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[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

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[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
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Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
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Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
LOSTATSEA.NET > FEATURES >

April 13, 2004
SLEEP STATION is one Dave Debiak, a New Jersian affiliated with the Eyeball brand, a label which has released albums by the likes of My Chemical Romance, Milemarker, and Murder By Death. But Debiak, a gifted pop songwriter who pens concept albums at a breakneck pace, has landed a sound far removed from the eyeliner and heavy riffage of his peers, instead referencing David Bowie and early 1990s alternative radio. It is far more likely to hear echoes of Toad the Wet Sprocket composing a private soundtrack for 2001: A Space Oddyssey than it is the gutteral screams and incidiary guitar work of Murder By Death. Recently, after landing an 8.5-rated review of Hang In There Charlie, Debiak took a few seconds out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions about song imagery, Charlie Thompson, and spending time in the laundry room.

---
LAS: So, what exactly is sleep station? Is it you, is it a band, what?

> Dave Debiak: Sleep Station is a bedroom in outer space.

Is writing a concept album difficult compared to a regular album? It would seem to be obviously more involved, on the level of detail, than a regular album.

> I would say easier, because once I get an idea stuck in my head I become obsessed with it. Once that happens I just start writing, and I usually hit a wall between 14 and 18 songs. Personal songs that aren't intended to follow a certain theme will come to me here and there and they are all very different from one another if I put them all on one album it would sound like a mix tape, not very cohesive.

What comes first, the concept or the music?

> Probably the concept.

How do you generally come up with subject matter for your concepts?

> It usually comes to me when I sleep or I am just playing my guitar, the idea of Von Cosel was given to me by my brother and then I started to investigate it pretty heavily, then it got all weird.

What sort of mental imagery comes to mind when you're writing/recording the songs?

> It is very cinematic. I can usually relate it to something in my life or some event. When I wrote Hang In There Charlie I kept picturing these astronaut toys my father had when he was a boy. He used to photograph them obsessively. I can remember the toys from when I was a child, I used to play with them around the same time my grandfather died. I thought a lot about those toys when I was writing Hang In There Charlie.

I've read that your time in the laundry room borders on monastic. What is it that keeps you in there, the Downy fresh scent, the sound of the tumbler?

> Probably the solidarity. My apartment is very neat and well kept but the laundry room is a very messy, dark room and no one bothers you when your in there.

What's with Charlie Thompson, who is linked on your website? Is that the Charlie who's hanging in there?

> I dont know.

What prompted you to write an album about anhedonia?

> It needed to be told.

What is on the horizon for Sleep Station? Any unexplored concepts that we can expect to evolve into albums soon?

> I've been working tirelessly on an album about World War 2. The album is from the perspective of all different people that where effected by the war.

Your songs deal heavily with the human psyche and its reaction to extreme internal and external environmental conditions. We all experience a microcosm of everything inside our own minds, but are your songs based in the hypothetical or do you have any experience with isolation, et cetera?

> I have experienced isolated times in my life, sure. I think there is apart of me that feels that way all the time. I know there are a few songs on the next record that deal with the relationships of people as they struggle through the turmoil of war. I wanted to make it more personal. Some songs are from a mother to her son or a soldier talking to God, so I think the feeling is a little different, but then again probably not.

Will there ever be a physical pressing of Von Cosel?

> Part of me hopes that everything will go back to vinyl... I've spent the majority of my life listening to music that way. So I guess as long as they still press records, or simply something tangible that I can hold, I will be happy.

SEE ALSO: www.sleep-station.com

--
Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other articles by Eric J Herboth.

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