It seems obvious that musical inspiration would come from BIG bands that have a strong presence, such as on the radio, in magazines, or other media. But for vocalist Jacob Clement, it was a local band that inspired him and the music that Sleep Talk would create.
Hanging out in a friend’s bedroom was how Jacob came across Sierra; a Mt Gambier melodic hardcore band that may have been of the local scene, but were massive in how their music and shows reached people. The band have unfortunately since broken up, but the impression that they and their music left remains strongly present (Alex Sievers of Kill Your Stereo thoroughly went into the Sierra story with a whole lot of heart HERE, capturing that band’s lifetime far better than I could).
Jacob considers Sierra as the #1 band that sparked his love for music, even though there were quite a few that inspired him. “One of my best friends at the time had found them on tumblr! I remember jamming them in his bedroom for the first time and being in love from the get go!” From there, Jacob soaked up Sierra from their live shows, describing them as “quite an experience. Energy like I’ve never seen before.”
Sierra were one of the first heavy bands that Jacob was introduced to at a local level. It was the themes of Sierra’s songs that resonated with him, in amongst all the other music he was listening to at the time. He says “They were one of the first heavy bands I was introduced to at a local level, and something about the positivity of their emotionally driven music really stood out to me. Most other bands doing something similar were preaching self hatred, tales of misery, and what not. But Sierra’s music was all about introspective thinking, not taking life for granted and trying to be a better person and it just really struck a chord with 16 year old me!”
Sierra released a self-titled EP in 2013, before releasing Reality Redefined EP the following year. It was shortly after this that they announced that they would be parting ways. For Jacob, the song “Imagery” from the self-titled EP that grabbed his attention and wouldn’t let go. In Jacob’s words: “”Imagery” would have to be the #1 banger for me. Played that song on repeat for a couple years for sure. The raw energy used to give me goosebumps every listen. Pure emotion.”
If you take a moment with this song, it’s not hard to hear/feel/understand exactly where Jacob is coming from.
“I stand here before you in truth, I am naked
I admit all I’ve done I am bare
I’m not alone, the world is not innocent
Not just with me should this blame rest
I’ve been tempted, but I’ve done no wrong
I’ve been misled, but my will’s held strong
These are just words with no feeling, no forgiveness I am fearing
In a world of needs and wants, the mind is filled with greed
The heart pulls from the chest, but is this fake imagery
The heart pulls from the chest, the mind is filled with greed
The heart pulls from the chest, the mind is filled with fake imagery”
It’s also not hard to hear how this very raw emotional expression and potent melodic instrumentation from Sierra has shown up in Sleep Talk’s music. Jacob says “I think they were definitely a huge influence for Sleep Talk in the early days. I certainly tried to mimic that introspective positive writing on board personally. How well I did that I’m not too sure! But the position they were in prior to breaking up was also something Sleep Talk strived for and still strive for. Gave a young boy something to aim for.”
We feel that Jacob definitely nailed what he was going for! Releasing their moving and yearning single “Sorry” in early 2016, Sleep Talk followed the single with their Growing Pains EP, then releasing single “New Tradition” in 2017. Though it’s been a little on the quiet side for the Adelaide band lately, Sleep Talk made our list for highly-anticipated 2018 releases, and we’re hoping for news on that very soon!
As for Sleep Talk’s own live performance, we caught a glimpse of their set at Invasion Fest 2017, and were at Cherry Bar when they took to the stage as support for Thornhill’s Butterfly EP launch. My impression of Sleep Talk’s set was that they were ‘undeniably great’, and their set featured ‘gorgeous melodic moments and emotive clean vocals, and a breathtaking hugeness of sound with multiple layers combining in a way that had our attention piqued the entire time’.
If you’re in Brisbane next week, you might be lucky enough to catch Jacob with Sleep Talk bandmates Michael Belletti, Josh Healey, Lewis Tito, and Fraser Ray at Bigsound Festival. The guys have two shows:
- Crowbar – Tuesday, 4th September @ 9:40pm
- 256 Wickham – Thursday, 6th September @ 10:30pm