Instead of Sleeping has built up a strong reputation as an independent rock band touring regionally on their most recently released self-titled studio effort, out in mid-2010. They are now touring to promote the release of their upcoming album, “The Reds The Blacks The Grays”. The band has been privileged to share the stage with notable national acts “fun” and “The Dear Hunter”. Since 2010, Instead of Sleeping has evolved into a multi-instrumental outfit comprised to two drum kits, horns, keys, and a myriad of other sound that transforms the band from a traditional indie-rock quartet into a swelling stage presence that captivates audiences up and down the East Coast.”

The upstart Pittsburgh band plays their CD release gig tomorrow for their latest, “The Reds, The Blacks, The Grays“, at the Moose with support from Sikes, Heathens to Heroes and Jeremy Caywood. My sincere thanks to Vocalist/Guitarist Shaun Sweeney for taking a few to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?

The first album I ever bought was probably Eminem’s “Martial Matters” when I was about 10 years old? Ha-ha! It was a slow transition from rap, to rap rock with Linkin Park, to heavier bands like System of a Down, to more punk bands like New Found Glory, and so on and so forth. None of these bands I listen to anymore, but that’s the overall progression of how it went I guess!

Your last album bought?

My most recent album that I purchased was O’Brother’s “Garden Window”. We met them when we played with them and The Dear Hunter at Mr. Small’s. They were really friendly, extremely talented, and I thought that they deserved my money, not just an illegal download, ha-ha!

Favorite album of all time?

My personal favorite album of all time would be a three-way tie between Brand New’s “The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me”, Minus the Bear’s “Menos el Oso”, and Radiohead’s “In Rainbows”. I know as soon as I send this email I will think of 10 other all-time favorites that I will regret not mentioning, but that will have to do!

Least favorite/most disappointing album?

The most disappointing album in my eyes would have to be mewithoutYou’s “It’s All Crazy! It’s All False! It’s All a Dream! It’s Alright”. I hate to say it because I love when a band takes a risk and changes up their sound from album to album, but I just couldn’t make the transition from their darker, more post-hardcore, talk singing album prior to this, “Brother, Sister” to this lighter, folkier album. Not to say it isn’t good music, just a tough readjustment of standards I held them to.

First concert attended?

The first local concert I ever attended was at a church outside, where I saw a band called Renfield. I fell in love with going to local shows there and then, and haven’t looked back since. Renfield has since disbanded, but I still mention it to them if I see the original members! First ‘concert’ concert ever was Brittany Spears when I was about 8 or 9, LOL.

Last concert?

The most recent concert I attended (and not played) was O’Brother, Moving Mountains, La Dispute, and Thrice. Great show.

Favorite concert ever?

My favorite concert I ever played was a house show I had at my house in Moon Twp. It was hot, sweaty, no AC, free beer, too many people, not enough room…. Perfect! THAT is how music should be seen. My favorite concert I have ever attended would probably have to be Minus the Bear’s show at Mr. Small’s with As Tall As Lions. I haven’t seen bands that tight, polished, and liquid on a stage ever in my entire life. I loved every second of it and sang every word until I lost my voice.

Least favorite concert?

Asking Alexandria. Fake. Generic. Bullshit. Fake amp cabs, British flags, and a big bus with their faces on it… totally stupid. I was there because I had a girlfriend with completely terrible taste in music.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?

Favorite experiences about Pittsburgh music, shows, and the music scene as a whole: it’s tough. If you can keep a fan base here, get people to shows here, and keep peoples’ attention here, you can do it anywhere. It’s a city that does not have a primary focus on music as much as other cities we have played in, and we recognize that as one of our strengths. If we can do it here, we can do it anywhere.

Thanks, Shaun. Love your favorite gig. It’s funny how one man’s treasure could be another’s gold!