For a while now, Casey Cole and Peter Lockhart have been cranking out lullaby versions of your favorite pop-punk tunes because… you know, having kids shouldn’t mean you have to stop rocking out come nap-time.
The duo recently released a brand new album full of original material under the Sparrow and Friends moniker called “Sparrow and Friends Start a Band!”, featuring guest vocalists including Ryan Key, Will Pugh, Aaron Marsh, Matthew Pryor, Mike Herrera, and more. After spending the last year in and out of the studio, writing songs about brushing your teeth, tying your shoes, counting to ten, and being polite, I am sure they were happy to answer our
slightly more intelligent questions.
PRT: How did you come up with 'Sparrow Sleeps'? Any special meaning or are you big My Chemical Romance fans?
Casey: Sparrow Sleeps is actually the namesake of my daughter, Sparrow Lucille. The project started because I wanted to get her to sleep while still listening to the bands I liked. But, we’re definitely big MCR fans as well.
PRT: You previously released lullaby versions of existing songs. Whose baby - pun intended - was this project and how did this come together?
Peter: We started talking about the idea of doing original toddler tunes almost two years ago. We loved the idea of having music that could grow with the fans of Sparrow Sleeps from baby lullabies to pop punk toddler tunes. We let the idea brew for a while before we actually started planning the album.
PRT: How did you go about picking the guest vocalists?
Peter: We knew that we we wanted to work with vocalists who we have covered on one of our lullaby releases as well as some that we hadn’t had a chance to yet. We reached out to Will from Cartel first since Cartel “Chromama” was one of the first lullaby releases we put out back in 2015. From there the guest vocalists kind of snowballed in.
PRT: How long has this one been in the works? Because you obviously had to put a lot of time and effort in the planning.
Peter: Casey and I started planning for and writing the “Start A Band” album in mid-2015, started writing in the fall, and by February 2016 we were in the studio at Seth Henderson’s ABG Studio recording our songs with our buddy Gabe Stonerock who killed it as our studio musician. We started getting guest vocalists involved in recording shortly after we first hit the studio. After a few other sessions later on in 2016, the songs were getting mixed and mastered right up until the time we announced the album in November 2016.
PRT: Do you still have a wishlist of vocalists you’d like to work with in the future?
Peter: Ha. Absolutely. I guess this means we have to do a Sparrow and Friends album #2.
PRT: Were the contributors given a set of topics to write about or did they arrive with these ideas on their own?
Peter: We actually wrote all the lyrics for the album ourselves, but we certainly tried to pick stuff that would be fitting for the guest vocalist who would be singing it. However, Aaron Marsh from Copeland and Mike Herrera from MXPX actually added a few lines to each of their songs based on the lyrics we sent them.
PRT: Because this album is a giant collaboration and involves so many different people, are there any plans to do live shows? I think the sight of moshing toddlers alone would be worth the logistic nightmare.
Peter: We’ve talked about the idea of live shows. It’s nothing we’re jumping on yet, but who knows... Maybe a toddler circle pit is in our future.
PRT: For those of you who are parents, what is your worst diaper story?
Casey: So. Many. Poop stories. For those that are soon-to-be-parents, just be prepared for there to be poop all over the place.
PRT: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Peter: Stunt car driver.
Casey - I’ll never grow up.