Duncan Sheik laughs as he talks about happy accidents.
His transition from the singer-songwriter behind the hits "Barely Breathing" and "Reasons for Living" to Tony-winning composer for "Spring Awakening" wasn't really planned. Neither was the development of last year's "Whisper House" album into a musical, which recently wrapped up its first run at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego. Soon, Sheik will start work on writing songs for the musical adaptation of the Bret Easton Ellis novel "American Psycho."
But first, Sheik will head out on a short tour - including Saturday's stop at the Landmark on Main Street theater in Port Washington - and finish recording his new album.
What will you be playing on this tour?I'll definitely be playing a fair amount from "Whisper House," and Holly Brook, my singing cohort from the album, will be with me. I'll be playing a couple from "Spring Awakening" and some songs from my catalog, then a couple of new - brand-spanking new - songs and maybe even a cover or two from a covers album I've been working on. For better or worse, I've gotten to this point of my career where there's a big enough body of work that figuring out what to play is a bit tricky.
Have you set on a sound for the album?I'm taking it really slowly and letting it evolve the way it should. I go through phases where I feel like I'm going to do something much more electronic . . . and I go through phases when I'm going to make the most organic folk music record I've ever made so far. It's kind of hard to say.
Has working on the musicals changed the way you work?When I did "Whisper House," I did have this big skeleton to hang all the songs on like a musical. But right now, I'm a bit relieved to be able to write a pop song for the sake of writing a pop song, a three-minute entity that exists in and of itself and doesn't need to be tethered to any other material. That being said, I do think I've been bit by the theater bug.
What can you say about "American Psycho"?Well, I haven't started on it yet. When I was first approached the project, I thought, "This is a terrible idea." I wasn't sure it should be staged, let alone as a musical. But this summer, I reread the book, and I had an epiphany about how this could sound and what the band might be. I don't know whether this will happen, but, in my head, I thought, "What if the band were like Kraftwerk or Depeche Mode? What if it was four or five guys at banks of analog synthesizers and drum machines - totally minimalist?" It would have that bleak '80s, icy, synthesized sound. What if that was the sound of the show? Certainly, nothing like that has ever been done on Broadway. The songs would reflect that.
WHO Duncan Sheik
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Saturday, Landmark on Main Street, 232 Main St., Port Washington
INFO $35-$40; 516-767-6444, landmarkonmainstreet.org.