I first heard of Sleepy Gonzales via their 2020 EP "Slow Apocalypse", and immediately fell in love with their music. Sleepy Gonzales is composed of twin brothers Cristian (guitar and vocals), Beni (drums and vocals), Ally (vocals), and Nick (bass). The Vancouver based band has quickly become one of my favorite bands, is is sure to become one of yours as well.We recently got the opportunity to catch up with the band. Check it out!
1. What have you been listening to lately?
Earl Sweatshirt. Adrianne Lenker. Kylie V. Madlib. Whether it’s cowboys or gangsters, indie is the way
2. How do I become confident enough to wear sunglasses indoors?
Just do it - nobody cares. If they do they a plug
3. How many pushups do you think Anthony Fantano can do?
Probably a strong 4/10
4. What is the last illegal thing you did? (I promise I’m not a cop)
I threw a bag of dog shit at some guy who was road raging
5. What book lie about reading so I sound smart in conversation?
Never do that you’ll eventually get vibecheck & look like a motherfuckin fool
6. What are you currently looking forward to?
Visiting my niece and guitar lessons with Buck Meek
7. Y’all know Nardwuar?
Personally? No. met him once at Neptoon tho and he is no diff than on camera
8. What do you think Nardwuar smells like?
He smelled like old clothes but that mighta just been the record store, kinda stanks in there
9. Make me cry.
i checked out your blog and it sucks
10. What local vancouver bands should we check out?
Kylie V Kylie V Kylie V Kylie V
To start things off can you introduce yourselves and tell us your role in the band?
Ally - Donatello
Nick - Michelangelo
Cristian - Rafael
Beni - Leonardo
How did Sleepy Gonzales form?
Cristian and I would jam and write songs throughout our childhood. We scooped up Ally in 2015 after we realized she could sing like an angel. We scooped up Nick because we needed an actual cool person in the band.
Did you know each other pretty well before forming the band?
Cristian and I were wombmates. Ally and him dated as adolescents. We [the twins] were also in a [now defunct] punk rock band with Nick
Can you please go on tour with Speedy Ortiz?
That would be sexxxy
Listen. Sleepy Gonzales, Speedy Ortiz, and Isaac Gutierez (My name is already mexican enough) on tour. Every single state in the US. Every single province in Canada. Every single town in every state.
Not really down for that tbh
You released “Slow Apocalypse” late last year! Can you talk to us a bit about the album?
This album was years in the making. The phrase “Slow Apocalypse” came into my head in 2018. It started as “Slowpocalypse” but then I decided it sounded stupid. Song-wise, the inspiration was avalanche of terrible things that happened to us. I have tried multiple times to write it down, but I can’t. It’s shit you’d wanna talk to a therapist about.
I guess I will just list the songs and write down a theme for each one:
Alligatorzzz - trying to impress someone when you know its impossible
Slow Apocalypse - the current ennui of this lovely, crumbling world
Motorbike - fantasizing about leaving all this shit behind
Aliens - loneliness
Jonny B - getting high and chillaxing
Featherweights - ending a relationship is easier said than done
Underwater Lvl - insanity
Sally - loss of innocence
King of Rat Kastle - risk
My favorite song is currently “Motorbike.” What is the inspiration behind that song?
We won this contest back in 2018 and were put through that whole industry A&R song and dance where they pitch you a pipe dream and forfeit all of your integrity and originality. Instead of trying to see ourselves as “above” such things, I embraced it by writing the most formulaic song I could, calling it “Motorbike” because the dude who sat us down looked like he liked motorcycles. I really wanted to try recording in a fancy studio.
Who do you consider your musical influences?
Instrumentals - Alt-J, La Dispute, King Gizzard, Crumb, Divino Nino, Alvvays, general fuckery in the studio.
Lyrics - Conor Oberst [Bright Eyes], Adrianne Lenker [Big Thief], Lou Reed,
What does success look like to you as a band?
I read that your song “Sally On The Avenue” was written by your 7 year old neighbor and you exchanged the rights to the song for a bag of Jolly Ranchers. Who do you think got the better end of that deal?
I mean… jolly ranchers slap
Do you feel like you push each other creatively as a band?
Yes. Even though Cristian and I wrote the songs on Slow Apocalypse, we are very excited for upcoming releases as they will include a lot more of Nick and Ally’s songs. The band will feel truly equal when that happens. We try to be open to one another’s input, criticism, and influence. It definitely pays off to be able to let other people in, if you can let go of your attachment to your songs, which can be easier said than done.
What do you miss the most about touring?
Being a stranger in a strange place. Fucking around.
What do you miss the least?
Back/butt hurty from long care ride :(
Are you working on anything currently?
Tons, man. Nick and I are starting a radio show. Ally has a child named Margot, Cristian is working on his KDA. We are constantly writing. Between us 4 we have more than another album’s worth of songs already. We are patiently developing them alongside one another.
Is there anything that you want our readers to know?
Spirituality is the key to a peaceful, happy future. Love is the key to spirituality. It’s not Hippie shit - The west has got it all fucking wrong. There’s no true hierarchy in the world, even if it seems like that. Those at the top are truly suffering in isolation and disillusion, but will never admit it.
It’s easy to say fuck the patriarchy, fuck institutional values like racism, sexism, but spirituality is the recognition that we are all one and the same on a level that transcends our harming and killing of one another. Advocate for what is right, but never tell anyone what to do, ever. Start on the inside. Once you learn to love what’s INSIDE you, you can begin to truly love whats outside. The world must progress together. Those who have no room for love in their hearts will crumble into dust, and nobody will remember them for very long. Love.
And to wrap things up, do you have any questions for me?
First off - Thanks for all the thoughtful questions
What would you wanna see from the band in the future? any artist you’d suggest? Are u an artist? If so, link me up baby
I just realized that I don't like to be on this end of a question. It's so much pressure.
I think I'd like to see the band on tour (when it's possible again).
I've been listening to Dad Bod (from Minneapolis), Ana Frango Electrico, and Peter Cat Recording Co. lately. I definitely recommend them. I think that the guys from PCRC are geniuses.
I'm not an artist. I think that's why I started this site. This is as close as I get to being a part of a music scene.