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Sleeper Agent to rise for Columbus show at Newport Music Hall

Sleeper Agent is slated to perform alongside New Politics and Music Man at the Newport Feb. 5. Doors are set to open at 7 p.m.

Sleeper Agent is slated to perform alongside New Politics and Music Man at the Newport Feb. 5. Doors are set to open at 7 p.m.
Credit: Courtesy of RCA Records

With a name derived from “Battlestar Galactica,” an upcoming sophomore album and a lengthy touring history with chart-topping bands like fun. and Cage the Elephant, garage rock crew Sleeper Agent is ready to take the stage and put on a show for Columbus.

Hailing from Bowling Green, Ky., the sextet of musicians is slated to perform alongside Danish alternative rock group New Politics and Boston-based Magic Man at the Newport Music Hall Wednesday as part of the Harlem, USA Tour.

“The tour has been great … I think all three bands get along so well and it is a really positive environment and it’s just a really great time,” said Alex Kandel, Sleeper Agent frontwoman and lead vocalist. “There hasn’t been one show that wasn’t an amazing time.”

According to the band’s biography on BB Gun Press, Kandel joined Sleeper Agent in 2009, about a year after the band was formed by guitarist Tony Smith and drummer Justin Wilson.

“The band started in 2008 before I was in it. It was Tony and Justin’s band,” Kandel said. “I opened up for them when I was in a different band when I was 15 and then a couple years later, Tony wanted to start a new project with me and somehow I weaseled my way into Sleeper Agent instead.”

The band also features bassist Lee Williams, keyboardist Scott Gardner and guitarist Josh Martin.

Sleeper Agent performed its first show in 2010 and has since toured with Cage the Elephant, Young the Giant, Weezer, fun. and Grouplove.

Kandel said audiences should expect “a lot of energy” from Sleeper Agent’s current tour.

“(There will be) a lot of new material that isn’t out yet in any way, shape or form,” she said.

Kandel described the band as “the most dysfunctional functional family,” and said the band provides support for all of its members’ individual passions and endeavors.

“We are all each other’s support systems and each other’s worst enemies sometimes,” she said.

Sleeper Agent released its debut album, “Celabrasion,” in 2011.

Kandel said the diversity of personalities within the band itself often acts as a source of inspiration during the songwriting process.

“There’s six of us and I think we all have different tastes and backgrounds, so we’re always bringing something different as individuals,” she said. “We all have different likes and dislikes and sometimes they match up and sometimes they don’t … I think that creates something interesting.”

Apart from touring, the band is set to release its new album, “About Last Night,” March 25.

“It’s a little bit of a departure from the first record … I’d say it’s like the first record, but grown up a little bit,” Kandel said.

According to the Sleeper Agent website, the band spent five days in a secluded cabin in “Middle of Nowhere, East Kentucky,” writing songs and developing the new album.

“We pushed ourselves really hard and made a better record through writing and re-writing and not just settling for anything,” Kandel said. “We really tried to make the best record we could make.”

Kandel said she already has a favorite song from the new album.

“(It’s called) ‘Be Brave,’” she said. “I just love it. The energy of it is just amazing and it is really fun to perform.”

Maxwell Maguire, a third-year in computer science and engineering, said he enjoys Sleeper Agent’s high-energy tempos and rhythms.

“(The songs are) really upbeat and I like the tempos and they’re pretty energetic,” Maguire said. “I like alternative rock music, so (Sleeper Agent) is a bit outside of what I normally listen to, but it’s really cool.”

Other OSU students have plans to attend the Wednesday concert and are looking forward to the bands’ performances.

“I am excited to see all of the bands … my roommate kind of introduced me to all of this,” said Nathaniel Kramer, a first-year in chemical engineering. “(My roommate) went to a Magic Man concert a while ago and he showed me a few of their songs. They’re pretty great, so I’m excited to see them.”

Kandel said she has always had a “hard-wired” passion and enjoys being able to perform each night with the other members of Sleeper Agent.

“(Playing music is) something that we’ve all been doing for so long that it’s just what we do … this is what we love to do,” she said. “Even on the days when it’s the hardest, I couldn’t do this with anyone else.”

Doors are set to open at the Newport Music Hall Wednesday night at 7 p.m. The show is currently sold out through Ticketmaster. Tickets can still be purchased on StubHub, starting at $40.50.


  1. I just got turned onto this band recently and now im in love! Plus their free download of “Waves” was a huge bonus http://smarturl.it/SleeperAgentWaves

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    like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you!
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