TPRFM AFTERPARTY INTERVIEW: DON’T SLEEP
DON’T SLEEP, featuring legendary punk rock frontman DAVE SMALLEY (DYS, Down By Law, ALL, Dag Nasty, etc.) are taking the stage THIS SATURDAY at our NCBC Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market Afterparty! Before the FREE, ALL AGES show kicks off at 7 PM, we exchanged some emails with Dave to talk about his dedication to punk rock after all these years, what plans Don’t Sleep has coming up, and much more. Check the interview out below, with audio at the bottom of the page- and don’t miss DON’T SLEEP this SATURDAY, AUGUST 11th only here at Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company!
-Dave, you obviously have an established history in punk rock and have played in some very influential bands. From Dag Nasty to Down by Law, ALL to DYS, you’ve left quite a mark on the genre. What keeps the fire burning in your heart that makes you want to still play today?
Thanks, Nick. I think the key to success in most things in life, is: Do you believe in it? That’s it. Pretty simple and a bit cliched sounding I suppose but whether you’re an accountant or an astronaut, or a punk rocker or parent, whatever, do you believe in it? If you do, you’ll end up giving it your best and burning bright. Punk rock and hardcore have been so integral and important to so many kids and now adults over the last four decades — really helped shape us and make us more independent, not thinking like the herd, being against conformity. I have the songs of every punk rock album I’ve ever heard or been part of, tattooed on my soul. So I’m holding that torch high. It’s a responsibility that I take very seriously. Hopefully, some people will see that light burning and come along.
-Don’t Sleep released the Bring the Light 7” on Reaper Records this past February. Can you tell us what the writing process was like for the album and if fans can expect any new material soon?
Yes, we’re in discussions right now for a release and if all goes as we hope it will, then we should have an amazing record sometime on the soonish side of 2019. So far we’ve done demos for I think five songs that are pretty damn raging. The guys write the music and I write the vox melodies and most of the lyrics. It has been a truly great partnership that seems to connect with all of us, and also with a lot of great people who already are on board with the band. In life, you have to have some bands that are part of the soundtrack of your life. I think Don’t Sleep is emerging as one of those. I hope so anyway.
-Your profile mentions that Don’t Sleep has an aspiration to make a positive impact on the world. Is there any specific organization, charity, or movement that the band has worked with/for or wishes to in the future?
Great question. We have done a couple of shows for really good causes — one of which was an incredible benefit show for the family and legacy of Dave Franklin of Vision, who had just passed away. It was an absolutely emotional evening for all of us who knew Dave, and I know for his family and bandmates and close friends, and fans of Vision. For the future, I think we keep an open eye to help out good groups doing good things wherever we can. Personally, I’d like to help organizations that help animals, like shelters and animal refuge places. It’s a bit challenging as we all have families and don’t live in the same town so the concerts are tough to arrange. But yeah, do what you can to make a bit of a dent. The ultimate question is: Did you make a difference and do it (life) right, even with the mistakes we all make?
-With just about 10 songs worth of recorded material under the band’s belt, without being too much of a spoiler, what can fans expect at your set on August 11th at Neshaminy Creek? Any covers or new material?
Yeah, a couple of new songs, and I don’t think any covers. Although Tom (our lead guitarist and songwriter) sends about one idea per day of songs he’d like to cover. I’m waiting on those lazy sods to start learning some!
-Do you stay on top of any current punk rock or hardcore bands? If so, do you have any favorites you would like to share with readers?
I do when I can, but in life, you’re usually short of time or money or both, and so I rarely get time to check new stuff out as much as I might like. I listen to a lot of old school metal and HC bands like Motorhead, Metallica, Iron Maiden, AF, SSD, Adolescents, SOIA, and other bands many of whom are still playing and making incredibly great albums. One of my buddies is in Manson Family Band in southern California, and I like what I heard from them.
-Last, but not least, we are a brewery, so I have to ask: have you had any Neshaminy Creek Brewing Company beers before, and if so, what is your favorite? If you have not yet, what is your favorite beer style?
I’m going to defer to Garrett on this one.
Garrett (bass) – I haven’t yet, but I’m excited to try “The Shape of Hops to Come”!