10 Questions With....The Sleeping's Doug Robinson

Whether you have heard of them or not, Long Island's The Sleeping has really made a name for themselves. From being featured in video games to participating in sold-out tours across the country, they're conquering every avenue they set foot on. I was lucky enough to get lead singer Doug Robinson to take some time out and play 10 questions with me. If you don't love him yet...oh, you will.

CLUSTERFUCK: What do you like better about putting an album together, the writing or the recording?

DOUG: The recording... definitely. I mean the excitement of writing is beautiful but the true beauty lies within the recording process. You just enter a completely different world every time you head into the studio. Songs and their structures can be altered and the expansion of your mind and your abilities just grow without any thought. You come out learning an incredible amount about many different things when you leave a studio. You learn more about yourself and your limits, strong points, weaknesses, etc. You learn more about the others around you more and more each time. You grow a bond and even though we say the word "band" in context without always taking notice to the meaning, the word band means "Something that binds or ties together." That's a great thing to acknowledge when creating music with your closest friends around you. Whether it's in your garage or on a much larger scale. Not to mention how stoked you are on life once everything is complete. You hear your creations finalized for the first time and it's just an intoxicating feeling. Like no matter what happens around you... those creations are your babies and you have experienced a lot to raise them and watch them grow.

CF: Is there anyone that you would like to work with musically?

D: There's a million people I would love to work with. My favorite artist of all time is Fiona Apple and I always vision doing something with her. She is by far a huge influence on the way I write. So much angst comes from such an angel and it makes me admire her for never holding any of her thoughts or feelings back. She does whatever she wants and doesn't give a shit what anyone thinks. She's the true definition of punk rock and punk rock is what I grew up on... Not just the music but the ethics behind the music. The drive and determination to make yourself become who you are without letting anyone poison you along the way. I would love to work with anyone with that mentality because people like that are always an inspiration.

CF: What do you do when you're not out on tour or
making music?

D: Well, I'm always making music and for the most part we are usually on tour,
haha. When we aren't though I just sit around and read as much as possible. I try to devour every book in sight. Also, Sal, our bassist, owns a bar on Long Island and since he's my best friend I was somehow able to catch a job as a bartender on Friday nights and now I consider myself an elite bartender, haha. I'm just glad he realized how bored I was and hooked me up because if he didn't I would literally just be sitting in front of my Xbox in my boxers. People think it's cool to be in a band and never have to work again (which it is great) but it's actually boring as fuck. I like staying productive and being as active as possible. I mean, I am sure that mentality could be different if you're rich but I'm pretty comfortable and I still hate not working. It's fun to take on other endeavors because it teaches you a little more about yourself as an individual.

CF: If you could put together the ultimate tour for yourself, what bands would you want to be a part of it?

D: I used to answer this with a list of bands I never thought I would ever get the chance to play with but now where I'm at in my life I realize that there's much more than that in the grand scheme of things. I would want to put together a tour of friends. People we have played with a million times and it never gets old. It would be a traveling fest. Let me name a few: Bayside, I Am The Avalanche, This Is Hell, Closure In Moscow, Hollywood Undead, Poison the Well, Fordirelifesake (R.I.P.), Envy On the Coast, The Fall Of Troy and many others I can't think of off of the top of my head. I wouldn't care if 10 people a night came to that show because all of those bands are some of our best friends and being with all of those dudes on a regular basis would be all I need.

CF: Is there a city you haven't played in that you really would like to one day?

D: There's a ton of places I can't wait to explore. I have no specifics really because to me every place has its gems. Even places that I have been to that are the worst places I have ever seen still have special memories stored inside of my brain and heart.

CF: Was it exciting for you to have your band featured on Guitar Hero, or was it no big thing?

D: It was definitely a great feeling. The accomplishments gained throughout this band's journey are amazing to me and I'm always thankful for cool shit like that to go down. I have only played our song on GH3 around 3 or 4 times because it's definitely a weird vibe but it's definitely something to be thankful for. It helped us get our name out a lot as well, which is always great. They also just started playing it during NHL games now. So every other day during hockey season I get about 10 texts from people who have heard "Don't Hold Back" over the loud speakers at Ranger/Devil/Red Wing/Islander games. Pretty stoked.

CF: Where would you like to see your band in the next few years?

D: I just want to see us the way we always are which is hard working and happy to be best of friends. I mean, of course I want us to be all over your television screens and your stereo speakers but I am happy for all that we have accomplished and I am even happier that I have a family who I can turn to for anything. Music is the most important thing in my life and being able to create music with my best friends is something many people don't take the time to just sit back and appreciate. Even when all is said and done, I still have brothers who I will continue to grow old with.

CF: What is your favorite way to spend your down time?

D: It used to be partying every second but honestly I've toned that down a lot. I mean I'm still the same old dude who loves to get shitty with my friends but a lot has happened in my life over the past couple of years and I have shaped into a different individual. I've realized that I have been alive for 26 years and I am now just starting to figure out who I really am inside. I love reading and I have found a new passion in writing. I mean I always love writing lyrics and whatnot but lately I have been expanding my writing horizons. I have been writing a ton of short stories and even though I can't say anything yet, I have some really exciting things coming up for me within the field of writing. I am about to step into a completely different element and I cannot wait to see what comes out of it. So in a nutshell I'd have to say my downtime involves Reading, Writing, drinking with friends then coming home to read and write some more.

CF: Besides being an amazing vocalist, do you have any other talents?

D: Ha, I appreciate the compliment... thank you. Other talents eh? Ummn, I can play the bass, I play guitar and I also play drums so I'm always busy focusing on all of that.

CF: What do you want people to take away from listening to your music?

D: I want people to take whatever they want with them. My message is for people to follow their own message and if I can comfort some broken souls along the way then I have fulfilled my dreams as a musician. I just want to help those who need it and keep creating music that I love and use as a release for myself as well as others.
Thank you for the questions. It was a great interview.

Pick up The Sleeping's album "What It Takes" and check them out on MySpace and Twitter. And make sure to catch them on tour this month with Scary Kids Scaring Kids in a town near you! I know i will.

Also, if you missed any of the past 10 Questions With... installments, make sure to check 'em out!
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