Sleeper Agent's Tony Wilson Explains How The Band Came To Be

sleeper-agentMax Cherry ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Sleeper Agent has had a wild few years and are now on tour with New Politics and Magic Man. The band performed at the Sinclair in Boston last week and Emertainment Monthly had the opportunity to meet and chat with the band beforehand.

Tony Wilson and Justin Smith of Bowling Green, Kentucky were a duo that was not breaking through when they met vocalist Alex Kandel. Despite Wilson and Smith’s plateauing success, Kendel begged the duo to let her join them. The two agreed to let her on and quickly found out her hands were too small for the bass guitar but kept her aboard for her voice. With the addition of Lee Williams, Scott Gardner, and Josh Martin, Sleeper Agent was formed.

The band was off to a rocky start until Justin had an incident with a rival band on the Fourth of July.

“We both recently turned 21 and we were going to bars every night,” Wilson explained. “One night his ex-girlfriend was there with the member of this other band and he must have been uncomfortable with Justin being there so he took a swing at him and sucker punched Justin before leaving. The next morning Justin came up to me and told me ‘Lets make some music, dude.’”

After that the band kicked it into high gear and recorded their first debut LP Celabrasion that was released in the summer of 2011. Soon after the release, Rolling Stone magazine labeled them as one of their “Bands to Watch.”

With the release of their album came a tour as the opener for fellow Bowling Green band Cage The Elephant.

“Being from the same town, we knew the members of Cage The Elephant pretty well. Some of us even used to perform in other bands with a few of them so going on tour with them was a load of fun,” Wilson said when we talked to him.

After their tour, the group was invited to perform on the Weezer cruise in early 2012, where they performed alongside bands like Wavves, Yuck, and Dinosaur Jr.

“That [tour] was definitely one of the greatest moments we’ve had as a band. That, along with performing for Jimmy Fallon and at Coachella are definitely the highlights up to this point,” Wilson said.

He went on to tell stories of how he, along with members of other bands, terrorized the passengers on the Weezer cruise. “When you’re on a cruise with a 24-hour bar, things are bound to get weird. We would just scare the passengers and take photos with some of the ones who were passed out. Nothing too crazy.”

The band will continue their tour with Magic Man and New Politics through February. As if that isn’t enough, they are also in the process of finishing up their next album ,which is expected to come out in early March.


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  1. Ugh, sounds like that would be a super fun tour to check out. This video from the tour is pretty entertaining in itself.

    They have also a really fun playlist on Spotify called “On The Road Again…”. It’s very groovy and different. Check it out!

  2. What an awesome story in the beginning haha check out their Spotify playlist if you haven’t already! On The Road Again…

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