Saturday, May 25, 2024

Sleep Theory’s Cullen Moore Talks Summer Touring, How The Army Prepared Him For The Music Industry And The Power of Social Media

Sleep Theory is a rock band hailing from Memphis, TN with influences in rock, metal, R&B, and pop. The band formed in 2020 with members: vocalist Cullen Moore, bassist Paolo Vergara, guitarist Daniel Pruitt, and drummer Ben Pruitt. 

When their first single, “Another Way” hit 500k views on TikTok within 36 hours of its release, the band knew they were onto something. Since the release of “Another Way,” the debut single has amassed over 3 million streams across all platforms as well as hitting #1 on SiriusXM’s Octane and becoming the cover of multiple Pandora rock stations.

Sleep Theory have toured with groups like Shinedown and Set It Off, shared stages with I Prevail and Badflower, and have appeared at a handful of Festivals like Louder Than Life, Rock Fest, ShipRocked, and Memphis in May.

Sleep Theory has released a few hit singles from their newest album Paper Hearts, which came out in September of 2023. The band has plans to release a new album before 2025. They have a huge tour they just began with Beartooth that begins in February and extends until November. 

The band’s newest single, “Fallout (Reimagined)” came out this year and is a more heartfelt version of the original heavy song “Fallout.” In addition to their tour with Beartooth, they are also on the tour line-up with Wage War and Nothing More.

The band is also taking festival stages by storm performing at Welcome to Rockville this weekend and will also be making an appearance at Sonic Temple in Columbus next week.

Since retiring from the Army, vocalist Cullen Moore has dedicated his life to paving a path for himself in the music industry. We had the chance to meet with him and talk about his perfect day in Memphis, his must pack travel items, and how the Army prepared him for his musical career. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

What does your perfect day in Memphis look like?

I would say it would be around September. The weather’s not too hot, not too cold. Hang out at Overton Park, you know, just throwing some Frisbee. Just hanging out, doing the thing. It’s a good day in Memphis, for me at least.

I have covered Memphis in May before and it’s a great festival. What was the highlight playing the hometown show?

We played Memphis in May in 2023. It was a great experience. Last year it was balls to the wall hot. It was so hot. Oh my goodness. It was a great time. 

You guys have a big tour with Beartooth. Any cities you’re looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to Nashville. We have a lot of friends in Nashville, a lot of people that we know in Nashville. So, it’s going to be a good experience. 

You guys have so many tours coming up this year, you have Wage War Nothing More, tour after tour. Have you been out with any of those bands at all? 

Negative. We have not been out with any of those bands. Beartooth, they’re good friends of ours now. It’s been a really great tour with them. They decided to take us out, and it’s been a great time.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Last time I saw you guys was at Louder Than Life in Louisville. Any highlights from that festival?

I wore some overalls on stage, so that was the highlight for me. Other than that, I met Vic from Pierce The Veil, we had a pretty good chat. We just kind of hung out. It was pretty cool because I grew up listening to Pierce The Veil and it’s really cool to meet him and talk and just be in the back of the VIP, just hanging out.

What’s the story behind your song “Numb?”

We were in the studio and we were just talking about different experiences of where we were in life and how we got there. And just what it felt like whenever you wanted to break, I guess you go beyond where you currently were, you feel stuck, you feel like you’re just in one place. We just had a good time writing it. Everybody threw in experiences that they had and how they just got through it or how they felt. It was a great song. It was a great experience. 

What are your must pack travel items?

Spray deodorant. Not stick deodorant. Spray deodorant. Nintendo Switch. We play a lot of Mario Kart, and I don’t lose. I’m not even playing, I’m serious. When I’m with the guys, I don’t lose. I’m very serious about Mario Kart. Other than that, my iPad. I just like to sit back and watch Netflix and kind of hang. 

Any favorite shows you’ve seen lately?

I’m an anime watcher, so I’ve been watching this new anime that came out. It’s Solo Leveling. It’s pretty cool. It’s been put on pause though so I’m not too happy about that.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Most memorable ShipRocked moment?

There was a night I was trying to go up the elevators and there was this poor girl. I don’t know what happened to her, but she came down and she was in the elevator, and it looked like she was part of the medical team. She was in a wheelchair, and she was in an arm cast. 

I looked at her, I said, ‘Are you okay?’ and she just looked at me and looked at her arm, and she looked at the wheelchair, and she just shrugged her shoulders and just kind of gave me this look. I said, ‘You know, that’s kind of a stupid question’ and she just looked at me as the doors were closing. I said, ‘I’m so sorry.’ I didn’t get on the elevator. I just let it happen. I just didn’t know what else to say. I am so sorry. I hope she feels better if she’s out there.

You’ve got Sonic Temple and Welcome to Rockville, big festivals this summer with big line-ups. What are you looking forward to with those festivals?

I’m looking forward to Sonic Temple. I’m kind of under the rock with a lot of things, so they’re like, ‘Oh, you’re playing Sonic Temple.’ I was like, ‘Okay, I’ve heard of it.’ But I didn’t even look it up. I didn’t know what it looked like. When I finally did look it up, I’m like ‘That’s huge, oh my gosh.’ But now it’s gonna be a great time. Looking forward to it. Same thing with Rockville.

What’s your favorite song to play off of Paper Hearts?

“Gone or Staying” it’s a perfect mix between R&B and rock and it’s really fun. When we play it live, all the girls love it. It’s fun to make a little bit out of it. It’s pretty good. It’s one of my favorites.

You guys blew up on TikTok with “Another Way.” Social media is so vital now versus when I started doing this 15 years ago. Do you think social media can ever be too invasive?

It depends on the scenario. With music and getting things out and promoting, I think it’s perfect. Without TikTok, without the internet in that way, we would not be where we are now. It’s good when it’s good, it’s bad when it’s bad. You know, it’s worth it, though.

You’re retired from the Army. Where were you stationed?

I was Army National Guard. I was in a unit that was in Corinth, Mississippi. But I went to basic training in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and I did AIT, which is advanced training for the job that I did in Fort Leonard Wood. So, I stayed there the whole time.

How do you think the Army prepared you for your music career?

Having a lot of patience. A lot of patience and just kind of going with the flow. That’s exactly what I’ve done. Being able to be patient and just know how to navigate certain conversations or certain people and things of that sort. 

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

“Fallout (Reimagined)” just came out. Can you talk a bit about the song?

It’s just a different vibe. It’s just a different way of presenting the song. From the comments that I’ve already read on all the videos, people just love the difference between taking a song that’s as heavy as Fallout is and then making it more intimate, more heartfelt. It’s really great. It’s awesome.

What’s in store for 2024 other than these festivals?

We have a new album. Hopefully it is out before 2025. But we got some cool singles that are coming out in 2024.

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Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a writer and photographer who has been traveling for 20 years and flown over 2 million miles to visit over 80 countries on 6 continents. She is a freelance photographer for Invision by Associated Press, AP Images and Rex/Shutterstock. Her work can be seen in various publications and websites including: Rolling Stone, AP Images, National Geographic Books, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Forbes.com, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, JetStar magazine, and Delta Sky Magazine.

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