s on Feb. 1; photo: Megan Leigh Barnard

Sleep Fleet’s upbeat brand of punk-tinged, crooning indie rock n’ roll tunes have developed among lineup changes and relocation. From their beginnings cutting their teeth playing small, all-ages venues to their present – playing big shows in Ohio’s capital – they trudge ever forward, integrity intact, toward their future. To celebrate their most recent victory, the release of their 10” vinyl EP, Hudson & High, Sleep Fleet will be tearing the roof off of Blind Bob’s. Corey Montgomery, founding member of Sleep Fleet, and the band’s guitarist and vocalist, took some time out of his schedule to chat with the Dayton City Paper.

I understand Sleep Fleet has a Dayton connection.

That’s where we started out. Nick [Shope, bass] and I used to play a strange breed of electro punk with a laptop. We had our first show at the now-defunct Dayton Dirt Collective. From there we got more shows at that space. At some point around that time we met Kyle Melton who threw us on a lot of his Buddha Den shows. Brandon Hawk got into us at those shows and started putting us on bills at Blind Bob’s. We moved to Columbus when our first drummer quit. Basically, we just keep going. Who knows where we’ll end up. –Corey Montgomery

How long has Sleep Fleet been a band?

Nick and I have been playing together for over a decade now. I’d say Sleep Fleet really started in 2009 though. –C.M.

Did you and Nick go to school together then?

Oh yeah. We’ve known each other since the first grade. I actually lived two houses down from our guitarist Andre [Vanderpol]. –C.M.

What was your electro act called?

All Alliteration Aside. That eventually turned into a full band, which was the earliest incarnation of Sleep Fleet. –C.M.

I saw you guys there. You were pretty young then! So, where was Hudson & High recorded, and by whom?

We played a big show in Columbus and ran into Alex Douglas. He offered to track a free song for us in his studio, Old Son Studios. We were so happy with the result we almost immediately asked him to track the whole EP. Now he works for Relay Recording, where we are planning to track the full-length this spring/summer. –C.M.

So, you are writing songs for that currently? Or is it all written already?

We’ve written about 4 or 5 songs so far. We’re planning on demo-ing those soon and writing more in the upcoming months. I don’t want to come off as conceited, but we’re writing our best songs right now. I can’t wait to start playing them out. –C.M.

What do you find is your current inspiration for songwriting?

Other than illegal substances? –C.M.

I mean, is there something out there, in the world or whatever, that compels you to write?

I’ve just always had music in my life. It’s hard for me to not at least be writing a melody in my head at all times. I sing songs about everything when I’m alone in the house or in my car. When the band gets together to write, it all happens so quick that it’s often difficult for any of us to really pinpoint what we were thinking or what we were trying to do. –C.M.

What was the experience like in the studio recording the new EP? Did things just fall easily into place? Any major disasters or personal meltdowns?

It was a very different experience for us, for sure. We didn’t really have any meltdowns though. Alex is a very patient engineer. He basically let us do whatever we wanted. It was actually a very quick process, we got the whole thing done in less than a week of tracking. I chose to be absent for the mixing, as that would have been the major tipping point for me. –C.M.

Probably a good choice. Do you have a label backing you for the vinyl?

Our good friends Kevin Hambrogo and Mark Yo are putting it out on their label, Brain Candy. –C.M.

What made you guys want to do vinyl? Will there be a CD release as well?

We’re all big audiophiles and vinyl nerds. It’s always been a dream for us to get on vinyl. We felt this EP was the right time to do it. We recorded it in a relatively live fashion and had it mastered with mostly analog equipment. It was kind of a no-brainer to put it on vinyl when Kevin approached us about it. As of right now, we don’t have any plans to put it on CD. We will be giving out download codes with the record instead. To be honest, the CD format is kind of boring when you really get down to it. [laughs] –C.M.

What’s next for Sleep Fleet? Any touring?

That’s what we’re hoping to do. We’d ideally like to stretch our legs out on a few weekends out and branch out from there. –C.M.

Anything else you want to say to all the readers of the DCP?

We’re really excited to be playing in Dayton again. I feel like it’s been forever. We also hope everyone is as thrilled as we are about the lineup. Brat Curse’s new album is fucking incredible, and everyone should be stoked for the debut of Dear Fawn’s new lineup. 2014 is going to be huge for everyone involved, I feel. –C.M.

Sleep Fleet celebrate the release of Hudson & High on Saturday, Feb. 1, at Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St. Also on the bill are Brat Curse and Dear Fawn. Admission is $5 for 21 and up. Doors at 9 p.m. For more information, please visit sleepfleet.bandcamp.com.

Reach DCP freelance writer Josher Lumpkin at JosherLumpkin@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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