Interview With Armor For Sleep - 7th June 2005
Photo Of Ben JorgensenWe caught up with Ben Jorgensen from Armor For Sleep at the Electric Ballroom in London just before the band were due to take the stage supporting fightstar.

Give us a brief history of the band for people who have never heard of you.
A brief history, I guess… We started in 2001 and we started recording a bunch of demos around New Jersey and just giving them to our friends. In the process, Equal Vision Records from up state New York caught one of our demos and wanted to sign us. So we signed a deal with them and put out our first record in 2003 called 'Dream to Make Believe'. We toured our butts off for like, a year and a half, then we went and recorded our second CD, which is called 'What To Do When You Are Dead'. That came out three months ago and we've been touring all year so far to promote that CD.

how did you come up with the name Armor For sleep?
I guess when I started the band I was kind of, like, retreating in my room and I kind of couldn't really fall asleep, so I started playing music. I guess that's really when everyone does. I guess I just thought of the name Armor For Sleep, because it was really, the music was keeping me from passing out! Which was something I was procrastinating on.

What was it like writing "What To Do When You Are Dead"?
It was cool, it was definitely different from 'Dream To Make Believe'. We wrote it in between tours. Whenever we were home for a couple of weeks, we could get together and practice and write some songs and doing 'Dream To Make Believe' we didn't tour at all. So it kind of came from sitting at home and doing nothing, and 'What To Do When You Are Dead' was conceived in a storm of craziness!

Photo Of Ben JorgensenWhat made you want to write a concept album?
I don't think we ever thought about it like we were going to go in and write a concept album. I just think that's how we naturally think about albums. I think unless something changes us, we're more inclined to write an album that has a kind of theme running through it. Or just something that you can latch on to. 'Cause those have always been the records that I've been able to latch on to the most.

Which of your albums do you prefer?
I think I like both of them for different reasons. It's kind of like, asking which one of your two kids are your favourite, you know? In fact, they both have their flaws and their strengths. I really couldn't choose one.

Your album artwork is awesome; who came up with the ideas and design and colours for that?
Well I kind of had a very specific idea in mind for what I wanted the cover to be like. For the second book too. It actually took a bunch of artists until somebody actually got the picture. But I think for this, we kind of wanted a literal image of what the album was about. And so I kind of wanted this weird Edward Scissorhands -ish like, weird empty town with some guy floating above looking down on everyone.

Do you think your dreams can affect your reality?
That's an interesting question. I think, yeah. I mean I think that's kind of like, evolutionarily, I think the reason of dreams was to give people pictures of stuff they have to do in their lives. Like, sometimes I have dreams; sometimes someone will be shady to me, and I'll have a dream where I'll really like, lash out and yell at this person. And I wake up, and it's like "oh this person's not so bad". When you sleep, you kind of pick up on small signals that maybe you overlooked during the day. So I think sometimes they can reveal things that maybe you don't realise when you are awake.

Photo Of Ben JorgensenHow's it been touring with Fightstar? Any random stories from the road to share?
I guess every day for us is random here. It's a new place, everything we see is completely new to us. It's kind of hard to pick one thing.

What's the best band you have ever toured with and why?
Best band ever? Maybe this band called Recover from the States that we tour with. We're really good friends with them and they kind of, get the shit end of the stick. They don't really get appreciated that much, but knowing what other bands they've influenced, I know how important they are. I know that bands will keep being influenced by them in the States for a while. It's kind of sad to see them play and to see no one really get it, or care what they're doing.

How do the UK shows differ to shows back home?
Well I kind of feel like we're playing for the first time again, because we've never played here before. It's like, people haven't built up their opinions about us yet and we get a fresh start for everyone. I just think that's really cool.

What's the crowd response been like so far on this tour?
It's been awesome. There are people at every show that at least know who we are. I definitely didn't think that would happen. And we played a headlining show in Oxford, and that was sold out! Like, three hundred people had come to see us. That blew my mind, that was crazy! It's just weird, that something you do so far away from someone else, can affect them. You know?

What's the best and worst thing about being on tour?
I guess the best thing is meeting new people, being in new cities, having an adventure every night. The worst part is, the obvious thing is, missing your family, missing your own bed, missing the comforts of home. Which is something I never thought I would miss. After a while, I think anyone gets home sick.

Who are your musical influences?
A lot of British bands actually. I like Radiohead and The Smiths. Joy Division. Also bands like Nirvana, Saves The Day, Lifetime. A whole bunch.

What is your favourite album of all time?
Probably OK Computer. Or, Dark Side of the Moon. Or Nevermind. Or… Discovery by Daft Punk is really good.

Photo Of Ben JorgensenWhat's your favourite song to play live and why?
Um, I guess I like playing 'The Truth About Heaven', it's a song off our new CD. We started opening with it. I think when we started playing it, we were really shaky with it, and I was like, 'is this ever going to feel normal?'. Sometimes you just have to get used to performing it. But now, we've been playing it for a couple of months and it just feels really good to play. And I like it.

Where do you see your band in 5 years time?
Hopefully still making records. And, I don't know. It's such a hard industry to be in. If you succeed in this industry you probably did something shady, so I just hope if we succeed, we never compromised our integrity.

Thanks for your time and do you have a message for your fans that read this?
I guess, just thank you for listening to us, if you live in the UK. It's really cool for us.
 Band Members

Ben Jorgensen (Vocals, Guitar)
PJ DeCicco (Guitar)
Anthony DiIonno (Bass)
Nash Breen (Drums)
 Latest Releases
Armor For Sleep - What To Do When Your Dead
Release Date - February 22nd 2005
1. Car Underwater
2. The Truth About Heaven
3. Remember To Feel Real
4. Awkward Last Words
5. Stay On The Ground
6. A Quick Little Flight
7. The More You Talk The Less I Hear
8. Basement Ghost Singing
9. Walking At Night, Alone
10. I Have Been Right All Along
11. The End Of A Fraud
 Band Related Links
Armor For Sleep Myspace
Armor For Sleep Official Site