While She Sleeps (ft. Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil) Debut the Powerful Mental Health Anthem ‘Nervous’

Adrian GarroCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

Sheffield, U.K.-based metalcore band While She Sleeps is gearing up to release a new album, Sleeps Society, on April 16. It’ll be the group’s fifth full-length album to date, and continues the band’s trend of coming face-to-face with life’s rawest and most uncomfortable emotional experiences — and using musical expression to deal with those issues.

Take the song “Nervous” for example. Premiered on Friday, the song features Simon Neil, front man of the Scottish rock/experimental band Biffy Clyro. “Nervous” tackles those anxieties and frustrations that we all experience at one point or another, as well as the yearning for a way to feel “normal” … as if that concept existed in reality.

We all look up to the stars to find something
An irreplaceable light to hold trust in
I know that we’ll be alright, I need you now
So we are never alone

“Nervous” draws particular inspiration from the real-life experiences of While She Sleeps guitarist Sean Long.

“The song ‘NERVOUS’ is one the band has been talking about ever since its first demo,” said Long in a statement. “It’s completely infected us since the start and we all knew instantly that something really special had happened. I would go so far as to say it’s the single most important song I’ve ever written in my life. It’s born from experiencing the pain and suffering generated by acute anxiety but also finding a way out from that, which whilst in such a dark and terrifying place, felt like the biggest pipe dream imaginable.

“I felt like if I didn’t write this song then someone else would have. It feels like it needed to be manifested into this world ASAP. I truly believe it’s going to resonate with people on an extremely personal, deep and meaningful level because I feel like it came from a place beyond what we may call ourselves and I feel the song is much bigger than our band.”

“I’d like ‘NERVOUS’ to be viewed as more of a spiritual request rather than just a song to enjoy. I’m talking about a particular emotion in this song but the idea is transferable to any negative or troublesome feeling. It’s about accepting your emotions, fears, pains, anxiety, depression — not only accepting them but owning them and becoming one with them completely. It’s about being proud of all our emotions. The song is literally telling you to BE nervous, be scared and be in pain. By this I mean a lot of our pain comes from the idea that there’s me on the one hand and the pain on the other. So when the pain arrives, this ‘me’ is somehow trying to get away from said pain. When we really think this through with clarity, we inevitably see its a futile endeavor.

“The moment we realize this, we can stop fighting and running away and we can begin the healing process by feeling the emotions as if we wanted them to be there in the first place. Once you stop fighting and pushing the feelings away, you realize that most of, if not all of, the pain was caused by this attempt to split ourselves in two. Most of the pain was caused by the fear of the pain itself and the attempt to get away from it. It can actually be a good thing to feel these emotions fully and experience that journey of acceptance. If we just sit a little longer with the pain, fully go into the dark, feeling it with every cell of our being, there is a chance of something miraculous to occur for the individual. What do you have to lose? This is what ‘NERVOUS’ is about.”

Working with Simon Neil is a means by which While She Sleeps can bridge the gap between hard rock generations, so to speak. Elsewhere on the new album, Deryck Whibley of the Canadian punk/metal band Sum 41 turns up to provide guest vocals of his own — another example of the melding of two distinct eras of this genre of music.

Said Neil of his collaboration and what drew him to the project:

“I’ve been a big fan of what WSS do, and how they do it, for a long time. When Mat and the boys approached me to be a part of their new record it was a no-brainer and ‘Nervous’ is a towering statement of intent for their new era. The way WSS have chosen to promote and release this album, and the new model they are creating, excites me for the future and I am delighted to be a part of it.”

Sleeps Society will be out on April 16. Click here to pre-order the record from our Rock Cellar Store. 

Another single released from the album already is “You Are All You Need,” a crushingly heavy anthem:

As well as “Sleeps Society”:

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