Sleeping With Sirens have just released their highly anticipated fifth studio album Gossip. The album is their most ambitious work to date and sees them working with producer David Bendeth famed for working with Paramore and All Time Low. We caught up with Sleeping With Sirens guitarist Jack Fowler to learn more about Gossip and find out if they have plans on returning to Australia anytime soon.

SCENEzine
Firstly how’s the American tour been going for you?

Jack Fowler
So far it’s going very well. It’s a blast to be up close and personal with the fans new and old. It’s exciting to watch the crowd react because sometimes we will see people sing the old songs and the new songs and sometimes we only get reactions to the new songs. But that’s awesome because that means our exposure is become more and more broad.

SCENEzine
Is it a cool feeling playing the new songs live?

Jack Fowler
Yeah I think because we worked so hard on this record we put our heart and soul into it. I really think watching the crowd react to this record compared to every other record we’ve done means the most to me. This is the one that I worked the hardest on and everyone else would agree they worked the hardest on.

SCENEzine
Are you stoked to be touring later in the year with Rise Against in Europe?

Jack Fowler
Hell yeah I am stoked. Rise Against are one of those bands that I can’t wait to tour with because they did exactly what we are trying to do. They started out as a punk rock band and they still are but they made a radio conversion in a smart way. I’m excited to play for mostly all new fans so yeah definitely excited to tour with Rise Against.

SCENEzine
Congrats on the new album Gossip it must be an awesome feeling to release it after it taking six months to record?

Jack Fowler
Yeah we started in January and we didn’t get the mixes back until June or July. There was so much writing and recording in tons of sessions. I’m definitely excited to have this record out because I can’t wait to share it with the world and for everyone to hear a whole new breed of our band.

SCENEzine
Did working with producer David Bendeth change the songs much from the original demos?

Jack Fowler
David is just really good at what he does some things he changed, some things he didn’t. He’s very willing to agree on a certain thing but if he is stern about it and doesn’t like it he makes sure we all get on the same page. It’s the most important part you all have to be on the same page. Working with him was a challenge but it made us all better.

SCENEzine
Did this album push you further as a guitarist?

Jack Fowler
Absolutely, the one thing I keep saying a lot is David hit me with this thing that he always said this is the part where your guitar needs to not sound like a guitar. He’s like this isn’t a guitar part this an effects part you need to put some layers in. I had done layering before but not like what I had done with David Bendeth. He would come in while I was tracking and start stepping on wah pedals making me hold one or two notes getting the craziest sounds for up to two hours. Just to put it underneath something to fill out the song and it makes a huge difference in the mix. You’ll hear things on the record that don’t sound like guitars it sounds like programming but it’s me with pedals and a bunch of other stuff. So I thank David a lot for that and I think I’ve got it down to a science now. Next time someone tells me to make my guitar not sound like one I know what I’m doing now. Before I had no fucking clue.

SCENEzine
I really dig the album cover art. Is there a story behind that?

Jack Fowler
We had some album covers then we decided we wanted to call the album Gossip because no matter what people are going to talk about it love it or hate it. We saw the lips and we saw the guy and immediately we just thought that’s it. That says Gossip to us. We knew right away that’s why we went with it.

SCENEzine
Our favourite track from the album is “Legends” can you tell us a little about that song?

Jack Fowler
“Legends” is one of those songs that at first sounds like something that would be in the Superbowl. An anthem rock song. We’ve never done anything like that before really. But I’m telling you after I heard it finished I was like this is sick. This is a grown up Sirens, it’s fresh, it’s fun. This is the music that I’ve always wanted to play, big arena anthem rock. I grew up on Southern rock but I’m still a huge U2 fan. All over the record you will hear that little bit of U2 vibe. The song “Legends” for me the way it came out is the way it should of came out. We wrote it not knowing it would be an anthem style Olympic song and it just came out that way and it worked.

SCENEzine
Was it a fun experience making the video for “Cheers”?

Jack Fowler
Oh yeah, we were out drinking all day long in New York city. We did the rooftop part in LA but the original party scene was in New York. We started that at eleven in the morning the we ended up at a karaoke bar at four in the morning to finish the shoot. We had been solid boozing for like fourteen hours. So yeah it was probably the most fun I’ve ever had making a video.

SCENEzine
Speaking of cheers what are your favourite drinks when you’re hitting the town?

Jack Fowler
I’m a whisky guy straight up. I’m a southern boy from Florida so I like my Jack Daniels. I used to be a Jameson guy but now I’m not anymore. I’m more about the full blown American whisky.

SCENEzine
Another track we also really like rom the album is “Closer” how did that one come about?

Jack Fowler
You know what’s funny about that song when I first heard that song I was like I don’t fucking like this. I was like it seems like a little too much. It reminded me of the band Parachute. After we tuned the guitars down and the vocals ended up being lower I was like you know what this is a pretty bad ass rock ballad. Also the intro riff is not as easy as it seems to play on guitar which is why I also like the song. It seems like an easy song to play but there’s a lot of weird shit going on in the song. I love the soaring choruses and I love the little sped up bridge. That chorus to me stands out on the record as an oddball track but once people listen to it more they will be like this song it fucking awesome, because that’s what it did to me.

SCENEzine
Lastly is there any word on when you guys might get back down to Australia?

Jack Fowler
Yeah there’s talks but as soon as the album is out starting in 2018 we are going to be all over the world. We are going to be non stop so we will see you guys sooner than you think.

(interview by Christian Ross)

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