SONGS FOR THE SLEEPWALKERS is a one man folk/indie/post rock project created by Andrea Caccese from Sweden.
I conducted this interview on December 23rd, 2011.
It’s a pleasure to have you here. Please, introduce yourself.
Hi there! My name is Andrea, and I play guitar and sing my own tunes as Songs For The Sleepwalkers, all the way from Västerås, Sweden
How many shows have you been playing so far? How would you describe them?
I think I played about 30 gigs as Songs For The Sleepwalkers since mid 2010, and each one of them has been a great experience. I’ve had a lot of gigging experience with several rock bands in the past, but being on stage alone has got a very particular emotion to it. It is a lot harder, but more rewarding when things are great. Playing alone also means to be able to take more opportunities, being easier to travel around. I also played a few show backed by Nadja Ali, a very talented cellist that has also played on the album!
What is the first concert you remember going to?
I think it was Jamiroquai at about 10-11years old, but I kinda went there with my family. The first gig I actually spent money to go to was a Blink-182 show when I was 15!
Can you tell us 5 pieces of work, ideas or anything that either shaped or changed your life?
Well, the list would definitely be:
1 – The Ataris : “welcome the night”. I’ve been a punker throughout my teenage years, and this record opened my mind and ears to a whole new music scene: it has got hints of post-rock, alternative and indie.
2 – Tom Waits : “Blue Valentine”. Tom Waits is one of my role model, an artist who’s always evolving, a sort of musical magician, taking everything that I love about good music of every genre and putting it together. I cherish this album particularly.
3 – Radiohead: “In rainbows”: a rough diamond, amazing songs, amazing performances.
4 – Minus The Bear: “Menos el oso” (this record has been a huge impact on my, making me curious to experiment with something more than just a guitar through my amp).
5 – Damien Rice: “0” (this is the record that ultimately made me fall in love with the acoustic guitar and with folk).
You represent indie, alt-folk, post-rock and alternative rock genres. What other music genres do you listen to? Have you ever been to a hardcore punk show?
I love to listen to everything from jazz to post rock. I love primitive blues and garage rock, punk, hc and some electronic. Every music fits to a mood or moment of my life. I have a special relationship with punk / hc. I love bands like Black Flag, Social Distortion, Adolescents as well as pop-punkers such as MxPx, Green Day or The Queers. I used to play in a punk rock band before ending up traveling with just my old guitar case, so you might say punk has been a school for me :-)
Some of your influences are: Minus The Bear, My Bloody Valentine, The Mars Volta, Sigur Ròs, and Tom Waits. How many bands that inspire you have you seen live? Is there any artist that you would particularly like to see live?
I had the chance to see many of my favorite artists, such as Sigur Ròs, The Stooges, Explosions In The Sky, Adolescents, The Hives, Kings of Leon, just to name a few, but I’d love to see Minus The Bear, Tom Waits and The Ataris as soon as I get the chance :-)
How did you write your album? Please, describe how you create your songs?
I usually sit around, and come up with a melody, sometimes when i least expect it. I record the music, with a little idea for the vocal melody too, then I let the sound inspire me to write some lyrics that I think will fit the music to me. In a way, the songs kinda find their own voice through being played over and over again in my head. It is all very spontaneous. This album, “Our rehearsed spontaneous reactions” has been written this way. All the songs have been basically written almost in the tracklist order, and I think the strength of the album is to be listened to as a whole. It’s my own diary of my first year of life in a new country, lot of things lost, lot of things found. Season changes, questions answered and unanswered.
MySpace is gone, Bandcamp is alive and running, the major labels are suffering. What’s your outlook on the record industry today? What’s your opinion on spreading the music online, DIY culture and its ideologies? What do you think about the current status of the music industry? How would you change it if you could?
I don’t feel like complaining. I can easily make and distribute my own recordings to the world from my living room, and i couldn’t have done this 10 years ago. The problem is that to actually get a significant promotion you have to work relentlessly, and possibly have a great budget. I am kinda broke all the time, so I have to rely on my sole, hard work to get my music out there. This is the only negative side of it for me. Too much un-musical work to be in a band [laughs]. I am totally pro-free download. I will offer the chance to get my music for free download or free donation through bandcamp, in case anyone feels like economically support me and my project. I will also sell a very limited edition on CD/Digipak…because I still love to have something
more than a file to hold in my hands. I hope that giving away my music for free would draw more people out at gigs :-)
What are your favorite and least favorite aspects of living in Sweden?
So far I haven’t really found an aspect I don’t like, Sweden really suits me, I love it here. Open minded people, nice landscape over all the seasons and great cultural scene. Perhaps I just miss some really great italian food every now and then…but i am a good cook too [laughs].
Do you agree with the opinion that the technological progress is inevitable, it accelerates and changes the world, therefore we need to adjust? Are you a heavy Internet user? Do you use a smartphone or a tablet? What do you think about the social media and the mobile gadget revolution?
I think its just pointless not to see where this world is going, and that sophisticated media technology is quickly becoming available for more and more people on the planet. I am no one to judge or tell others what to do, but personally, I like to remind myself that technology should be a tool, not the final objective, as it becomes sadly more and more common.
What are you most looking forward to in the future?
I certainly hope to improve as a musician, making better and better recordings. I’d love to travel and play for people as much as I can and wherever I can reach.
Feel free to tell people anything you want them to know.
My debut album “Our rehearsed spontaneous reactions” will be available for free download, on free donation or on cd at www.songsforthesleepwalkers.com on January 10, 2012. Please, listen to the music, share it and join our Facebook page…Looking forward to hear what you all think :-)