Heading into the studio for its second album, Sleeper Agent could have taken the easy way out. Alex Kandel and company could have written songs similar to album one, Celabrasion. Instead, they decided to challenge themselves. Having written well over 40 songs, the Bowling Green-natives went above and beyond what their initial plans were for this album. Kandel says the songs that comprise About Last Night best reflect where the band is today. The group's first single, "Waves," has garnered some attention on both satellite and terrestrial radio. Due to the popularity of that song, the band was able to head out on its first headlining tour. We caught up with Kandel while traveling through the great Midwest to hear about the group's sudden success and what she likes doing on her day off.
OC Weekly (Daniel Kohn): What's been the biggest difference headlining your own tour versus being a supporting act?
Alex Kandel:I don't think we realized until we started touring how different it would be, in kind of like the best way.
There's a certain feeling of pride I get now that every single person in the room came to see us as a fan we made from all the years of touring and working. It's really cool to see it pay off since they're to see us and the new record hasn't been out for very long, and to see people singing along to every word of the new record is great. Seeing how quickly the new record is connecting with people and to see their genuine reaction to the songs in that moment is awesome.
"Waves" has really boosted the band's profile in the past few months. What's been the crowd reaction to hearing that live?
It's been extremely fun to play it every night. It's one of those songs that you have to clap along to and it's a good, get-up-the-energy type of song.
Are you surprised of the success that song has had?
I'm of the mindset that I try not to have any expectations especially when we're putting out a single. So yeah, I'm surprised, but not because I don't think it's a great song. I'm really proud of it, but you never how things are going to feel when you put out a song for people. But it's been overwhelmingly positive.
What was different about making this album as opposed to the first one?
A lot changed. I was 17 when we recorded the first record. I've never been an ego-girl that has all the confidence that she's going to have. So it's been growing into my own skill, which made a big different on the new record. But also it wasn't necessarily the most natural progression. At the beginning of the writing process, we were writing very similar songs that's on Celabrasion and we took a step back and realized we didn't want to do that, and thought "why don't we do something that's not easy." We pursued that and that's how this record came about by challenging ourselves.
What's your favorite thing to do when you're roaming around a city? Is there something you hunt for?
The one thing that I seek out is Thai food. I could eat Thai food every day of my life. I love getting to try every city's local place. It's always the preferred option. The thing about being on the road is that it's constant sandwiches and bread. All I want is a chicken breast and vegetables. That's what I look for if Thai isn't available. When I'm in Southern California, I can say, even though it is cliche, that I'm looking forward to In N Out Burger. You guys don't realize how amazing it is when you're not around it.