While I will find myself at Union Transfer for Butch Walker tonight, that’s certainly not the evening’s only worthwhile show. Over at the Electric Factory, Sleeper Agent will be supporting local heroes Circa Survive. Sleeper Agent are a group of half a dozen youthful power-poppers from Bowling Green, Kentucky. They recently released an album, Celabrasion, on Mom + Pop Music. Although their target demographic is, I’m guessing, not quite 27 (my age), but I find it hard to resist their admittedly bubblegum-coated audio blasts. And they occasionally trot out some Glam swagger and Garage ruckus, which might be lost on younger fans. Although I’ll be sad to miss them tonight, I did recently get a chance to chat with the band. Here’s what we had to say:
Izzy Cihak: I understand your name is a Battlestar Galactica reference but, if you could be dropped anywhere as a sleeper agent (either because you think the place may need helping in the near future, or it’s simply a place you’d like to hang out), where would it be?
Sleeper Agent: We have no idea because a sleeper agent is unaware until he or she is activated.
IC: Your latest was released on Mom + Pop Music. What are your thoughts on the label and the other artists you share it with? Any favorites? (I rank Freelance Whales as #1 and then you and Sleigh Bells as tied for #2)
SA: We love our label. There is a reason we were so excited to work with them. Their roster is amazing and we’re glad you think so as well.
IC: I love the word “CelABRASION,” as I tend toward the abrasive myself. A lot of your song titles could be described as abrasively straight-forward (“Get it Daddy,” “Force a Smile,” “Proper Taste,” “All Wave and No Goodbye,” etc.) How do you feel as though notions of celebration and abrasiveness contribute to your aesthetic?
SA: Imagine a house party. You pre-game, you’re excited, you get drunk, you have a scuffle with an ex-significant other or friend, you’re regretful and you reflect the morning after. Welcome to Sleeper Agent.
IC: You have a lot of diverse influences (such as Rush) that wouldn’t be automatically assumed by listening to your music. How do you filter all of your collective influences into your own sound?
SA: We’re not influenced by Rush, we just have nostalgic memories for them. Let’s imagine our sound as a personality: How would you funnel everyone you’ve ever met and experienced into a personality? There’s no filter. It just happens.
IC: You’re currently on the road with Circa Survive. What are your thoughts on their band and how the two of you pair together or complement each other? Were you fans of each other beforehand?
SA: They put on one of the best shows you’ll ever see. We both aspire to put on the best show possible. Some of us were fans beforehand, but we’re all fans now.
IC: You’re still a relatively young band. Are there any bands that you would love to, at some point, be included on a bill with, or any bands that you feel would be especially complimentary to your sound?
SA: Everyone on the Weezer Cruise, plus everyone we’ve collectively ever loved.
IC: What should fans expect of your upcoming Philadelphia show, on October 26th, at the Electric Factory?
SA: Tricks and treats.