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MF Noob

Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 130
Sage interview in Paris, 2008  Reply with quote  

This interview was conducted through a fence after the Sage/B. Dolan show in Paris. Some of the language seems strange but that's due to the French/English thing. Overall, they did a fine job transcribing the words.

SAGE FRANCIS Interview - PARIS, France. 2008

Thanks to Nicolas from UpRights who did this amazing interview with Sage Francis, through the fence of the 'Villette Sonique festival' in Paris! Enjoy!! !!

SYM : Hey! can you tell us how it rules so far?
SF: IT’S DONE! The tour is done! This is the last day, we’ll fly home tomorrow. We have been here for eleven days, I think we did 8shows, we are tired. It’s tough, just me and B.Dolan, we took the train everywhere, we get up early everyday. It is good, all the show went very well, that’s all I can say. The worst part was that the airline lost our luggage, so we didn’t have anything to sell, no merch.

SYM: that sucks!

SF: yeah, there is always something that goes wrong when you are travel. It comes with negative points, but the shows went good so I can’t be upset.

SYM: Tell me if I am wrong, but last year you came with musician right? (Sage Francis played ‘alone’ on this tour)

SF: yes, we did, with a band, and it was one of the worst tour I have ever done. People on the tour were great, it’s just that we got robbed twice, there was a trip to the hospital, there was a problem with police, so… and everyone’s mood were really shitty. It cost a lot of money as well, to get a hotel room for everybody, it is not optimal.

SYM: What about the difference to play with a band and to play with the stuff you use (a kind of weird player to put samples, songs, and scratching effect with a weird turntable)?

SF: It is a lot easier (laugh). It is more fun for me usually, hum, it is more practical. People can think I am lazy, but there are lots of ways to be creative with this kind of set up. I have been doing shows like that with this for at least 7years now, and they have gone very well.
Sometime it is more fun to play with a band but it can be very problematic.
I find my self not enjoying the company of other people a lot, I don’t really like to be surrounded with people, that are just the way I am, I grew up an only child, so I am not a social person, it makes me stressed out.

SYM: The webzine is centered on punk/hardcore and veganism, so we don’t have really an understanding of underground hiphop, can you tell us more about independent hiphop?

SF: well, my style of hiphop, and the way I run my business is highly influenced by the punk hardcore movement and the mid-90’s which is very DIY. Just people putting shows for themselves, putting their own albums, and taking care of their own business. I have been doing that since 1996, Thankfully, I was around punk shows, and all my friends helped me a lot, I learned about these communities, how they work, it was great (laugh!).
That is why now I run my own record label called Strange Famous Records, I have also signed to a label called Epitaph Record, a bigger label, and they helped me to raise my profile.
I hope to put out my future album.
Another thing about my music is… its kind hard to explain to people who don’t know hip-hop…it’s like punk and hardcore, there are lots of different styles. My stuff is more confessional, speaking about personal issues, talking about my life and the way it actually is. People say it is more poetic, than a normal rapper. I was influenced by bands like public enemy, so I am strictly ruled by hiphop as far as style goes, but ‘business-wise’, I am punk-rock (laugh), it’s more my ethical background.

SYM: Can you tell us more about the future album? Anything planned?

SF: I am writing right now, it is going to be influenced about traveling through France; we have been spending lots of time in trains, waiting around, so we wrote some songs. I look forward to go home and recording it. I think the next album will be released in the middle of 2009.

SYM: How shows have you been playing here, what is your feeling about it?

SF: We played 7shows in France and 1 show in Belgium. My main feeling was that I was never sure if the people understood what I was saying. So that was a bit stressful. I like to talk a lot, so if I am not sure if the people understand. I don’t want the people to get bored otherwise it makes me really sad!

SYM: Basically you are attracting lots of middle class, white crowd, what is your feeling about it?

SF: hum, I don’t know, it is hard to say…In France you mean? I don’t know… I don’t know in any class people are in, I can not even understand them so… (Laugh).

SYM: Can you tell us your view on the next US presidential election?

Well, hopefully we are going to manage Obama get elected! It is a very energetic, electric and exciting time right now. The possibility of a fresh face, fresh blood, fresh ideas, entering the white house shaking things up, changing the moral of our country, in all different section of our country. It is really really important it’s happening. It is the first time I feel optimistic about it in many many years.

SYM: What about ‘Slow down Gandhi’ lyrics, the one-system party?

SF: Yeah, I tell you what. I am not excited about the Democratic Party. This all Obama-Hillary thing… There is clearly a lack of unity, a lack of focus… I am not excited about the democratic, I am excited about Obama. Even if he was republican, I would vote for Obama. I don’t like the idea of supporting a party. They are all in the same silly games, there are no huge differences between the two, but Barack Obama is young, charismatic and an exciting candidate. It is the same for all my friends, it is the first time we feel a candidate represents us. There are going to be mistakes, it is not going to be perfect, but, you know, that’s life. Its going to better, that’s the important thing.

SYM: What about Ralf Nader?

SF: He has been doing an incredible job is waking people’ minds up, he is the guy that he is trying to break the ‘two-party systems’.

SYM: Alright, im gonna do a little game, asking you to answer some words, and it is going to lead to some questions.
Black Flag?

SF: TV PARTY TONITE! My War, Damaged. That’s all I remember, and the big guy with no neck haha !

SYM: Straight Edge?

SF: Humm, a possibility, quite necessarily for some people.

SYM: Including you ?

SF: I was part of it. That was what got me into punk-rock. I didn’t smoke, didn’t drink, and for the first time, I found a community. Then I learned to enjoy the music and the rest of the scene.
The years went on, and I realized how it was a shame, how people were acting about it, the whole ‘attitude’. I don’t really claim it anymore.

SYM: Vegetarianism?

SF: My grandmother, has been vegetarian for 50years now, she kind of inspired me and get me into it. Again, 1986, when I got involved with the punk scene, and the straight edge thing, people were saying to me, “well, if you eat meat your are not Straight edge, cuz cows are fed up with drugs.. and you are addicted to meat, blablabla”. I stopped eating meat for a year, and then when I had meat again, it didn’t work out, so… at that point I didn’t want to eat meat anymore.

SYM: Islam?

SF: Christianity, Buddism… It is all the same for me. A bunch of guys imposing rules on other guys and women. I don’t trust any of it.

SYM: I asked that because I was wondering why does the ‘Providence Hiphop team’ look like Muslim ?

SF:Haha, back home, people think we are Jewish!

SYM: Most of the crowd thought you were Muslim!

SF: Haha, really? I never thought about that, it is weird. Na, I am really anti-religion so…

SYM: Back to vegetarianism; do you think it is going to grow in the independent hip-hop movement?

SF: I started to include that in my music, but I really don’t think that is the way to go. I don’t think it is going to change people, because it is creating segregation in some ways. It is not for me. That is a personal choice, so I don’t think is has to be part of music.
I think we need to talk about it in a sensible way, let other people hear about it, and have a normal life too haha, you know? I don’t want to fight everyday. I am 32, I am not ancient, but I got tired of that. I don’t want to disgust anybody!

SYM: One more word?

SF: Hum, yes! We have a social-activist website, “Know-more”, so people can check this out, all about educating consumer on the product they buy.
My name is Sage Francis, it has been a wonderful day, thank you very much sir!
Post Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:33 pm
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Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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You gave the same answer I would have for Black Flag. TV Party is always the first song that comes to mind when it comes to them, even though they've got better material for days.
Post Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:50 pm
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Dream Inspired

Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 2121
Location: genoa
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oh yeah, tv party for sure.

who's the band that their talking about in the first few questions?
tom and dilly and alias?
Post Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:20 pm
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MF Noob

Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 130
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divinci and tom
Post Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:25 pm
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Dream Inspired

Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 2121
Location: genoa
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oh, i guess it says "musician" and not band.
cool though.
Post Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:46 pm
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Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 4545
Location: Switzerland
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I don't know if it is because he is not a native speaker, but I really like this interview and the innocence about it. Also, the interviewer broke away from the mainstream line of a degree. Nice.
Post Mon Sep 08, 2008 4:48 pm
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Joined: 03 May 2007
Posts: 1425
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well done. represented our side of the ocean quite well.

thanks sage.
Post Tue Sep 09, 2008 4:20 pm
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Joined: 23 Aug 2002
Posts: 1528
Location: Macramento
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haha good interview.
in response to the Muslim question, you should have answered.


OR maybe you should sign these guys:
Post Wed Sep 10, 2008 1:18 am
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