Flavorwire Premiere: Sleeping Bag’s Dave Segedy Channels Post-Collegiate Woes Into a Slacker-Rock Gem

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Until I heard Sleeping Bag leader Dave Segedy’s solo album, I thought it was pretty unlikely that I’d find another perfect fuzzy-yet-melodic rock ‘n’ roll song named “Car.” The original, of course, comes from Built to Spill’s 1994 album, There’s Nothing Wrong With Love. The symmetry of this almost makes me laugh. With their three albums on Joyful Noise Records, Bloomington, Indiana’s underrated trio Sleeping Bag have often garnered comparisons to indie rock’s 1990s canon, of which Built to Spill sit near the center.

In nearly every way, Segedy’s “Car” is more ferocious — characterized by raw distortion and deadpanned pop “oooh-ohs.” The two-minute song is also representative of Segedy’s turbulent quickie of an album, Schrodego, set for release on March 24 via Old Flame Records and Jurassic Pop Records (for its limited-run cassette).

“‘Car’ is about getting in a car with no money and going to the city to start a new life,” Segedy tells Flavorwire. “The line ‘I am a crimson dummy’ is about being a dumb IU [Indiana University] grad, because the school colors are cream and crimson.”

We’re pleased to premiere “Car” below. Read on for a quick Q&A with Segedy about the appeal of cassettes and ’90s revivalism in rock.

Flavorwire: You’re the vocalist and main songwriter in Sleeping Bag, and your solo album explores similar sonic territory as your work with the band. Why did you want to make Schrodego, and what were you going for?

Dave Segedy: Even though I’m the main songwriter in Sleeping Bag, there is still a lot of collaboration. Which is great, but I wanted to make an album where I had 100 percent control over everything. I also wanted a challenge and to play all the instruments. Schrodego might sound similar to SB because some of the songs were intended to be SB songs, but they either didn’t fit or the boys didn’t like them as much as I did. Ultimately I was going for a bare-bones, very simple, no BS, catchy album that was still pretty heavy. I also was in the middle of Sleeping Bag albums and honestly needed something to do.

FW: This album’s coming out in a super-small cassette run. What do you dig about tapes?

DS: I like tapes because, for one, the sound. The sound is grittier and a bit thicker, which I thought would go best with this type of album. I also like that it’s a bit harder to play, harder than LPs. I also like the small run because it makes it a little more special for the diehard SB fans who will buy it.

FW: In the Sleeping Bag bio, you guys basically say that the music tends to remind listeners of old indie rock, but that the band’s not trying to capitalize on ’90s revivalism. Does it drive you nuts when people lump Sleeping Bag in with apparent revivalist acts?

DS: It bothers me a little bit, but on the other hand I don’t blame them. That’s just how people describe things. I do the same thing to other bands all the time. I think as SB releases more albums people will see, we’re just messing around, trying to have fun. Some of our past albums did indeed sound a bit ’90s, but now not so much. You gotta start somewhere.