Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
The following things, if they were suggested in the company of Knoxville, Tennessee, band of heathens I Need Sleep at any hour of the day, would be declared genius and immediately acted on.
First suggestion - Let's take off everything we're wearing and replace it all with a two-inch coating of either peanut butter or pure honey.
Second suggestion - What's everyone think about us all getting out there and swiping some motorcycles from outside the biker bar and setting them of fire right before their very eyes?
Third suggestion - I'm thinking of eating nothing but deviled eggs and pudding for the next month. Who's with me?
Fourth suggestion - If no one has any better ideas, I say we try to raise an American black bear up from a cub to a grown ass, seeing if we can instill the most basic human traits like money-grubbing and ogling breasts.
Fifth suggestion - Where can we get an octopus? Anyone? We'll figure out what to do with it later. Maybe in the meantime we can all play out of degeneracy in a completely quirky and spastic, blipping, hard-to-classify rock and roll band. A show of hands…
I Need Sleep are somehow all of those things. They've all found ways to become figuratively true for this ruthlessly strange group of guys who seem to change their minds and directions every two seconds, like a troupe of squirrels. The band's live show is just as much a continuation of where the initial ideas they draw upon for lyrical content come from. It's a seizure and a sloppy, but enchanting mess of spark and confusion. It's all immediacy and recklessness as if there were no other people out there, no cares that have to be dealt with. It's as if they've been wetting themselves for days just for the chance to get up there on a stage and perform these oddball numbers that all steam with youthfulness and some kind of lusty derailment. There's no way to tell what these guys are thinking or feeling, just a very obvious display of how they're reacting to it all - with a cathartic abandon that takes on a poppy feel that all of us other weirdos are able to appreciate and swallow. Now go on off and raise a BEAR-MAN of your own, but stay away from the pure honey full-body coating. That shit's for the experts - crazed dudes like those in I Need Sleep.