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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous

Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21790
interview with Oregon Daily Emerald  Reply with quote  

Oregon Daily Emerald

interview by Carl

How is the tour going? What's been some of the highlights thusfar?

"The tour is going great. You should totally be here. Naked people and hard drugs keep the train moving. The best thing was smoking a joint with Willie Nelson at the House of Blues in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Can you believe that? Normally I'm like, 'Nah, man...I'm straight edge.' But fuck, you gotta make an exception for Willie Nelson."

For anyone not familiar with your music, what should people expect at your shows?

"They can expect the performers to be in your face. None of us are shy on stage. We make the most of every moment, and if something if the crowd starts looking bored we instruct people to start kicking the nearest girl in her asshole."

I read that you signed with Epitaph records, making you the first rapper to do so. What made you decide to do that, and are you going to re-release older material on the label, just new stuff, or a mix of the two?

"The novelty is worth it alone. A rapper signing to Epitaph Records. I thought that was hilarious. And my label mates are Tom Waits, Bad Religion and Noam Chomsky. Sign me up."

Which do you enjoy better, studio recording or live performing? Why?

"They both serve their own purpose. There is no better or worse. They are taxing and rewarding in their own ways. It would really suck to have one without the other though."

How has the Internet helped/hindered your work?

"The internet was essental in getting my music heard by people who would never had a chance to cop my album otherwise. It spread my name around the world before I even got a chance to put out an album. I am grateful for that. But the game constantly changes, and that's especially true on the internet. It hasn't hindered me at all, but I see how some people have stunted their career by putting too much faith in the internet. The internet has its place, but it is not the bulk of what happens in the music industry. If your career only exists on a computer screen you are not gonna do shit in this world."

You have gained titles, won battles and national noteriety for your poetry slam and spoken word skills. Who are some poets that you find inspiring?

"Patricia Smith, Kwesi Davis, Bill McMillan, Jeff McDaniel, Derrick Brown, Jared Paul, Bernard Dolan, George McKibbens, and so many more that I can't think of at the moment."

How has your background and degree in journalism influenced your writing?

"It gave me the idea that my point of view isn't always what should be presented. My bias is going to be in my music no matter what approach I take, so it is a good idea to present information as honestly as possible and let people make up their own minds about certain things. I get creative with that though. I know when I am breaking the rules of journalism, but it isn't nearly as much as what I see on FOX or CNN."

What's the last good book you've read?

"Shakey, the biography on Neil Young."

Alongside your humor and highly personal lyrics, many of your lyrics and attitudes in your music seem to express a very progressive and socially conscious mentality; and in fact your tour is called the Fuck Clear Channel Tour. Other than resistance, what do you see as solutions to the injustices
that are taking place across the board?

"Awareness is the number one step. Direct action is one of the final steps if none of the others work. Social disobedience seems unavoidable sometimes. We are rats backed into a corner. When a rat is backed into a corner it is given no choice but to attack."

I read somewhere that you don't listen to rap music anymore, yet you are a rapper. Why don't you listen to rap music now, and what do you listen to?

"I have had my fill of rap. I still listen to it on occasion but the rap music of today is not my passion. It doesn't fulfill me. I don't feel rewarded by listening to a hiphop record these days. I was fueled by hiphop between the ages of 8 and 22. That's a long fucking stint. I am now finding great appreciation in all the other music I igniored over the years. Punk rock, folk, country, and classic rock."

What is the role of hip-hop in this postmodern brand-based culture we live in? Where is hip-hop headed?

"Hiphop is a tool of the string pullers right now. It perpetuates negative stereotypes and keeps the eyes of our children glossy. The american dream of quick money and easy fame eats away at their heart and dsicipline. Beneath the surface, hiphop is still used as a tool for the people, but so is every other art form. Hiphop just gets a lot more lip service."

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

"Hmmmm. That's impossible. I want to be making a positive affect on whatever community I am able to tap into. But most likely I will be living with the wife in an undisclosed location working on my writing and music. Learning instruments. New languages. My brain needs a work out. I have stagnated. Or maybe doing nothing is the way to go. Hunting ghosts perhaps. Working on my magic. I've got all these old psychic abilities that have been sitting on a back burner. Maybe I can pull those out and psyche myself out. After I kill another one George Bush's pets with my mind."
Post Sun Feb 22, 2004 6:07 pm
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