Dead alive 

Costa Stasinopoulos, record
producer and leader of Tulsa alt-rockers Dead Sea Choir, has had a
pretty rough month. Someone broke into his car on Jan. 15, taking a
friend’s guitar and a pair of hard drives containing yet-to-be finished
records. And this came just as he was repairing his vehicle from another
break-in mere weeks before. 

Despite
all that, he can see the light at the end of the tunnel, even if said
light currently is shrouded in a good deal of cynicism.

Dead
Sea Choir existed for around a decade before releasing its 2008 debut,
“Thin One the Red One,” an epic, 11-song swell of Radiohead-influenced
rock ballads.

“As a
little kid, I just wanted to take over the world. The music kind of
reflected that in a way. It was ridiculously ambitious and over-the-top,”
Stasinopoulos said. “You know ‘Fight Club’? I wanted that epic,
Pixies-building-crumbling moment on every song.”

Stasinopoulos doesn’t look upon that record too fondly.

“It’s so indicative of
youth at its folly. Kids shouldn’t be allowed to release records,” he
said. “Poor kids. Poor me. It’s like looking in the mirror five years
ago: I hate that kid.”

The
years since have brought a great deal of change to Dead Sea Choir; a
full, stable lineup has replaced the hodgepodge ensemble. Original
members Philip Phillips and Geordan Taylor are now joined by Clay Welch,
Jeff Porter and Nathan Price. While Stasinopoulos probably is still the
GM, he has plenty of support.

“It wasn’t a proper band,” he said.

“Now, I feel like I get pushed around. It’s kind of nice.”

Choir
has been working on a sophomore effort for two years, and plans to
record the album in March with Chad Copelin of Norman’s Blackwatch
Studios. Early demos and studio cuts already have attracted attention
from record labels on a national level.

Stasinopoulos said its warmth is helping him keep his chin up.

“I’m just trying to be honest and have a voice, musically and otherwise,” he said. “There’s nothing to prove.”

Photo by Jeremy Charles

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Joshua Boydston

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