ST: Heya Mike!
MF: Hey Sleepthief, how's it goin'?
ST: "Very well at the moment. Summer is on its way and I cannot wait!"
MF: So, you are a full-time practicing attorney as well as a musician correct?
ST: "I am."
MF: What type of law do you practice?
ST: "I practice entertainment law (film and music), commercial law, property/real-estate and Title VII. I also litigate when necessary."
MF: And how long have you been a musician and where did you receive any formal training?
ST: "I have been playing the piano for about 10 years now. I am self-taught. Never had any formal training, although I've always been a music fanatic. I have taught myself some theory--one of my goals is to become a "proper" musician--but I am glad that the songs I write come from inside. Sometimes formally trained musicians have a harder time writing their own music because they were trained on other people's music."
MF: How did you get in touch with the fantastic vocalist Kirsty Hawkshaw? (Hawkshaw performs Duran's Duran's - The Chauffeur on Sleepthief's upcoming release Dawnseeker).
ST: "Just wrote her an email. She is always very busy--but I've been a fan for years. We touched basis, she loved the idea. Funny enough, we are now pretty good friends and definitely plan on working together in the future. She is an amazingly kind and generous person as well as a brilliant singer."
MF: How did you find a suitable label for your debut?
ST: "Funny enough, I wasn't really looking for a label. I have some associates who were on major labels and all of them have nightmare stories. So...I was just going to see how the album would do. Fortunately, I was approached by several labels who wanted to sign me, so I was able to have a bit of choice. The album is actually owned by my label Echotone Records, but I am exclusively licensing it to Neurodisc. They have been incredible to work with and I am very happy to be with them."
MF: Where are you from?
ST: "Originally, Southern California although I've lived at various times in Texas, Ireland and Utah."
MF: What other music has influenced or inspired you?
ST: "Great question. As I mentioned, I am a music addict. I grew up listening to Gordon Lightfoot, the Beach Boys and Simon & Garfunkel...so melodic folk with harmonies and such were an early influence. I was very much into Freestyle music in the 80's as well as new wave. I pretty much love the 80's. Later, I became a huge Enya fan. She probably has had the most influence on my taste and style. I also love world music artists like Ofra Haza, the Bulgarian Women's Choir, etc. Currently I am a big fan of acts like Kosheen, Goldfrapp, Imogen Heap, Eskobar, Keane and Lunascape. Still, the greatest living singer in my opinion is Lisa Gerrard (formerly of Dead Can Dance). She is the most amazing vocalist on the earth and I cannot recommend her enough."
MF: Are you a fan of the This Mortal Coil releases which featured such great vocalists as Caroline Seaman, Louise and Deirdre Rutkowski?
ST: "Actually, I am! I loved their first album "It'll End in Tears." Both Lisa Gerrard and Liz Fraser appear on that album, and they are both at the top of my list as far as female singers go. I do have their follow-ups and I like several of the tracks like I Want to Live."
MF: Do songs come to you at any given moment or do you 'sit-down' and work?
ST: "A bit of both. Sometimes I will wake up in the middle of a dream and a song will be playing in my head. I have to run and go write it down. Other times I have to be disciplined and actually work at it." (laughs)
MF: Is a tour possible?
ST: "Definitely. We are looking at the logistics of it right now. Many of the singers said they would be up for it, so it is a strong possibility."
MF: What was the last CD you purchased and how do you feel about the downloading of entire albums online for a fee? Do you feel it 'cheapens' the music?
ST: "The last CD I purchased was Sia's "Colour the Small One." She is one of the vocalists with Zero 7. I was not a fan of her first solo album, but this new one is mind-blowing. I love it. My opinion on the issue (of downloading) is that it is inevitable, and has both pro and con aspects. The pro is that people can find and hear artists that may be difficult to track otherwise. The con is that if people do not ultimately buy the albums of the artists they download, it can really hurt artists financially, as it is the labels end up taking 90% of the profit, so it can be tough. I have downloaded before and found some amazing artists. My rule is that if I like more than two tracks on the album, I will go buy it. For me, supporting artists (especially independent or smaller label artists) is a big deal."
MF: Name one of your favorite films for me please?
ST: "Just one!"
MF: Alright five!
ST: "Waking Ned Devine, Elizabeth, Casablanca, there's three."
MF: Any final comments about anything whatsoever?
ST: "Just a big thanks to you and for all out there supporting this record. It means a great deal to me!"
Thank you Sleepthief, we are all anticipating the release of Dawnseeker this Summer on Neurodisc recordings.