Roberta Carter Harrison

Roberta Carter

Musical Discoveries: Please tell us a little bit about your background and how you were led to the Sleepthief project.

Roberta Carter Harrison: I started as lead singer in the quirky pop group Wild Strawberries. In 1999, I took a bit of an extended detour after a remix of the Wild Strawberries song "Let You Go" by German DJ ATB opened up a new set of ears to my music. This led to quite a productive series of musical collaborations.

Did you always know you wanted to be a musical artist?

No. I've always loved singing but didn't think of doing it as a career until our band started getting airplay shortly after we all graduated from university.

And what can you tell us about your musical and vocal training?

I sang in church and school choirs when I was a kid. I took piano lessons and messed around a bit with a cheap little guitar but I'm afraid I wasn't terribly talented or motivated. After we signed with Nettwerk and were touring a lot I took a few vocal lessons which really helped to keep me from damaging my voice when singing night after night in smoky bars.

How would you characterise the songs that you have done on the Sleepthief album?

Prometheus meets Barry Adamson at the cinema.

Roberta Carter Harrison  

Did you share any of the writing duties?

Not on this song. My partner Ken came up with the lyrics to Justin's tune.

Please compare the material to any that you have done on your own or with others.

This is more wide screen.

And how was the project put together?

E-mail! I was expecting twins and wasn't very mobile. The song grew as my belly grew. I'm glad we got the high parts done before the final trimester!

What kind of music do you find yourself listening to all the time?

Sinead O'Connor, Kate Bush, Björk, Jane Siberry, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Feist, Flaming Lips, Stars, Iron&Wine.

Do you have a career outside of music?

I was trained as a physiotherapist but haven't worked in that field in eight years. Currently, my time is split between music and raising four children.

What are your future plans as a musical artist?

To continue collaborating with great people like Sleepthief. It'd be nice to do a solo record if time permits.

What has it been like working the team on the Sleepthief project?

Fantastic. So accommodating and fun to work with--working via internet can be so freeing--no studio red light, clock ticking.

How does it feel to share vocal work the other artists on the album?

Flattering. It's nice to be in such great company.

  Roberta Carter Harrison

Do you think "image" has a role in promoting your music these days?

Not as much as it used to. We haven't shot a conventional music video in years. For our last album we shot a web film with Peter Horvath. You can view it here. It was really freeing not to be limited to lip-syncing every lyric for the song. We didn't feel like we were just making a commercial advertisement for the new album.

Has the internet brought you many new listeners, expanded your audience and improved your connection to the fans?

Definitely. Our family makes touring difficult right now so it's nice to be able to connect via e-mail. It's always great to get e-mail from new fans in Russia or Slovenia or Japan. It's exciting to think that our music travels to places we've never been.

More Roberta Carter Harrison:
Wild Strawberries Deformative Years (2005)
Sleepthief The Dawnseeker (2006)

interview, review and HTML © R. W. Elliot 2006
images © Brian Cleaver, Peter Horvath and Wild Straberries 2006
last updated 23 April 2006

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