Oh, Sleeper is an American Christian metalcore band from Fort Worth, Texas. Previously signed to Solid State Records they are currently operating independently. To date they have recorded three full-length albums and two EPs.
Formation and The Armored March EP:
Oh, Sleeper was founded in April 2006 after former member, Ryan Conley, of the short-lived rock band Terminal got together with former Evelynn and Between the Buried and Me guitarist Shane Blay and former Terminal bassist Lucas Starr (who was at the time with As Cities Burn). Eventually they found a vocalist in Micah Kinard and began practicing. The four members experienced typical problems of a band start-up (no place to practice, no money and different schedules), but the biggest obstacle was finding the final member. Countless awkward auditions failed to fill the missing position, until long time friend and fellow Terminal member James Erwin was found. After his addition to the lineup, the band released an EP, titled The Armored March, through 1x1 music.
When I Am God:
The band signed with Solid State Records in the summer of 2007. Their debut album, When I Am God, was released on October 23, 2007. On December 28, 2007, Oh, Sleeper performed at the Plano Center in Plano, Texas along with the briefly reunited Terminal. Oh, Sleeper also supported Demon Hunter on their tour, along with Living Sacrifice, Advent, and The Famine. The tour - in-support of Norma Jean - was drummer Ryan Conley's last with the band. Conley was replaced the following year by Matt Davis.
Son of the Morning:
Oh, Sleeper announced in early 2009 that they would release a new album entitled Son of the Morning, which was released on August 25. In an interview, Kinard stated that with this album, they wanted to combine crowd favorites such as "Vices Like Vipers" and "Charlatan's Host" from the previous album in order to make Son of the Morning stay true to their sound and please the fans. The lyrics on this album are much more straightforward than on their debut wherein Son of the Morning is a concept album based on the final battle between the Devil and God. The first single from the record was the title track, "Son of the Morning" and later in the year, Oh, Sleeper played the entire album for the first time in Waco Texas at Art Ambush.
The cover of Son of the Morning is known as a "broken pentagram," which has to be distinguished from the broken pentagram used by black magicians with only one triangle left. The symbol was designed by Ryan Clark of Demon Hunter and it follows the same pattern as a pentagram with the horns missing. The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 120 and also charted at No. 46 on the Rock Albums chart, at No. 7 on the Christian Albums chart and at No. 12 on the Hard Rock Albums chart.
On February 23, 2011 Lucas Starr announced his departure from the band. He was replaced by Nate Grady who had filled in on tour the year before.
Children of Fire:
In a Solid State podcast, it was announced that Oh, Sleeper would be releasing a new album in 2011. This new album will be called Children of Fire, as announced on stage by the band at Micah's birthday show in Dallas, Texas on Friday, April 15, 2011. On August 2, Oh, Sleeper released "Endseekers," their first single from the album. The song "Hush Yael" was uploaded to their Facebook page on August 23, 2011. Children of Fire was released digitally on September 6, 2011 and physically in stores on September 27.
James Erwin explains in an interview that the new album takes place after "Son of the Morning" and follows the life of a priest and his atheist daughter. The album is a spin on the rapture and explores how people would react in end times. At the beginning of the record, the priest takes the role of judge now that he thinks God is dead and follows the daughter's path of finding God throughout the record.
In November 2012, rhythm guitarist James Erwin announced his departure from the band. It was subsequently announced that Nate Grady would switch from bass to rhythm guitar to take Erwin's position in the band.
The band recently announced that Johno Erickson (formerly of Sky Eats Airplane) would be filling in on bass while touring with Fit for a King and in Directions as well as playing several other shows and festivals. Erickson's position was later made permanent.
Independent Projects (The Titan EP):
On April 24, 2013 the band announced they had completed their contract with Solid State Records and were going to record an independent EP via an Indiegogo fund-raiser. On May 24, 2013 their goal of $30,000 was reached. By the end of the fund-raiser the band had raised $54,577 and announced they would be able to record a second EP later the same year using the additional funds. The Titan EP was released July 2, 2013 and is just under 20 minutes long. The album's concept is about a campaign (The Titan) that has taken over the world offering artificial upgrades to a persons body & mind for a service contract (time-debt). The debts accumulate and are passed to your family upon your death.
In 2014, after the sentencing of As I Lay Dying's vocalist Tim Lambesis, the remaining members of the band recruited Shane Blay to be the vocalist in their new band, Wovenwar, and have completed work on their self-titled debut album set to be released in the summer via Metal Blade Records.
On January 19, 2016 the band announced that they would be releasing the full album entitled Bloodied//Unbowed in mid-2016. Mayfield stated in the post that the album picks up many years after the Titan EP and has a "When I Am God" meets "Children of Fire" atmosphere and vibe.
In an interview with Wayde Flowerday of MusicReview.co.za, Micah Kinard spoke about the Christianity of the band, saying that, "At the beginning of the band, we were definitely an outspoken Christian band; but as the years have gone by, we have gone through certain member changes. Not all of our members share the Christian view, they support us and our beliefs, but they don't necessarily engage in that same belief. I myself am a Christian, and when I write passionately from my heart, that view will still come out, which the band supports. We would be lying if we said we can still operate under the Christian umbrella, and say everything we do is characterized by a Christian motivation."
In an interview, vocalist Micah Kinard stated that the band's name was derived from the Epistle to the Ephesians on passage 5:14; which reads: "Therefore it says, 'Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.'" (English Standard Version)
Shane Blay - lead guitar, clean vocals (2006-present, vocalist of Wovenwar)
Micah Kinard - unclean vocals, additional guitars, programming (2006-present)
Zac Mayfield - drums, percussion (2010-present)
Nate Grady - bass guitar (2011-2012); rhythm guitar (2012-present)
Ryan Conley - drums (2006-2008, member of At Night We Strike)
Lucas Starr - bass (2006-2011, member of At Night We Strike)
James Erwin - rhythm guitar (2006-2012)
Matt Davis - drums (2008-2010)
Johno Erickson - bass (2012-2014)