An Adventure through time where it all began. No doubt when SLEEP CHAMBER first started performing We were just the worst. It waz all improved with 4-track and DAT Digital audio for Drum tracks. There waz little to No rehearsals. Because lack ov space and I waz drafting members based on their Individuality and Confidence to adapt in the pure Kaos ov SLEEP CHAMBERS energy and rogue attitude towards the Boston musick scene. Who all totally despised our behavior and antics. I can not sing. I never could. Its no secret or offence to myself. Yet, I am a pure Performer that haz lasted almost every Boston punk, Rock or whatever band since 1993. I have progressed in stage performance and have released more than 100+ SLEEP CHAMBER Releases. One ov The Best Info on our Musick iz DISCOGS. (much to be explained and completed) Yet, they have the most complete Listings & Info on my Musickal history. (Much Respect) For those who fill-in-the info-blanks & DISCOGS itself.
By JOHN ZEWIZZ
One ov the first Clubs to give us exposure waz GROUND ZERO-in Cambridge-Ma. A girl TERRY waz running the small Club dive ov outcasts. I asked her if SLEEP CHAMBER could play at this small club. It took a few requests but she eventually agreed. I can’t say for sure what year it started 1988 ? This waz after one-shot deals with THE RED LOFT, THE CAGE, MASS COLLEGE OV ART, THE PARASISE, ARLINGTON HALL, THE CHANNEL, JUMPIN JACK FLASH, JACKS, JOHNNY Ds, THE RAT, INNERSLEEVE RECORDS, ARLINGTON FOOD COUP, DUNNS, MARSHFIELD RANCH HOUSE, NEWBURRYPORT SCREENING ROOM, a Classroom performance at MIT College ov “Victim” and “Weapons ov Magick”. (Darline Victor got us this sweet $3000. gig). And the many after-hours loft parties and underground clubs. SLEEP CHAMBER waz not good. WE were just very unusual. I waz constantly evolving the visual and audio performances. When the audience smelled My private home made incense based on Frankincense Resign they automaticly associated with the Catholic Mass and hystically claimed SLEEP CHAMBER were performing a black satanic mass. It started at a large show at the PARADISE in 1984. I waz also using Civet oil and other elements ov Alkemeny. SLEEP CHAMBER waz the opening act. (9:30 start). Ov course I partyed with the other bands- ADX-(from UK) and another local Boston band -( Bahaus style band that waz very profishent in their performances).HOLY COW. Till 11:PM …SLEEP CHAMBER went on real late. Smoked out the audience with Fog and Incense. Not to mention We were performing more Ritual styled musick than songs.
BAND LINE-UP HISTORY
Many shows that were only building up the SLEEP CHAMBER Image that I waz even uncertain ov. Yet, rumors and unusual presentation ov our Musick only madnified an image ov SLEEP CHAMBER beyond my direction. You can not pick your audience or your fans. They are a reflection ov your inspiration upon them. Starting Live Members were: LARRY VAN HORN, RICHARD GELLER, JOHN ZEWIZZ, EUGENE DIFRANCISCO and MICHAEL MOINIHAN. Costantly evolving with each performance it started including: MALCOLM SMITH, TIONE, LAURA CHOPELAS, IAN COCKRAN, CHRIS MEANS, DAN WALKER, DARLINE VICTOR, THOMAS THORN-(once)- (Some members were short lived to a show or two or maybe a cameo on a Song released on a record. There were never a shortage ov Volenteers. Some 0fficial Members came and went- EUGENE DIFRANCISCO, LARRY VAN HORN, and people behind the Studio scenes like BREX GREEN, AREL CIRXL, SPIKE DEVITT-(Not DEVON). The SLEEP CHAMBER Live line-up waz always up for who could do the show. SLEEP CHAMBER started to get firmer commitments and JONATHAN BRILEY, ARTHUR WOZNIC, ELAINE WALKER, ASHLEY SWANSON became 0fficial members for Studio sessions and Record releases. After ELAINE WALKER left in 1992 she waz replaced by ARTHUR WOZNIC for the 1992 LEATHER & LUST Tour ov California. Which included ASHLEY SWANSON, EUGENE DIFRANCISCO, ARTHUR WOZNIC & JOHN ZEWIZZ. When things really got CrAzy waz after that Tour and my behavior SLEEP CHAMBER waz ready for another line up. CRAIG WEIN, ANDREW WOOLF, LARRY VAN HORN-(fluidly)- ASHLEY SWANSON and Myself. We Toured in TEXAS in 1989 with JONATHAN BRILEY, ARTHUR WOZNIC, TIONE and Myself. TEXAS 1990 included ARTHUR WOZNIC, DAN WALKER, and Myself. SLEEP CHAMBER also did a show in 1992 at THE MIDDLE EAST & MANRAY that included DARLINE VICTOR. Not seen since 1995 SUBMIT TO DESIRE and a short 1992 Studio session for the Songs-(Bass & Drums)-BESIDE DANNAE and COBRA HEARTBEAT which included ASHLEY SWANSON on Guitar. So, az you can see the line ups for SLEEP CHAMBER in the 1980’s to the 1990’s were there when I needed them the most. The most vast project waz between SIRKLE ZERO-CD and SLEEP OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PIECE- 1990 Vinyl LP and CD. Members included the largest line-up for both projects that year. ARTHUR WOZNIC, EUGENE DIFRANCISCO, JONATHAN BRILEY, LARRY VAN HORN, and Myself. It waz JONATHAN BRILEYS Last Musick project. Due to razing hiz sons he chose to abandon hiz Musick talents and ties to SLEEP CHAMBER. There waz no hard feelings. It waz just a painful decision I had to respect. That’s It. The SLEEP CHAMBER Line-ups for Boston shows were always unstable. I had members that I can not tell you their names. SLEEP CHAMBER iz pretty much a dictatorship. I run 90% ov the concept. I on occasion allow members to Mix, Master and even write their Musickal arrangements in the Musick. Input iz always encouraged. Yet, since I have the most experience I can not allow fresh suggestions overrule my experience but will consider all options and have. Not getting dramatic, I have designed 95% ov all SLEEP CHAMBER Posters, handbills, LP, CD, Cassette covers. I have also designed all JONATHAN BRILEY Releases-(cassettes/BEYOND FLESH VHS cover/CD Cover) and many ov the Inner-X-Releases layouts. I have in the 2000’s allowed others to design covers for SORCERY, SPELLS & SERPENT CHARMS-CD, SEREMONY-CD, STOLEN SLEEP-CD, VINYL VENOM VIXEN-promo CD, SACRAFICE-CD, SIAMESE SUCCUBI-DVD, STRATOCAST-CD, SILVERSTAR-CD. Az you now reflect, you will notice the artwork layout by myself and others iz quite noticable. I wanted to show I waz not insecure in my control ov the SLEEP CHAMBER concept. After Major problems with the VINYL ON DEMAND-German Box-Set “Six-Six-Six” – the first 6-years ov SLEEP CHAMBER recordings from cassettes. The layout, design and material waz chosen by someone else. I did not see Any proofs or layouts. The product waz made and showed up delivered to me. In all honesty, I waz at the end ov my two decades ov Heroin addiction and waz paying little attention. So, I am partly to blame for material and booklet info being WRONG. Tapes ov other musicians Musick waz unintentionally released claiming it waz SLEEP CHAMBER. I understand this type ov situation happens. Sometimes you can not always recconize your own Musickal experiments when you are using samples and tapes. The other Major issue iz that JONATHAN BRILEY and other members are credited on Songs they are not on. This iz Not a mistake. JONATHAN BRILEY “May-Be” on a Ritual track, but he iz Not on any ov the songs he iz credited for. Neither iz other SLEEP CHAMBER members. This iz a project I have to sit down and analize closely. For another time.
BOSTON Early PERFORMANCES
THE LIZARD LOUNGE / BAT CAVE / Docs Place-(Boston)-
SLEEP CHAMBER Performed at all three Venue Titles. Most importantly waz NEW YEARS EVE 1988-1989. (Members included: Eugene Difrancisco, Tione, Jonathan Briley, Larry Van Horn and John Zewizz)
CHETS LAST CALL-1984 BAND Line Up-(Malcolm Smith, John Zewizz, Richard Geller).
SET LIST~ (Leviathan, Time-Lock, Inspiration, My Uniform, Icehouse, Dream Distillate, Subterranean Subhuman, The Lantern, Victim, Flesh on Flesh).
TEXAS TOUR 1989 -1990
Back to Early Boston Shows
THE CAGE-Boston 1989 BAND Line Up-(Eugene Difrancisco, John Zewizz, Tione)-
SET LIST: Mandrax & Strayx, Warm Leatherette, Fetish, Inspiration, Red Panties, Ov This Flesh, Submit to Desire, Kiss The Whip, The Light Pours Out ov Me, Mrs Goodbar. Bootleg CD below. Complete Show 4/6/1989 THE CAGE-Boston.
T T THE BEARS 1987 BAND Line Up-(Jonathan Briley, John Zewizz, Dave Prescott, Larry Van Horn, Eugene Difrancisco).
SET LIST~ Extreme Unction, Raindance, Babes ov Babylon, Her Second Skin, Fetish, Submit to Desire, Site ov Pain-Site ov Pleasure.
SLEEP CHAMBER Played “JOHNNY D’s” in 1984 with HUNTING LODGE and in 1985 with HOLY COW. A Fight broke out because SLEEP CHAMBER waz wearing Zipper Bondage Masks. CHRIS MEANS-(Singer for HOLY COW) waz rushed to the Hospital to get 22-stiches under hiz eye. SLEEP CHAMBER finished their heavy handed Fog & Incense performance and fought their way out ov a mob ov angry and frightened people. No one in SLEEP CHAMBER waz hurt. They were too afraid ov The ‘Masks’. We never wore the Bondage masks again except for an ARLINGTON CABLE TV Broadcast.
ARLINGTON CABLE TV PROGRAM 1984- BAND-(Malcolm Smith, John Zewizz, Darline Victor, Michael Moynihan, Chris Means).
SET LIST: Raindance, Fetish, Victim, Icehouse, Under the Green Sky, Flesh on Flesh, Inspiration, Oral Maze, Horseman-(SUBMIT TO DESIRE- before lyric change), Weapons ov Magick.
JOHNNY Ds BAND Line-UP 1984 & 1985 -(Malcolm Smith, John Zewizz, Darline Victor, Larry Van Horn). set list to follow
THE DEN-Boston BAND Line-Up-(Richard Geller, Larry Van Horn, Malcolm Smith, John Zewizz).
SET LIST-THE DEN- (Leviathan, Icehouse, Flesh on Flesh, Under the Green Sky, Inspiration. Coven ov Angels, Weapons ov Magick).
THE PARADISE~Boston 1991 BAND Line Up-(Arthur Woznic, Laura Chopelas, John Zewizz, Ash Swanson).
SET LIST~(Reality Reveled, El Topo, Warm Leatherette, Way ov the Flesh, Untitled: Arthurs Song, Snakebite, The Light Pours Out ov Me, Kiss the Whip, Mrs Goodbar).
THE RAT CLUB 3/24/1985 BAND Line-Up-(Michael Moynihan, John Zewizz, Richard Geller, Malcolm Smith)
SET LIST: Priestess, Oral Maze, Submit to Desire, Fetish, Warm Leatherette, Distant Lives, Victim, Flesh on Flesh, Kum Kleopatra, Weapons ov Magick.
AXIS-Boston BAND Line-Up -(Craig Wein, John Zewizz, Andrew Woolf, Ashley Swanson).
SET LIST AXIS-Boston 1996- (Monkeyman, Nightshade, Animal Magnetism, Anakonda, Cockwork, Catwoman, Salome, Silvermoon, No Ones Heart, Beside Dannae, Kiss the Whip, Infatuation).
AXIS-Boston 2/20/1992 BAND-Line Up-(Laura Chopelas-Sax, Ashley Swanson-Guitar, Elaine Walker-Synths, John Zewizz-Vocals).
AXIS-Boston 4/13/1990- Pre BARBITCHUETTES. This iz the show I tested out my concept ov having Female energy in the Performance. I brought out The Chopelas sisters (I waz dating) Laura & Sue along with their friend Eva. I left the idea till the last song which always stirs up the audience. KISS THE WHIP. I waz pretty sure it waz the right direction. Now I had to arrange that energy laced throughout the complete performance. Always about 10-15 songs. About 70 minutes. No Encores. The drum machine and DAT tape iz programmed to go onto the next song within less than a minute. So when they are applauding the next song starts before they stop clapping. The cancels out any audience kaos. Like yelling out anything or protesting the performance. Many assume directing a band like SLEEP CHAMBER iz just having a bunch ov people that are friends and its just a natural instinctive behavior. Its more like a Vortex ov unchained energy. You have to be the apex alpha to get your concept into their psyche and their hearts. Respect iz paramount. Most ov the time I don’t have the time to earn their respect. I have to get them to trust and focus first. The respect kums later. I waz a very hard partyer. So many band and BARBITCHUETTE members were concerned and nervous. Too much sex, drugs, drinking and only sleeping on the road. Yet, I never failed to entertain our audiences for over an hour ov high energy and antics. The respect came when they seen me focus when it waz time to organize and entertain. I waz working with up to 25 people per show. That’s Soundmen, Lights, Video cameras, roadies, security, BARBITCHUETTES, and the band. You automatically expect every show to be perfect. You just do. Then you start to realize that in all reality, the odds are always stacked against you. Each show iz a captured moment ov time. You have to know how to treat that moment ov time. With both respect and discipline. I see it az dominance. Subconsciously I prepare for a physical and mental fight. After the band concept triples from a group ov musicians expressing their own obscure form ov Musickal input into SLEEP CHAMBER to newly experimental additions ov up to 8-10 live collaborators. That altering ov a group dynamic iz very unstable to direct. Its like taking care ov kids and their pets. If you are not in control ov it all, it will develop cracks. Its hard to run around the SLEEP CHAMBER and THE BARBITCHUETTES concept and keep it all in focus. I seek escape during Tours with sex and drugs. No one ever estimates your piece ov mind when you are using Full adrenaline nightly to keep the train on the tracks. Everyone iz more concerned with their own inhibitions and desires to see what instinctive stress I am invoking to insure that all goes az planned. -(It never doez)- Every performance carries its own personal energy and kaos. That’s why I’m always quoted az saying I like unpredictably in our shows. After SLEEP CHAMBER incorporated THE BARBITCHUETTES in the 1990s I developed a very intense form ov anxiety. Pre Show nervousness. But it overwhelmed me to the point I waz getting dry heaves, anxiety, and physically sick. I realized I waz being overwhelmed by the now larger Musick concept. Everyone waz continuously requesting my full attention on even the smallest situation. “John, the sound guy iz being a dick” …”John, she stole my bra” …”John there iz too many people on the guest list”…”John, the owner wants to go backstage and introduce hiz brother to THE BARBITCHUETTES” …”John one ov THE BARBITCHUETTES iz fighting with her boyfriend backstage” …”John there are people who know you that want to kum back stage”….”John, one band member just got caught spray painting the outside club by the police” …”John, your girlfriend iz with an old friend and they keep kissing” ….”John the other band wants to borrow our strobes and some BARBITCHUETTES” …and it continues like a virus. I waz at a state where I waz carried to the stage because I waz in a paralyzed state. Yet amazing enough… az soon az I grabbed the mic and yelled “Good Evening” or something, my adrenaline sky rocketed. I waz fine. Beyond fine. I knew I waz ‘In Charge’ ov all the minds focused on me. Its like a drug high. Your adrenaline gets so high that the beers, valium and shots ov Whiskey you just consumed in the last hour burn off. I eventually hired another security person to keep Everyone away from me starting 2-hours before a show. Ya, I could go down where THE BARBITCHUETTES are changing. (And I have)- but you need to collect your energy and focus on the directive -(only)-
AXIS-Boston 9/6/1991-BAND Line Up-(John Zewizz, Jonathan Briley, Eugene Difrancisco, Arthur Woznic).
SET LIST: Way ov the Flesh, Submit to Desire, Snakebite, Site ov Pain-Site ov Pleasure, That’s Romance, Dominatrix, Ov This Flesh, The Light Pours Out ov Me, Kiss the Whip, Mrs Goodbar).
AXIS-Boston 1989 Band Line-Up -(John Zewizz, Jonathan Briley, Eugene Difrancisco, Arthur Woznic).
THE RAT CLUB-Boston. 1993- BAND Line Up-(John Zewizz, Ashley Swanson, Arthur Woznic, Spike Devitt).
SET LIST: Monkeyman, Nightshade, Anakonda, X-Ta-See, Beside Dannae, Silvermoon, Justify My Love, Red Panties, Catwoman, Snakebite, Kiss the Whip, Mrs Goodbar).
SLEEP CHAMBER~ AXIS-Boston 10/31/1991- HALLOWEEN. Also SLEEP CHAMBERS Birthday. First Show waz 10/31/1982. So, official when We first broke our cherry. Now normally one ov my strictest Rules iz that on stage-You got to wear the SLEEP CHAMBER uniform-“All Black”… No exceptions. And this iz a real Rule. Any drama ? You are fired-Go Home. I think there waz one complaint, but no one ever crossed that line. They knew it made sense. But on this Oct. 31st in 1991 I wanted to shed our predictable expectations that most Boston people had gotten use to. I picked the “Clockwork Orange” attire to the whole band to wear. Everyone picked out their own version ov the outfit. I ov course included a black strap on. Wearing all white it went well. I had written the song “COCKWORK” and we had played it live a few times. It waz a newer sound style ov our Musick. Its not the same Musick az the SIAMESE SUCCUBI version Elaine Walker programmed. It waz a fast pumping piece though. I also wanted to give the Feathers a break too. Some clubs were refusing to pay us until we cleaned up the whole venue. That’s how much ov a mess they make in a club. I always bought the goose feathers. They cost double, but they are much smaller and float in the air for hours. And ov course we never cleaned up any club. I picked whipped cream. I bought a case. (about 10 cans)- Although on stage it looks like fun. You will see it in the 1992 AXIS-HIGHLIGHTS show. The major, and I mean Major problem iz that cream sours fast under hot stage lights. And before the show waz over, we were all covered-(like the audience) in soured whipped cream. It smells just like Puke. Its waz disgusting. Totally Rancid. Band members were bitching for over a week that it waz on their equipment, leather pants and anything they had on stage. Yep, a first and a last. There iz some great footage in the “BESIDE DANNAE” (official video). The girls sucking off the Strap-On with whipped cream on it became BARBITCHUETTES a year later. No Shit.
AXIS-Boston Oct.31st 1991 BAND Line-Up-(John Zewizz, Arthur Woznic, Eugene Difrancisco, Ashley Swanson, Laura Chopelas, Ginger Buttkis)
ARLINGTON HALL 1984 BAND Line Up-(Malcolm Smith, John Zewizz, Larry Van Horn, Richard Geller).
SET LIST~ (Leviathan, Ikon Goddess, Priestess, Oral Maze, Into the Abyss, Weapons ov Magick, Coven ov Angels).
This iz far az I could get. A PAGE for THE LIMELIGHT, MIDDLE EAST, and MANRAY iz needed. There iz just so much Dokumentation. Enjoy The History ov SLEEP CHAMBER. Special Thanx for sharing their collection material: Sandra Pepin, Martin Doyle, Vinny, Sue Chopelas, Ann Costello, Jasper Burns, Direct Hit Record Shop and Eugene Difrancisco. (see you Soon) ~ JZ: