Musical Discoveries: What have you been doing since the last Sleepthief album?
Jody Quine: I have been working with Garrett Schwartz and Vic Levak on the second and now third Balligomingo albums. I am also lucky enough to say that the guys have not only reformed but have taken me on as a legal third of the project. We have a guest vocalist appear on the second record, but I have helped co-write most everything you'll hear.
How did your participation in the last album influence your career?
It solidified my presence in the Ambient Electronic community, and really most everybody that I've come across in the biz has been so moved by "Eurydice" that it's really helped to showcase my voice, and writing.
How did you get involved with this Sleepthief album?
Justin and I are peeps. I was the first vocalist to work with him on the first record, so there was no way I was going to let him slip through my fingers! Still jockeying for my commitment on the next record. Working with Justin is really ... incredible. He's so gifted, and then so down to earth about it. We have a real connection as people, which then is easy to bring to the work.
How did you contribute to this recording?
Justin sent me two tracks to write lyrics and vocal melodies for. I was a bit short on one verse lyrically for "Labyrinthine Heart" when we went into the studio, and Justin pulled just the right words out of the ether to add to the visual imagery and feel of the song.
Tell us about the album's title track.
I think "Labyrinthine Heart" is a follow up of sorts to "Eurydice" for me. Lots of counter-melodic parts (thank you Israel Curtis), and layers. So it's similar in that fashion, but more ... poetic in sound I think. More, period sounding with the instrumentation that's used.
And the other track?
"The Fire King" is kind of ridiculous fun. It just got into my head that way, and couldn't get out. It's very pop I think for the record, and I hear a Donna Summers influence every time I listen to it. It's about my man, he is my fire king. See? A bit ridiculous, but really catchy.
What's the process for making Sleepthief tracks?
Hmm, Justin really trusts the artists he works with, and I think part of the reason he chooses whom he does, is because he likes their work. So even though he could write the whole song by himself, he's really open to collaborating and seeing what the vocalist can bring to the project. At least that's how I feel about it. He gives me a lot of room to feel it out, and write what works for me.
Like with "The Fire King," I knew it was a different sound, but he was open and then totally went for it, where as some other people I've worked with, like what they like, and need to be sold on things that might sound different than what they like. I think the hardest part is the wait after a song has been recorded for the record to be finished so I can share what we've made!
What do you think contributes to the immense popularity of Sleepthief's music?
Well, personally, I like it. Other than that, I'm not sure how it's affecting the masses. I know I get some great fan mail through Sleepthief fans. I think Justin has a great personality, and he's really good too, and keeps in touch with his fans, especially on the internet.
So there is a total community for us out there. We're pretty blessed. And I would think it's most likely the music. Like I said, I like it. Some of my most favourite work is with Sleepthief. I think other people quite like it too!
What's going on with live performances or videos?
No solid live plans or video plans at the moment. But we shall see, things are constantly evolving. It's getting quite exciting. The idea of a Sleepthief/Balligomingo tour is enticing indeed. We shall see.
What else piques your interest and occupies your time?
Things with Balligomingo seem to be percolating at a progressively speedy rate, and what I have for spare time mostly is getting eaten up by that. I also recently seem to be leaning towards getting some of my solo stuff back out there!
And I do have two beautiful children whom take up a good masterful chunk of my time. I just had a baby five months ago, and I have a toddler going through that special time that happens when a toddler is two, so I'd say that's my primary focus at this point. However, slowly but surely, I am finding the balance that it takes to do it all, and when I'm strong enough at the juggling, I hope to have it all.
How is the online world affecting the business?
Such a big question. I'm trying to do as much as I can during nap time and this one could have a thesis written about it! I think the internet is making media moguls out of the little man. And in doing so is making it possible for the individual to succeed at and survive off of making music, without the support of a major record label or record deal.
These sites are helping musicians and the like, create a gathering place for their fans that is easily accessible for both the fan and the artist, so everybody can be up to date and in touch with what's happening.
Things are far more instantly available. Oh I got a show for tonight, put it on my FaceBook page, and it sells out. I'm releasing a record or heck even just a single, put it on my MySpace for streaming along with a link, and then it sells. This also makes it more possible for an artist to financially back their own career and record more music, or buy more instruments.
I think it's great, and only going to get better. The model of the industry and how it is going to succeed is not yet in place, but definitely, social networking sites and the internet are a huge component.
What about distribution?
As far as distribution goes, Digital is where it's at. However, holding a hard copy of a disc from one of your favourite artists is pretty great too. Digital distribution is cost effective and much easier to reach the masses with. Physical distribution is expensive and hard to get a backer for, and without the right backer, you're not getting into major retailers, thus making your product not as available.
There are options like CDBaby though, accessible through your computer, that will ship a hard copy to your fan, and make your music available through online retailers. This seems like a solid combination to me. I'm not ready to forgo one for the other yet. But I still prefer Classic Coke to anything else, and the original Crest toothpaste.
Just imagine if I first fell in love with music during the era of 8-tracks! I might still find that to be the hard copy of choice! but I doubt it. In the end, holding the product in your hand or having the digital file on your computer is the difference, and I don't know that heaps of people are too worried about having less objects to put somewhere in their house.
My step-son who's nine, and my nephew who is twelve are all about digital everything, artwork included. It is the way of the future, like Pepsi says it is. But I'll put the Cola debate aside, this is music we're talking about!
Is there anything else you'd like to tell our readers?
I am grateful for all them checking in a finding new music to get into and for the Musical Discoveries team to creating an opportunity for us to share what it is we love to do as musical artists.
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