Rock N Roll isn’t static; it is dynamic and forever changing with every generation. This is the story of an indie rock band Sleep Nation and the challenges they experience in the highly competitive music industry. This band refuses to sleep, they are staying true to the rebellious and raucous nature of Rock N Roll. Sleep Nation was featured on our Best of 2017 Artist Watch List for 2018.
Sleep Nation front man Bran Wyatt Merritt was born in Lebanon, Tennessee in 1986. Growing up in McMinnville some of his fondest childhood memories include listening to the Marvin Gaye classic “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”. It wasn’t until his early teen years that he would really get into music when he purchased “Genesis’ Greatest Hits” cd. Bran was influenced by the unique sounds of both Genesis and Phil Collins who helped drive his new found passion.
When asked why Bran chose Rock N Roll he gives credit to his grandma who always listened to oldies on 96.3 FM formerly WMAK and his aunt for turning him onto Pink Floyd. He says if it weren’t for them he would still be listening to Country. Having the support of family is important when one chooses to pursue music. In his younger years some felt as though it were a waste and some just wanted Bran to be happy. Now, he has the full support of his beautiful and talented wife and his management team at Victory Music Buzz LLC.
All the members of Sleep Nation grew up in McMinnville, Bassist Micah Rowland and Bran met in college at Tennessee Tech where Rowland was with another band. It took sometime for Bran to convince lead guitarist Seth Bouldin then he decided to join the band finally in 2012.
In your opinion why is it so difficult for the indie artist to find success in today’s commercial industry?
Bran: There are so many bands in the market, and music is so accessible now. Which is a kind of a good thing and a bad thing. I remember playing a hometown show at the local fair. One of my dad’s friends saying if you guys were playing back in the 70s. This place would of had over a 1000 people in the crowd compared to 200.
Have there been times when you've just wanted to give up, and if so what changed your mind?
Bran: I think about everyday I toss around the idea of “throwing it all away” to quote a Genesis song, but then I think what would I do? I’ve played live music over half my life. It’s a drug that I can’t quit and has no side effects. My grandfather said, “It’s in my blood.” He was the drummer of a rock band in the 50s called the Be-Bops.
Looking back what advice would you give the generation that is coming up behind you?
Bran: I wish more kids would start bands. I know when I was in high school there were plenty of bands around town. In that same area now, the same people are playing. We keep getting older.
What excites you about the future of Sleep Nation?
Bran: Evolving and progressing, I still get rejuvenated every time we write a new song that we are all excited about and since we just finished recording our second EP we are stoked to get this music out there. Be on the lookout for new videos and single drops coming up.
Sleep Nation is set to release their debut single since signing with Victory Music Buzz record label titled Scream & Shout on Friday April 13th. The date choice was no coincidence. You can listen in to their self titled 2017 Album release on spotify and it is available on all Digital outlets.