ARMOR FOR SLEEP
By: Lauren Napier
Armor for Sleep seems to transcend the usual boundaries placed within the music scene. Their sophomore album, What To Do When You Are Dead, is a magnificent interlacing of melodies, thought, and an infectious storyline. This quartet is not your typical rock outfit; they have worked diligently to produce a record that doesn’t blend with the imitation rock albums that crowd the CD shelves. Armor for Sleep is oozing with the will and talent to last in this cut-throat industry and they have proven this with their sophomore album.
SM: Who/What are your major influences?
Ben Jorgenson: Major influences…there are so many to name. What got me into the punk scene in New Jersey were bands like Save the Day and Lifetime. It made me realize I could be in a band and that I could make music my life.
SM: What does the name of the band mean?
BJ: I guess it’s pretty much about escaping real life and living a kind of life that makes you happy because that’s what should be important.
SM: How do you feel you have evolved from Dream to Make Believe to your sophomore album, What To Do When You Are Dead?
BJ: Well, our first album we did it a little too early and rushed into the process. It was basically me and Anthony in the studio because we had kicked out the other two dudes at that point. This album is more collaborative effort.
SM: What was your inspiration for What To Do When You Are Dead? How did you come up with the concept?
BJ: There wasn’t really one inspiration – it was just where we were at the time and I guess the story came about by just feeling that and going with that concept.
SM: Why did you choose to make “Car Underwater” the first track on the record?
BJ: It was an introduction to the story and the album traces that path through death. So the first song is his death and a bit into what happened to him. It serves to start the storyline.
SM: What is your favorite venue to play?
BJ: The Metro in Chicago.
SM: How do you feel about your upcoming UK tour?
BJ: I’m very excited – this time around people know who we are. The shows are all sold out. It should be different.
SM: How do you think that you stand out from other bands in the scene?
BJ: We don’t try and be trendy or follow any kind of fashion statements – which I guess will always be around in a scene. We just do what we like wherever that comes from. We do our own thing. It’s up for the audience and our fans to decide anything beyond that point.
SM: What was your writing process like for this album – it all seems to connect so well – do you have any specific technique?
BJ: We just sit in my room and come up with songs. And if someone tells me I’m ridiculous or something I’ve come up with is ridiculous we sit through it and fix the problem.
SM: What was it like working with Machine – quite a bit different from the producer of the first album? Any comment on the choice?
BJ: He was great just an intense dude. He helped on different levels - he helped in the studio and in pre-production. He was as excited about the concept as we were and had a big part in making sure the story came through.
SM: What has music meant to you?
BJ: Music has meant everything to me. It kind of changed my life and is the one thing I have that I feel is an escape from everything. It’s still magical to me and that’s big
SM: Any last comments?
BJ: Yeah – thank you.