The singer and songwriter from Chicago, Ryan O’Neal has not put me to sleep yet. I’m sure some of you have heard O’Neal’s work featured in movies and TV shows and commercials: Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part One, The Fault In Our Stars (trailer), Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds, and more. O’Neal has collaborated with numerous artists: Natasha Bedingfield, Sara Brigham, Billy Corgan from Smashing Pumpkins, Joe Foreman from Switchfoot Chris Mann, and the list goes on. O’Neal has performed with: Christina Perri, Switchfoot, Alanis Morissette, The Format, Phantom Planet, and the list goes on again!
O’Neal began working on a 36-song project, Yearbook, where he would write, record, and release three new songs every month for one year. O’Neal began working on the project Yearbook in 2011 – 2012. Then in 2013 he began the project, Atlas, where he would release new music over the course of several years. Atlas: Year One was finished in early 2014 and had 30 songs and Atlas: Year Two finished in 2015 – 2016. O’Neal has three albums: Ghosts (2003), Keep No Score (2006), and Storyboards (2009).
I was lucky enough to talk with O’Neal about his music and about his songs that are featured in films.
Why is the band name, “Sleeping At Last?”
A long time ago, I was in need of a name for my music. I was in a bookstore with a friend and I jokingly picked up a book of poetry and said, “Whatever page I turned to next, will be my band name!” – I flipped the page and there was a poem titled “Sleeping At Last” by Christina Rosettie. I thought it was an interesting name and soon after, I decided that it felt right.
Your song, “Turning Page” was featured in Breaking Dawn (part of the Twilight movie and book series). What are you reactions like when your songs are featured in movies and television shows?
It’s one of my very favorite things! I’ve been obsessed with TV and movies since I was little, so it’s such a huge honor that I get to be any part of it! Movies and TV are such incredible formats for storytelling, so it’s so fun to get to see visuals paired up with the music I make.
Are you working on any new music?
I am, indeed! For the last couple years I’ve been working on longform project called “Atlas.” It’s a series of new music, so I’m releasing new songs all the time. My latest is an EP called “Atlas: Senses” is 5 songs inspired by our 5 senses. It comes out on May 6th. All part of my Atlas series, I’ll be releasing a lot more new songs over the course of the year! Can’t wait!
Do you enjoy going on tour?
I do! I don’t tour as often as I used to, due to releasing so much new music, but I love playing these songs in a live environment and getting to meet people! Looking forward to touring again in the near future!
Where is your favorite city to perform in?
I love playing in my hometown, Chicago! But I’ve also had a lot of fun playing in California. It’s hard to pick, I’ve had really fun shows all over the country, and some less fun shows too, but it’s always different.
What musical influences have influence on your music?
Growing up, it was Radiohead, Sunny Day Real Estate, Bjork, Nick Drake, Nat King Cole, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone. For the most part, those artists are still my go-to’s now!
Keep on rockin’ Ryan! Hope to see you soon in Boston!