While She Sleeps have released what could soon prove to be the most significant new track and announcement for the contemporary heavy music scene. Yesterday at 6pm the Sheffield metalcore outfit dropped a surprising video for ‘Sleeps Society‘ opening with a mock press conference proposing a new and sustainable solution for bands out there in the challening times for musicians worldwide. Alongside the premiere, the band announced their fifth studio album with the same name coming out on 21 April 2021.
‘Sleeps Society‘ openly criticises the global music industry with its long introduction outlining the main issues with its current state, hierarchy and distribution of wealth, and sharing a new concept centred around bands’ sustainable self-management through online platforms such as Patreon. The song goes on to glorify While She Sleeps’ own fans, well known for their dedication and passion, and supporters of music in general who are the main reason bands do what they do. The composition and production of the track offers a brilliant foundation of its message with fast bouncy riffs, groovy rhythm and unifying lyrics focused on creating “a system where the people exist“.
The response for the track has been overwhelmingly positive so far with fans sharing their love and support for the band, their idea and the song itself all over social media. When the singer Lawrence ‘Loz’ Taylor shouted “welcome to the guilty party” back in January 2019, noone could predict the global pandemic will send the music industry in downward spiral that would eventually lead to the sobering growl “welcome to sleeps society” from yesterday. The COVID crisis and recent developments put aside, the band challenges the status quo and joins the long list of acts inspired to create a better future for themselves and their fellow musicians with their followers at the heart of everything.
Speaking from personal experience, While She Sleeps throw shade at an industry where 5000 online streams generate no more than £20 for the band, and 14 year are often not sufficient to turn music into an actual career with steady income. While openly acknowledging the huge positive impact of streaming platforms, publishers and labels, the band offers an alternative where fans have all the power to support the bands they love. Without being a revolutionary concept, establishing The Sleeps Society and turning the tables around immediately makes While She Sleeps one of the first bands from the UK to offer a solution and switch to audience support systems.
Not surprisingly, the support video opens with Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s recent announcement that has prompted an angry response from almost every UK artist and band in the past few weeks. With the uncertain state of the industry, alongside the openly criticised streaming monetisation system and the potential live events restrictions running into mid-2021, While She Sleeps have reacted accordingly and adapted to the new way of life, hopeful to pave the way to other bands and inspire a generation of likeminded artists willing to break the conractual restraints, all of this backed up with the killer metalcore banger ‘Sleeps Society‘ worthy of the WSS brand.
The Patreon-based Sleeps Society offers members four different tiers (Support, Defiance, Mutiny and Revolution) with monthly fees ranging from £4.99 all the way to premium £59.99. The benefits for all tiers vary but most of the packages offer a “too good to be true” value to a membership that starts from as little as two coffees. While She Sleeps are promising to pay their fans back with exclusive content and updates, music tutiorials and track run-throughs, early ticket and merch access, members only events and secret shows, live stream writing and recording sessions and even mental health guidance and support groups.