Sleep Station is the alter-ego of one David Debiak, a man who is notorious for writing some of the most groundbreaking concept albums of our generation. Over the past seven years he's released albums about a robotics engineer falling in love with a robot he created, two astronauts being abandoned by ground control and left to die in outer space, the love story of Dr. Carl Von Cosel (a famous necrophiliac who fell in love with his deceased patient, Elena Hoyos), and a first person drama taking place in World War II. Also the creative force behind New London Fire's epic I Sing The Body Holographic in 2006, Debiak has now turned his focus back on Sleep Station with The Pride of Chester James.
The recording, mixing and mastering process of this new record was scattered over the course of three years amidst tours, mental breakdowns, and all of the other wonderful obstacles life has to offer. In a finished basement that stylistically hadn’t changed since 1975, Debiak and company brought The Pride of Chester James to life with the help of a borrowed vintage tape machine, Hammond organs, pianos, Rhodes, Wurlitzers, and some old guitars and amps.
Though there were many moments over the years that made this record what it is, Debiak remembers one night in particular seeming to embody the creation of The Pride of Chester James. “One night Brad called me up and asked me stop by his house where he was recording his parts for the song “Always In The Fire”. When I showed up I found a rather unclean Brad in a very dirty and scattered bedroom. I climbed over the instruments and tangled chords to sit down and take a listen. What I heard was brilliant, he managed to layer the song beautifully and with great care. I asked how he got a choir to sing on the song only to find out that it was just him and his Mom huddled in his bedroom layering vocal tracks. I laughed my ass off and told him to please take a shower.”
A beautifully landscaped mash up of The Decemberists, Bright Eyes, Neutral Milk Hotel, Ryan Adams, Doves, Elliot Smith, Beachwood Sparks, Olivia Tremor Control, The Weakerthans, and Bruce Springsteen, The Pride of Chester James is a piano and acoustic-guitar-driven masterpiece where Debiak's vocals are behind the wheel, solidifying this songwriter as one of the best and brightest of our time.
"The record has weighed heavily on me for quite sometime. I often felt myself reflecting on it whether it be in a small hotel room in Paris or in my sleep. Writing the songs was the easy part, they came naturally, living and reliving them was far more difficult but some say that the joy is in the journey."
David Debiak (vocals, guitar, piano, percussion, ham radio)
Ryan Ball (guitar, drums, keyboards, wurlitzer, lap steel, mandolin, bass, piano, field recording)
Brad Paxton (guitar, vocals, drums, piano, mellotron, keyboards)
Kris Ricat (guitar, drums)
Josh Nichols (bass, piano)
Jason Debiak (paino, percussion)
Richard Polatchek (trumpet, percussion)
Vahak Janbazian (drums)
Produced by: David Debiak and Ryan Ball