Some time ago Michael Pepe was helping out a then solo artist by the name of Meghan Tartamella. Over the course of working together they developed a sound together, and then when they added some others to round it out they had not only a sound that fused indie, electronic and pop – but a band. Thus Sleeplust was born out in North Carolina. They then started talking about the idea of packing things up and heading out west to give their career a shot out in LA and that’s where we’re picking up this story with their own Michael who opened up about the decision to move, their latest single “My Place” and more.
Kendra: You went from one postcard looking place to another when you moved to LA to North Carolina. What was the sort of last conversation like between you guys before you decided to head west?
Michael Pepe: Haha, yes I suppose you’re right! Both places are breathtaking in their own ways! That conversation was actually pretty seamless. Meghan and I were sitting at a Mexican restaurant having dinner and I said to her, “I’m thinking of bringing this thing to LA; would you be down?” She immediately answered yes. Joey and I had already spoken about it and about six months after that conversation we were in LA. It felt natural, it felt right. We had been wanting to make the move for a while and generally speaking there’s no better time to do something than “now.”
Kendra: Being a new band in town is similar to being the new kid in school. Have you managed to make some friends out here, like what clique are you guys currently hanging with?
Michael: What a great analogy. I’m going to start using that! Luckily we have a wonderful network of people and independently had been out here before for music related trips. There’s such a wonderful indie rock scene out here; we’ve taken pretty quickly to it and we have a good amount of friends and colleagues out here who have shown us the great bars, venues, etc. It’s been a real blast!
Kendra: Your latest single, “My Place,” was recorded at here and you’ve said it’s a sort of anthem for letting things come into their own in a new setting. Is that a mentality you had before you headed out or one that quickly developed after your bags were unpacked?
Michael: I think that mentally has been ours for a very long time; even as independent people. We don’t like to push on things and force anything. Things happen at their right time; it’s a beautiful thing really. Even moving to LA seemed like the right thing and so we did it. Meghan did such a wonderful job of lyrically representing that in “My Place.” I think people can really connect with that idea.
Kendra: We’re going to be hearing you guys on TV pretty soon, but if we could travel back – what show from when you were growing up would you have loved to hear some Sleeplust on?
Michael: Oh wow that’s really tough haha. Arrested Development or my all time favorite ever Seinfeld would have been awesome! That would’ve been crazy haha; not sure how that would ever work since our genre doesn’t specifically fit in that category of television but if we’re dreaming, let’s dream! I think Breaking Bad would have been awesome too. When I was watching all those episodes on Netflix I always found parts where I thought Sleeplust songs would’ve been a great mood setter!
Kendra: Back to today, do you guys have any shows or tour plans in the works?
Michael: Yes for sure! We’ll be playing in the LA area starting in late spring/early summer. We’re actually currently in rehearsals for the shows!
Kendra: Since moving to LA, what local band has really made you feel like home here?
Michael: Oh great question! I have to point out a few…Hawai, Dear Boy and Laura Jean Anderson are all so fantastic and I really love seeing their shows. I wish all of our friends back home could be at the shows with us!