Fort Collins, CO. May 2010 Photograph by: Luca Venter
Sleeping At Last is an indie band with commercial cred. Having songs featured on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice,” the duo Ryan O’Neal (voice, guitars, pianos) & Dan Perdue (bass, pianos) originally formed in 1998 in Wheaton, Ill., and built a following opening for bands like The Appleseed Cast and Switchfoot. They signed to Interscope Records in 2002, but returned to independent recording six years later.
Last year the group decided to do something drastically different. They announced that beginning in October 2010, they would release three songs on the first day of the month for an entire year. Dubbing the project Yearbook, the collection is released on their website and is named after each month.
Halogen TV recently talked with Ryan O’Neal to talk about this new endeavor and also to hear about how they became involved with To Write Love On Her Arms, a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. Here’s an excerpt. (Read the full interview here.)
What cause are you passionate about?
Ryan: To Write Love On Her Arms is an organization that has been near and dear to my heart for a while. They offer resources and encouragement to people who struggle with addiction, self injury, depression, etc. I’ve had the privilege of performing songs at several TWLOHA events and to see so many hurting but brave people attend, in an effort to rebuild their lives; that is something very special to me. TWLOHA’s message is “hope is real. help is real. your story is important.” and that resonates with me a lot. Other organizations that inspire me are: Invisible Children, Discover The Journey, First Response Team … all of which are doing incredible, incredible things… addressing such important issues head on.
How were you first made aware of TWLOHA?
Ryan: Many people close to me have struggled with depression, addiction, etc. which is why TWLOHA quickly became something I wanted to support. I feel like they address issues that are seldom talked openly about. I met the founder, Jamie Tworkowski, about five years ago, at the beginning of TWLOHA’s story.
What’s next for you?
Ryan: Well, there’s about four months left in this “Yearbook” project, which means four new EPs have yet to be written, recorded and released. After Yearbook, plans of touring will be sorted, so I am excited to give these new songs a home in live performance. And after so much consistent writing, I am sure that I won’t be able to go too long before the itch of writing new songs sets in again.
For updates and news on their monthly releases, follow @sleepingatlast and Facebook, where you can also hear some of the tracks.