Photos by Fred Aube
San Francisco, California based film scoring drone/doom project Sleepbomb has signed a deal with Koolarrow Records.
Their new release »The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari« is coming out in October 2023.
Courtesy of Discipline PR:
“This is music to heal to, to calm down to but also to bang your head to and shake your fists to. Amplified Blues for the 21st century or ‘when Robert Johnson went and met Steve von Till to jam along with Kurt Ballou and Aaron Turner’.” – Veil Of Sound Magazine
Originating in the San Francisco arts and metal scene, Sleepbomb has been scoring films live since the early 2000’s. After a short hiatus, Sleepbomb returned in 2015 exploring heavier territories, developing scores for the key works of the German expressionist classics – »Metropolis« and »Nosferatu« as well as their signature score for the sword and sandals classic Conan the Barbarian. Followed by their first official release – »The Path Of Pins« (2020).
The filmic experience puts Sleepbomb’s music in a whole different context from “normal” shows. “We receive frequent feedback from audience members who have attended films that they had no idea who Sleepbomb was upon coming in.” – explains Tim Gotch, one of the core-members of the band: “And these people are amazed by the experience of seeing their favorite film in a new light with the recontextualized score. This is key to the Sleepbomb experience and key to growing a diverse fanbase outside of the metal scene.”
Influenced by Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Neurosis and Sunn O))), Sleepbomb are ready to deliver their debut on Koolarrow, scoring what is considered to be the original German Expressionist film – Robert Wein’s 1920 classic tale of madness »The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari«.
Commenting on the signing announcement, Billy Gould explains: “Compared to most other projects that I’ve worked on, Sleepbomb is an entirely different beast.” – says the founder of Koolarrow Records: “I have always liked music when there is a visual component to it, but these guys express theirs with a rhythm that is very deep and hypnotic, but full of character in a very human sense.”
“Billy has been a long-time mentor to Sleepbomb and a never-ending font of great ideas and advice.” – continues Tim Gotch: “When Billy offered to release »The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari« via his personal imprint, Koolarrow, we immediately said yes. We are honored and grateful for this opportunity and can’t think of a better home for our first label release!”
With five full film scores in hand, Sleepbomb approaches 2023 and beyond with a renewed dedication to progressing and disseminating this unique form of cinematic art and music. After many years of only self-releasing live or excerpted recordings, Sleepbomb joins the roster of Koolarrow Records for their first full formal score recording – »The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari«. The LP is scheduled to be released in October 2023 in digital, physical and synchronized Blu-ray formats.
Founded in 2003 as a casual ensemble project, Sleepbomb immediately gained recognition in San Francisco for performing improvised industrial/experimental scores to German expressionist films like »The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari« and »Metropolis«. In 2004, the founding duo of Charles Hernandez and Mark Jones were joined by Chris Bishop (bass), Rob Johnson (drums), Tim Gotch (keyboards) and James Presley on the saw. After a short hiatus in 2013 and some lineup changes, Sleepbomb fully got back together in 2015.
Originally stylistically close to a chaotic version of Throbbing Gristle vs Black Sabbath, Sleepbomb has been exploring experimental sounds and forms, guided by the band’s love of Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Coil, Neurosis, Sunn 0))), Ulver and Swans, among others. Settling on a drone influenced style of doom metal as the overarching theme while exploring other genres as appropriate for each film’s particular style, Sleepbomb has performed full scores for the German expressionist classics »Metropolis« and »Nosferatu« as well as their signature score for Conan the Barbarian at the independent theaters, film festivals and art galleries of the SF Bay Area to national festivals like Litha Cascadia.
Post-pandemic, Sleepbomb returned as a four piece and developed entirely new material for the scores of »The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari« and the classic 1968 zombie film »Night Of The Living Dead«. An artistic endeavor rather than a band, Sleepbomb has spent the last 20 years providing a whole different perspective to the listeners, recontextualizing genre-defining films with entirely new scores.A deep dive beyond your imagination.
Charlie Hernandez – guitars, occasional vocals and percussion
Tim Gotch – basses, synths, sound design, film editing, vocals
Rob Johnson – drums and percussion
Claire Hamard – vocals, synths, electronics, percussion
Brown Hues – sound engineering and technical wizardry