Simon Stanley (aka Cy Winstanley) Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Stanley (aka Cy Winstanley) Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Music has many new fans throughout Europe who may be hearing about
you for the first time. How would you describe yourself and the music
you play to someone who has never seen or heard you?

The common thread that runs through all of my music (Tattletale
Saints and Simon Stanley) is Americana/folk/bluegrass with a heavy
emphasis on lyric.  I love story songs and narratives that paint
a vivid picture and try to make that a focus in my writing.  

Please tell us about the songs on your album (influences, etc).  

My kids’ song, “Marley Sitting on a Pumpkin Seed,” is inspired
by my niece who lives in New Zealand.  She lives in an amazing
mountain town (Wanaka) with lakes and rivers and snowy peaks. I
wanted to try and capture some of my life over here (Nashville, USA)
and teach her about the instruments I play, while setting it in her
quaint town.  

Your current single is being played by radio. What do you feel is
special about this song that makes people want to hear it?

I love “Marley Sitting on a Pumpkin Seed” because it’s a kids’
song that’s not overly “kiddish.”  I think it’s the kind
of thing parents can enjoy too and not have it drive them crazy.  

What kind of songs do you like to record the most? 

I like recording songs that embody the live performance vibe.  I
feel like the magic that’s created live, the collective and
spontaneous energy of the performers, is harder to recreate when
you’re piecing things together bit by bit in the studio.  

How much creative control do you have over your music?

Total control! For better or worse, my music has always been
independent, and I’ve been lucky to work with producers that are
very skilled at realizing my vision.  There are so many
variables in the production of music, so the end product often
deviates from the initial vision, but usually to a place where it
surprises me – in a good way!  

Do you have any interesting stories about how fans have been affected
by your music?

There is a school in Georgia, USA, that loves my Marley song and has
taught it to their students and sings it on a regular basis.
That’s the perfect audience for the song and is very flattering.
As for Tattletale Saints, we have songs that have been played at
weddings, proposals and all sorts of life events – also pretty cool.

Any thoughts of retirement ahead?

This is an interesting question and something I definitely have begun
to ponder as I get older.  I don’t think I’ll ‘retire’
from performing as long as I can still play, but I have been looking
at diversifying my work base as much as possible.  By that I
mean instead of relying on just performing in one scene (In Nashville
it’s been country/Americana), I’ve been focusing on writing more,
doing my kids’ thing, working on in-town gigs, jazz gigs and
sessions (not just road stuff), and working with an organization that
provides entertainment to seniors in the community.  Not only do
all these things give me more income sources, they bring nice
diversity into my life, which I really enjoy.  

When you get time off, how do you like to relax?

I have been a long distance runner for many years, and that is
probably my favorite activity outside of music. For me there is
nothing better than being outside and running in the woods. In the
last two years I’ve also got really into yoga which balances out my
running nicely.  I love reading too; I’m currently really into
Hispanic authors.  

What has been the biggest disappointment in your life?

Mushrooms are my favorite food. There was one time at a farmers
market in London when my sister pointed out this ginormous portabello
– bigger than either of us had ever seen.  For some unknown
reason, I skipped on buying it. Imagine the succulence! My biggest
regret by far. 


When you’re on tour, do you have time to play tourist?

course! I tour with many like-minded people who love to get outside
and explore, drink delicious coffee, and eat amazing food. Some days
there is no time because the drives are long, but when we can play
tourist, we definitely do.  

Fans are always hungry for good road stories. Do you have one you can
share with us (come on don’t be shy)?

A few years ago, I had a recurring gig in Malaysia on a large island
called Penang. In the middle of the island there is a mountainous
jungle that I would run up each day.  I frequently saw large
troops of monkeys hanging around and always took care to avoid them.
One day though, while running down the mountain at speed, I rounded a
sharp corner and was instantly upon a large troop of monkeys with
their young.  They looked at me and screamed like hairy ghouls –
when then another 10 monkeys descended from the trees, and they all
began charging me. I turned and ran back up hill, only to be trapped
between them and another large monkey. Luckily I managed to weave
around him and escape. They pursued me, though, and I swear I have
never run so fast nor been so terrified.   

Lamitschka ( ) for Country Music News
International Magazine & Radio Show 

 Photocredit Kaitlyn Raitz

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