The Inside Track: Dining Dead - 'Sleeping Painful'

Words by Sammy Skidmore

I have been song writing for a long time, probably since I was around 6, and wrote the beginnings of Sleeping Painful about 2 years before it actually made its way to the recording studio with Dining Dead in late 2020. This song had many iterations and I re-wrote the melody about four times before finally coming to a conclusion with the band on how it should sound.

I started the verses a long time ago based on imagery/words that I thought were cool during that moment. Gum, Popsicles, Misery, Planets, Rage, etc. I use all of those words at some point during the song and I worked them in after deciding that I wanted them to be there. There was also this gloomy vibe that was following me around during those months that had me really feeling nostalgic for a childhood Summer. "Popsicles that you sell on the streets in Summer Time". I also love word play and juxtaposition and like the idea of contrasting yet complimentary words. "Like dirty gum its sick how sweet you taste in my mouth".

I wrote the final chorus about a year later. I was inspired by the cyclical nature of time and how you often find yourself in similar situations or mirrored feelings from another time in your life. It is about being a part of a pattern that you can never really break even if it looks a little different this time around. "Sleeping Painful, Giving up and I'm Faithful, Paid under the table again. And again and again and again."

When I got laid off during the pandemic and had to start getting paid under the table again (quite literally) I ascribed new meaning to this song. When my mental state was slipping, it was an anxiety I recognized, but it was performing in a different way.

We recorded at Kill Room Studios in Georgetown with Jeff McNulty and he really helped us develop this song and sound. Bogie's drum fills and Shannon's spooky low end bass really give this song a vibe that I love. It is a sound I would never be able to achieve on my own. Not to mention Emma's killer guitar solo. We had no idea how to fit in a solo for this song or how it should end, so Emma and I stayed up really late one night a few days before we were supposed to record it to figure it out. It came together in the nth hour and I couldn't be happier with it.

This is one song that I have written that had many lives and went through many rebirths. I do not normally re-write things, so that process makes this song unique to me. It turned out exactly how it was supposed to though because of the influence of the band, which is why I love working with other artists.

Make sure to catch Dining Dead at the new Cafe Racer on November 4th with King Sheim! Get your tickets here!

Dont forget to check out more from Dining Dead on their website, Spotify, & Bandcamp

Using Format