A Chat with TJ Horansky from Sleep On It (09.08.18)

PR image of sleep on it band
Image credit to Nick Karp

When a person is told to ‘sleep on it’, the association is to take a break, lie down, and sleep before making a final decision on whatever one has to deal with.  This Sleep On It cannot be further than the aforementioned association!  This Sleep On It is an indie-alternative band from the US that will have you up on your feet and dancing about without a thought of lying down.  Our writer, Nicole, was lucky enough to speak with band member TJ Horansky about their latest album Overexposed, which tracks he likes, and whose mind he would read if he were telepathic!

OSR:  A rather cliché question, but a good introductory one – why choose the name ‘Sleep On It’ for the band?

TJ:  We got the name from the Meatloaf song, ‘Paradise By The Dashboard Light’.

OSR:  How did the band come together?  I know Zech joined you a couple of years ago, but what is the original story?

TJ:  I met Jake at Riot Fest 2012 while working for Alternative Press.  We were all originally from different states, but had moved to Chicago because of school.  Our original vocalist was John Cass, but we parted ways with him in 2015.

OSR:  You’ve had your current line-up for over two years now, but did you face any challenges when Zech
made the transition from Bonfires to Sleep On It? 

TJ:  It was a pretty smooth transition.  Zech has a great voice, and everyone was pretty stoked at the addition.

OSR:  Overexposed is your debut full-length album.  What was the songwriting and recording process like for the album?

TJ:  We had never written for a full-length record, so it was a bit daunting at first.  It was a little stressful at times, but I enjoyed the process overall.  We wrote songs that we would want to hear.  I tried not to overthink it.

OSR:  What is your favourite track on Overexposed, and why that track?

TJ:  My favourite song is probably the title track.  We wrote that in the basement where we practice.  For me, it encapsulates the essence of Sleep On It and what the record is about.  It’s also super fun to play live.

OSR:  Similarly, what is your least favourite track and why that track?

TJ:  I wouldn’t say it’s my least favourite, but I have a complicated relationship with the song ‘Fireworks’.  I wrote that song a long time ago while I was in a different band.  I’m glad that people are connecting with it, though.

OSR:  You collaborated with Derek Discanio from State Champs on the new album.  What was it like working with Derek??

TJ:  Derek is great.  We’re all fans of State Champs, so we connected pretty well from a songwriting standpoint.  He has a great ear for melody.  I think he helped kick the record up that extra notch.

OSR:  You recently released a video for Overexposed album opener, ‘A New Way Home’, and the video is literally the band performing for artists with each artist interpreting Sleep On It in their own way.  Who came up with this concept?

TJ:  The concept came from our director, Miguel Barbosa of Yeah Films.

OSR: I’ll admit that people can misinterpret songs, so what is the true meaning behind ‘A New Way Home’, and behind Overexposed as an album?

TJ:  The album is about the sacrifices we make to pursue what we want in life.  We expose ourselves to failure and rejection constantly, but nothing worthwhile ever comes easy.

OSR:  You recently played the final run of Warped Tour.  What was the experience like?

TJ:  It was incredible.  We all felt humbled to be a part of the final cross-country run.  It’s very bittersweet that it’s over.

OSR:  Warped Tour line-ups have always been outstanding, but what was your favourite act on this final run? 

TJ:  Every Time I Die.

OSR:  If you could organise a fantasy tour where you tour with absolutely any musicians, who would you choose and where would you go?

TJ:  I think we’d love to tour with Fall Out Boy, Jimmy Eat World and/or Taking Back Sunday.  World tour, baby!

OSR:  We always like to ask some light-hearted questions, so tell us, what animal sidekick would you have if you were in a movie?

TJ: A penguin.

OSR:  If you were telepathic, whose mind would you read?

TJ:  Donald Trump.

OSR:  Finally, if you could offer some advice to people who want to be musicians, what would you tell them?

TJ:  I give all starting musicians the same advice, think about building your career like building a house.  The songs are the foundation, so spend time writing great songs that you believe in.  Invest in a proper recording, everything else in your career is built upon that.  Surround yourself with people who believe in you and that you trust.

Brand yourself consistently; nobody wants a house that is thirteen different colours.  Spend time promoting yourself online and in person.  Never underestimate the power of face-to-face promotion.  Talent and hard work is a powerful combination.

OSR:  Thanks so much for speaking with us, and best of luck for all your future endeavours.  

TJ: Thank you!

Thanks once again to TJ for chatting with us.  To enjoy more of Sleep On Its awesomeness, you can check out their music online via their socials (Facebook, Twitter) or buy their music using Amazon and iTunes!  Be sure to watch their latest video, ‘A New Way Home’, and view these talented men in their element!

Related posts:

Sleep On It – A New Way Home (2017)

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