► What was the reason for using the alias ‘Rainy boy Sleep’ instead of using your own name?
Stevie: I wanted a title that wasn’t just a name, but also a story. I think I’ve managed to fit a lot into just three words.
► You have been in a fair few bands prior to the start of RBS, what was the transition like from band to solo? Does it ever get lonely?
The first time I played as a solo artist, I knew I was hooked. There was just so much more freedom with the choice of songs and stage persona. Being in a band was a much more constipated affair, so I’m not too lonely at the moment.
► What has been in the limavady water tanks over the last few years to produce a long list of great bands? (Furlo / Chase Atlantis / Exit Pursued by Bear / We are Burkes Lounge)
I think we’ve all looked up to Furlo. I don’t know what they’ve been putting into the water up in Limavady but to have such an inspiring bunch of guys to set the standard is a great way to start.
► This year you’ve been on a steady climb, gathering more and more fans and generally becoming a household name in Northern Ireland; what do you attribute this year’s success to?
Being in the right place at the right time to start it all off, I think.
► What inspires you to sit down with your guitar and come up with brand-new music?
I idolise so many musicians. I hear a song that I love and I want to write one just as good as it.
► Do you have any current plans to start working on your debut album?
It’s all under-way!
► You are just about to head off on a UK Tour with James Morrison; how did that come about? And are these shows likely to be the biggest you’ve played?
Early last year, I played a tiny gig, literally in the middle of nowhere. One of James’ people was there. The rest is history. The venues on the tour are formidable to say the least. I’m really looking forward to playing them.
► You use a loop pedal at your live shows; do you ever plan on introducing a backing band?
I definitely see my music branching out into different styles and I really do look forward to having a larger stage set-up. I’m only starting to climb up the ladder of my career now, so starting small and playing as a solo artist only means it can get bigger from here on.
► Can you tell us 5 goals on the ‘to-do’ list for Rainy boy sleep this year?
Use the internet less, be at one with nature, paint my face, move to India and light a campfire.
► Finally, which NI Bands/Artists are you tipping for big things in 2012?
I want More Than Conquerors to rule the world! I love them.