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1. We understand that Sparkle Plenty was a five-year labor of love. How did you celebrate after finally completing your debut album earlier this year? Like any well-bred, sunshine-loving southern Californian, I went to Disneyland! Spent two days at the happiest place on earth and then had a really fantastic release party with all my friends and family. Just reveled in the feeling of accomplishment!
2. Working so closely with your dad ['JT' Thomas] in the studio must have been a real bonding experience. What advice has he given you about pursuing a career in the music industry? 'Get out now!' Aside from that gem, he has always stressed the importance of writing my own material and writing often. We bounce ideas off of each other all the time, but I think it is hard for him to advise me on a lot of aspects since the industry has changed so much and is changing all the time still.
3. Will any of the Sparkle Plenty musicians join you on stage in upcoming months? I hope so! Most of them are west-coasters and I just moved to the east coast so my gigs with them may be fewer and further between, but I am planning on getting back in the studio this winter and certainly will be inviting all of them to join me.
4. What are a few of the signature songs that consistently grace Ashley Lennon Thomas set lists? 'Black Coffee, For Sure, and Honey Wild' are solo staples. Songs like 'Sneaky Pie' and 'Like I Can' really shine with a band. I also do a mean 'Can't Always Get What You Want'.
5. What has been your most memorable live performance to date? So far, I think playing at the Troubadour in London would be the most memorable. Everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Joni Mitchell has played there and the whole night was just a really great experience, from the professional crew to the lively audience. Plus, it was my first overseas gig and it just felt so exciting!
6. In your opinion, who, among the current crop of singer/songwriters, is the cat's meow? Love him or hate him, I think Ryan Adams takes the cake. He is consistent and prolific and passionate, and a really great performer. I also love Martha and Rufus Wainwright, and Lucinda Williams is always making great albums too.
7. Tell us about 'Apple Love.' It was kind of a family inside joke. There is a guy named Paul Superapple who made a demo in the 80's with the intention of getting it to Keith Richards. The story goes, he did get it into the hands of someone on the Stones' crew and it was just so off the wall that it became sort of legendary, Keith I'm sure eventually heard it, as did a lot of guys touring at the time. So my dad had a copy of the full demo which has, I think, 4 songs on it, 'Apple Love' being one of them. And while the interspersed talking is a little bizarre, the songs are, among other things, undeniably catchy.
8. Rabbit's foot or rubbing stone? On behalf of rabbits everywhere, rubbing stone!
Read KindWeb's Review of Ashley Lennon Thomas' New CD, Sparkle Plenty: http://www.kindweb.com/viewpost.asp?ID=4591