Who: Luke Clements (vocals, guitar), Jeff Taylor (drums), Joe Vanaman (bass).
Sounds like: Keith Morris daydreaming of taking a sledgehammer to the break room of his service-industry job.
For fans of: Descendents, Circle Jerks, Rocket From the Crypt, Gaytheist.
It's a drag getting old, especially in the young person's game of punk rock. But the members of Sleeptalker aren't sweating it too hard. After all, the way they tour these days, it's usually in a vehicle with a working air conditioner.
"We did the math, and it's better to rent a minivan than buy a van and pay for it if you're not using it," says bassist Joe Vanaman, 38, from the roof of Olympia Provisions in Southeast Portland, where he works as a pickler.
"You look like a goon," adds singer-guitarist Luke Clements, 40. "You are not a cool band if you roll up in a minivan. You're Morty Seinfeld."
For Sleeptalker, this is growing up—placing comfort above cred, and regular life before the band. They've all spent enough time in other projects doing the opposite, and at this point, fitting the group around their day jobs and marriages is far more satisfying than treating it as an all-or-nothing proposition. It certainly hasn't hurt the music any: Sleeptalker may have traded barely functioning Econolines for the spaciousness of a Chrysler Town & Country, but the band still taps the adolescent adrenaline rush of hardcore, with the sneering pop sense and spring-footed musicianship of dudes who've logged enough miles that they can afford to take things a little easier now.
But settling down is not the same as settling in. New album Dead Tubes is riddled with the angst of adulthood, or what Clements calls "raging against comfortability." "I was going through this weird transition point in my life, with jobs and stuff, and it's mostly [about] working in a place you're dissatisfied with," he says. Songs blitz by in two minutes, racing against time, middle age, and the feeling that the world is moving on without you. "Seeing people do great things, and me not doing great things, puts things in perspective," he says.
"We take the music really seriously, but not ourselves," Clements says. "That's so boring. A mysterious rock-'n'-roll band? Who's ever liked that?"
SEE IT: Sleeptalker plays the Know, 2026 NE Alberta St., with Hurry Up and White Glove, on Saturday, June 18. 8 pm. $5. 21+.