Coury Palermo  

Coury Palermo

Musical Discoveries: Can you tell us about your background?

Coury Palermo: I began singing at a young age--mostly in church. I'm the son of a preacher. We're born "attention whores." From the age of three I knew I wanted to be a singer. I started writing simple little poems around the age of twelve and few years later, picked up the guitar and began trying to turn those simple words into something. This was a painfully long process.

I co-founded the band Lynden and we released several projects between 2006-2007. During that time I collaborated with the Canadian act Neverending White Lights for their album Act 2: The Blood and The Life Eternal.

How do you think your participation in the album will influence your career, fans and future?

I've already noticed a huge impact. Justin's fan are amazing and have been extremely kind. I've been blown away by the response to "World Gone Crazy." I think going into another genre, that is, outside of the pop/rock world, can be an intimidating experience, especially when it comes to Electronica or Dance. Fans tend to be very partial to formula--being that the genre is so heavily dominated by females--not many males get the opportunity that I was given. Justin took a huge risk by bringing me on board and I'm truly grateful. You always wonder if you can pull off something you've never attempted. The experience has been nothing short of life changing.

How did you get involved with this Sleepthief album?

It was very much like something out of a movie. In July of last year I sent Justin a friend request on MySpace, along with a message that said how much I enjoyed The Dawnseeker. From there we exchanged several emails and the idea to collaborate was brought up. That one song turned into three. It's still hard to believe how everything came together. It has been nothing but great memories.

What exactly were your responsibilites on this recording?

With each song it was different. Justin had finished a majority of the track behind "World Gone Crazy" before we ever met. When we decided to collaborate, he sent me the track and I wrote the melody and lyric in a hour. The process was extremely quick.

The second song "All of Me" -- which will not be on the album but will appear down the road at some point -- is one that I had written for my solo album. I sent the rough acoustic demo to Justin and he asked if I was interested in recording it for possible inclusion on the album. From there I flew to Utah in early September and recorded both vocals over two days.

Tell us about the making of "Reason Why."

I have long been a fan of Zoe and Justin mentioned on several occasions that our voices would work very well together. I dismissed it as something that would never happen. In November Justin emailed me and asked if I would be interested in dueting with Zoe on a very personal track he had yet to write lyric or melody to so I jumped at the chance.

  Coury Palermo

Zoe and I had become friends through Justin by this point and began tossing ideas back and forth via email. In December I flew back to Utah and without a single word written, walked into the studio to record what became "Reason Why."

Zoe and I have a very similar process when it comes to writing and recording. It was the most effortless writing/recording experience of my life. She is simply brilliant. We walked in with nothing but a melody idea and four hours later the finished "Reason Why" was blasting through the studio monitors. I will never forget that day.

What do you think contributes to the immense popularity of Sleepthief's music?

I believe people connect to "real." The music is emotive and honest. I think people feel a connection with Justin because he takes them somewhere. Justin is a communicator. It's extremely important to him that the listener walk away with something more than a three minute, empty pop song. His music is what you put on in the background when life is unfolding around you. I's the soundtrack.

What can you tell us about your live performances and video work?

I am currently working on several EPs. One is a collection of covers called "boxsideoutV.I" and it will be released on my website in September and via Nettwerk Reords later this fall. The other two are called "theminorfall" and "themajorlift" and are separate collections of original songs that will be released as a companion project in early winter and spring of 2010. I'm hoping to do good bit of touring to support these projects in 2010, both in the States and abroad.

The videos we filmed for the Sleepthief record are some of the greatest memories of my life. The "World Gond Crazy" clip was four incredibly difficult days that I wouldn't trade for the world. Who else can say they were attacked by wolves, almost drowned, laid half naked in snow for four hours and was continually kissed by a beautiful women all under the preface of "work"?

  Coury Palermo

What else piques your interest and occupies your time?

I am a full time songwriter so that takes up a great deal of my time. I'm working on a collection of songs for TV/Film, several EPs of original music and a book series for children. Outside of music I love anything that has to do with health. I'm an avid exercise-kickboxing-hiking/outdoorsman. I also love to cook, travel, and snow ski.

What do you think the internet is doing to the music business?

It's obvious that the social arena has changed the music industry in ever way. I think we will see the melding of the old system and the current digital in the future. There are benefits to both. I love the instant gratification of digital but I miss the beauty of the physical. There are still records I refuse to download -- I want to experience the packaging -- the trip to the record store, full of anticipation.

My main issue with music today is quality. I think we will see a return to quality -- the over-populated market will continue to burst at the seams because of the ease of home recordings and cheap production but I think the demand for great music will return. Right now in the mainstream we are surrounded by a sea of half ass recordings and "I wanna be a star" acts. The focus of quality in popular music has really taken a hit. It will come back around; I think sooner than later. It's time.

Is there anything else you'd like to tell our readers?

I am a huge lover of the female voice. My biggest influences are female singer/songwriters and I would not be who I am without them. The likes of Sarah Mclachlan, Annie Lennox, Patty Griffin and the list goes on have shaped so much of how I communicate through song. It is a great honor to be a part of an album that showcases brilliant women at their best.

More Coury Palermo:
Sleepthief Labyrinthine Heart (2009)

interview, review and HTML © R. W. Elliot 2009
images © Josh Cole 2009
last updated 29 August 2009

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