Lullabies for debauchery

It’s one year ago VIRUS! did an interview with French deathrock/batcave outfit Sleeping Children, who formed in the beginning of 2003. At that time Sap~hire (bass, keyboard, programming) and his crew self released their EP „In Vivo Tests“. This year’s May brought us the second self release entitled "Automatic Mass Amnesia EP". Based on those two records but also on several live gigs in the European area the band managed to gain a proper fanbase. And a label deal with Strobelight Records, who are releasing Sap~hire’s, Murmur’s (vocals) and Lois John Slut’s (guitar) album debut these days: "Lullabies For Debauchery".

VIRUS!: It's one year since our last interview, meanwhile you had line-up changes again, and now in the end the original singer Murmur is back again, plus Lois John Slut on guitars. How did it happen Murmur came back again? Do you still have contact to the former members, like ThömS, Nico, Julien, Mr Zorch, Crepuscule?

Sap~hire: Nico, Julien, Mr Zorch weren't former members. I'm not in contact anymore with every ex-member of the band, except first guitarist Crepuscule who is a great guy. Murmur came back after some members decided to leave in March. We talked on the phone, and saw that we were now able to work and did our best together.

VIRUS!: In May you released your second EP, "Automatic Mass Amnesia". How was the feedback on it? And how would you describe the biggest difference between this EP and your first one, "In Vivo Tests"?

Sap~hire: Feedbacks were really good, a lot of people told us that we were about to find our proper style… This compliment made me feel really happy. The main difference between "In Vivo Tests" and "Automatic Mass Amnesia" is that I wanted to do something much more "punk" as far as guitar and bass are concerned, while keeping the melodic synthesizers of the beginning. Moreover, changes that occurred in members have changed our interpretation of pieces, and I play bass now …

VIRUS!: You signed a deal with Strobelight Records, known for their appreciation for gothic rock, deathrock, batcave etc. How did that come about and how do you feel about it?

Sap~hire: Since March I ‘m in contact with Paul Cuska, as SC is on the compilation "New Dark Age Volume 2" produced by Strobelight. We talked a few times, but nothing really concrete. One fine day, some time after our show in Pisa (Italy) I was out to buy something to drink and when I came back I found an email from Strobelight, wishing to record our first album. I think that I do not realise yet the chance we have, I will probably realize it when I will hold the finalized CD in my hands…

VIRUS!: How would you with a few words describe the music on your new work "Lullabies For Debauchery"?

Sap~hire: This album is the direct continuation of "Automatic Mass Amnesia". This is a good compromise between punk guitars and melodic synthesizers…

VIRUS!: How did you come up with the title of the record? How does the title refer to the lyrical landscape of the songs? What does influence you when it comes to lyrics, life experiences or even books, movies, art?

Sap~hire: I have found that "Lullabies For Debauchery" was a good title, as it defined perfectly our universe as well as the themes tackled in the songs of the album. Several different things can have an influence on me while I am writing a text, but most of my texts stemmed from things that I feel or see around myself. Themes tackled in lyrics of titles in "Lullabies For Debauchery" are debauchery, hallucination, alcohol, downfall, sex, and the need to dream to forget monotony of every days life.

VIRUS!: You produced the album by yourself. What's the advantages/disadvantages regarding this? Whom would you love to hire as producer if you had the choice?

Sap~hire: Yes, we produce it together. I was in charge of the "administrative" part and Lois was in charge of recording, mixing and mastering. To produce your album by yourself while having a label is something really good, because you do not have to face with the usual studio-related stress if the producer is a member of the band. And if I will have to choose a producer… I have really no idea, I have never been thinking about it.

VIRUS!: In the recent past you've been playing live quite a few times. Any specially great, funny, chaotic or bad show you'd like to tell about? What do you love, what do you hate about the live-experience in general?

Sap~hire: There would be too much anecdotes to tell…all the three of us really love the stage and to perform shows. It is the place where we feel the best. To see people dancing and screaming on your music, it’s really orgasmic. It is only on stage that you have this very peculiar contact with the audience. We had really great audiences, as in Basel where we were the first part of the show of Antiworld, or in Nancy for example...And you know, we really love to party, and the stage is the greatest occasion to do it ! ;o) However, there is one thing that I really hate about shows, it’s the hangover on the following day.

VIRUS!: Would you say, there's a difference between the audiences in UK, Germany and France? If so, in which way?

Sap~hire: Yes there is a difference and that’s better this way. In the end, bands will really be bloody bored on stage if audiences were the same and acting the same everywhere.

VIRUS!: There are not known that many gothic rock/deathrock/post punk bands from France, so how's the scene doing there?

Sap~hire: I do think that the French scene is really doing well! Several bands here have a great potential and I am sure that some of them are going to be great names of the batcave scene in a near future.

VIRUS!: Regarding song writing - do you have a certain way you write them , f.e. lyrics first or music first, do you need to be in a certain mood? What does the term "a good song" mean for you?

Sap~hire: I am almost always writing the music first, and then I draw my inspiration from what the music makes me feel to put lyrics on it. After that, Murmur arranges the vocal melody as he pleases. I do not need to be in peculiar mood to compose music, I just have to feel inspired by something. I am a perfectionist with regard to the composition, and sometimes it is a kind of brake...Otherwise, as far as lyrics are concerned, I like to be smashed when I am writing, it is a good way to remove the burden that I am setting to myself.

VIRUS!: What's your opinion about the "new entertainment playground" for the young target group: mobile phones including photo opportunities and the ring tone madness going on right now?

Sap~hire: It’s a little bit funny to see how people can work really hard to create fucking polyphonic rings for mobile phones, but still haven’t found the way to feed everyone... I am taking no interest in this kind of stuff, for me a mobile phone is only a tool to phone, and I don’t give a fuck if there is a camera or a bottle opener on it.

VIRUS!: In a few weeks it's X-mas time again. Do you love it, hate it or just don’t care?

Sap~hire: I do not care. Besides, I do not like winter…

VIRUS!: Please tell us about your hopes, dreams and plans for the (near) future...

Sap~hire: When I have set up Sleeping Children, I told to myself that it would be great if I could do as well as I have done with my former band...To a certain extend, I have fulfilled my first objectives. Now in some kinds our dream would be to play throughout the world, in Asia and in the US for example...A very little number of French bands are playing outside Europe's border. We would be really happy to be one of them.

Breda, 07 Nov 2004