Sleep Token’s drummer, II, has given the band’s first video interview to discuss his drumming techniques and influences.
These performances are interspersed with interview clips in which II – his voice masked behind a distorted voice filter – divulges into his approach to drumming, techniques, and influences. In one excerpt, he touches on the wide range of influences which shape his style. “I’ve always personally taken a lot of inspiration from the UK dance music scene,” he said. “And listening to various subgenres of drum and bass specifically allow me to incorporate stylistic traits from those genres into my vocabulary as a drummer.”
Watch Drumeo’s interview with Sleep Token’s II below:
Elsewhere in the interview, he named various drummers as influences on his approach as a drummer, including former Suicidal Tendencies drummer Eric Moore, Mudvayne’s Matt McDonough, and the late Joey Jordison, stating: “When I first started playing, I, like many others in my generation were heavily into drummers such as Joey Jordison, Matt from the band Mudvayne, as well as the more extreme speed players, such as Derek Roddy.”
Sleep Token released their third album, ‘Take Me Back To Eden’, in May, following the release of lead singles ‘Chokehold’ and ‘The Summoning’ on consecutive days in January. The album earned a glowing, five-star review from NME, with Emma Wilkes praising the band’s eclectic sound, blending influences as wide as R&B, funk and black metal into a cohesive mix.
“There are more risks on ‘Take Me Back To Eden’ than Sleep Token have ever taken before, but there’s never an opportunity to doubt whether anything they attempt will succeed,” Wilkes wrote. “It’s an ambitious, emotional monolith of a record, with all the hallmarks of future classic status.”
‘Take Me Back To Eden’ was eventually included in NME’s top 50 albums of 2023, landing on the number 21 spot. In recognition of the album, Liberty Dunworth praised the album’s experimental approach to metal, writing: “On paper, the album’s genre-defying, experimental approach could have been contrived, yet with tracks like ‘The Summoning’ and ‘Granite’, the end result was one refined enough to establish the band as arena headliners and a breath of fresh air for today’s rock scene.”
The band, consisting of Vessel, II, III, and IV, have never revealed their identities, though various singers have been proposed as potential identities for Vessel, including Bastille’s Dan Smith, Don Broco’s Rob Damiani, and even James Arthur.
Last Saturday (December 16), the band performed their biggest show to date with a concert at the 12,500-capacity Wembley Stadium, which sold out in 10 minutes. The gig saw Vessel losing his voice halfway through the show, before the crowd filled in to sing along to the rest of their set. In NME’s four star review, Emma Wilkes praised the band’s perseverance, writing: “With a touring schedule as relentless as Sleep Token’s in 2023, strained vocal cords might have been inevitable but tragically, its timing couldn’t have been worse. But what the band deserve now is commendation for their efforts to push through.”