Recently we had the honor to do an interview with bassist JR. Bermuda of American Christian metalcore band Sleeping Giant. SG represents a call to arms. More than a band, more than a group of close friends, Sleeping Giant is a unit of disciples who scream loud from deep in the underground to the highest of the heavens. JR talks about the last Sleeping Giant album [Kingdom Days In An Evil Age], the upcoming tour which begins on April 18th, a tour together with In the Midst Of Lions, Gideon, First Blood & Betrayal … check it out below.
TMR: Hello to you from´The Metal Resource’ Holland, how are things going there in Redlands/Salt Lake City?
JR: Things are great! Thank you.
TMR: Will you Introduce yourself and the band please ! [name and instrument]
JR: My name is JR. Bermuda. I play bass in Sleeping Giant.
TMR: Tell us the brief history of ‘Sleeping Giant’
JR: Tommy and Eric were in a band called xDeathstarx. I joined xDSx a few years after. Once xDSx stopped touring, we formed Sleeping Giant. The rest is history.
TMR: Why the name ‘Sleeping Giant’ ? Is there a story behind it ?
JR: Sleeping Giant is from a song by the band Deadguy. Tommy liked the way it sounded, so we went with that. Years later, we found out that the area of Southern California we are from was called “The Sleeping Giant” in the 50’s.
TMR: Are you guys full time musicians ? If not what kind of job or study do you do beside the band ?
JR: No. None of us. I work at a merch company and am on staff at our church, Tithemi. Eric owns several businesses and pastors Tithemi. Tommy has his own church group/Ministry in Salt Lake City and is an author. Geoff and his wife own a film company, and our drummer “The Rookie” works as a computer technician.
TMR: What is your musical background ?
JR: Most of us came from the Punk Rock scene, but we enjoy everything. There isn’t a type of music I don’t like.
TMR: Who writes the music/lyrics in ‘Sleeping Giant’ ? .. how do you get in the mood for writing music? And which bands/situations have influences you for writing music and lyrics ?
JR: Eric writes most of the music, Geoff writes as well. Tommy writes the majority of the lyrics. Sleeping Giant is influenced musically by a lot bands from all different genres- some of which are Disembodied, Gojira, Mastodon, High on Fire, and Life of Agony. Tommy writes his lyrics from a very personal place. His own passions, love and experiences.
TMR: How do you describe the music of ‘Sleeping Giant’ the best ?
JR: The word is hebrew is Kavod which means The Heaviness or weight of the Lord’s glory.
TMR: Is there a highlight you will always remember, since the beginning  of ‘Sleeping Giant’ ?
JR: Going to South America was really incredible. The shows were cool, and scenery was beautiful, but I think it’s was so amazing because of all the wonderful people we met. We are still close friends with many of the people we met.
TMR: And the worst thing were ? [if there is one]
JR: We’ve had it pretty good. I can’t think of very many things to complain about.
TMR: How does ‘Sleeping Giant’ stands in life till events in the world, religion and politics and in which proportion stands that till your music and lyrics ?
JR: We address issues such as human trafficking, abuse and religious hypocracy. This isn’t our main focus though. Our main focus is offering our love to God.
TMR: For a lot of bands the lyrics are just a accidental circumstance, but for some bands they use them to communicate ! ..can you tell us how that is for ‘Sleeping Giant’ ?
JR: Tommy writes lyrics about experiences he has been through, and how he feels about Jesus. It’s all extremely personal and intentional.
TMR: Name some of your favorite bands to play with live [past and future] and tell us why ?
JR: Our favorite bands to play with have been our friends. Bands like Stray from the Path, The Ghost Inside, Winds of Plague, A Plea For Purging, and For Today. I would rather play with my friends than play with some famous band of strangers.
TMR: First record you bought?
JR: I went to my local music store and bought Rancid – and out come the wolves on cassette. That same day my oldest brother gave me Danzig – How the Gods Kill on cassette. I was super pumped.
TMR: What makes you laugh?
JR: Mitch Hedberg.
TMR: How do you promote your band and shows ?
JR: Everyone does everything through the internet. I couldn’t tell you the last time someone handed my a flyer.
TMR: How do you prepare for a show?
JR: We normally find some time during the day to connect with each other and connect with God. We ask God what he wants to do at the show, and then we do it.
JR: Our shows are loud, wild and passionate. I can say without reservation that we stick out from other hardcore bands of today.
TMR: This month [April] you will be headlining ‘Kingdom Days In An Evil Age Tour’ , with support from other awesome bands, In the Midst Of Lions, Gideon, First Blood and Betrayal., what do you expect from this tour ? [Dates & locations are listed below].
JR: We are excited to hang out. I want to hang out with my friends! We also expect some pretty amazing things to happen. Signs, wonders, miracles. Normal christian stuff.
TMR: What is the dumbest question you have ever been asked? [for everyone personal]
JR: I don’t think there are any dumb questions.
TMR: Do you have a life philosophy?
JR: Jesus is my life philosophy. Do what he did and say what he said.
TMR: Are you visiting many gigs and what do you listen to these days?
JR: We are all getting old, so we don’t go to many shows anymore. I’ve been listening to the same stuff I’ve been listening to for years- George Strait, John Coltrane, The Lawrence Arms, and Morrissey.
TMR: Tell us about the hardrock/metal scene in your area please?
JR: Shows are always packed and always crazy. It’s been like that since i’ve started going to shows.
TMR: What’s your outlook on the record-industry today?
JR: Some of it’s good, some of it’s bad. Everyone has an agenda.
TMR: About your latest album ‘Kingdom Days In An Evil Age’, tell us about the songs, the recording proces, artwork, etc.
JR: I personally think this is our best album to date. It’s heavier, the songs are more aggressive. I love everything about it.
JR: Our longtime friend Ryan Nelson and Ryan Downey started this label. When our contract with Facedown Records ended, they were the clear choice. They have supported us and been on board with our vision since the beginning.
TMR: What about your plans for the near future ? [European Tour / New album/ dvd ?]
JR: We have some amazing deals cooking, but nothing confirmed yet.
TMR: What advice would you give to fellow bands?
JR: Don’t let anyone tell you how you should or should sound, look or play. Don’t compromise your vision.
TMR: What are the biggest obstacles for bands ?
JR: It can be anything. You just have to find members and management that all want the same thing. If one person isn’t on board, it can make everything stop.
TMR: Guys thanks for your time and the interview, we wish ‘Sleeping Giant’ all the best … Is there anything you wanna say at last? [any final statement ?]
JR: Take Jesus and put him at the top of your priorities. Take everything else and put in on the bottom. Try it and tell me how it is. I promise you won’t regret it.
Tom Greene – Vocals
Geoff Brouillette – Guitar
Eric Gregson – Guitar
JR Bermuda – Bass
Matt Weir – Drums
Kingdom Days In An Evil Age Dates
April 18 – Tulsa, OK @ Eclipse
April 19 – Nashville, TN @ Rocketown
April 20 – Dayton, OH @ The Attic Club
April 21 – Lebanon, PA @ Purple Door Festival
April 22 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
April 23 – West Springfield, VA @ Empire
April 26 – Douglasville, GA @ The 7 Venue
April 27 – Jacksonville, FL @ Murray Hill Theatre
April 28 – St Petersburg, FL @ The Local 662
April 29 – Lake Worth, FL @ The Speakeasy
May 2 – San Antonio, TX @ White Rabbit
May 3 – El Paso, TX @ Open Gate Church
May 4 – Tempe, AZ @ The Clubhouse
May 5 – Anaheim, CA @ Chain Reaction
Dread Champions of the Last Days [2006, Facedown Records]
Sons of Thunder [2009, Facedown Records]
Kingdom Days In An Evil Age [2011, Ain’t No Grave Records]
Video below: Sleeping Giant – Tithemi
Video below: Sleeping Giant – The Army Of The Chosen One [Feat. Ryan Clark From Demon Hunter]