Don’t Sleep is a new band from Harrisburg, PA and Washington D.C. featuring Dave Smalley, the singer of influential hardcore and punk bands such as Dag Nasty, Down By Law, DYS, and All, as well as Garrett Rothman (bass), Tom McGrath (guitar), Jim Bedorf (drums), and Tony Bavaria (guitar), who have also played in a number of bands previously on labels such as Blackout Records, Eulogy Recordings, Art Monk Construction, Sony, and Megaforce.
While originally Don’t Sleep started to back Dave up while playing songs from his former bands, the members all became fast friends and quickly began writing new material. The music they created was not only influenced by Dave and his former bands, but the records that all the members have been listening to and have been influenced by over the years.
Since beginning to write new music, Don’t Sleep has released a new full length “Turn The Tide” on Mission Two Entertainment (Tony from Victory Records new lable) produced by Walter Schreifels (Quicksand, Rival Schools, Gorilla Biscuits), and Brian McTernan (Battery, Hot Water Music, Hot Rod Circuit, etc.), a European exclusive vinyl release on Unity Worldwide Records, and a US vinyl release on hardcore mainstay Reaper Records. Reviews and reactions have been positive with sites like Brooklyn Vegan, Stereogum, Punknews, No Echo, Dying Scene, and others writing about the band. Videos from “Turn The Tide” have also garnered over 150,000 views on YouTube.
While Don’t Sleep’s music can be described as aggressive, fast, and energetic, they’ve managed to infuse melody and an element of pop sensibility into their songs. Additionally, while callbacks and influences to classic hardcore and punk bands such as 7 Seconds, Judge, Black Flag, and Bad Brains can be heard in their songs, a current/modern element is present as well.
Don’t Sleep also had the opportunity to tour with hardcore legends Shelter in 2018, played the Vans Warped Tour, and have been able to share the stage or play festivals with bands such as H2O, Burn, Sick of It All, Face to Face, Iron Chic, The Menzingers, Further Seems Forever, Sense Field, Turnstile, and more. Many fans of Dave’s previous bands have come to watch Don’t Sleepperform, and shows have been full of pile-ons and circle pits as fans enjoy a mix of new songs and classic ones by all of Dave’s bands. Don’t Sleep hopes to continue this momentum by continuing to release new music and playing festivals and shows internationally!