Thanks to guitarist Rispa and bassist Aisha_Sama of Greek psych-rockers Sleepin Pillow for taking time out for this interview.
Interview for DPRP by Roger Trenwith
How did the band come together, and why “Sleepin” and not “Sleeping”?
Aisha_Sama: Sleepin Pillow was created in 2004 when I met Nomik (Ed: vocals) through a random collaboration and we instantly realized that we had a common view on how a band that would harmonically unite our ideas should be. “Sleepin” and not “Sleeping” because it simply sounded better to our ears!
I’m still enjoying Superman’s Blues, tell us a bit about what influences the band members bring to the table.
Aisha_Sama: Our influences occupy a wide range of music such as the psychedelic rock of the 70s, the pop aesthetic of 80s, the electro mentality of the 90s and the dreamy landscapes of movie soundtracks. Due to our locality we have a great many eastern scales up our sleeves… and we are definately influenced by our own Greek traditional music.
How did the songs on Superman’s Blues come together? Were they largely written before getting to the studio?
Rispa: Unlike our first album Apples On An Orange Tree, in Superman’s Blues we had a more clear view about how and what we would record… The entire album evolves around the concept of the modern state of man. Several tracks existed beforehand and several others were created during the recordings.
It is probably fair to say that the economic and social strife in the Western World and in Greece in particular is reflected in a lot of songs on Superman’s Blues, railing as it does against mindless consumerism with a world-weary cynicism. The way things have gone since 2010, can we expect more biting lyrics on the next album?
Rispa: Almost certainly. Sleepin Pillow is a band whose main thematic influence is the socio-political affairs of the world and the way they are reflected in everyday life as well as the psycho-emotional repercussions they have in each one of us. I think it is completely natural and expected to write a song or two about it. Of course nothing is set in stone so there might be a few surprises in the next album!
One of my favourite songs is Pathetic which has a really good lyric, a kind of love song in reverse. The lyrics on this song are really poignant and you write your lyrics in English – thanks for that! – how difficult is it to translate from Greek without losing the original meaning?
Aisha_Sama: Everything is quite simple if we consider that each of us on this planet is simultaneously a creator and a consumer of the creations of others. We might have different mother tongues but we all talk about the same feelings, the same thoughts, needs and considerations. Since with Pathetic we managed to convey our emotions to you, the importance lies not in the process – which is always different from band to band- but in the outcome.
Instrumentally Superman’s Blues was a great advance from the first album. What direction do you see the music taking in the future?
Aisha_Sama: This is something that we too can’t help but wonder about! Sleepin Pillow is a band which thrives on experimentation and has no second thoughts about touching something which for many would be considered taboo or prohibited. It is quite difficult even for us to predict what Sleepin Pillow will sound like in the future… What is 100% certain however, is that when we will have this new material, it will be such that all members of the band will absolutely dig!
Do any of you have other musical projects on the go?
Rispa: Oh yes! We are all very restless and creative spirits so we all have different parallel projects that help us renew the way that we musically interact through the creative process of Sleepin Pillow.
What’s next for the band?
Aisha_Sama: We currently give concerts promoting our two albums, we’d like to create some sort of a documentary with live footage as well as clips from the band on the road … while at the same time we actively cultivate the conditions that will lead to our new album!
I always like to end on food related note, so, Indian or Chinese, or something else entirely?
Rispa: Indian, Chinese and everything else entirely!
Many thanks to Rispa and Aisha_Sama and we look forward with aural anticipation to the next helping of skewed psychedelia from this fine band.
Official website: http://www.sleepinpillow.com