In March 2007, Armor For Sleep's website adorned these words: "The bad news is we don’t have any control. The good news is you can’t make any mistakes."
Let's put it this way... Armor for Sleep is the type of the band who would quote Chuck Palahnuik, but not in the "snotty, I'm better than you" kind of way, more like "the smart kid in your English class who wears sweaters that you secretly have a crush on." If you listen to them, just once, you'll get the analogy.
The lead singer of Armor for Sleep has got the temperament of a bass player. He makes you want to just sit and relax, despite the setting of their messy tour bus, I felt a little calmer talking to him in the back.
"At the time that I started the band, it was just me, and I spent a summer, and I ditched my old friends, or... they kind of ditched me, and I kind of spent the summer by myself, and I was having a lot of trouble sleeping because I was planning this band and what I wanted to do, and writing these songs were the thing I did to keep me from realizing I couldn't sleep." Ben Jorgensen fumbles over his words a bit as he talks to me. The songs he wrote were literally his Armor, and he seemed a bit more vulnerable when he talked about that.
"In a lot of ways, we signed to a major label, and this is an opportunity to have our voices be heard by a larger group of people... and it's time to really speak our minds and not hold anything back." "Smile For Them" will be Armor's first album on Sire Records. They recently upstreamed from Equal Vision Records "Nobody's feelings were hurt... Everybody really knew what they were getting into in the first place. There wasn't really that much drama... only a little bit." "Care to elaborate on the little bit?" "No, I shouldn't..."
The new album goes in a much different direction than the previous two, about the sub conscious. This album is much more about the present, and all it's problems. "Our generation is like this weird reality TV show. Everybody wants to be famous, everyone wants to have their own MySpace page, and have a billion friends, and this weird thing is happening to everybody, and everybody is being observed twenty four hours of the day." This would explain the song titles like "Smile For The Camera" and "Stand In the Spotlight." As if to prove his own point, Ben falls into that everybody category having 24,000 friend on his personal MySpace page.
Armor hails from the East Coast--New Jersey to be exact, and with that, points out one more problem with our generation. "Honestly, I think the New Jersey scene was really at it's peak like six years ago. I feel like now everything is kind of falling apart, and there's not really local bands anymore just playing for kids in NJ, everybody just wants to be huge and sign to a major label." Ben does mention that we should check out The Forever and Ever.
"I feel like that whole debate is just kind of over... This scene just finally bubbled over, you can call it what you want, but it's here." Armor's music video will premiere on TRL very soon, and as Ben said in the band's MySpace blog "I never thought we would be on TRL, or that we were the type of band to BE on TRL, so we are all kind of wowed by it." It's just a sign of a genre that's continuing to explode in a way that was hard to fathom a few years ago.
Ben's eyes rarely met mine during the interview and he always kept something in his hand, be it the microphone he was just using to record or the magazines I had sitting out for him to read. He told us when we walked in that he had just been recording, while the rest of the band and crew watched Family Feud up in the front of the bus.
The new album is scheduled for release on October 30 and Ben's expectations are wishful and sincere. "I hope kids take the album into their lives. I hope we can be an important band in their lives. I had so many bands changed my life when I was growing up and it was so important to me to have that music. If we could be that music in other people's lives, then that's the most valuable thing we could get." [CO]