There was a time when Pittsburgh-based band Instead of Sleeping had no voices.
No, really: All of its songs were instrumental.
“It was weird,” Woody Wright said with a chuckle, discussing when the band played shows in public venues back in 2008.
But then its voice was found, and things turned around.
“After about a year, we decided to add singing to one song,” Wright continued. “But then, seriously, just overnight, all of our songs had vocals on them. It was this huge transformation.”
The band has since evolved into what Wright calls a “melodic indie-rock” act. Wright plays guitar, keyboards and auxiliary percussion and is joined by Shawn Sweeney on vocals and guitar, Jeff Bonando on bass and vocals and Corey McClaine on drums.
The group is somewhat of an odd fit down in Pittsburgh.
“Once we started singing we started playing out with other bands, which was still kind of weird because it’s nothing but metal around here,” Wright said.
The guys still jam hard enough to be able to hang with such tough acts, producing dynamic tunes that focus on swelling music and what Wright refers to as “epic” parts.
The band is out on the road playing shows in support of its latest release, a five-song EP titled “The Reds, The Blacks, The Greys,” which came out in September. Tonight, the guys will perform at the Vintage Theater in Scranton as part of The Ides of March show.
The tracks on the latest release are a big departure from previous ones.
“We found what we like to do and what we do well,” Wright said. “On an old full-length we put out there are three tracks right in a row. One has an electronic beat, one’s really jazzy, and the other’s straight rock. It was all over the place. I like all the songs on that album, but there was no focus.”
That doesn’t mean “The Reds” is full of cookie-cutter tracks.
“They’ve all got different sounds, still, but they’re more concentrated at what we’re good at,” Wright said.
The group has enjoyed opening for acts such as one of Wright’s personal influences, Deer Hunter.
During that show, Wright and his bandmates heard words that stick with them to this day.
“We were talking to Nick, from the band, and he asked us if we all wanted to do this full time, and of course we said yes. And he said, ‘OK, cool, but be prepared to suffer.’ “
It’s one of the things we remind ourselves of when we’re out and maybe a show doesn’t go well, or we’re promised to get paid somewhere and we don’t, that this is all just part of the journey. One day it’ll pay off.”