Though they were separated by a gigantic ocean for the first 30 or so years of their lives, Mark and Jeroen could possibly share a single bio. For example: both grew up in loving families but were nonetheless drawn to heavy metal guitar at an early age, and both eventually realized that metal guitar was an empty exercise in technical complexity. So in an attempt to get beyond these endless virtuosic displays, they both turned to jazz.

After some years at conservatory/jazz school they eventually realized that really the only difference between jazz and metal is that in jazz there is sometimes a saxophone solo, and often there are no women in the audience. So Mark and Jeroen of course turned to "arty" music, in which there are few long-winded solos and even fewer women in the audience.

Let’s not pretend that they took two identical evolutionary paths to arrive at their current destination. For a spell, Jeroen somehow made a living playing mariachi music at weddings while wearing strange pants. Mark did not even own any strange pants, but he did waste some time in suburban basements following an improbable infatuation for “dub” (Jeroen thinks dub is “stupid”).

Jeroen then discovered that there's good money in subsidized music that nobody wants to hear, for which he needed to develop the awesome skill of playing exactly the right note at the right moment as written by a “composer”. Meanwhile, Mark was battling his natural inclination towards wankery by fitting his guitar with a set of awkwardly-connected obstructions called “preparations” that prevented him from playing properly at all.

In the mid-2000s their paths on this Journey to Simplicity continued to diverge: Mark deepened his anti-guitar strategy by quitting playing altogether for a few years, while Jeroen unforgivably pursued a career playing math-rock, in a format that could even be called “quite successful” although the audiences were still 98% male.

But these are merely cosmetic differences, like Jeroen calling his musicmaking “composing” whereas Mark would “gather and edit”. In the end, a shared bio is still the way to go when one sees all the unifying qualities: an impeccable taste in music and especially drink; a tendency to get bored when not improvising at all; a sense of rhythm that is quite uncommon for their genetic makeup; and a misplaced sense of self-doubt.

Jeroen and Mark finally met in 2006, and shortly thereafter country music came into their lives. It proved to be the only music style where they could play one thousand notes per minute and girls didn’t seem to mind. After a brief adjustment period (“simple” music proving to be really difficult), they were bendin’ and pickin' away.

In order to give this bio an air of professionalism, one would now come up with a list of rather famous people, rather obscure labels, some festivals you might have heard of, and a list of exotic countries. But not Sleep Gunner.


For "actual" information about the members of Sleep Gunner, go here for Jeroen and here for Mark.


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