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Sleep Turned Down Coachella to Play Roadburn Festival

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Weren’t we just talking about how the longer some bands stay away the more ravenous public appetite for them becomes? Just ask System of a Down, Tool, Faith No More, Carcass, At the Gates, and duh, Guns N’ Roses how that’s been working out for them.

So it is for Sleep, once a left-field stoner band with a small cult following that only grew and grew and grew during their extended absence. And here they are getting offers thrown at them left and right including one to play fucking Coachella, the daddy of all American music festivals.

“F U, Coachella!” said Sleep, opting instead for the much more intimate, specially curated and, let’s face it, way cooler annual Roadburn festival in 2019 instead. The money at Coachella was much better, said Matt Pike in a new interview with Metal Hammer / Louder Sound, but the band wanted to honor their commitment to Roadburn (which booked them way in advance). Here’s Pike:

“We love that festival [Roadburn] and we love Walter [Hoeijmakers] who puts the festival on. We sorted it so far in advance that, at present, that’s the only thing that we have planned for next year. We aren’t even booked anywhere so far, so there’s lots of scheduling that we need to do… but we actually turned down Coachella because of Roadburn!

“Coachella actually pays more, but fuck that, we want to do Roadburn! I see Coachella as a new kind of Lollapalooza, and it’s an odd thing for us to be involved in – although it would have been good press, I guess. There’s actually this clause for it that says you can’t play anywhere else for six months after it – so fuck that! I’ll make more money if I don’t play it and I’ll be happier at Roadburn!

“It’s special, and it’s always been special; the people that go there, the people who put it on, it’s very real. I go there and just wander around and make sure I try and see every band there that I want to see, and believe you me, there are always a lot of them!”

Let’s first marvel at the fact that Sleep — fucking SLEEP, a band that plays 45-minute droning doom songs about pterodactyls growing from ancient tree stumps when bong water is poured on them, among other similar subject matter — were offered a slot at Coachella at all. That in and of itself is pretty fucking marvelous. Then let’s appreciate what a badass Pike and co. are for staying true to their roots. High fives all around!

The 2019 incarnation of Roadburn will be curated by At the Gates frontman Tomas Lindberg (the fest always has a guest curator — last year’s was Jacob Bannon) and will take place from April 11th through 14th in Tilburg, Netherland. Cave In, Old Man Gloom, Thou, Daughters, Ulcerate, Mord’A’Stigmata and Midnight are some of the other bands confirmed to play so far. Sleep will perform their Holy Mountain album in full with another set focusing on their latest album The SciencesTickets go on sale October 4th.

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