Interview with J.R. from Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant is a Christian Heavy Metal band based out of Redlands, California. You can check them out on their “Kingdom Days in an Evil Age” tour that kicks off on 4/16/2012! Check out our interview with J.R. who plays bass where I ask him about music, faith, and his affinity for jumping out and scaring his bandmates.

1. How about you guys introduce yourselves? What are your names and what do you do in the band?

“My name is J R. and I play bass. Well, mostly I just hold it, but sometimes I play it.”

2. How did you guys meet?

“Eric and Tommy have known each other for years and years. We all kind of met through mutual friends, besides our drummer Matthew (Also known as the Rookie). He sent us a video of himself playing our songs and we flew him out to California to be our drummer. Turns out he is the world’s greatest drummer and best dude.”

3. Favorite song to play live? 

“Personally, playing Tithemi is always fun. During that song we get to forget about the crowd and just go nuts dancing in worship to God.”

4. Have you guys ever had any awkward or embarrassing moments while on tour? If so which one sticks out to you? 

“When we were on tour in South America, we has a show in Bogota, Colombia. I liked to show off all of the Spanish I had learned during our stay there. So I rattled off a few words, and the locals looked at me with faces that said “How cute, he thinks he’s people!” A few words later I ended up mispronouncing a word and repeated saying a dirty word in Spanish. The whole room exploded with laughter, and I walked back to America in shame.”

5. Speaking of tours, are you heading back out on the road soon? 

“We actually leave on Monday for our spring headliner, Kingdom Days in an Evil Age tour with First Blood, In The Midst Of Lions, Betrayal, and Gideon.”

6. “Blame it on the Holy Rollers.”  is probably my favorite song from you guys. The one you guys did with Brook Reeves. Any chance of any more collaborations in the future? 

“We have all kinds of deals cooking, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise.”

7. What is the best place to stop for food while on tour? 

“Our guitarist Eric and I are both vegan, so my answer would probably be different than the rest of the guys- There is a vegan restaurant in Tempe, AZ called Green that we really like. I love Red Bamboo and Food Swings in NYC as well. Mostly we just eat plain bean burritos from taco bell and feel depressed.”

8. Any pet peeves? 

“We pride ourselves on having super fast load ins and load outs. If we slack off too much it drives me crazy. Can’t leave our crap in everyone’s way!”

9. What are the best and worst parts of touring?

“I don’t really care about scenery. I don’t have wanderlust. The best parts for me is being in the van with my dudes. The best conversations happen there. The funniest jokes are told, and the grossest smells are made. The worst part by far for all of us is being away from our wives. It is torture!”

10. Anyone who listens to your music, or goes to one of your shows can tell that you guys have a passion for talking about God with people. Were you all religious growing up? Or did that come later in life? 

“Personally, I was an staunch atheist until I was probably 18 or 19. I hated God and his followers. I was the first one in family to come to know Jesus. Turns out I was wrong. He was nothing like I thought he was growing up. He is the most kind and loving person I’ve ever met. I could talk about him for hours. And hours. He is literally SO COOL. I can’t even tell you.”

11. Who are your biggest musical influences? 

“We draw from all types of bands. Some are High on Fire, Sleep, Gojira, Mastodon, Disembodied, Meshuggah, and Blood Has Been Shed.”

12. If you could play any festival or event, what would it be? 

“Harvest Festival.”

13. Do you guys ever play any pranks on each other? 

“I would say that sums up our lives pretty well. I love to hide and scare people. Come to think of it, I’m pretty much the only one who does it. I’m kind of a jerk.”

14. Sleeping Giant is a heavy band. Do any of you guys have any side projects that show off your lighter side?

“We all have side projects. Tommy has a acoustic album out called A White Flag. Eric and I have a stoner rock band called Toke The Ghost. I also played keyboards for a bit in a project, and guitar in a ambient instrumental band called Winter/War. There isn’t one type of music better than another. Except for country. Country reigns supreme.”

Check out their music:




My name is Branden Brown! I from Florida, but I live in New York! I love to play and write music, and play basketball. I’m passionate about People, Music, Sports, and Jesus!. 

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