While She Sleeps talk new album Brainwashed

2012's This Is The Six whipped Sheffield's melodic metallers While She Sleeps from support band to headliner faster than you can say Bring Me The Hooks. The pressure, therefore, is on like the proverbial Donkey Kong for the band's forthcoming follow-up effort, Brainwashed.

"The expectations are really high," admits guitarist and songwriter Sean Long. "We want this to double This Is The Six, to connect with people and have them think, 'What the fuck is this band doing?'"

Sean long, while she sleeps guitarist

Sean long, while she sleeps guitarist

Sean Long, While She Sleeps guitarist

Sean describes Brainwashed - produced by Carl Brown, who also helmed This Is The Six - as "a tour record", primarily because of its on-the-road inception, but also due to the variety of recording locations the band made use of, including Lincolnshire's Chapel Studios, the Treehouse in Chesterfield and Steelworks in Sheffield.

"We've got a bunch of different frequencies of power!"

"It actually got finished on the recent In Flames tour, but we didn't tell our management," reveals Sean. "We'd already gone over our deadline, so we finished it on the road. This Is Our Legacy has actually turned out to be one of the best tracks on the record."

Mat welsh, while she sleeps

Mat welsh, while she sleeps

Mat Welsh - While She Sleeps guitarist

Other key tracks include advance single New World Torture and title track Brainwashed - "the riff at the end of that song is definitely one to look out for," tips Sean. The theme for Brainwashed seems to be 'variety': by accident rather than design with the vocals, following Loz Taylor's surgery.

"It's cool because we've got the start of the record, where he'd just started [singing again]," explains Sean. "Then we've got him warmed up and then the tour voice, which is really worn-in. So we've got a bunch of different frequencies of power!"

It's no different when it comes to Sean and rhythm player Mat Welsh's guitars. Tones come via Marshall JVMs and Peavey 6505s, while axes are legion...

Loz taylor, while she sleeps

Loz taylor, while she sleeps

Loz Taylor, While She Sleeps vocalist

"My Ibanez Prestige is the main riff guitar, but we also used a Gibson E-335, a cutaway Ibanez, a Martin acoustic, Larrivée acoustic, a Fender Telecaster..." lists Sean. "Do not forget that Telecaster! We'd even cut into some riffs and use it on just certain parts because it sounded so good." Given the effort and resources involved - including mastering by Ted Jensen (Muse, Coldplay) - it's not surprising hopes are high.

"We've really put all our eggs in one basket with this one," surmises Sean. "If it doesn't work, then fuck it, but we love it."

Brainwashed is due to be released by Search And Destroy/Sony Music on 23 March 2015.

Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk (opens in new tab), which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.