Readers of the ReleBlog, please understand that Chicagoans are very proud people, and when one of our bands does well, we get excited. Let me present another one of those bands right now. They create sincerely beautiful music. Please take this moment get to know one of Chicago’s best and brightest bands, Ryan (singer, guitar), Chad (percussion), and Dan (bass), Sleeping at Last:
Dylan: Hey guys, what CDs have you been loving lately?
Ryan: “Billy Holiday’s Greatest Hits” by Billy Holiday. I absolutely love her voice and I love the songs she chose to sing. This album was my first collection of her songs, and I have since learned that it’s also my very favorite. I love everything about this music.. from the ache and sincerity in her voice, to the amazingly fitting string arrangements in each song. Music back then was a privilege to listen to, and the passion that her and her band had for it, makes it some of the most pure and inspiring music I’ve ever heard.
Chad: Radiohead “In Rainbows” I am really enjoying this album the more I listen to it. There are some really great melodies on this record.
Dan: I’ve been listening to Neon Bible by Arcade Fire for awhile now. I just really like the energy and originality of their music. You can hear an Arcade Fire song you’ve never heard before and know it’s them because their style is so distinct. They’re one of my favorites.
Dylan: How about the best live show you’ve seen recently, and what about it was great?
Ryan: Joanna Newsom with a 28 piece orchestra at the Pabst Theatre in Milwaukee, (by far!) Her latest album “Ys” quickly became one of my favorite albums EVER. This was my second time seeing her play live and it was just really beautiful. What I love about her is how brave she is in her music, and hearing it live, shows that she’s not only brave, but extremely talented in her craft as well.
Dan: Yeah, I agree with Ryan, Joanna’s show was the best show I’ve seen recently as well.
Dylan: What’s your best memory from your last tour?
Chad: Our last tour was a lot of fun and I think a lot of the memories are the people we have met along the way and I will hold on to all the memories of just looking out at the view while we are on the road. There are so many things that were great on our last tour.
Dan: The shows were great but I think one my favorite things we did was visit the Grand Canyon. I’d never been there before and it was amazing. It doesn’t look real, you lose all depth perception and it makes it look like a painting.
Ryan: There were lots of good ones, I had a really nice time overall! Our drive along the coast of California was probably one of my favorites.. we stopped at many lookouts and got some real nice pictures of the ocean and the beach.. and the crazy hills.. and the very winding, thin roads we drove our large 15 passenger van over. Scary but really awesome to see. And we got to see some elephant seals too, which was pretty neat! They’re crazy.
Dylan: Is there a philosophical/theological thought you’d like to share with the ReleBlog?
Dan: I think Bill S. Preston and Ted Theodore Logan put it best when they said “Be excellent to each other.”
Chad: Don’t look so far into the future that you forget where you are now. Enjoy the journey.
Ryan: I’m really fascinated with animals, and over the last few years I’ve been learning a lot about them (thanks to david attenborough and his excellent nature series..) , and what makes me so amazed by all of it is that the more I learn, the more I realize how incredibly intricate and gorgeous life is. So, I’ve been really inspired lately by what I’m learning.. and not only about animals and nature, but about the human design as well. I’m continually amazing by how normal life and everything seems sometimes… and I guess when I learn more about all of these incredible creatures and their/our unique patterns and designs, it feels like nothing is normal at all.. which is something really interesting and beautiful to me.
Dylan: What are you reading right now, what are you learning?
Chad: I was reading Johnny Cash’s biography. I really enjoyed reading about his life and it was nice to get an insight into his life.
Dan: I’ve been reading “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson. It’s sort of a history of science but instead of just giving you scientific facts it tells the stories of all the things that went into making all the different discoveries. It’s really interesting and he’s a great author.
Ryan: I’ve been reading “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer. So far, it’s really, really beautiful and interesting. It’s about an eccentric young boy, who is coping in his own way, with the loss of his father on 9/11. The book is written from his perspective, and it’s just a really unique story about the boy’s life. I’m really loving it so far! It sheds a lot of light onto the wonderful and sweet young hearts that we were all born with.
Dylan: What are you wearing right now?
Chad: I am wearing diesel jeans with a nice black shirt I got from urban outfitters. I also have tsubo shoes on that are very very comfortable.
Ryan: Well, I’m wearing jeans that were specially ordered, cut and designed just for me, from Paris, that cost me $5,000.. oh wait.. wrong ones. no, these jeans are from Target. and they cost $35.99. Bootcut.. My shoes are black and white Asics. And my shirt.. well, it’s the most excited part! It has a T-Rex on it.. but that’s not the best part… when the shirt’s temperature gets hot, the skin on the dinosaur disappears and you can see it’s skeleton underneath! No joke! I was kidding about my jeans being from Paris, but this shirt.. it’s the real deal and i love it.
Dan: I have these shoes that I got in Brazil like 8 years ago. I go through phases where I’ll wear them for awhile. Ryan calls them my Zelda shoes because they look like something Link would wear… which means they’re cool.
Dylan: You guys are hot, thank you for this pleasure.
Chad: Thank you so much for taking the time to ask us these questions and I hope all of you have a very happy holiday season
Ryan: Yeah, thanks a lot for letting us be a part of your ReleBlog! It was lots of fun!
Speaking of the holidays, Sleeping at Last is playing an all-ages show with a string quartet on December 20th at the Chicago House of Blues. (I just might have more to say about this later…)
and if you haven’t seen their gorgeous website yet, get to it.