“Melodic Hardcore Masters” DON’T SLEEP ft. Dave Smalley Releases New Album ‘See Change’ Via End Hits Records
Don’t Sleep Releases New Album ‘See Change’ Via End Hits Records; New “20/20” Animated Video Now Streaming
Band consists of Dave Smalley (DAG NASTY, ALL, DOWN BY LAW, DYS) on vocals + bassist Garrett Rothman (Junction), drummer Jim Bedorf, and guitarists Tom McGrath (Very Americans) and Tony Bavaria (The Commercials, Very Americans).
“Keeping the classic combo of skating and hardcore music alive, Dave Smalley’s punk band features a crew of park rippers in the new video for their song “Dead On The Inside.””- Thrasher Magazine
“There’s a lot of hardcore punk pedigree within the group’s ranks. But more importantly than that, Don’t Sleep pen fantastic songs.”- No Echo
Don’t Sleep have released their sophomore album, ‘See Change’ via End Hits Records. The 9-track LP was co-produced by the GRAMMY-nominated team of Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland (August Burns Red, Silverstein)
The band, made up of Dave Smalley (DAG NASTY, ALL, DOWN BY LAW, DYS) on vocals, bassist Garrett Rothman (Junction), drummer Jim Bedorf, and guitarists Tom McGrath (Very Americans) and Tony Bavaria (The Commercials, Very Americans), are debuting a new animated video for the track “20/20,” which is now streaming on PunkNews.Org.
Rothman says, “We are excited to introduce our new single “20/20” and the accompanying video. “20/20” is on our “See Change” LP, which drops TODAY on End Hits Records. “20/20” is truly a summer jam – it has a big, anthemic quality to it with an uplifting chorus that everyone can relate to – “someday I’ll be free!” Like any great summer jam, it’s the kind of song that you want to listen to while driving around town with your windows down.
The video for “20/20” is a montage of Don’t Sleep live shows, but interspersed with scenes from Harrisburg, PA, the hometown of 4/5 of Don’t Sleep. The video was beautifully edited by Josh Nesmith. Josh’s vision resulted in a dreamy, ethereal piece that we are really proud of and truly accentuates the song.”
Smalley says, “At peace with this reflection/No regrets, no introspection.” Mortality is a reality of the human experience. We will all die. Some of us too soon (Hendrix, Keith Moon, John Stabb), some living shockingly long (Keith Richards, Willie Nelson). To quote Gandalf from Lord of the Rings: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” In this life, we will all make huge mistakes, but most of us will also try hard, try to do better, and do good things that make those around us happier and this world around us a little brighter. So just know that is part of your story, inevitably. That contrast. Pain and redemption. As Eckart Tolle puts it, we need to realize that the pain body wants to define us, but it is not who we are. In life we are working toward true consciousness. “Another lonely road…someday I’ll be free.””
Stream the video track-by-track, featuring shout-outs from Ingo Knollmann (Donots / Duchamp), Tim McMahon (Mouthpiece / Hands Tied), Damien Moyal (As Friends Rust / Culture / Morning Again), Porcell (Youth Of Today / Shelter / Values Here), Greg Polard (Where It Went Podcast), Brett Rasmussen (Ignite), John Ross Bowie (Comedian / Actor), Scott Vogel (Terror / Buried Alive / World Be Free ) and Roger Miret (Agnostic Front) here:
Whoever said lightning only strikes once clearly has not met Dave Smalley.
From being right in the middle at the birth of US hardcore punk with DYS to creating the blueprint of melodic hardcore with DAG NASTY, from helping to invent pop punk as we know it with ALL to finding himself in the middle of the west coast punk explosion of the 90s with DOWN BY LAW: Smalley was always on the forefront every time hardcore punk stretched its envelope.
While others may use a legacy like that as an excuse to take it a little slower Dave Smalley has no intention to rest on his laurels and keeps writing new music and releasing records.
When he founded DON’T SLEEP with fellow east coast punk rockers Garrett Rothman, Tony Bavaria, Jim Bedorf and Tom McGrath in 2017 the world was more than excited about seeing him front a fast yet melodic hardcore band again.
Being motivated by the immense positive feedback DON’T SLEEP was finally ready to release its debut album “Turn the tide” in 2020. And then the world came to a grinding halt. But after the dust settled all five members decided that DON’T SLEEP was too important to not overcome all obstacles thrown in their way.
The five piece went back into the rehearsal room, finished 8 original songs and added an amazing TOM PETTY cover to the mix. The result is DON’T SLEEP’s second full length “See Change” and it will see the light of day on JUNE 2nd, 2023 worldwide via End Hits Records.
It is a record that combines all elements you have liked about Dave Smalley’s music in the past while sounding incredibly contemporary in the here and now.
“DON’T SLEEP is very much a combination of five distinct friends coming together and making a unique sound”, Smalley says. “It is a rare thing to have such cool synergy and energy and end up focused like a laser beam. It is powerful, melodic and purposeful. We respect and love the common roots we all grew up in and are coming together to make a sound with that as our foundation, but also looking to the future and growing.”
Big help to make “See Change” sound so fresh and current came from an unlikely pair of producers, the Grammy award winning team of Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland.
Guitarist Tony Bavaria explains the unusual choice:
“While they’ve worked a lot in the metalcore world (i.e. August Burns Red, Polaris) they’ve also done some really great sounding rock records for bands like Live, Candlebox, and Everclear. But they are also local hardcore / punk guys we knew for almost twenty years. Knowing how talented they are and the diversity of their work, we really wanted to see what they would be able to bring to the table. It was awesome to have the opportunity to work with them in a world class studio that would probably not be available to a hardcore band like us!”
The end result couldn’t be more of a testament to the shared chemistry between band and producers. From the blazing hardcore opener “Harrisburg Graves” to the catchy mid-tempo punk rock of “Promise Made”, from the epic chorus of “20.20” to the subtle off beat and reggae leanings of “Love is the suture”:
There is something here for all Smalley and punk fans, no matter what of his projects you first fell in love with while the powerful modern production sounds very rooted in the here and now.
Along the catchiness and amazing musical energy DON’T SLEEP’s “See Change” is also full of lyrical inspiration – as you would expect from a band fronted by Dave Smalley.
Bassist Garreth elaborates: “I think we’ve always had the perspective of seeing music and punk/hardcore as a positive force, where the people involved can make a difference in the world around them. It’s been reflected in our name and in our album title “See Change”. If you see injustice or something that needs to change in your surroundings, make it happen, visualize it, “See Change”, know it’s possible, and work to make it better.”
So, let’s just hope that this lightning will strike again and again.
“See Change will be released worldwide by End Hits Records on JUNE 2nd 2023 on limited colored vinyl with two different cover options (one for North America and one for Europe/UK). The digipack CD version will contain 8 bonus songs that have not been available on compact disc before.
Preorder your copy now from the End Hits Store (EU/UK) or from Deathwish Inc (North- and South America).
DON’T SLEEP are currently planning tours around the USA and Europe/UK to celebrate the release of “See Change.”