Sleep Theory Are Taking the Successes of 2023 in Stride

Sleep Theory Are Taking the Successes of 2023 in Stride

- By Ramon Gonzales

Frontman Cullen Moore weighs the impact of the Paper Hearts EP and revisits the band's breakout year, while looking ahead to a massive 2024 that includes a lengthy North American trek supporting Beartooth. 

Photo by Alex Bemis

Memphis-based unit Sleep Theory has had the kind of year that could best be described as meteoric. The band's ascent has been such that it comes with the detractors suggesting dismissals like, "industry plant" or even worse, "designed for the algorithm". 

The reality for Sleep Theory - a project that first forged its path in 2019 - is that their recent success is more a by-product of their musical sincerity rather than any kind of strategy. Equipped with a combination of succinct songwriting and nu-metal era bounce, music's current climate has made for the ideal conditions to see Sleep Theory soar. 

Kicking off the year with the debut of "Another Way", the track famously racked up a half a million TikTok views in 36 hours. That seemingly set the tone for the year as the band continued to notch wins with the release of impactful singles like "Numb" and "Gone or Staying". 

Securing healthy position on your favorite playlists and landing on massive festival bills like Louder Than Life, Sleep Theory punctuated their banner year with the drop of their Epitaph Records EP, Paper Hearts. Among the accolades, Sleep Theory was the first artist included in the SiriusXM/Pandora's Artist Accelerator program while Paper Hearts went onto tally more than 33 million streams in the months following the release. 

For vocalist Cullen Moore, the traction was all part of the dream he had when first began the project following his retirement from the U.S. Army years ago. Deadset on melding his love for hard rock, funk, and R&B, Cullen would eventually assemble the right team, linking with guitarist Daniel Pruitt, bassist Paolo Vergara, and drummer Ben Pruitt. 

Riding the continued momentum of the Paper Hearts, Sleep Theory recently delivered yet another epic music video for the opening track of the EP, "Fallout". Showcasing a sound that harkens to early the 2000's, combined with Moore's melodic command, the single bookends a banner year and hints to the future potential of a band that is still just scratching the surface. 

Reflecting on the ride Sleep Theory has had thus far, frontman Cullen Moore shared a sense of gratitude for the opportunity to share their craft and explained that the more they connect with fans, the more fuel they have to press on. Set to kick off the new year with a mammoth North American tour supporting Beartooth, Moore also shared how the accomplishments of this year, will lead to bigger and better in 2024. 

Sleep Theory actually began in 2019 but in the last year has seen the kind of strides most bands work years to accomplish. What do you attribute to that continued momentum?

Moore - We were just fortunate to have this opportunity to spread our music. Thank you to the power of the internet and social media we were able to connect with people. When we blew up on TikTok we tried to be responsive to our fans on social media, and we do think those were the main keys to keep the momentum going.

“Numb” was the band’s first ever music video and a resounding success. What was it like watching the views skyrocket week after week?

Moore - We all can agree that we had a blast making the Numb music video, and we were absolutely blown away about how it turned out. Watching the views continue to count up has been surreal. We are truly humbled and thankful for our fans that love the music video as much as we do.

How long have you been living with the songs on the Paper Hearts EP? Has the reception been everything you imagined when you were writing the music?

Moore - We’ve had the majority of the EP finished for quite a long time. “Enough” is actually the oldest song on the EP. It was the second song we ever wrote. That song is about 3 years old, and the same for maybe one or two more. The reception has been amazing. Starting off being a studio project really was great, because it helped us mold our sound. Taking time, and thinking about how we could paint a picture that allowed individuals to connect is a lot of fun in the writing process.

In addition to charting singles and the release of your debut EP, the band has spent an extensive amount of time on the road. How has the exchange with fans and sharing Paper Hearts live impacted you as a songwriter and a performer?

Moore - We continue to meet incredible people across the country that our music has touched. Getting to interact with the fans and see their excitement and support drives us to become the best versions of ourselves and inspires us to write more music that can continue to make a bigger impact in the world.

Nu-metal is definitely having a resurgence. How do you think Sleep Theory aligns with the current musical landscape and what about the band do you think will give you some longevity in the game as trends shift?

Moore - Sleep Theory sits in a very unique position in the current music scene. Our goal has always been to fuse genres, while giving people a nostalgic feeling that has proven timeless. Our sound can not be put in a box, which makes us malleable to whatever new trends come our way.

The band is confirmed for a mammoth 40-date tour supporting Beartooth. Is there any concern about taking on such a rigorous schedule?

Moore - I think the main concern is the fact that it’s the first long tour we’ve been on. We’re more excited than nervous. Vocal health is something to look out for, but we think, and hope that if we pace ourselves correctly we’ll be fine. Also since the tour is during the winter we want to be sure that no one gets sick, because then it’ll just jump from one person to another since we’re always so close on tours.

Even though Paper Hearts is still earning new fans, what’s the forecast like for 2024. Do you have any plans to re-up with something new come next year?

Moore - We have a lot of things going for 2024 and we are so excited for you guys to see what we’ve been working on these past few months. It’ gonna be a crazy 2024 for our band and I hope everyone is excited for what’s coming next.


Set to hit the road in early January, Sleep Theory will caravan with The Plot In You and Invent Animate for a two-month stretch with juggernaut Beartooth that spans North America. 

See the complete list of dates and cities below. Get tickets - HERE

1/12 — Cincinnati, OH — Andrew J. Brady Center
1/13 —  Asheville, NC —  Orange Peel
1/14 — Louisville, KY —  Mercury Ballroom 
1/16 — Detroit, MI — Royal Oak
1/17 — Buffalo, NY — Town Ballroom 
1/19 — Toronto, ON — History
1/20 — Montreal, QC — M Telus
1/21 — Boston, MA — House of Blues
1/23 — Philadelphia, PA — Franklin Music Hall 
1/24 — Pittsburgh, PA — Roxian 
1/26 — New York, NY — Palladium Times Square
1/27 — Baltimore, MD — Rams Head
1/28 — Norfolk, VA — The NorVa
1/30 — Atlanta, GA — Tabernacle
1/31 — Charlotte, NC — The Fillmore
2/2 — Charleston, SC — Charleston Music Hall
2/3 — Orlando, FL — House of Blues
2/4 - 2/10 — Shiprocked
2/11 — Tampa, FL — Jannus
2/13 — Huntsville, AL — Mars Music Hall
2/14 — New Orleans, LA — House of Blues
2/15 — Houston, TX — White Oak Music Hall
2/17 — San Antonio, TX — Boeing Center at Tech Port
2/18 — Dallas, TX — House of Blues
2/20 — Phoenix, AZ — Van Buren
2/21 — San Diego, CA — Soma
2/22 — Los Angeles, CA — The Wiltern
2/24 — Sacramento, CA — Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
2/25 — Portland, OR — Crystal Ballroom
2/27 — Seattle, WA — Showbox SoDo
2/28 — Spokane, WA — Knitting Factory
3/1 — Boise, ID — Knitting Factory
3/2 — Salt Lake City, UT — The Complex
3/3 — Denver, CO — The Fillmore
3/5 — Fargo, ND — Sanctuary Events Center
3/6 — St. Paul, MN — Myth Live
3/8 — Chicago, IL — Riviera
3/9 — Madison, WI — The Sylvee
3/10 — Sauget, IL — Pop's
3/12 — Indianapolis, IN — Egyptian Room at Old National Center
3/13 — Nashville, TN — Marathon Music Works
3/14 — Fort Wayne, IN — The Clyde Theater
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