Sleeping at Last talks 'Breaking Dawn,' 'Turning Page,' and more

In an interview with Twilight Examiner , Breaking Dawn - Part 1 soundtrack (Sleeping At Last)'s artist Ryan O'Neal talks about "Turning Page," his reaction to the song's placement in the film and more ..

Q: Did you know the story of Breaking Dawn when you wrote ‘Turning Page?’

Ryan O'Neal: Right before I wrote "Turning Page," I watched all three movies back to back, followed by a bit of research on what was to come in Breaking Dawn. So, yes, I did know the primary events that were going to take place. I knew that Edward and Bella were about to be married, which would of course lead to the Honeymoon. So, I decided to write a love song!

Q: What did you think when you first heard it coupled with the ‘First Time’ scene?

Ryan O'Neal: I was ecstatic! I was just so so excited to see where they used it in the film! The folks behind Twilight do a very good job a keeping details secret, so I wasn't entirely sure where the song would be used in the final edit of the film. And I just couldn't believe that the instrumental version played during Bella walking down the aisle, and then the full version during their love scene! I was so blown away seeing and hearing it all at the premiere for the very first time! It was an incredible experience. The scenes were so beautifully crafted and I just couldn't be more thrilled that my music gets to play a part.

Q: You’ve said before that you wrote this song from Edward’s perspective. What was it like to step into that character’s mind?

Ryan O'Neal: After watching the movies, and appreciating Edward's character, I decided that the song should be sung from his point of view. It was really fun and inspiring to write from that perspective - to be immersed in the Twilight story and write what I imagine the characters might be feeling. In every topic or perspective I write from, I try very hard to write it as personally as possible - so I definitely wrote "Turning Page" with my own experiences in mind as well.

Q: I hear you’ve seen all four Twilight films now. Which do you favor the most?

Ryan O'Neal: Yes! Well, I might be a bit biased but Breaking Dawn - Part 1 is my favorite, of course! Eclipse is a close second, but I love how in Breaking Dawn, the relationships are able to really develop and mature. It had the right balance of romance and edge-of-your-seated-ness. That's not really a word, but I'm going with it . . .

Q: On your blog, you posted a video of a collaboration you did with Laura Scott from Imperial Mammoth, which was awesome. Are you guys thinking about laying anything down?

Ryan O'Neal: Imperial Mammoth is great! One of my favorite parts of this whole experience is meeting such wonderful new friends. Laura and Leonard of Imperial Mammoth are among the finest. Such sweet people and I'd definitely love to do more together in the future! Laura was kind enough to lend me her beautiful voice on the song "Noble Aim," at my show in Los Angeles last month. It was so fun! As a matter of fact, each of the Breaking Dawn soundtrack artists I met have since become friends - I really couldn't have hoped for a sweeter and more talented bunch of people.

Q: Now, enough about Twilight . . . Who are some of your biggest inspirations?

Ryan O'Neal: Well . . . I am an avid movie lover. I love storytelling, photography, art and of course music - where else can you find such an inspired collaboration between those art forms, than in movies!? So I find a lot of inspiration in the countless movies I watch. I also love nature. That always sounds like a silly thing to say, but it's true. I find inspiration in the design of nature . . . the colors, the intricate details . . . how it all works. Along those lines, David Attenborough documentaries ("Planet Earth", "Blue Planet", "Life in the Undergrowth") are a constant source of inspiration to me. Aside from that, I love people and relationships - so in my experiences and observations of others' experiences, I've found a lot to be inspired by there too.

Q: You have a show coming up on December 15th at the Toubadour, benefitting Invisible Children. What about that particular organization are you drawn to?

Ryan O'Neal: Yes! I'm so excited about the event! Invisible Children is an incredible organization that I've had the honor of supporting for several years now. They're a truly amazing group of people who have dedicated their lives and hearts to end the conflict in Uganda and stop the abduction of children for use as child soldiers. I really believe in what they're doing and in them as people.

Q: I really like your song “Snow,” especially for this time of year. Have you ever considered doing a holiday album?

Ryan O'Neal: Thank you so much for liking "Snow"! It's my very first original holiday song! As for making a holiday album, it's actually been a tradition of mine to record a new Christmas song each year for the past 7 years or so now! So overtime I've accumulated a holiday album of sorts -  It's called "Christmas Collection" and each year I add a song to it, then post the whole collection as a free download. It's sort of my holiday card . . . in the form of music. It's up now on Noise Trade now.

Q: How long do you usually spend on each song’s lyrics?

Ryan O'NealUp until recently, I have always been a semi-slow writer. Last year, I began a project called "Yearbook" which gave me the challenge of writing and recording thirty-six songs over the course of one year. I just completed that this last September, so as a result, I've learned to become a bit more speedy in my writing process! In general, I'd say it takes me about three to seven days to write the lyrics. I'm very particular with words that I like and don't like, so sometimes it takes a bit longer to find the combination that says what I want it to say.

Q: Your song “101010” seems to be a little political or perhaps even environmentalist? What meaning do you attach to the words in that one?

Ryan O'NealIt's actually not meant to be political or environmental at all! I actually wrote that song about a very brief experience I had with a couple of strangers on an elevator. I was staying in a hotel last year and while waiting to catch the elevator up to my room, a very kind gentlemen (also waiting for the elevator) struck up a small conversation.. He was so kind and genuine right away, and a few moments into misc. small talk, his wife told me that they were in town for his seventh round of chemo and they were wanting to make a small vacation out of their trip. They were so sweet and hopeful. It definitely made my reevaluate priorities in my life. So that two minute conversation lead me to writing "101010." A side note . . . the date that I met this inspiring couple was 10/10/10, which is how the song got its name.

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