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Joe/Sage interview with a Spanish magazine. 10/4/03
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Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21496
Joe/Sage interview with a Spanish magazine. 10/4/03  Reply with quote  

This interview is rather confusing, but it's still fun to read. Joe Beats's segments have been added:



Hey Non-Prophets! This is Pablo from Sevilla, in the South of Spain, doing this interview for a cool new hip-hop magazine called 'Groove'. I love your music, so for me it's a pleasure to do this even by e-mail! Thanks a lot for your time and answers!


You've been creating and playing music since God knows when, but your "officially" debut albums, or at least the ones that we got here in Europe, where "Personal Journals" at Anticon, and this one... Do you think that a good point to become worldwide famous now that you've been for years and years in the business, or it just craps?


Sage: "I will do my best to make sense of your questions. I can not speak any Spanish, so I appreciate your efforts to speak my language as well as you do. That being said, no, I do not think it is important to be world famous. I think fame comes along with some very important things, but BEING famous is not important unto itself. I don't consider myself famous. I have no ambitions of becoming famous. I cherish my anonymity and privacy. However, it is nice to have enough people who enjoy my music enough to support my career. I've worked very hard at it, and I have stayed consistent through the years. This helps build a name and recognition."

For Joe...is it true that you make your beats only with a computer???
Damn it, they sound great! And... What are your favourite records to
dig in?

Joe: "Thanks man! I only use a computer because it was the first thing I had access to. I just wanted to do beats. I didn't want to play that silly
game of wanting to buy an mpc in order to start. At the time I was in
college and didn't have money like that. That said, I started on a generic
wav player for windows. Eventually I became introduced to a computer at the radio station I worked at that had a multitrack program on it. The program was and still is (because I still use it) SAW PLUS 32. It's not custom made for making beats on it so I taught myself how to do so. People like to hate on computer beatmaking...whatever, stop crying. It's here, adapt, deal with it, or quit. As far as records, I like to dig for lounge records. Anything laid back and light really."



For Sage: is it a problem when you do interviews or talk to your fans or whatever, to write so personal lyrics? I mean, I know that sometimes the people gets out of hand from what they're listening to...

Sage: "I am not in the habit of broadcasting much of my personal life. Not blatantly anyway. Most of the material I make available to the public is vague and encrypted, and that's how it needs to be in order for people to make sense of it in their own situation. I don't care to publicize my diaries. As I said, I cherish my privacy. My secrets stay that way."

Talking about that: all that you're writing is truly confessional, or as you said, you're a writer & storyteller (I mean, even if I speak English, being Spanish is a problem to understand all of the words and sometimes I don't know exactly about it -if it's being ironic or whatever).

Sage: "Yes, I think that is the best way to describe an album like Personal Journals. Much of it is confessional. Reserved confessions."


I think that your biography and auto-itws in your website are just great, plenty of humour and letting the serious stuff being only the music. But even if your message is serious, is there a percentage of humour in your songs?

Sage: "The Non-Prophets album is chock full of humor. I think that's what makes it so great, humor being one of the greatest gifts of human nature. We had a fun time making it, and I don't think any of the serious stuff could be as poignant without the humor to balance it all out. It gives the listener a greater perspective."

Joe: "I think we made an album that was deceptively conscious of itself.
However I loved how it was done in a humorous fashion. It would've been all too typical for us to be serious about that aspect of it."



This album comes from Lex, who got out Tes' "x2", DM & Jemini's "Ghetto Pop Life" and yours... All incredibly great records. Does Lex want to be the Label of the year, damn it?! What do you (truly- this is gonna be published far from the US!) think of your label mates?

Sage: "Well, I'll say this. I know Jemini from the first 12"s he put out in 96/97. I enjoyed his stuff a LOT back then, but I haven't given his new album much of a listen. I just don't care to listen to any more hiphop right now. As for Tes, I know of him from my days in NYC. We used to frequent the same spots and his freestyles always impressed me. He is an intense performer. Same with his album though, I never even heard it. All I can do is shrug my shoulders. Heh. I don't listen to hiphop any more and I have no formed opinion of my label mates. Sorry about that."


Joe: "I'm in the same boat. I really don't listen to hip hop of late. I
echo the same thoughts about Jemini. However, the fact they are down with Warp and Lex is enough to tell me they are dope enough to be where they are. I'm sure I'll get a chance to meet all of them and have their music be presented to me in a special light. Meaning, I'll probably get a chance to see them live and build with them right after. Those times will come, I'm sure of it."

You do talk in your songs of Fugazi or Matthew Shephard. Do you think that maybe the point that makes your music really interesting is that you do listen to so much different music, and not only hip-hop stuff?

Sage: "I don't think that listening to different music is what makes mine any different. Because I find it really difficult to trace any influence from my favorite artists within my own writing. I find a huge gap between rap and all other music. That's why I had to jump off the ship for a little while and experience the rest of the world. However, Matthew Shephard's influence is all over Joey's production. A huge factor in what makes his beats so interesting."


Talking about that: some headz don't consider the Anticon, Lex, DefJux or Chocolate Industries stuff as "real" as it should do. Even I read itws from Gang Starr, PMD, Freddie Foxxx... and they all go with the "real hip-hop is dying by it's commercial sense, but we're the true hip-hop sound" stuff, you know. What's your opinion on that? For me it's curious that for example almost nobody considers Prefuse 73 as hip-hop while Scott considers himself as a "real" hip-hop head... Don't you think that this "realness" battle is getting out of hand?


Joe: I'll field this one. I've been holding this back for years in the
understanding it's going to make the whole conversation look stupid. "Real" is slang for dope. Period. Example: "Jennifer Lopez's ass is mad real." or "People Under the Stairs were mad real performing live." Get it? There, I made us all look like babbling old people picking up on the latest trend. On another level "real" is just a euphamism for street. We can also make other inferences about what else it's an euphamism for. As with any time a definition is being presented, you have to consider the source. It's not hard to decipher what Primo and Freddie Foxx think is "real". As far as Prefuse, the same thing happened with Dj Shadow years back when he dropped Entroducing. He was labeled trip hop when it was damn obvious what his real roots were, throughout all of his productions. So whenever someone says the word "real" to you, you gotta play it like Jeff "the dude" Lebowski and reply: 'well yeah, that's just like...uhmmm...your opinion maann.'"


Sage: "It is absolutely absurd. No one is saving hiphop. No one is killing hiphop. It isn't even worth me thinking about."


Even if it's easier thru the net, here the "indie" hip-hop scene is turning to bright lights with the likes of DefJux, Anticon, Lex, Chocolate Industries, Deconstruction... But, what do we should search thru the net that it's really interesting too in the US and maybe we don't already know?

Sage: "Hmmmm. I...just...don't...know. I'm not up on any new stuff. This kid named Ice Rod from Minneapolis upstaged me at my last show there. If he does that again I will rip the tail out the back of his head. But...I really don't know."

Joe: "I'm sorry man, but I really don't understand this question."



For Sage: you won the Scribbed Jam 2000, do you think that MC battles are still a good way to get known?

Sage: "Perhaps. I don't see many people doing it the right way though. It looks like the people who are dedicating themselves to the battle scene have stunted their growth in other artistic departments. They will forever be bitching about how so and so didn't do this or that for them."


You Sage have signed to Epitaph, and I recently received Atmosphere's "Seven's Travels" -great album for me-, in that label too. What did you see in their offer that's interesting for a rapper? Maybe their work with artists like Tom Waits or Tricky?

Sage: "I was the first rapper signed to Epitaph. I like the novelty of that. Also, I am a huge fan of Bad Religion, Tom Waits and Noam Chomsky, all who are my label mates now. Lets collab yo! Yeeeahhhhhhhhhh."


Sage Francis had a death date of 2001 in "Personal Journals". Is he a different Sage now in this Non-Prophets' album? Will be he different too in his new stuff for Epitaph?

Sage: "Different all the time. All the time. I'm surprised this shell is still holding up actually. I have a severe fear that I died a while ago and the reality I am curently familliar with is just a bad trip. That's why I need to get the hell offline."

You've got news from AOI?

Sage: "As a band, it is dead and buried. The drummer is the only one who still plays with a band. Perhaps I will put together another band with him on percussion again. The girls think he's cute."

Joe: "Don't let him fool you...he wants to tour with the ugly guys like me
so he can be the cute one -haha."


Last edited by Sage Francis on Fri Oct 03, 2003 5:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Fri Oct 03, 2003 7:27 am
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Moolah



Joined: 06 Sep 2002
Posts: 465
Location: Sydney, Australia
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That was still a cool read. Get's my vote for most enthusiastic interviewer ever.
Post Fri Oct 03, 2003 7:39 am
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Hellen Earth
could be a girl. could be a guy.


Joined: 09 Jan 2003
Posts: 1275
Location: Fitchburg, MA
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That part about Joe being influenced by Matthew Shepard fucking killed me.
Post Fri Oct 03, 2003 8:43 am
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FuseONE



Joined: 11 Jul 2002
Posts: 1715
Location: Newark, DE
.  Reply with quote  


Quote:

However, Matthew Shephard's influence is all over Joey's production. A huge factor in what makes his beats so interesting."


Gold.
Post Fri Oct 03, 2003 9:22 am
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21496
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Joe Beats's segments have been added!
Post Fri Oct 03, 2003 5:28 pm
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Jesse



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
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Location: privileged homeless
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Quote:

However, Matthew Shephard's influence is all over Joey's production. A huge factor in what makes his beats so interesting."


This actually confused me for a moment... I figure the interviewer must have been thinking of Matthew Shipp or something.
Post Sat Oct 04, 2003 8:22 am
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Dee



Joined: 19 Jul 2002
Posts: 7872
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Quote:

So whenever someone says the word "real" to you, you gotta play it like Jeff "the dude" Lebowski and reply: 'well yeah, that's just like...uhmmm...your opinion maann.'"



Classic. 5/5
Post Sat Oct 04, 2003 2:25 pm
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Doctrine



Joined: 05 Apr 2003
Posts: 4626
Location: ATL, Livin' Swell
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I shouldn't but do cringe when I hear artists saying they don't listen to hip hop anymore...I listen to so much more...But whenever I read it it sticks me a little...I don't know why...

Good entertaining interview...Short...A little typical, but some good stuff nonetheless...

Real cool...When I say real, I'm referring to real as in the context of intensifying the adjective that follows it...Not in the connotation of "dope" or the euphanism of "street"...

Just wanted to get that straight...
Post Sat Oct 04, 2003 6:04 pm
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futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 19356
Location: Tighten Your Bible Belt
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Doctrine wrote:
I shouldn't but do cringe when I hear artists saying they don't listen to hip hop anymore...I listen to so much more...But whenever I read it it sticks me a little...I don't know why...




Probably because it feels like a personal insult; they're saying that the music that you spend most of your time with isn't worth their time, yet they are also the ones making the music you are spending your time with...so it makes it seem like a joke on you. They're releasing the shit because they know you're too stupid to know the diffrence.

That's probably why.
Post Sat Oct 04, 2003 6:30 pm
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Doctrine



Joined: 05 Apr 2003
Posts: 4626
Location: ATL, Livin' Swell
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No...That's not it...
Post Sat Oct 04, 2003 7:46 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21496
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I understand, but I can't front. I really don't listen to rap. Although, I did listen to STRICTLY hiphop for over 15 years.

It pains me to tell an interviewer that I don't listen to hiphop anymore for many reasons.

a) it's a typical statement
b) it makes me have to explain myself
c) there is the potential that people will think that I believe I am 2above" hiphop.

But the fact of the matter is, I just don't get what I need from hiphop these days. The only hiphop cds I have in my case at the moment are Fantastic Damage, Shadows on the Sun, Buck, and Atmosphere.

I put one of them in my cd played every week or so. When I feel like listening to rap.
Post Sat Oct 04, 2003 8:18 pm
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