Republished from MOVE Magazine
When the Weezer Cruise departs from Miami in January, Sleeper Agent will be one of the many alternative rock groups playing onboard. But before the Kentucky band sets sail, it will continue its yearlong tour promoting its new album “Celebrasion,” a tour that includes a stop at Mojo’s on Monday.
The group’s new release, which drops Sept. 27, includes some songs from Sleeper Agent’s previous, independently released album. The rest of the album was recorded in a mere seven days. However, guitarist/vocalist Tony Smith says it wasn’t a rushed process.
“I think me and Justin (Wilson, drums) and Alex (Kandel, vocals), we kind of like to move fast anyway,” Smith says. “I think our producer actually wanted to take a little more time, like do a song a day, but we were just too hyped about it and wanted to churn it out.”
The band has undergone a handful of lineup shifts since beginning in 2008. The current sextet has only been together since July.
“We’ve gone through a soap opera,” Smith says with a chuckle. “So many ups and downs.”
Yet, Smith says, the group has gelled well.
The band began when Smith and Wilson got to drinking and got to thinking.
“We were the first ones in our friend group to turn 21,” Smith says. “So we started hanging out in this bar, just imagining this idea of, ‘What if we were in this no-bullshit band that just played fast-paced, short rock songs?’”
The two inaugural members were trying to break out of the musical rut of an “over-thinking” project and the personal ruts of ex-girlfriends and black eyes.
“Justin had just been sucker-punched in the face at a party, and he kind of wanted to let out some aggression that way,” Smith says. “So I was like, ‘Let’s fucking do it.’ Nice change of pace.”
The aforementioned cruise, which includes bands such as Yuck, Wavves and Dinosaur Jr., gives the band a chance to broaden its horizons on the music scene.
“A lot of the bands that we look up to are on there, so it’s a great opportunity for us to share a boat or share a stage with a lot of those bands,” Smith says. “We listened to Yuck’s new record all last year and Wavves’s new record all last year, and a lot of us have been fans of Weezer since we were 10 years old. It doesn’t really feel real.”
Opening for Sleeper Agent will be The Dorians, whom Smith requested after the band gave Sleeper Agent a copy of its CD.
“That’s another really interesting part of being on the road: you meet kids in up-and-coming bands,” he says. “You get a lot of demos, and one that catches you is always a lot of fun. And when you go back, you can always (be) like, ‘Hey, you wanna open up on a show?’”
Sleeper Agent and The Dorians, along with Sunifyde, will play at 8:30 p.m. Monday at Mojo’s. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $8.