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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous

Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21790
a MOTHER of an interview between friends. (EDITED)  Reply with quote  

(Sage Disclaimer: This is a looooong interview. It is basically a conversation between me and friend/poet Rachel Kann and it was meant for
Apparently, it is so full of shit no one would really find anything worthwhile in this conversation style interview. If anything, it shows why I don't have many friends. Print it out and use it as bathroom reading if want.)


sage: hey

rachel: hi

sage: i am online. wanna do the interview?

rachel: ok. i am totally unprepared because i was gonna wait until sunday. so i will make questions up

sage: no. we'll wait. you ain't ready

rachel: how old is Xaul Zan?

sage: 34. this is not a Xaul Zan interview

rachel: When can we expect a full length Xaul Zan album?

sage: what did I just tell you, bits?

rachel: is Xaul Zan a scorpio? ok. i am all thrown off and not ready. that makes me feel all insecure
to interview you since you were a journalism major in college, tell me how
you decided on that major? (nice segue, huh?)

sage: I picked whatever was the easiest to fake.

rachel: how did u like it? did u learn anything of consequence being a journalism major? did it have any effect on your writing style?

sage: it did have an effect on how I handle information. research. presentation

rachel: what was the actual effect. how did it affect it

sage: it made me more aware of how important those things are and the manner
in which they are to be handled. It's not enough to just say my opinion.

rachel: so to back shit up with facts? is that what you mean? but you are the personal journalist. how did it affect your more
intimate less social commentary type stuff? or did it at all?

sage: it means you need to understand your subject matter better than the
average person before you present it to the world in a creative context. Or
acknowledge what you DON'T understand before you present the appropriate
questions. I don't care to waste people's time with idle questions or
falsehoods. I had to first acknowledge that my specific pain is not more hurtful
or less special than anyone else's. I explored it and considered what
existed outside of it before I made the kind of songs that I did on Personal
Journals. It's a very simple formula. It's one I try to stick by in
everything I do

rachel: "I had to first acknowledge that my specific pain is not more
hurtful or less special than anyone else's" you think being a journalism
major helped you come to that conclusion?

sage: true journalism has a wonderful set of ethics. My studies had those
things forced down my throat, so brought some of these things to
light. I'm just trying to tell you what I got out of my college
studies...which wasn't much.

rachel: this is a question from Rose from Yellow Flesh/Alabaster Rose. What
is the difference between a diary and a journal, in your humble opinion?

sage: A diary is more for the writer. Mundane facts and personal
documentation on emotional states and what Johnny Martin was wearing in gym
class. They are meant for people to reflect back upon in order to
understand themselves better or just as a reminder of where they came from.
I think journals are geared more toward outside readers. The style of
writing and the content is usually geared for mass consumption. You leave
out some very crucial and incriminating details. The journal is the sell out form of the diary

rachel: what does it feel like for you to talk about such personal material
in front of so many people on stage? Is there a certain level of detachment,
either from the material, yourself, or the crowd when you are discussing
intimate details? How do you go into the zone?

sage: I don't pay attention to zones anymore. I used to try to psyche
myself into a zone when I was about to perform some revealing material, but
I gave less and less of shit the more I performed it. Either less of a shit
about the listeners, the poem/song, or the subject.

rachel: so then it is equal parts detachment to all 3 things? isn't giving less of a shit the same thing as detachment?

sage: I don't know what I am detached from. When I am performing...I detach
myself from my normal world. It is its own universe and different rules
apply. So of course "detachment" takes place...I just don't know how to
explain in which form.

rachel: you are a difficult interview subject - you keep just rephrasing my
questions. They taught you well at journalism school.
here's a question: what is your biggest regret? professionally and personally? I want both

sage: I don't have many regrets at all. My biggest regret has always been
the distance I keep from people in general. The rest of my regrets come
from a business standpoint. Almost all of my regrets are business
related...which is not a bad thing at all. If regrets have to come in any
form, its best to keep them business related.

rachel: ok. u did it again. u didn't answer the question. what is your biggest professional regret?

sage: I don't dwell on regrets so for me to pull that out of the air upon
questioning is difficult. let me think...My biggest regret is not going for broke sooner than I did. I waited too long to record and put out material because I was always waiting for a label to help out. I should have learned the ropes earlier on and taken the bull by the horns. I eventually did...and it was enough to take me to where
I am now...but I could have done it a lot sooner. I was lost though. I
wish I didn't pay so much for college. I wish I had sex with all the girls
in highschool. That's about it.

rachel: you have said that you have outdone yourself, that you have superceded every goal you have set for yourself. tell us what it feels like to have superceded all your goals? and what exactly were your original goals?

sage: it feels anti-climatic. Can you imagine that? haha. I didn't set my
goals very high for myself. I feel privileged to have a voice and a
listenership. The snow ball is in effect now.

rachel: what were your original goals?

sage: To be consistent with my quality of performance in every respect. To
entertain people. To have a dependable voice. without a 9-5. To
break hearts.

rachel: dancing around in your sox is a good way to get that going. seriously though

sage: I do that every single show. Which is why I have "socks and
underwear" put on my rider.

rachel: you are one of the absolute best live performers i have ever seen in
my life perios. i mean period...hahahah

sage: I remember in 6th grade I had to read a paragraph out loud in front of
the class... this was about the time when girls were entering womanhood. well...
one of the words in the upcoming sentence was "pyramid" and for two
whole sentences before I got to that word I was psyching myself out about
it. I got very very nervous. When I got to that word I said
The teacher glared at me and my face turned red. It is one of my worst
memories of school. I hated it.

rachel: that is a nice all encompassing story

sage: Then once when were reading Ivanhoe Mrs. Neil said something to the
effect of: "They blew the place to kingdom come"
Because of the sexual nature of the book, some kid in the back said, "That's
He got suspended. That was one of my favorite memories of school.

rachel: Tell me a secret I don't know about you

sage: Then once, in 11th grade, Mrs. Stephenson said, "Tale of Two Titties"
by accident. True story.

rachel: you have actually told me that before. answer the question

sage: I am trying to think of secrets that don't include other people

rachel: when is the last time you cried?

sage: that's a VERY good question. the national poetry slam. I cry over poems and movies. That's about it. Besides that...I think the last time I cried was at my Uncle's funeral. Actually it was my Nana's funeral. She was 105. And I was a pallbearer. The entire event felt like a black and white photo.

rachel: so it was a poem that made you cry?

sage: yes. it was a thought that made me cry

rachel: a thought during a poem? what poem? do u remember?

sage: whatever thought that poem evoked. I don't remember now.

rachel: what? you don't remember the poem OR the thought?

sage: either.

rachel: how do u remember that you even cried? where were you?

sage: because it's rare for me to cry. So I took notice. I was in the backroom at 1st Ave

rachel: but you'd think you'd remember WHY you cried as well. anyway, thanks for sharing

sage: I know...but I was overloaded with information that weekend.

rachel: i would like to see you cry

sage: I really wouldn't care to let anyone see me cry.

rachel: can u please tell me...if you were conducting this interview right now, what would u ask yourself?

sage: if I think Natalie Portman should let me hang out in her vagina. during my down time.

rachel: and the answer?

sage: HELLLLLllll no. I don't understand all this nonsense about friends and secrets

rachel: this is the stuff the public wants to know

sage: i want the world to know the horror I live, mom

rachel: if you had to fuck either your mom or a dog, who gets the anchor
dick injection?

sage: that question is so fucking stupid I can't even feel cool making fun
of it. The dog.

rachel: what breed? you have to make out with it too

sage: taco bell. I gotta go. I am getting yelled at by the band. peace out. we can continue this another time

sage: ok

rachel: your relationship with your fans is pretty intense, especially for
someone who says they keep everybody at a distance. people seem to get obsessed with you. especially straight men

sage: especially gay females

rachel: how does it feel to be the object of so much straight male
adulation? what gay females?

sage: the most gorgeous women at my shows are in the front row with pink
triangles tattooed on their crotch. It's beautiful.

rachel: liar. seriously

sage: serious

rachel: i have seen u make men i know that are completely hetero literally
weak in the knees. what's up with that? how does it make you feel?

sage: my fans come in many shapes and sizes

rachel: i would like to know specifically how u feel about straight men
freaking out over you. like freaking OUT! i have seen completely straight guys wax poetic over you like romeo

sage: I admittedly have acquired a hardcore following. But as I said...they
are diverse. I can't categorize them. But something about what I say strikes
a nerve with them. How do I feel? Uncomfortable. I feel uncomfortable when someone does that over anybody.

rachel: me too. its kind of sweet though to watch from the outside. it makes me laugh at those boys. worship is weird, definitely

sage: then get off the dillllz

rachel: seriously though, you are very very communicative with your fans. much more than any other artist with your size following

sage: I am curt and rude.

rachel: no u aren't, i watch you at your shows

sage: shows I get to shake hands and give hugs. I love it. I don't like holding conversations though

rachel: was that a conscious decision in the beginning, or is that just how
you are?

sage: That's just how I am I guess. It makes all the sense in the world. I
don't know why it would be any other way. When I finish a show I jump into
the crowd and touch people. It's the best interaction. For the rest of the
show I am behind the merch booth selling my product hand to hand. It makes
the most sense.

rachel: how do u feel when girl fans freak out over you?

sage: As I said, uncomfortable.

rachel: because you are 34 and they are 17?

sage: No, because freaking out over a human being who performs in dirt clubs
for a living is pathetic.

rachel: i agree. how does Xaul Zan feel about it?

sage: Well...He likes the frequent sex. It's all for him I guess.

rachel: can you tell me how you feel about your forum?

sage: ahhh. I feel it is a place for people to waste time and/or find out
about what's happening in the world of sage and Joe Beats

rachel: how do u feel about it. feelings not facts. like sometimes on your forum people act all disappointed in you for not being attentive to them or whatever

sage: I don't feel shit about it. It is my virtual diary

rachel: and here you are actually communicating with them, which is more
than most artists do

sage: it is easy for me to answer MANY people's questions at once rather
than individually via email

rachel: when did u start writing poetry? what made you want to write poetry?

sage: in 3rd grade our teacher made us write a poem to our moms for mother's

rachel: yeah?

sage: it was an assignment. that's when it started

rachel: so you were actually into poetry before hip hop?

sage: I wrote when the teacher told me to. I read when they made me. only due to a syllabus

rachel: well, i think we all did that in school

sage: no shit. but it's the truth to your question. but hiphop was the first creative thing I volunteered myself into

rachel: right... so after that happened when did u start wanting to involve yourself in poetry? as opposed to solely hip hop?

sage: after I saw Patricia Smith read at my college. 1996. She blew me away.

rachel: AAHHHH. this is what i am looking for. so how did u end up seeing her?

sage: After buying both of her books I leaned over and said, "Hey...I am
going to do what you do. I just want you to know."
A couple years later we were on the same airplane flying to the national
poetry slam

rachel: ok but how did u end up at the SHOW in the FIRST place

sage: she was a featured artist at my school. Not much happened there, so I
checked it out.

rachel: and she knocked yer sox off?

sage: she is still one of the best orators I have ever witnessed. she is powerful in every sense of the word.

rachel: and one of the best human beings ever too. she is funny and sweet and cool and i am glad that we both love her

sage: I have yet to match the intensity she brings to her writing and
performance. That's all I know. People can freak out over me all they want,
but I will always know the truth.

rachel: so how did u get involved with slam?

sage: I showed up to any open mic I could find. I stumbled upon a slam one
night by chance. I won it. Then I went to the finals of the local slam and
did 6 minute poems (not understanding there was a time limit.) the next year I learned the rules and freaked the structure.

rachel: and at that point were you doing hip hop shows already? battles?

sage: not shows, but as I said I was hitting up open mics and battles. I
didn't do a full show until I got together with my band (AOI) in 1997

rachel: what year was your first nationals?

sage: 1998

rachel: so when u first started performing with AOI were u already
incorporating poetry into those live shows as opposed to more strictly rapping?

sage: I think I opened up every show with a spoken word piece, but that's
because I was self conscious about my voice not being heard over the
instruments. That's something that plagues me to this day. the band always laughs when I tell the sound man about my desire to be
over the music. I have no shame anymore. "Excuse me...Mr. Soundman...It is
imperative that my vocals be heard OVER the music. Thanks"

rachel: shame is overrated

sage: The worst shows I have been to are the ones where you can't hear the
vocalist. I mean...shit...I'm a lyrics man.

rachel: i feel you. so basically, u started doing poetry within a hip hop
show format out of insecurity? is that fair to say?

sage: No...that's not WHY I did poetry. I did spoken word because I wanted
to do spoken word. I did spoken word at hiphop shows because I wanted my
voice to be heard incase they couldn't hear me over the instruments. Is that
clear enough?

rachel: i want to talk more about you performing poetry at hip hop shows. i saw you perform here in LA in front of like 1000 people all riled
up for a hip hop show. they all fell silent and listened attentively passionately and
energetically while u did poetry

sage: that was surprising for sure.

rachel: that is quite a feat

sage: the most amazing time I did poetry at a hiphop show was in chicago. it was on a bill with battle rappers. the crowd was huge. it was at
the Metro. Well...i did a half hour of poetry and I expected to get lynched.
I still get so much positive feedback from that performance every time I go
back to chicago

rachel: you are doing so much for poetry. inadvertently or mindfully

sage: well...thanks. I know people who do a lot better than me though. And
so do you. I am flattered. I don't think I am doing as much for poetry as I am for myself. haha.
It's not an endorsement for poetry or spoken word. I am trying to entertain
the crowd with words and ideas and emotion. That translates well in any

rachel: tell me some poets you like, that in your opinion, "do a lot better
than you"

sage: Patricia Smith, Jeff McDaniels, Taylor Mali...many many many. no more talking about this.


sage (4:02 PM): I have to shovel my car out of a huge snowbank

rachel (4:03 PM): REALLY? its 70 degrees here. interview

sage (4:29 PM): rolling

rachel (4:34 PM): with the tour behind you, can you please reflect on this
latest experience for a moment?

sage (4:35 PM): what about tour? I don't even know where to start about the tour. I am thrilled and depressed that it is over


sage (2:07:31 AM): good night? having fun still?

rachel (2:07:38 AM): HI. what the fuck are u doing up? It's 5 AM east coast time. interview starting now. where do u expect to be in 5 years?

sage (2:26:40 AM): I don't see myself in five years. I haven't even done the
math to know what year that will be. truthfully

rachel (2:26:54 AM): errr...2008. but that isn't the point. what i am trying to do with this interview is get u to think about stuff u wouldn't normally think about and ask you questions u haven't thought about. and ideally have them be answered
where would you IDEALLY like to be in 5 years?

sage (2:32:41 AM): there's something wrong with my damn laptop. want to ask me about the first three songs on the mix I gave you? since we never really did that

rachel (2:34:43 AM): yes. please... just go with it. just talk about them. or would u rather i ask you specific questions?

sage (2:35:43 AM): no. lets talk about something else. Lets talk

rachel (2:35:49 AM): god. u are very difficult to interview. please just tell me whatever you want.what is suicidegirls?

sage (2:36:51 AM): a website filled with my girlfriends

rachel (2:37:01 AM): what is it? gothy 12 year olds?

sage (2:37:16 AM): I wish.'s almost 6 AM

rachel (2:42:28 AM): well, g'night!

sage (2:43:53 AM): let me say...I listened to Sick of Waiting Tables tonight
and I can't even believe that I still sell this piece of shit. Whatever
availability is left of this cd will be the very last of it. random thought

rachel (2:44:17 AM): thank you for sharing. seriously

sage (2:44:18 AM): your boy Steve Albini dissed me on

rachel (2:44:39 AM): my boy ol' stevey!

sage (2:44:43 AM): they talked about it in Philly's Weekly

rachel (2:44:46 AM): really? are u serious? do u have a link?

sage (2:45:27 AM): not off hand. I can tell you that he said the kid with
baggy pants who lives down the street can rap better than me

rachel (2:45:39 AM): wow! you should be proud!

sage (2:46:01 AM): he also said that Personal Journals is a good companion
to Eminem's "The Eminem Show." Go figure

rachel (2:46:57 AM): the bigger you get the more often and more severely
this shit is gonna fly at you

sage (2:47:04 AM): I take it as an off the wall criticism from someone who
should stick to producing albums he hates

rachel (2:47:19 AM): take it as a sign of you reaching the next level. can u please tell me about the trilogy?

sage (2:48:08 AM): the songs you speak of are part of an album called "Sleep
No More" shared by me, Buck 65 and DJ Signify on production

rachel (2:48:15 AM): cool cool. and when does it come out?

sage (2:48:55 AM): I would hope within three months. I am frustrated that I
have not even been given a scratch copy to listen to. nevermind the mixed
down version

rachel (2:49:21 AM): yeah. well how many more trax do u have on the album?

sage (2:49:30 AM): I only have 3. Buck's verses kick ass. He tells a very interesting story over the course of 4 verses/songs

rachel (2:49:54 AM): what is the story/idea he presents?

sage (2:50:13 AM): well it is all surreal. it is told in dream format. he is chasing after a girl whose hair color keeps changing. something like that.

rachel (2:50:39 AM): and are yer guys songs interspersed

sage (2:50:43 AM): she holds a box of dead crows

rachel (2:50:45 AM): or is it all him/all you

sage (2:51:12 AM): we are telling our own story separate from one
another...but there are themes that get shared

rachel (2:52:31 AM): what inspired u to write your verses?

sage (2:54:46 AM): I wrote them over the course of a few months. they
changed drastically. I had many things to consider. by the end my brain was
crusty. It was a mix of personal experiences, visions, and vivid dreams

rachel (2:55:29 AM): when u first gave me the cd with those trax i used to
skip through them, wanting to hear Xaul Zan and shit. and then, like a week and a half ago, i listened to them again. track 3 is the best. “come into my love nest”

sage (2:56:33 AM): I don't enjoy listening to them now. At first I was all
about it but now I don't even feel like revisiting what it took me to write
those damn things

rachel (2:56:42 AM): what did it take?

sage (2:56:44 AM): it was too tedious. meticulous writing

rachel (2:56:56 AM): well the tedium paid off. its really good writing

sage (2:57:33 AM): respeck

rachel (2:57:37 AM): wurd. what inspired them?

sage (2:59:10 AM): do you keep asking the same question until you get your
desired answer?

rachel (2:59:23 AM): not DESIRED answer. just any answer. u say "experiences", "visions" ,"vivid dreams"

sage (3:00:09 AM): you already asked the same exact question and I answered

rachel (3:00:14 AM): what experiences? what dreams?

sage (3:01:06 AM): don't pry, ma

rachel (3:01:11 AM): oh. ok. sweet dreams

Last edited by Sage Francis on Sat Mar 15, 2003 3:18 pm; edited 5 times in total
Post Tue Mar 11, 2003 10:49 pm
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hugh grants hooker

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where did you get "bits" from?

i've been hearing/saying that since like 7th grade and i dont know where it started...

lately i've been into a mode, i look at each and every thing i do and know and try to find out where it started. then i throw out things that i no longer like.
Post Tue Mar 11, 2003 11:21 pm

Joined: 09 Mar 2003
Posts: 18
Location: Akwesasne
Daaaaaaaamn!  Reply with quote  

Sage, BROTHA! You give the word narcissism a whole new meaning, I mean what would approximate to an hour and a half long interview with one's self, damn man!

And I thought I was bored! HAHA
Post Tue Mar 11, 2003 11:29 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous

Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21790
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my man...all I can say is...I could care less about an interview. I feel like a monkey doing them.

but they happen.

and if nothing else, they document what is happening at the exact moment if anyone cares to know about it in the future.

I think this is a special time.
Post Wed Mar 12, 2003 12:00 am
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Posts: 18
Location: Akwesasne
Solid!  Reply with quote  

It's a special time indeed brotha! I mean I'm not the only one that can feel it right?!

Somethings going on, the times they are a changin'.

Square the wagons boys and girls, we're in it for the long haul!!!!!

Post Wed Mar 12, 2003 12:37 am
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Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 69
Location: seattle wa
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damn that took me like three days to download.. oh well thats what i get for using free internet ......
mmmm. suicide girls *drools all over self*

neato interview
Post Wed Mar 12, 2003 1:09 am
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Posts: 89
Location: Portland, Oregon
suicide girls  Reply with quote  

I live in Portland, Oregon- as do the suicide girls and somehow my friends have befriended quite a few of them, i was recently invited to a suicide girls party, i sent my roomate in my stead... and long story short they, on the whole are disfunctional girls.

and that was a really long interview :) interesting in parts, painful in others.
Post Wed Mar 12, 2003 9:33 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous

Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21790
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which parts are painful so we know what to cut out?

I have to edit it right now
Post Wed Mar 12, 2003 9:37 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous

Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21790
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ok, it's been edited. It reads much better this way.
Post Wed Mar 12, 2003 10:19 pm
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Posts: 958
Location: rhode island
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once something interesting came up... the interview got a little better
Post Wed Mar 12, 2003 10:46 pm
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Location: Portland, Oregon
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definately reads better.
Post Wed Mar 12, 2003 11:10 pm
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Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 3087
Location: Wisconsin
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hahhhh. I had a membership to suicidegirls before.... my kinda girls.

And I agree... they are all mental. But its give and take, you know? You either get yourself a girl that is mental and have some freaky shit going on, or you get a girl who is mentally stable and fall asleep during sex.
Post Thu Mar 13, 2003 1:39 am
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Location: Portland, Oregon
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i think there are plenty of kinky sane chicks out there.
Post Thu Mar 13, 2003 9:04 pm
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Location: seattle wa
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kinky sane chicks are overrated
Post Thu Mar 13, 2003 9:09 pm
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yeah, but no sane chick is gonna fuck my dog, you know?

I mean....

Post Thu Mar 13, 2003 9:09 pm
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