The 49-year-old Sutherland is known widely for portraying Jack Bauer on Fox's hit TV series 24. His extensive filmography also includes key roles in Stand by Me (1986), The Lost Boys (1987), Flatliners (1990), A Few Good Men (1992), The Vanishing (1993), Dark City (1998) and Phone Booth (2002).
Although Down in a Hole is his debut album, Sutherland has long been involved with music, dating to his early teens when his father bought him a guitar. In the early 2000s, he founded Ironworks Records along with artist/producer Jude Cole; Ron Sexsmith and Lifehouse were two of the acts signed.
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Cole produced the 11-song Down in a Hole and co-wrote all tracks with Sutherland. Lifehouse frontman Jason Wade joined the pair to pen the set's "Can't Stay Away." In readying the album's release, Sutherland played a string of concert dates this past spring. Meanwhile, the official video for the set's "Not Enough Whiskey" has drawn more than 650,000 global YouTube views since its late-March premiere.
Does Sutherland worry that listeners might be skeptical about an actor moonlighting in music? Concerning himself about that "would be pointless," he says. "I am a professional actor. This is what I've been doing for the past 30 years and I've been really fortunate to have real success with that. That's what I do, so, of course, it's going to overshadow [the music]. But, I hope it doesn't overshadow it to the point where someone doesn't hear the record for what it is.
"It's certainly not worth worrying about. It's something that I'll have a much better answer for in about a year."
Additional reporting by Deborah Evans Price