Sleeping With Sirens are fully engrossed in a new era as the band just unleashed their upcoming album’s first single last month. Despite being in the midst of all things SWS, frontman Kellin Quinn is lending both his mentorship and vocal talents to a rising band, Roseburg.
The Oregon-based alt act formed in 2018, taking their name from the town they met in working as missionaries. The four-piece—vocalist/guitarist Zach Knell, guitarist/keyboardist Samuel Sheppard, drummer Keith Lambson and bassist Soren Buchert—dropped their upcoming full-length’s first single, “Be Good,” earlier this summer. Now, they’re giving another taste of what’s to come with “RIP” featuring Quinn.
Both tracks will appear on Roseburg’s forthcoming Righteous Punk with the titular theme holding true throughout the record and inspiring the tracks it houses.
“The righteous punk is basically the archetypal young person dealing with the different anxieties of life, whether it’s mental illness, faith crisis, abuse [or] insecurity,” Knell explains. “Each song will hit a different thing that I know so many people need to hear right now to give them hope. ‘RIP’ approaches heartbreak in the way that I think a lot of people handle it which is being angry and snarky. I don’t do sad music. I wrote the song after breaking off an engagement. It was all based around a painting in my head of a cemetery full of dead past relationships. I compare breakups to death and use a lot of spooky, Halloween-like imagery. It’s really dramatic and angsty, and I think Kellin featuring on the track really drives that sentiment home.”
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Quinn agrees with Knell’s statement of the perfect fit. However, he explains the track wasn’t exactly something he would typically feature on.
“‘RIP’ has such a cool vibe,” Quinn says. “I love the guitar in the intro, and it’s not the type of song I’d usually do guest vocals for, [but] these days I’m all about doing interesting things that inspire me. This song definitely does just that.”
As for how their working relationship began, Knell explains it all came down to a DM. The alt singer was still coping with the aforementioned breakup and in search of any human interaction. He reached out to Quinn, explaining how he had been listening to Sleeping With Sirens since he was 13. He also credited the band with introducing him to heavier sounds and explained their influence on him. Knell ended the message by telling Quinn he was in Roseburg, which lead to a surprising result.
“The next morning when I woke up, he had followed me,” Knell says. “He listened through what discography we had, posted about it with our link in his bio and DM’d me his cell number. Our band met in Roseburg, Oregon and actually wrote our first song a couple [of] hours south in Kellin’s hometown, Medford. We have common love for that place [as well as] goals to cultivate a renaissance in music starting there and then into the rest of the world.”
While Quinn is featured on the new track, his involvement with the band doesn’t stop there. The four-piece are one of three artists under his new mentorship project Dreamer Development Group.
“Roseburg are the first of three artists to release music,” Quinn says. “It’s such an exciting thing to see a tiny idea I had come to life. I love seeing Roseburg feel excited—it makes me really happy. My role in all of this is to help give advice, help the artist grow and to help the artist make smart decisions when it comes to their business. Musicians should care about two things: The music and their fans that support them. I’m here to help handle the rest until management, booking and labels come knocking.”
As for why Roseburg are one of the three Quinn chose to start mentoring, he describes the band as “incredibly talented and so extremely easy to work with.” Knell explains it’s good to have “a band dad,” opening up on how the frontman has affected their lives thus far.
“Kellin came into our lives when things were really difficult for our band, and we were discouraged,” he explains. “We only recently found out with the rest of you that the dude that has given us so much for nothing in return was coming off the heels of his own serious struggles. I just want to take the opportunity to say that Kellin Quinn is a role model and a testament that the way to heal your pain is to turn outward instead of inward.
“But also on a musical level, Kellin has not only been a great mentor—giving us creative and professional advice, checking up on us daily and promoting our music—but I think most importantly his relationship with us helps throw the correct vibe of our band,” he continues. “Where we could get confused as an ‘indie band’ or a ‘boy band,’ we can instead live in the world that we want to live in, which is our own world, where we’re allowed to make whatever music we want. Whether it’s influenced by heavy music, preppy boy music, pop or all at the same time—and to have it come out of the speakers as something that anybody will love.”
On the surface, it may appear as Quinn getting “nothing” in return as Knell mentions. However, the Sleeping With Sirens frontman says that’s not exactly true.
“It was by chance that I began working with them,” he says. “I remember telling my wife that if I could work with this band, I would be so stoked. As much as I’m able to help them, they are just as valuable to me. Because I’m a fan, and I can’t wait to see them start getting attention. It’ll be one of the proudest moments in my life.”
Check out Roseburg’s new track featuring Quinn, “RIP,” below.
“RIP” is featured on the band’s upcoming debut full-length Righteous Punk, which drops this fall. You can keep up with them on Spotify, Apple Music and their website. Head here for more information on Quinn’s Dreamer Development Group.