Musica Maxima Magnetica
Old Europa Cafe
|Associated acts||Women Of The SS
Cult Ov The Womb
Hidious In Strength
Ze Wizz Kidz
Sleep Chamber is an American industrial band fronted by John Zewizz. The band is known for using S&M, bondage and magic imagery on their art work, during their performances, and within their lyrics. Formed in 1981 by high school friends John Zewizz, Eugine Difrancisco, and Phil Brosseau, over the years the Sleep Chamber line-up has changed many times with John Zewizz being the sole permanent member. Previous members of Sleep Chamber have included Thomas Thorn, Michael Moynihan, Jonathan Briley and Elaine Walker. Since the beginning, John Zewizz has stated that the constant line-up change is because Sleep Chamber is not a "band", but rather a "concept".
From 1982 to 1999, Sleep Chamber put out a considerable volume of music (releasing over 70 recordings, and participating in over 35 various artists releases). After an extended absence, Sleep Chamber returned in 2008 with a new line-up, a slew of new releases, and a new name, SLEEPCHAMBER.
Sometime between 1981 and 1982, Sleep Chamber came into existence featuring John Zewizz, Eugene Difrancisco and Phil Brosseau. Zewizz, Difancisco and Brosseau were friends from high school. Both Difancisco and Brosseau fronted a band called The Product and Zewizz had worked as a producer on their one and only single. When The Product folded, Difrancisco and Brosseau began a band called Daze Of Trance. Zewizz occasionally helped out with Daze Of Trance, even playing on a cassette release as part of the band. Eventually the three recorded with Zewizz as the front man in a band they called Sleep Chamber. Very early works were experimental and electronic-industrial in nature. Live Sleep Chamber performances were quickly labeled as resembling a "Black Mass", with smoke (containing a special blend of incense) billowing out of machines, and the band donning black bondage masks while performing on stage. Their concerts scared some local club owners, prompting them to ban Sleep Chamber from playing. Local reviewers often accused the band of being Satanic. Zewizz, over the years, has denied this accusation. Those early concerts featured Zewizz in different combinations with Difrancisco, Brosseau, Thorn, Moynihan and also Malcom Smith (with whom Zewizz collaborated in the bands Dokument and Hidious In Strength), Darlene Victor, and Richard Gellar.
1990–2001, Sleep Chamber and The Barbichuettes
It was during the 1990s that Zewizz incorporated bondage-fetish dancers called the Barbitchuettes into Sleep Chamber live performances. With this addition, Sleep Chamber's popularity exploded. During live shows, the Barbitchuette dancers would perform S&M acts on the stage as well as caressing and dancing with other Barbitchuette dancers. During the Barbitchuettes heyday with Sleep Chamber, it was not uncommon for the band to travel with up to 11 Barbitchuette dancers.
The 1990s also started off with John's biggest hit yet with the Sleep Chamber release Sleep, Or Forever Hold Your Piece. This new popularity also resulted in wider distribution for John's music. Sleep Chamber saw their material expand from the Inner-X-Musick to distribution overseas and in the U.S. by the Italian label Musica Maxima Magnetica and the German label FünfUndVierzig and Cleopatra Records in Los Angeles. Along with bigger sales came bigger opportunities. Sleep Chamber's local gigs required ever bigger venues. The increased popularity also allowed Sleep Chamber to do two quick tours of Texas in the late 1980s and early 1990s. These tours featured Zewizz along with Briley, Tione, Difrancisco, and Arthur PW. At the end of the Texas tour, Zewizz found himself again looking for a new collaborator with the departure of Arthur PW and Briley.
Elaine Walker entered the picture in 1991–92 to fill that void. Walker's band DDT had frequently played with Sleep Chamber at local venues around the Boston area. Walker was a Berklee College of Music graduate and impressed John with her abilities. Zewizz and Walker, together with the help of Ashley Swanson, began working on the CD Siames Succubi. Sales of this record were even better than Sleep, Or Forever Hold Your Piece. A successful tour of California resulted, featuring Zewizz, Walker, Swanson and long-time friend and collaborator Difrancisco. Although pleased with the line-up, Zewizz was aware that Elaine Walker's commitment was to her other projects and she did not plan to stay with Sleep Chamber. Additionally, by the end of the tour friction arose between Zewizz and Difrancisco. Upon returning to Boston, both Walker and Difrancisco left the band.
Again John introduced a new Sleep Chamber line-up of songwriting duo Andrew Woolf and Craig Wien, as well as help from previous guitar sideman Swanson, and a new member, drummer Jay Keegan. This line-up was the last recording version of Sleep Chamber. Their recordings ended up on several releases, predominantly Some Godz die young and Sonorous Invokations ov Brian Jones – the latter being solely Zewizz and Woolf. However, drug addiction, personal problems, and constant touring had ceased Zewizz's steady flow of “new” musik by the end of 1995.
Real problems began in 1995, when John was questioned for the murder of Karina Holmer, a Swedish au pair living in Boston. Holmer's body was found in a dumpster not far from John's home. The police considered John a suspect, but no charges were ever brought. The accusation, coupled with a growing heroin addiction, quickly began to destroy the band and drove John away from band mates and friends.
Despite those problems, Sleep Chamber took on its most ambitious project to date in 1996, a tour of Germany. Unable to get commitments from the current line-up of Sleep Chamber, Zewizz took on two new members (Scott Walker and Tyler Newman) as band mates for the German tour. Along with these new members, Zewizz took Barbitchuette dancer "Lulu" as well. "Lulu's" job during the tour covered dancing during the shows, and recruiting dancers from local strip clubs. From the USA, Andrew Woolf organized the booking of the German tour.
There are many stories of Zewizz's escalating drug addiction during the tour, and although the band was deceived by the promoters, the shows were well received and the seeds for a large European fan base were set because of the tour. As they saw his life beginning to get out of control, friends tried to help Zewizz after returning from the German tour with a benefit concert.
Despite the problems, releases continued on Musica Maxima Magnetica and FünfUndVierzig. Between 1995 and 1997, three more Sleep Chamber CDs were released. Sopor, Sacrosanct, and Sirkus kept up the appearance of productivity without any new material being recorded. After the German tour, Sleep Chamber only performed two more times. The first was the 1997 benefit concert (with Zewizz, Newman, and Walker, no Barbitchuettes). 2000 saw the last Sleep Chamber show on December 31. That last show featured Zewizz and new collaborator B. Avikon as well as Barbitchuette dancer Semiramis. The final blow to Zewizz came in 2001 when Barbitchuette dancer and then girlfriend of Zewizz, Laura Graff, died of an apparent drug overdose. Zewizz was questioned by police in the suspicious death before it was ruled an accidental heroin overdose.
Although out of the public eye, Zewizz never stopped recording. In 2004, he was able to overcome his heroin addiction and began remixing and recording Sleep Chamber material with a new enthusiasm. In 2004, he released a limited edition CD titled Sleepsirkle. In 2007, Zewizz changed the name to SLEEPCHAMBER and announced Gimmie Sparks and long-time collaborator B. Avikon as the new line-up for the band. This new line-up was featured on the 2009 release Stolen Sleep. Since 2009, SLEEPCHAMBER has released over five CDs (on Klanggalerie, Old Europa Cafe, and Zewizz's own label Inner-X-Musick), a four-LP box set with a 7" single and booklet called "SixSixSix" (on Vinyl On Demand), and participated on several various artists compilations.
SLEEPCHAMBER performed its first live performance in nearly 10 years with a live-on-air show on WBRS Radio One. The event took place on January 1, 2010, and the resulting recording was featured on the SLEEPCHAMBER CD Stratocast. This first live performance featured Zewizz, Avakian, and Sparks, along with percussionist Tick, and backing vocalist Zora.
|Year||Title||Format Special notes|
|1982||Breath For Brian||Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX 02|
|1982||Speak In Tongues||7" Single EP released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX 03 & XXX 04|
|1983||Dream Distillate||Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX 05 and XXX C1|
|1983||Untitled||Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX Cass-Promo 01|
|1983||Phonesexual||Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX 09|
|1983||Live At Newurryport||Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX C7|
|1984||Musick For Mannequins||Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX C4|
|1985||Sleep Chamber||LP released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX LP-3|
|1985||Sigil 23||Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX 23|
|1985||Warm Leatherette/Fetish||7" single released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX-SEX-3|
|1985||Live At The Air Station||Cassette released on Staalplaat Catalog no. STOOB/CDr reissued on Inner-X-Musick no catalog no. (2009)/CDr reissues on Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX 74 (2010)|
|1985||Weapons Ov Magick||Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX 014|
|1985||Submit to Desire||LP released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX XXX LP-5 and XXX-LP-3-Pro LP|
|1985||Admit To Desire||Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick no Catalog no.|
|1985||Icons & Ov||Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX 33|
|1986||Trance||Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX 29|
|1986||Best Of The Rest||Box Set (12 Cassette) released on by Inner-X-Musick no Catalog no.|
|1986||Flesh On Flesh||Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX 37|
|1986||Babylon||12" Single EP released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX-EP-1-DJ LP and XXX EP-1|
|1986||Live At The Rat Club 12:18:85||Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick no Catalog no.|
|1986||Live On WZBC 11/5/86||Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick no Catalog no.|
|1987||Live At TT The Bears 7-8-87||Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX 50|
|1987||Spellbondage||LP released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX LP 9|
|1987||Sexmagick Ritual||Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick no Catalog no.|
|1987||Sleep Sanatorium||Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX 23|
|1988||Sleep Sequence||Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX 46|
|1988||Fetish Garden||Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. BOX-C-1|
|1988||Secred And Surreal||LP released on Trinity Records Catalog TRINITY 0002886/reissued on CD (1992) Fünfundvierzig Catalog no. Fünfundvierzig 52|
|1988||Satanic Sanction||12” vinyl album released on Musica Maxima Magnetica Catalog EEE 02 /reissued on CDr (1999) Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX-PROMO-05 / reissued on CD (2010) Klanggalerie Catalog no. gg138|
|1988||Sins Ov Obsession||LP/CD released on FünfUndVierzig Catalog no. Fünfundvierzig 31|
|1989||Sharp Spikes & Spurs-complete concert||Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX 47|
|1989||Sharp Spikes & Spurs||LP released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no.XXX LP-10 Recorded live at Ground Zero 1989. Only 1000 numbered (on the label)made|
|1990||Sleep, Or Forever Hold Your Piece||LP released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX-LP-11 and XXX-LP-11-DJ/Reissued on CD Fünfundvierzig Catalog no. Fünfundvierzig 51 (1991)|
|1990||Justify My Love||12" Single released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX-SEX-6|
|1990||Sirkle Zero||CD/LP released onMusica Maxima Magnetica Catalog no. EEE 06|
|1991||Stop Being Silly And Go To Sleep (Live in Texas 1990)||2 C-60s and booklet Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. INNER-X BOX-C-2 CASS|
|1991||Spellbound Submission||CD released on Fünfundvierzig Catalog no. Fünfundvierzig 49|
|1992||Secrets Ov 23-(Only 230 copies made)||LP released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX-LP-12/ Reissued on CD Musica Maxima Magnetica Catalog no. CD EEE 14 (1993). Missing two tracks from vinyl release. CD contains additional 20 minutes not on LP.|
|1992||Siamese Succubi||CD released on Fünfundvierzig Catalog no. Fünfundvierzig 58|
|1992||Catwoman||12" released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX-SEX-7 and XXX- SEX-7-Prom|
|1993||Sweet Dreams Sweet||Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX 60|
|1993||Symphony Sexualis||CD released on Fünfundvierzig Catalog no. Fünfundvierzig 59-(one 50-minute track)|
|1994||Sleeping Sickness||CD released on Fünfundvierzig Catalog no. Fünfundvierzig 75 (with 40-page deluxe booklet)|
|1995||Shadowplay||Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX 61|
|1995||Cuckoo Cock / Reality Reveiled (100 numbered picture discs made)||7” single released on Syntactic Catalog no. SCHLAF18|
|1995||Some Godz Die Young||CD Maxi single five-track remix released on James Reality – no catalog no./also issued as 13 track full-length CD on Fünfundvierzig Catalog no. Fünfundvierzig 93 (1997)|
|1995||Seduction: Through The Past... Darkly||CD released on Fünfundvierzig Catalog no. Fünfundvierzig 66|
|1995||Sopor||CD released on Fünfundvierzig Catalog no. Fünfundvierzig 89|
|1995||Sonorous Invokations Ov Brian Jones||10-inch Italian single released on Manhood Records Catalog no. RRR-SC/Cassette HEXagone Catalog no. HEX 3 CASS/Reissued on Fünfundvierzig Catalog no. Fünfundvierzig 96 (1998) Track "ANITA" not on CD|
|1996||Songs Of Seduction||Cassette released on by Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX 62|
|1996||Sacrosanct||CD released on Musica Maxima Magnetica Catalog no. EEE 34|
|1997||Liez In The Skyz||7” single released on Klanggalerie Catalog no. gg02|
|1997||Sirkus||CD released on Daft Records Catalog no. D1024 CD|
|1999||Sentinel Serenade||CD released on Cleopatra Records Catalog no. CLP 0480-2|
|2000||Kum Kleopatra/Nessus||7” single released on Membrum Debile Propaganda Catalog no. MDP 6000-44 (included 5 torture/bondage postcards) 200 made|
|2004||SleepSirkle||CDR released on by Inner-X-Musick no Catalog no.|
|2009||Soundtrax||CD released on Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX 001 DVD box series|
|2009||Sorcery, Spells & Serpent Charms||CD released on Klanggalerie Catalog no. gg132|
|2009||Stolen Sleep||CD released on Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. IX-001|
|2009||Species Interruptus Vol. 1 (The Best of The German 97 Tour)||CDr released on Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX 002 DVD box series|
|2010||Stratocast||CDr released on Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX 68(live FM radio broadcast 1/1/2010)|
|2010||Live At The Limelight||DVDR released on Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. DVD XXX 05|
|2010||SixSixSix||4xLP & 7" with Booklet. First 100 had T-shirt.(Unreleased trax from the first 6 years) Vinyl On Demand Catalog no. VOD79:|
|2010||Stolas: Live at Chets Last Call 10/03/1984||CDr EP released on Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX 66|
|2010||Silver Star/ Merry X-Mas||CDr EP released on Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX X01 (4 X-Mas trax/ONLY available at Christmas time)
|2011||Vinyl Venom Vixen Single (Private release of 25 copies for employees only) three different versions and a bonus track||File/Single Download released on Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX-DLPROMO-2011.1 (XXX-FD02)||2011||The Sun May Speak Of Pleasures(Private release of 25 copies of the free downloads (XXX-FDO3)||File/Single Download released on Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX-DLPROMO-2011.2|
|2011||Sacrifice Vol. 1||CDr released on Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX X65|
|2011||Striptease||CDr released on Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX X59|
|2011||Scopolamine Doses||File/Single download released on Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. XXX-DLPROMO-2011.3|
|2011||Sleeping Sickness #2||DVDR released on Inner-X-Musick Catalog no. DVD XXX 06 (A collection of live TV footage in digital surround sound) Assorted material from early 90s shows|
- The John Zewizz Appreciation Society http://sleepchamber.info/
- "Sleep Chamber Discography at Discogs". Discogs.com. 2006-05-21. Retrieved 2010-06-09.
- RV Magazine - Winter 1989, by Brian Hughes
- Eugene Difrancisco Interview http://www.freewebs.com/theebradmiller/eugenedifranciscointer.htm
- CyberPsychos AOD Interview (1995) by Jasmine Sailing
- Drozdowski, Ted (May 9–16, 2002). "Wanted man. John Zewizz makes waves with Sleep Chamber". The Boston Phoenix.
- Chaos Control - 1993 by Bob Gourley
- Angry Thoreaun #10 - Interview by Sandra Pepin
- "Gspot #48 - SLEEPCHAMBER". Greylodge.org. Retrieved 2010-06-09.
- Boston Phoenix by Bill Jensen, September 18, 2006
- "SadoMasoKitten: Barbitchuette". Sadomasokitten.blogspot.com. 2005-07-26. Retrieved 2010-06-09.
- "Greylodge Podcasting Company and Occult Review". Greylodge.org. Retrieved 2010-06-09.
- "Sleepchamber* - Stolen Sleep (CD) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 2009-06-25. Retrieved 2010-06-09.
- "Sleepchamber* - Stratocast (CD, Ltd) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2010-06-09.