Some bands play it safe when it comes to taking their next steps. But then, While She Sleeps has never been “some band.” The Sheffield quintet has made a career out of confounding expectations, be it through their dizzying blend of crushing metal, guttural hardcore, and arena-worthy hooks, or the way they’ve carried themselves over an explosive, 13 year career. Their last album, 2017’s You Are We, was a testament to the power of self-belief and determination. Now, they look to build on that success with the release of fourth studio album So What?
“You Are We got us to this special position, and it’s given us a platform,” continues guitarist Sean Long. “For us, it’s like, ‘What can we do to really stick this in people’s faces? What can we put out there that we’re buzzing off?’ I don’t want to be following everyone else. I want people to follow us.”
Recorded with producer Carl Bown at the band’s self-built studio Sleeps Audio, So What?promises to be another defiant step forwards. Set for release on Sleeps Brothers in collaboration with metal mega-label Spinefarm, this new record sees While She Sleeps working with a major label again for the first time since 2015’s Brainwashed, and the band are at pains to point out that this won’t mean there’ll be any compromise in their vision. “We got approached immediately by a bunch of labels, but we turned around to all of them and said, ‘The only way we’re going to do anything is if you let us release it on Sleeps Brothers, but you house that on your train, and we make the decisions behind everything,” Mat explains. “I fucking loved releasing You Are We ourselves, but at the same time, I played more on my laptop than I did on my guitar for the whole campaign. This release is a partnership between Sleeps Brothers and Spinefarm, but no one is breathing down our necks about the record we’re making or the singles we’re putting out.”