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The Whipping Post presents...

Century Sleeper Interview - Added 05/22/05

 

The Whipping Post:  Hey Ian, I hope all is well.  Since Century Sleeper is a new project for you and James Allin, go ahead and give the readers of The Whipping Post a little idea of how you and James hooked up and decided to make music together.

 

Ian Arkley:  James and I were in contact with each other via email for a couple of years or so, and we had toyed with the idea of a possible collaboration due to a mutual appreciation of each other’s music. This became reality when the label Cold Fusion expressed a desire to release an album from us.

 

TWP:  I hear that the new album Awaken has already been recorded.  How did the recording process go with you guys living so far apart and what do you have left to do before the album is released?

 

IA:  The process went very smoothly as we had demo’ed the songs prior to the recording and sent each other our ideas etc through the mail. We hadn’t met until I arrived in Seattle for the recording but had got to know each other well from emails and phone conversations. The recording took about ten days and then I had to return home to the UK. We were recording right up to the last morning that I was in America. James did some more recording after I had left for home. The album is being mixed right now by James ready for a late summer release.

 

TWP:  What kind of music should the listeners prepare themselves for?  Will it be close in style to any of you or James’ other bands?  What bands, if any, would you say are influences in making the music of Century Sleeper?

 

IA:  I think Century Sleeper is very different to Visionaire and Ashen Mortality, though there will inevitably be similar elements in the music. The style of Century Sleeper is very individual as you will see. The music I was listening to personally when writing and rehearsing for the project was Type O Negative, My Dying Bride, Celtic Frost, Mastodon, Neurosis and Dead Can Dance, mainly. (to name just a few of my influences).

 

TWP:  Tell me about Cold Fusion.  I’ve heard of them before, but I’m not extremely familiar with them.  How did you guys hook up with Cold Fusion and what kind of plans do they have for promoting your upcoming album?

 

IA:  They are a new label who have put out goth compilations, re-releases from Ashen Mortality and Visionaire, and new albums like Simple Shelter’s debut. Gary and James had been in contact with each other, and Cold Fusion were the ideal label to work with on this project, due to the fact we were given complete freedom and trusted to produce a great album with a lot of support and encouragement. The album will be reviewed in many magazines in America and Europe, and Cold Fusion and Century Sleeper will be doing everything we can to promote the band to a wide audience.  

 

TWP:  What are your plans for the future of Century Sleeper?  Is this just a one-album project just to have some fun or do you and James plan on making more music together in the future?

 

IA:  We do plan to continue with the band and don’t want it to be a one off project. James still has Visionaire and I have a new band ‘My Silent Wake’ and am also part of a space rock band ‘The Other Window’. We plan to record a Century Sleeper album every couple of years or so, if possible.

 

TWP:  What will the lyrical content be like on Awaken?  Is it a concept album or are there certain themes that run through the songs?

 

IA:  It is not really a concept album. The lyrics are generally quite bleak and very heartfelt. You will notice certain themes though this is not intentional.

 

TWP:  Ian, I’ve always loved your guitar playing in other bands you been in.  How long have you been playing guitar.  Did you teach yourself or did you have someone else teaching you.  What other guitar players did you (or do you) look up to?

 

IA:  Thanks. I have been playing since I was about 16 but really seriously since about 18 if my memory serves me correctly - not long before Seventh Angel started. I am not telling you how long ago though! I was self taught and just picked up bits and pieces from people, records and videos etc as I went along. Some all time favorite guitarists are: Tony Iommi, The Edge, Billy Duffy, Jimmy Page, David Gilmore, Steve Rothery and Alex Lifeson. When I first picked up a guitar at about 13, it was Tony Iommi I wanted to play like.

 

TWP:  What is going on currently with you guys’ other bands?  Ashen Mortality, Visionaire?

 

IA:  Ashen Mortality split up after 12 years, about 2 months ago. It was a sad decision to make but it is time to move on. Our 2 albums have been re-mastered (some re-mixes too) and have been released as a double package.  James will be doing more Visionaire (next year I think) His Mystical Dominion cd has been re-released. I have done a demo with ‘The Other Window’ We hope to do an album in July and I am doing a ‘My Silent Wake’ demo in a couple of weeks. 

 

TWP:  Retroactive Records recently re-released the two Seventh Angel albums and Bombworks Records is set to release the Heed the Warning demo and some live tracks.  How involved were you in getting these released, and are you glad that they are available to your fans once again?

 

IA:  I was pretty involved with the live/demo release as a lot of the archive stuff had to come from me. It was weird listening to some of it after all these years and it brought back some good memories. The only real involvement with the album re-releases was to ask my friend (and brother in law) Nick Bolton to write an essay for each album. He runs a website called Blackplanet0 which is at www.blackplanet0.freeserve.co.uk which has some pages dedicated to SA, AM and Century Sleeper. I thought it would be a fitting addition to these historic albums!

 

TWP:  And I’ll end with a series of off short answer questions:

 

IA: 

Favorite band/album? TOO HARD!!! my favorite bands include The Cult, Trouble, My Dying Bride, Black Sabbath and Marillion.  Pink Floyd - The Wall is a constant album at the top.

Favorite movie? Blade Runner

Favorite book? Lord of The Rings

Favorite live band? Sabbath rule completely live!

Favorite food/drink? Curry and real ale

Favorite hobby (besides music)? My job! Train driving.

 

TWP:  Any final comments?

 

IA:  Thanks for the interview, hope you enjoy the album.