Log in
Sage interview with
View previous topic | View next topic >

Post new topic Reply to topic
Strange Famous Forum > Press/Interviews/reviews

Author Message
Sage Francis
Self Fighteous

Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21790
Sage interview with  Reply with quote

*First of all, THANK YOU very much for agreeing to do an interview. It means a lot to me personally that someone of your stature still makes the time to respond and do the small time interviews. Again thank you! I hope the questions are alright...

"As long as you didn't mind waiting 3 months for me to get to this thing. Haha. Sorry about that."

For the people that may not be familiar to Sage Francis, can you let them know a little bit about yourself?

"My history is kind of twisted and confusing at this point. I've been on a long turbulent journey and if people knew absolutely nothing of me up to this point I could say something like...I am someone who likes to share his ideas and make music. If they already know that about me, then I guess I could expound and say that I'm a control-freak, workaholic, fat fucking man-boy with an ever-growing shit list."

It’s been said many fans were first exposed to hip hop with the release of “Makeshift Patriot” and then it being featured on Punk-O-Rama Vol. 8, how does it feel to break that “ice” with the release of “Makeshift Patriot” on Punk-O-Rama?

"It gives me a mixed feeling. I never make a song thinking I'm going to have cross-genre appeal. I tend to go into my music thinking only people who are into hiphop will understand or appreciate it. And when I found out that the opposite is true it made me realize I'm in a space station just hoping anyone out there can receive my signal. When I grew up, hip-hop was very insular. So was punk. So was heavy metal. Now I'm realizing that people are more open to music outside of their chosen sandbox and that's great. But I don't like hearing people tell me that I'm the only one in hip-hop saying anything worthwhile. Those kind of compliments are annoying, but I can't properly explain that to people without looking like an unappreciative twat. If Makeshift Patriot opened up people to more hip-hop then I'm proud of that contribution. Very proud."

You have two degrees, an AA in communications and a BA in journalism; why not pursue something in communications or in journalism?

"I didn't pursue the traditional career paths because they bored me to death. I didn't want to intern at a local newspaper and adapt a boring, boxy writing style. I didn't want to cover town hall meetings. I sent an application to a couple music magazines and then got a job serving ice cream. I did that until the music and poetry stuff began paying my bills. Once that happened, I decided to just do my art and build my own business. So I left a part-time job for a 100 hour a week one. Loving it."

Can you explain to us a little bit about Xaul Zan?

"Xaul Zan is a character who evolves so slow that I'm not sure if he has shed his tail yet. Sometimes I write some absurd or wild shit and I'm like...'Where in the world did this come from?? I don't believe this. This doesn't represent me. Ahhhh...Fuckin Xaul Zan.' Almost everything done under that moniker has the potential to ruin my run for Presidency."

Can we ever expect an album released from Xaul Zan?


It’s been rumored that you were born on September 11th but you’ve clarified that with the interview with Chuck D. But you’ve said that something was born on September 11th for you, can you explain a little bit about that?

"September 11th birthed an urgency and an awareness in my approach to music making. This may sound strange, but when I made Makeshift Patriot....when I released it...I mainly did so because no one else was saying anything. And typically, as a music fan, I would be waiting around for Public Enemy, KRS, RATM, or any artist with a political mind to call out the bullshit. It didn't happen soon enough for me. In fact, most of the bands I look up to didn't come out and say anything til a year or more later. Too me that was too late. And, no I don't think I can change the world with a song. But I released that song one month after 9/11 and I believe it helped kick start important discourse about the media, the government and America's general ignorance. "

You stated that you’ve stopped eating meat since 1996, more than 10 years ago; which makes you a vegetarian. But you have said to be a “half-assed vegetarian” due to the fact that you were still eating dairy products, are you still eating dairy products or are you now a full-blow vegetarian?

"I don't care about my diet much anymore. As one can easily tell by looking at me. Haha. I only stopped eating dairy products when I toured with a bunch of vegans. And that's because they did all the legwork for me, by hunting down the vegan spots and making sure we had good food to eat. And I'll be the end of that tour I was feeling better than ever. I was very alert and my senses seemed to be heightened. But when that tour ended I went back to eating bagels and pizza every day because that's a routine that easy for me. I also don't have many good food joints around where I live, so...I'm sorry to say this...but until I have someone doing the legwork for me I'm just going to keep eating pizza and bagels. That's my routine and that's that. Don't give me guff. If I'm hungry, I want a fucking pizza bagel because it takes 1 minute to make and bam...back to the grindstone. Mac Lethal can stop emailing me about taking jogs. Jared Paul can stop asking me to hike a mountain. I'm working on music and eating fast food and running a business so get OFF MY BACK, MOM. Goddddddd."

In 2003, you released a song called “Hey Bobby,” where you attack President George W. Bush directly. Where you questioned the fact if Bush was even elected into his presidency. What are your feelings now that Bush will be out of office very soon?

"Hey Bobby was my protest to war before the Iraq War was made public. It was obvious we were going into war, even without them saying so, because that's what the Bush clan wanted. It's not what the public wanted. Yet. All it takes is some tried-and-true propaganda techniques (thank the Nazi Party for laying down the groundwork) to get the misinformed public on board. So, knowing that, I understood how people's opinions on the matter would be swayed and I just wanted to make an official announcement that I thought the whole thing was an insult to our intelligence and an attack on humanity. They can't just let the war machine sit still and grow rust now, can they? No. The war machine is hungry. The war machine has trained soldiers and they have toys that need implementation. Now they're in the high school and Johnny Boy signed up for the Army without his family knowing. Hell, he wasn't going to do anything with his life anyway, right? And, shit, at least he'll get to TRAVEL. He never even left his own state before. And if he dies (wink wink...come on you ain't gonna die Johnny know that)...he'll be dying a hero. Plus, you know, like, college is totally an option afterward. No, I'm serious, they're going to pay for my college and I'm also going to have lots of job offers when I get back from hell. Employers are always looking for people who are desensitized to murder and torture. Woah, that was a rant. Sorry. How do I feel about Bush leaving the White House? I feel the damage has been done."

You’ve made it clear in a lot of your tracks, that you are very political, what are your thoughts on the elections taking place currently, with Obama in the running to be the first African-Amercan president?

"I don't think I am very political. I am political, but not to the degree of some other artists who base all of their work around politics. I just see how politics affect our lives and I react to that situation when the feeling strikes me. As for Obama, I am a supporter of his and I'm excited that he's gotten as far as he has in the Presidential race. I don't agree with his stances on everything, but I want to see what someone like him can do as the leader of our nation. I believe in his ability to shake things up the way they need to be shook. I am inspired by him and I think he will honor the debt that he owes certain communities who have traditionally been ignored by our government. You know...'We, the people.' However, if the Democrats lose this election then I believe that will be a clear indication that they are worthless. If they can't win, then that means they have no garnered the kind of support from people that deserve much better leadership than what the Republicans have stuck us with. If the Dems can't pull a win after the 8 years of horror we've experienced under Republican rule...if they can't win a race against a dinosaur and a woman who doesn't believe in's time to call it a day. Shut the doors, close the shop, and admit ultimate defeat. There are other parties out there that should be given more attention and this will be the time for them to rise. Hell, it's time for them to rise no matter who wins the election this time around. That being said, I am interested in Obama taking this election. Not because he's a Democrat. Not because he's African-American. Because he encompasses the type of qualities that I think will make a truly great President."

So far, what has been your favorite album to make up to this date?

"Tough question right there. Every album came with its own difficulties and workload. I suppose Personal Journals was my favorite to make though because everything was so fresh. I don't even know how that album came together considering the circumstance. But it did come together and I'm proud of it. Everything after that has been a blur of work and grief."

What is something a lot of people don’t know about you that you could share with them?

"I'm essentially a shy person who prefers to be alone most of the time. If I'm in a group of people I prefer to not be the one talking. After I do a show I prefer to find a place of privacy outside and just lay down on my back while my system winds down. I have a bunch of cats. I guess I'm officially a crazy cat lady at this point."

Are there any upcoming projects that you maybe working on that you can tease us with?

"As usual, there are many things in the works. I've been writing for my new album which will most likely be released in late Spring of 2009. The lyrics have been pouring out of me and it's a great feeling. This is the best part of making an album. I have all these songs sitting in my notebook right now and they don't belong to any music. They just sit there and I perform them acapella while imagining the music. So I'm just like rocking in my chair, nodding my head and talking to myself basically. This album will probably have all live instruments. There is a rock producer lined up for this album. He's never worked with hiphop before so it's an ambitious project for the both of us. That's about all I can say about the new album at this moment. My label, Strange Famous, has signed two new artists who we will make announcements about soon. B. Dolan is working on his first official rap album, which will come with many surprises. I think I am touring Canada with Rise Against soon but we haven't made that announcement yet. Still waiting on confirmation. Punk bands keep asking me to go out and tour with them and I'm honored...but it also means I have to deal with hecklers from time to time. Some people simply do NOT want to hear rap if they're at a punk show. And I understand that so I don't get in fights the way I do on my own tours. But it's also a great opportunity for me to gain fans who wouldn't normally check out my music. Lastly, KNOWMORE.ORG is going through some important changes in order to be more user-friendly. Consumer activism, boyyyyyyyyyyyy. Get involved."

How can people stay up to date with any and all projects/tour dates you have going on?

"Sign up for the newsletter at or visit the site regularly. I also us but that's not always the best way to get info."

Any shout outs or anything you wanna tell our readers in particular?

"I think I've already said more than I should have. Haha. So I'll just say goodbye and thank you for reaching out."

Last edited by Sage Francis on Fri Sep 19, 2008 12:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:09 am
 View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 21 Jul 2004
Posts: 1377
Location: East Coast, Fuck You!
 Reply with quote  

When you do tour with groups outside of hip hop you pick some good ones: Rise Against and Against me! I am seeing a trend here!
Post Mon Sep 15, 2008 11:48 am
 View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 10 Jun 2004
Posts: 164
Location: ^<
 Reply with quote  

good interview.

your answer to the diet question was great.
Post Mon Sep 15, 2008 5:23 pm
 View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger

Joined: 16 Apr 2007
Posts: 1424
Location: NYC/Rochester
 Reply with quote  

I can picture Jared on the other line of a phone call like "dude, come hike a mountain with me" and Sage on the other end with a pizza bagel and a notepad "uh, I'm busy"

great interview
Post Tue Sep 16, 2008 9:10 am
 View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address

Joined: 12 Dec 2002
Posts: 11631
Location: MI
 Reply with quote  


want a fucking pizza bagel because it takes 1 minute to make and bam...back to the grindstone.

ewww you cook pizza bagels in th emicrowave?
Post Wed Sep 17, 2008 7:44 am
 View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Sage Francis
Self Fighteous

Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21790
 Reply with quote  

My oven is broken. So is my bathroom sink, my dryer and countless other things in this house. At least I have a computer that works. Oh wait, no I don't. I'm writing this from my trusty little phone. Its off to the computa store to have talks with the people who told me this thing was the business.

My next album should be called Pizza Bagel. It seems to interest people. Haha
Post Wed Sep 17, 2008 11:33 am
 View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 06 Feb 2008
Posts: 1179
 Reply with quote  

mortalthoughts wrote:


want a fucking pizza bagel because it takes 1 minute to make and bam...back to the grindstone.

ewww you cook pizza bagels in th emicrowave?

I always cook shit like that in the microwave, pizza rolls, french fries, whatever. I like my junk food greasy and soggy. The way it should be.
Post Wed Sep 17, 2008 11:57 am
 View user's profile Send private message

Post new topic Reply to topic
Jump to:  

All times are GMT - 6 Hours.
The time now is Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:49 pm
  Display posts from previous:      

Powered by phpBB: © 2001 phpBB Group
Template created by The Fathom
Based on template of Nick Mahon