Chicago Pop/Punk Band, Sleep On It, have strung together soaring choruses and a variety of energetic instrumentals that speak volumes throughout their debut full-length album, ‘Overexposed’. Jumping in full-force and adding a dose of creativity to the Equal Vision Records family, Sleep On It’s dynamic musical approach will stay stuck in your head and leave you anticipating what’s to come. I caught up with Guitarist, TJ Horansky, to chat about the release of ‘Overexposed’, trusting your instinct, life in Chicago, tattoos and more.
Congrats on the release of your debut full-length, ‘Overexposed’. Tell us about the creative and recording process and what you enjoyed most about bringing the album to life.
It felt good to finally put together a proper full-length record. We had recorded a bunch of shorter EPs prior to ‘Overexposed’, so it was a fun challenge to write so many songs. I think we got to experiment a little more than we have before. The creative process was pretty quick; we put out our EP ‘Lost Along the Way’ at the end of October and by January, we were already in the studio again.
What is the greatest lesson that you learned while recording that you will take with you into future experiences?
Trust your instinct. Don’t try to do too much. If something is feeling forced, that usually translates in to the song in a negative way.
If you could challenge yourself to overcome on your biggest fears (that’s if you have any), which fear would you choose and why?
I have a terrible fear of heights. If we’re talking about more relevant fears, I suffer from the occasional existential fear that I’m not accomplishing enough by a certain timeline. I would challenge myself to stop comparing my own progress to others. I think it’s important to step back and admire the things you’ve accomplished from time to time.
Tell us about the album artwork behind ‘Overexposed’. How does the cake and man on fire correlate?
The album cover is a challenge to a lot of social norms and status quo. We have a lot of friends and peers that are settling down and pursuing a more “traditional” lifestyle. That’s totally cool if you it makes you happy, but we deliberately chose to live a very different lifestyle and we’re okay with that. It just comes with a lot of sacrifice, which we tackle in a lot of our songs.
What are some of your must-have items that you bring along on the road to create a better experience and environment for yourself?
ZzzQuil is crucial in our crew. I also bring an eye mask. We sleep in the van a lot, so that really helps. I would also say a lot of clean socks and underwater, vitamins, headphones and a lot of water. Staying healthy, clean and hydrated is the name of the game.
Let’s talk tattoos. Tell us about some of your favorite personal pieces and the tattoo artists that you worked with.
I have a few Star Wars pieces on my left arm, courtesy of our friend Johnny Watson. Johnny has tattooed a few of the guys in the band, including Zech’s whole arm sleeve. He is the man, and is awesome at the more traditional style. I plan on visiting him a lot this year to finish my Star Wars sleeve. I also have a lobster on my right arm that was done by Max Weber. I love how it came out. Max is the man, and is currently killing it in Oakland CA.
Tell us about your experience so far being a part of the Equal Vision Records family. Are there any labelmates who have a release coming out that you’re excited about?
EVR has been really supportive of us from the get-go. They let us create the art we want to make without meddling or anything like that. I love bands like Circa Survive and Saves The Day, so it felt humbling to join such a historic roster.
If any of our readers have never been to Chicago, give us a rundown of what you would recommend to do and see while visiting?
I recommend visiting between May and October haha. Chicago summers are the absolute best. You can’t go wrong hanging at the lakefront, catching a baseball game, taking a boat ride or finding a patio to drink on!
Last but certainly not least, any closing messages for your fans?!
Don’t do (hardcore) drugs and stay in school! Also, be excellent to each other.
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