Last night (10-25-10) at the El Rey in Los Angeles, Sleepy Sun’s co-lead singer Rachel Fannan was conspicuously absent.
Sleepy Sun’s Photos @ El Rey in Los Angeles 10-25-10
Sleepy Sun’s guitarist Matt Holliman said to Pinpoint, “Rachel decided to leave Sleepy Sun to pursue her own solo career”. Sleepy Sun did an August tour of Europe that Fannan was a part of. Upon returning to the states Rachel played with Sleepy Sun for their two shows at All Tomorrow’s Party in New York, and then Philadelphia. Then at the September 8th show at Black Cat in Washington DC an incident took place. Although the details of that night are sure to be disputed by all involved parties one thing is for sure, Rachel left Sleepy Sun after that show and hasn’t played with them since. Sleepy Sun had around 8 more shows in the month of September that she was not part of as well as a string of dates in October and November. Holliman would go on to say that there are no current plans either way to replace the former Sleepy Sun vocalist.
On 10-26-10 Rachel responded to Pinpoint’s inquires with the following statement:
I think unfortunately for all of us sleepy heads I had to leave the group immediately. It was not only to pursue my solo career that i left but more a reaction to the way i was being treated as an artist within Sleepy Sun. Without being disrespectful and gossipy, i must say that Sleepy Sun are a very difficult group of young men who have had little experience working with other artists, and most crucial no experience working with women.
The relationship changed several times throughout my stay with them and over the last year and half dissolved into an emotionally traumatizing adventure.
This isn’t to say that i take the vast amount of knowledge gained (as well as fun and life changing experiences) for granted but after 3 years of JUST touring with them, many things began to outweigh the excitement that was being a member of sleepy sun.
Eventually my relationship with Bret [Constantino] became so volatile, (i had been yelled at, mocked, alienated and crushed several times by him) i knew i needed to get out immediately.
They asked me to stay quiet about my exit, and never released any press about it. Since leaving no one in that camp has contacted me in anyway.
I had a fun time with them for the first year but after several attempts to contribute my ability to play keys, or write music were ignored I gave up hope and started drinking more. There’s a whole year and a half of my life I barely remember. I’m ashamed I let my depression over losing my outlet of self-expression get the better of me but … it was an unprecedented thing for me to go through.
Hopefully this sheds a little light – i don’t harbor any resentment now that I’ve got my life back.
Rachel made a tweet on September 30th about the break, “@RachelFannan Itstrue! I’m no longer performing w/ Sleepy Sun As there has not been a press release concerning my exit I’m feeling free to share the news”. On her website http://www.rachelfannan.com has solo dates listed for October and November.
After evaluating Rachel’s statement Sleepy Sun’s PR firm chose not to comment specifically on Fannan’s accusations and sent the following to Pinpoint Music, “Sleepy Sun has decided it would be best for all parties involved to part ways with backup vocalist Rachel Fannan and wish her the best in all of her future endeavors”.
It’s worth noting that originally when the band formed around 2005 Sleepy Sun’s lineup did not include Fannan, then known as Rachel Williams. Rachel joined the band in late 2007, which is to say that she had been featured on all the commercially released Sleepy Sun albums.
Whether or not Rachel is part of the lineup Sleepy Sun is still an energetic and spiritual live show. There is little doubt that they can continue to produce strong records with their current lineup. However in this writer’s opinion the band has lost a kindred spirit in Rachel Fannan and Sleepy Sun will now have to overcome the challenge of replacing the duality and contrast she provided.