Photo credit: Jeremy Saffer
“If you like it, create it and don’t make it perfect based on what other people are telling you, because at the end of the day there will always will be someone telling you it could be better.” -Seven Day Sleep
A couple of weeks ago we checked out Seven Day Sleep’s upcoming EP A Home For Disgusting Fairies. And although these amazing musicians are busy working on the EP, they took some time to answer a few questions about their musical histories, influences, and their philosophies about music. Check out what they had to say.
How did you and your band meet?
Seven Day Sleep: Through a mutual friend.
Where are you and your band from?
SDS: Can and Okan are from Turkey, and Sofia is from Switzerland.
Thinking back to early childhood, what was your first experience with music?
Sofia: Well, my dad was always planning music in the background and I was always was trying to learn a new instrument. He was also the first person to take me a concert, I believe it was Alicia Keys performing at the Monreux Jazz festival.
Can: My big sister’s Metallica, Nirvana, Pink Floyd and Iron Maiden albums.
Okan: Actually, there wasn’t anybody interested in learning musical instrument in my family, but my first instrument was an acoustic guitar which my big brother had never played. 🙂 The first concert I went to was a Turkish metal band “Pentagram”.
What type of music did you hear the most growing up? Is it different from what you listen to now?
Sofia: I still listen to a lot of the artist or bands I was exposed to as a kid, but over the years as new music comes out of course I listening to new music. I will always be listening to new music because people are constantly creating and finding new ways of expression, and this gets me inspired as well as reminiscing on old artists.
Okan: I used to listen to metal and hardcore bands a lot in high school. As I grew up my music taste got mellower.
Can: There was a lot of 90’s Turkish Pop Music in my childhood. In mid-school I discovered punk and everything has changed for me. I’m still listening those bands and those albums, but I added so much more genre to my archive since then.
What was the first song that you ever sang?
Sofia: Can’t remember what the first song was that I sang because I was to little, but I can remember the first song I ever learned to sing and that “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor.
What made you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?
Sofia: It wasn’t something that made me realize, I just knew that’s what I wanted to do. So I made it happen because my parents always pushed my sister and I to always do what makes us happy, and singing and music… that’s what makes me happy.
Can: I had a toy guitar when I was in mid-school, and I used to play with that guitar all the time. I used to pretend like I’m on the stage. One day I figured out that these plays just not enough. I needed the real shit!
Okan: I don’t have a specific moment like that. I loved creating music more and more as I did.
How did you become involved in the type of music you play/sing now?
Sofia: When I was first exposed to Heavy Rock and Metal bands that was a whole new form of expression through music that just grabbed my attention. In Geneva, Switzerland that music is very basic and metal wasn’t really around, so I instantly connected with the genre when I saw a music video from The Used. I told myself I had to learn to scream and find other musicians that wanted to play metal, because when I was writing and performing I felt that I could express myself the best.
Can: It was an Offspring song on the Faculty OST album. Then I started to dig Punk. Then of course, Hardcore followed it. Then a good friend of mine introduced me to In Flames and Opeth, so I started to be involved in metal music.
Okan: When I’m playing I’d love to play heavy distorted riffs. And it’s one of the main elements of this genre.
For those who have never seen or heard your music before, how would you describe your music for the public audience?
SDS: Marilyn Manson meets Evanescence meets My Chemical Romance.
Would you rather play live performances or be in the studio?
Sofia: Well, they are both so different and come at different parts of the creative process that my mindset is not in the same place when I’m writing and recording than when I’m on stage. I love being in the studio at the begging of a project because everything is so new and fresh and your mind isn’t worn out by overthinking the song. The beginning is when you’re just excited to finally have a product that can be put down for others to connect to it. So, when you’re done recording, by that point it can be a bit tiring to have been working on one song over and over that I get really excited to finally be able to perform, and share with people what the song really is about. Then after performing so long, I get this itch to get back in the studio. So it’s a cycle of being in different mindsets at different times, and appreciating the studio over performing more or performing more than being in the studio.
Okan: I always prefer to be on stage. I don’t know why, but I feel very nervous in the studio.
Have you ever entered any contests to enhance your musical career?
SDS: No, sometimes being in a contest can actually work against you. We just want people to be attracted to our art naturally.
Have you been involved in any benefit performances?
SDS: No, but we would love to!
If you had to categorize your music, what genre would it best fit?
SDS: Hard Rock/ Alternative Metal
What are your songs about and what general themes do they talk about?
SDS: Our songs usually involve dead people, ghosts or death itself. That’s why we tend to be close to horror and gothic themes. But our messages are always positive and our motto is “be who you are truly, no matter what”.
Why do you choose to focus on these themes?
SDS: Because when we go to a show or a festival or somewhere full of people like ourselves, and we feel like we’re home. A weird and crooked, but unique home. We want to create the same feeling for the others.
Are there any stories surrounding your songs that you’d care to share?
SDS: All of our songs have their own respective stories. For instance, “Red Lipstick Murders” is about an innocent witch who witnesses her coven slaughtered by the villagers. And she starts to take revenge by killing them one by one.
What has been your strongest influence to continue performing?
Sofia: Well, some of my influences are Silverstein, The Used, Queen, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and so many other artists. But I perform because I need to, my soul needs it. If I don’t continue to create and I don’t get to share my art, it literally starts to affect me. When it gets hard to continue doing music as a career, I look to my influences and see that it’s hard for them too. But I’ve found that you can always work through things and there’s going to be lows and highs no matter what you do.
Okan: Me and Can had left our country and moved to US to pursue our dreams, which was to create music we love. I think there is no more to say. If I need to give some names that could be Muse, Arctic Monkeys and Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Does anyone in particular influence you?
Sofia: My parents. I just want to make them proud, and showing them that I can have a life with music makes me want to keep working harder, because I owe everything to them.
Can: Gerard Way
What are your immediate music career goals?
SDS: Before anything else we want to create a bigger and solid fan base. Music is all about the connection between people who creates music and listens them after all.
What type of fan base do you have?
SDS: We have a really big online fan base and it’s really all over the world. For some reason, we have a huge following in Poland so that is very cool for us!
Music tends to appeal to everyone, young and old. Do you have any advice for the youth of today?
SDS: Music is very sensitive and super subjective that’s why there are millions of artists and endless amounts of music you can discover and listen to. When you come across something you don’t like don’t be so quick to judge because most of the time that is someone expressing themselves, and you may not get it or connect to it but it doesn’t make it bad because you don’t enjoy it. Basically, respect music, the art form and the music. Another thing is music has no rules. So for those of you trying to pursue a career in music and are going to school, listen to what your teachers have to say, but also what they are telling you doesn’t apply because you can’t put rules on music. If you like it, create it and don’t make it perfect based on what other people are telling you, because at the end of the day there will always will be someone telling you it could be better. Write what you want.
Do you have other interests or talents you would like to share with us?
Sofia: I love the outdoors and I’ve learned to grow more respect for nature. I think it’s underrated and so I’ve been trying to get involved with it more.
Can: I love comic books and I write a lot.
What do you do with your time away from music?
Sofia: Well, I also work for the Madden brothers at their music management company, MDDN, so I am around music almost all day. But when I’m not, I like to go home and hang out with my dogs, do some gardening, and go on walks. I try and be outdoors and away from my phone.
Okan: I own a jewelry brand with my wife. We make handmade jewelry.
As an artist, is there anything special you hope to be able to accomplish?
Sofia: Music is a very powerful thing and I think there’s a lot of negativity in the world, a lot of sadness and loss for hope. I hope that what I write and create can help connect with other people and make them feel alright or want to see things in a better way. I would love to change things with music.
Okan: I totally agree with Sofia.
Please feel free to add any other information you want to share with fans and readers.
SDS: We just want to say thank you to everyone who has been supporting us, because we haven’t been a band for long. But as musicians we have been doing this our whole lives and to have others that want to share this experience with us is amazing. So thank you for the support!