Joined: 30 Jun 2002
|an interview with BUST Magazine from the Dead Poet Tour 03
Marla: Who is Sage Francis, how long have you been around and what is your history with Scribble-Jam?
Sage: I have been writing and recording since 8. At the age of 12 I took it
to the stage and started battling and performing when I could. Like talent
shows. I caught on late with Scribble Jam. When I stared traveling and
doing a lot of stuff abroad, outside the New England area, I was doing
Poetry Slams which take place at the same exact time as Scribble Jam so 1 year I sacrificed the Poetry Slam and went to the Scribble Jam and that was the year 2000. I ended up winning that year and it was one of the major things that pushed my name out to a greater audience. Basically that's all battles are good for, cheap promotions. Ever since then I've returned every year and had a blast, because a lot of people I'm cool with and enjoy seeing every so often.
M:If I were to see the world through your eyes, what would it look like?
(Poor, hungry, green happy?)
Sage: All of those things. I think that we all see the same things. We all
have a similar perspective of the world in general. You cannot have the good without the bad. I don't think that I see it any differently than anybody else.
M: So there is no mixed feelings? I mean sometimes when I drive or walk
around it looks so pretty but other times it looks so dirty. Sometimes I
notice the garbage and sometimes I notice the sunshine.
Sage: So am I an optimist or a pessimist?
M: That's a good way to put it.
Sage: Well.. I see a lot of sadness but it balances it out with the beauty.
I see beauty everywhere, even in the trash. I live a very dirty lifestyle. I
don't take care of things..
M: You don't drink, no?
Marla: No drugs?
Sage: No, no dogs. but I love dogs.
M:I said drugs..
Sage: Lots of drugs. Have to deal with the sadness. Have to. I'ts my
connection to my past. All I will have left when everyone else is gone is
M: What religion are you?
Sage: I have no religion.
M: Do you believe in god?
Sage: If there is a god it might exist on a parallel plain. I think there is
some intelligence involved in everything we do. It's difficult to understand,
so its easy to pass it off as fantasy; but I hope for a greater power because
to consider all this as just by fluke chance, it's even more disgusting to accept. So it's much easier to accept that there is god, some greater power with a grand scheme that has a hand in what we do.
7. So many references to death. don't read my questions!
Sage: Ha, ha. I'm not.
Marla: A human being is a rational animal. If you were like a sheep, eating
grass while your brother was on his way to the slaughterhouse, meaning you
had no concept of death would your life/ poetry be different and would you be happier?
Sage: yeah because I would not have the drive that I have, to do as much as I do and understand as much as I wanna understand before my deadline comes. Death is almost like god, I cannot describe it, I experience it, probably experience god without understanding it. but it's an inevitable thing and besides birth, its the only bonding element we share. We'll all experience it. But there is no way to prepare for something like that. so it's almost senseless to think about. It could mean a lot of things. For me, my references to death are just as metaphoric as anything else. It usually changes, the period mark, the end, one that you cannot control, cannot reset and bring back, it's the end. It's cold and it is sad.. I think it is very sad to lose people we have known all of our lives and to consider a world without those people is sad and it's only brought about when death is here. It is that extra special situation that all of us want to avoid and try our best to stay out of its way.
So, without it how would I be? I would probably go sterile. I would not
think that there was a rush to do anything. I would probably have kids.
M: Why is that?
Sage: Because I don't understand life enough to create it. All of these
people that are creating life without knowing are creating a shitty situation
for others. Um, I'm not ready to bring anything else into the world that has to go through the same thoughts, frustrations and depression that I see other people going through. And I'll die, and if I have a kid I don't think I could go through that myself and why would I want to put them through it?
8. Have you ever seen a Ghost? Was it an evil ghost?
Sage: Ghosts are very symbolic, but never literal. I don't believe in ghosts
the way they appear to us in movies, or even in stories. I have lived in
places that had many stories about ghost haunting, and every where I go I
research it. It intrigued me growing up. It was one of those things: the after life, mysticism and all of that shit. After a while I came to my senses and realized that a lot of those people who perpetuate these stories and ideas are really reaching for more and wanna have a better understanding of life than they actually do. So, they create these stories.
M: there are different explanations for death and ghosts. There is the idea
that a ghost is one who died of a violent death so the soul is pondering
because it was too much for one to move on with into the other world, or has some business unfinished. Others don't believe in ghosts and so after you die you go on into the next body; a recycling process.
Sage: I would believe in that more than in ghosts. Recycling makes more
sense, than a spiritual form of your physical body lingering around. There
have been millions and millions of violent deaths, we would be overcrowded with motherfuckers! (he, he)
Recycling does not make that much sense either.
I think that it is in every culture and in every person to wonder about
those things. It is the inevitable shit. We have no control over it and therefore we want to create something beyond something that we can control and act as if it's actually the next step. We need that next step or else this life is unbearable to accept. I keep my mind open to every possibility. A greater collective consciousness makes sense to me. The fact that I am able to perceive, understand and and calculate in my mind, I feel that that perception has a connection to something else. Everyone as a rational being is able to do that. A concept of being a rational being is shared by everybody else.
Marla: The last track on your new Album, it ends with voices of children at
a playground. When I first heard it, it caught me off guard, and it got me
thinking about being a kid. What kind of kid were you and whose idea was it
to end the album that way?
Sage: Those noises really appeal to me, and tap into my memories. Sad
memories too. I felt like an outsider as a kid. all of the kids playing. I
lived in a place where there weren't many other kids my age around. In
Road Island, we lived in the woods down a dirt road.
That recording is when I lived in Providence and everyday I was awoken by
those kids. There was a school across the street. The content of the song
that preceeds that audio, to follow it with cheerful kids made a lot of sense to me. I wanted to capture actual audio of what I heard everyday. No one has ever asked me that but ending Personal Journals with the bells made a lot of sense. The bells of the church, there is eleven of them, the hour of retrospect. You have one hour left to reflect. Itıs another death theme.
M: How about when you were a kid?
Sage: I was the fat kid in the little jacket. I watched a lot TV, played a
lot of Nintendo. I never read at all. I wish I did. The TV shows stuck with
me. I was a pop-culture little boy.
M: What is the last job, working for the man, that you had?
Sage: I was employed by Ben & Jerry's making waffles.
M: Did you eat a lot of ice cream? What was you favorite flavor?
Sage: Mint or Cherry-Garcia. That's when I became lactose intolerant. I eat it but my digestive system suffers.
Marla: That's It! Thank you.
Sage: That's all? You did away with the rest of the questions?
M: Yeah! Well, I was gonna ask you why is the sky blue but someone...
M: What is the last book you read?
Sage: Rich Media, Poor Democracy. My fans send me books, they believe that I'm big on books, it's so cool. But there are also some kids who come to my shows that I wish would never come to my shows or buy my stuff.
M:What kind of kids?
Sage: The kids I get in altercations with.
M: Gimme an example, gimmie a stereotype.
Sage: Fucking! White-hat-front-row-drunks! Loud during the whole fucking
show, but not in a good way. I'm into consideration! People being considerate of others and their environment. If you come to my show obliterated, in the front row, fucking with me during the Spoke Word segments you'll catch a foot to the face.
M: I know! When I saw you at the Empty Bottle you looked mad. I was afraid and intimidated all the way in the back (while slowly sipping on my beer)
Sage: At that show, I threw the mic stand at someone. I'm doing this material that is just me and when it is disrespected I'm gonna have to deal with it.
It's not the best way. I could be more peaceful but my personality is very
confrontational and it just comes out. Oh, well, I hope that it is accepted
and not looked down on too much. If by some slim chance, humanity changes for the better then I could see in many, many years they could probably look back on my name and shit on it. It's sad to think about. I do think about that. In a perfect world my style of interacting with people won't fly. But I deal with the circumstances. What I'm dealing with right now, I hope to change it a little. I don't believe in my music enough that it would have an impact. But here and there it might have a small one.
Sage: we could go over the questions again.
M: No, I'm done. Shit! You have different answers for me now?
Sage: We could do it over and you could...
Fri Dec 05, 2003 6:27 pm
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