While She Sleeps’ Mat Welsh Talks Warped Tour, ‘Brainwashed’ Album + More
The summer is now in full swing and for U.K. rockers While She Sleeps that means a return trip to the U.S. to play as part of the traveling Vans Warped Tour. Loudwire had a chance to chat with guitarist Mat Welsh (pictured second from right above) ahead of the festival's start and got his thoughts on returning to the Warped Tour, some insight on the band's newly released Brainwashed album and more. Check out the chat below:
Congrats on your new album. Can you tell me a little bit about how the disc came together? Did you have an idea in mind of what you wanted before you hit the studio or was it something that more came together in the moment of laying it down?
Thanks, it was a working progress. For the year before we went into the studio, we didn't have a set idea on what we wanted to create, we just rolled with what makes us feel good and vocally talked about the issues that felt most important to us. During the studio time, we worked deeper into stuff and generally are constantly writing on the album until the recording process is finished. It's fun to come up with things on the day and in the studio, go with your gut and if something feels right, put it in.
Your singer Loz [Taylor] ran into some vocal issues toward the end of support of the first album and prior to the recording of the second disc. Did that lead to any change in approach in terms of the vocal recording or how you approach touring?
It made us change our schedule a lot and put things on hold for a few months. But with every negative situation comes a positive and this gave us a huge window of time to work deeply into the vocals for the record. So without the trauma, we wouldn't have created what we have.
There's some great songs on the Brainwashed album and I know "Four Walls" has started to get some attention. Can you discuss how that song came about and how fans have embraced it so far?
It's a collection of songwriting from Sean [Long] our other guitarist, myself and our singer Loz. We all brought different ideas together and it has a cool mixed collection of styles which is fun to play live. It's been great to see it well received at shows.
I'm loving not only the song "Our Legacy," but also the insane performance in the video. I wanted to get your thoughts on the clip, not only the older footage, but just the energy of the shoot.
The song is about our lives together and how far music has brought us. It was a really fun video to shoot and we actually did it inside a hall at our old high school where we all met, which is very fitting for the song.
Fans got a chance to check out four tracks from the new album early and now the whole disc is out. Do you have a personal favorite song off the album and why does it stand out to you?
I like the title track "Brainwashed" loads as it's such a fast and hard hitting song. It also has one of my favorite choruses from the album to play on it. I also love the song "Life in Tension" as it has a really powerful message and gives out great vibes.
This summer you're playing Vans Warped Tour and you have played it before. What was that experience like and what did you learn that will make this an even better experience this time around?
It's a great experience for sure. You get to play so much and share your music with so many people. Warped is about what you put into it. If you get out there and meet people you will make friends and fans. If you wait for them to come to you, you'll go unnoticed.
As far as Warped, can you discuss what the experience is like? How are the crowds? What's the camaraderie like with the other acts on the bill?
Every show is completely different, with the rotating slots it can be super busy or totally dead. You learn to not expect anything and then you'll come away happy with however it goes. There's tons of amazing other bands and it's a good place to make friends!
I saw online that you're looking forward to the bowling tournament on Vans Warped Tour. Do you have a ringer in the band? Who's the best bowler amongst the group?
It's probably Sean or myself. We could both get really into bowling if we went a lot (laughs).
There's an insane shot of Loz upside down in mid-air at a show on your Facebook page -- just another great image of the energy from a While She Sleeps show. What are some of the craziest things you've seen from the band's performances and have there been any weird performance injuries?
We try and have as much fun as possible live, you never know what to expect. I split my head on the roof of a stage and got five stitches in my head. I've also dislocated my knee live and been knocked out cold by our bassist's headstock. It's a dangerous place to be!
With the album out, you can now dig into the full disc fairly easily. Favorite songs off Brainwashed to play live (or looking forward to playing live) and why?
"Brainwashed" -- it's so fast and a total pit monster. "No Sides, No Enemies" -- this song a huge anthemic song. I can't wait to play it live and hear people sing with us. And "Method in Madness" is a fast and aggressive song. We are hopefully going to start playing this song during Warped.
Aside from Warped Tour and promoting the new album, anything else on the horizon you'd like to promote?
We're going to be touring for almost all the next yeah! Come see us at a show and listen to record. If you've done either of those things already, welcome to the family.
Many thanks to While She Sleeps' Mat Welsh for the interview. Pick up their Brainwashed album via Amazon or iTunes. And be sure to catch While She Sleeps on the Vans Warped Tour. Dates can be found here.