Page 2 of 3
“Most people have a pretty varied record collection, and I’m
just the same. I mean, everything from jazz to metal,” he said.
“…I’ve made a
conscious decision in the past four or five years to not be necessarily —
not that I ever really was career-driven — but to avoid sort of
stagnation, I guess.”
Part of the decision was also just to keep things interesting.
“I never put limitations on the next record, you know? I’ve
always said that… you shouldn’t be forced in one thing or do one thing forever.
I mean, I could go get a real job if I wanted that, right?”
While he was still playing with the other bands, Ward was
introduced to some new alternative country stuff, as well as some country rock
from the ”60s and ’70s. For a while there, Ward even considered going the
“It’s just what happens when your band gets big and you get
tired of doing interviews, you start going, ‘well, I’m going to be in a country
band, like, fuck this — you want to commit career suicide,’” he said.
What started out as a joke eventually evolved into this
country-inspired sound, which is radically different than the music he had been
making beforehand. But the reactions from fans that have followed Ward from his
days with At The Drive-In and Sparta have been overwhelmingly positive, though
Ward said he has encountered a few who admitted they were skeptical, at first.
After Sleepercar shows, he’s been approached by a few guys he’s
seen at old shows who said they weren’t expecting to like the new sound.
“It’s good for them to challenge what they expect —
that’s the part that gets me excited,” Ward added.
Ward writes all of the lyrics for Sleepercar’s music, drawing
inspiration from a wide range of everyday experiences and observations.
“I always tend to be a little bit on the negative end of the
dial,” he said. “I’m still that kind of artist, and probably always will be.”
But his music also has an optimistic message — hopeful
for the future.