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chicago interview 2/20/04
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21496
chicago interview 2/20/04  Reply with quote  

What made you decide to start the Fuck Clear Channel tour? Are you also bypassing ticket master on this tour?

"Clear Channel is a corporation that has played a huge part in homogenizing each respective local scene around the country. It is important to make people aware of this and that's what the title of this tour is all about. Raising awareness in each state we visit. We can do better for ourselves. Do not let your local scene be watered down by the money monster. Resist whenever possible. Support independently run events. As for Ticket Master, I had no idea I would be doing shows that they had any part in so I didn't even consider it. I recently found out that the people in Boston could only get pre-sale tickets from Ticket Master so that's something I have to be aware of from now on. Their bullshit $6 convenience charge and shit. Hahaha. Pearl Jam's battle with them didn't last too long but I promise to place this rock closer to the temple."


Those Grand Buffet guys are pretty damn intense… why did you guys decide to tour together?

"Because they are the coolest motherfuckers I've ever known. Every performance is a riot and they're just as funny and interesting off stage. I love their stuff. This is the second tour I have brought them on with me. The first time was 2 years ago on the Personal Journeys Tour."


What has been a highlight of the tour so far?

"Man, we played the same venue as Willie Nelson in New Orleans during Merdi Gras. The House of Blues. The show in Austin was better than that though."

Can you tell me how you got involved with the Lex label? It’s had a pretty amazing life so far, for such a young label.

"Tom from Lex approached me more than a year before the label was established. He asked if he could put out a Non-Prophets album and I said, 'When we finish recording the Non-Prophets album I will send it to you. If you like it then we can work out a deal.' Two years later I stayed true to my promise and sent him the album and the deal got worked out. That's how I like to operate."

Hope by the Non-prophets is, I have to say, a pretty amazing album. The production is amazing, and lines like ‘strike a poser’ were incredibly clever and well-delivered. Lots of people have commented on how this album differs from Personal Journals. Do you feel that the change is just examining a different style, as opposed to the overhaul some people have made it out to be?

"I have many sides. If I only put out one kind of song and one kind of album time and time again I would be a dip shit. That's all."

It also seems to be a collection of singles instead of an album, like Personal Journals, that requires you to get fully immersed to completely understand. Was that deliberate? Also, why the title ‘Hope’?

"Definitely deliberate. Joe and I went into this album hoping to create an album full of A sides. Just like our favorite hiphop albums from the golden age. By the end of recording it we decided to throw some B sides in their to give it some dynamic, but thanks. It is called HOPE because...man....I really hope hope hope. Hahaa."

Can you tell me about your relationship with Joey Beats? Is he someone that you’ve grown up with, since you started out in Rhode Island? Did working with him force you to change your style?

"I met Joe in 1997 at the WRIU radio station. We began working together in 1998. I certainly had to adapt my style to his style beats, but that's why its a collaborative effort and not a solo album. His beats aren't easy for me to write to, but I like what they get out of me."

How did you two work on the album – was it a 50/50 split in terms of direction?

"He made the beats and I decided which ones I wanted to use. Then I wrote all the songs and recorded it. Then we had DJ Mek apply the cuts."


Can you tell me about the cover of the CD Hope? What does that image mean to you, and why did you pick it for this album?

"There are too many answers for this question. That album cover was a concept of mine that I felt fit the subject matter of the album very well. The RI state logo is an anchor with HOPE written under it."

You’re appearing on a new album by DJ Signify? How did you get involved with that, and how did you “make the cut” as the Lex website puts it, to appear on the album?

"I made a cut? Oh, maybe because...I am sellable? Hahaha. Nah, I made the cut because DJ Signify and I are pretty good friends. He asked me and Buck to be on this album. He said that we were the only two emcees he wanted on this project because he felt like we could do the concept justice. I think he is right. I wish we could have done more on the project."

How have things been going with your solo album and working with Epitaph?

"Really well. I am accepting beats still which is a bit nerve racking, but it is looking great. Epitaph is very fucking cool. I am excited to give them my next solo project."

Despite the personal nature of your lyrics, would you consider yourself a very private person?

"Absofuckinlutely."

You said in a recent interview that you don’t listen to rap music anymore. What have you been listening to lately?

"Neil Young."

What are the ideal circumstances for you to write effectively?

"The mood. This sounds really hippyish, but when I hit a zone I feel a sensation in my body. My mind starts to race and the pen and mouth start to work at the same time. I have never properly explained this, but I think this is the closest I've come to the truth. The ideal circumstance first begins with complete privacy so I can cater to a mood that evolves into a sensation. I feel fortunate when I am able to identify this feeling because I utilize it. I have only gotten that mood once on this tour and I wrote a verse. I've been around too many people for much else to happen."

I was very impressed to read in a recent interview that you make more money off your self-release stuff than you do on your albums released on a label. That’s pretty amazing. You seem to be quite the businessman, at least as far as supporting your art goes – do you feel it ever takes a lot of time from your writing? Does it balance?

"Yes, it does take away from my writing which was a big motive in signing to a big label like Epitaph. But I am also a workaholic so no matter who I sign to, I will always have a big hand in everything that is taking place. I have found that I enjoy doing the manual labor of lifting boxes and putting together packages. It feels right. It is a great balance."


What do you say to media outlets that try and lump you together with other rappers, creating genre labels, etc. -- Are they missing the point?

"They do what is easiest. That's all there is to it, and it's to be expected. Everyone does it. Thanks for this interview. I must get ready for my Denton, TX show."
Post Sat Feb 21, 2004 11:36 pm
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R. Kamidees



Joined: 15 Sep 2003
Posts: 4830
Location: where the wild things are
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Sage,
[Hope] the tour is going well so far. We appreciate the fact that you took the time to post this interview. I'm getting really psyched to see the show!
Turn the page. See you in Seattle!
Post Sun Feb 22, 2004 2:47 am
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