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first interview of 2003. This one is a doozy. Boston Zine
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Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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first interview of 2003. This one is a doozy. Boston Zine  Reply with quote  

SAGEkillz: hi caroline

her: hi :)
how's it going?

SAGEkillz: i would love to do the interview

her: rad, thanks so much

SAGEkillz: lets do it!!! right this instant. happy new year too. but lets go...interview time. here we go!

her: ahh! for real?

SAGEkillz: yeah. lets go. gotta go

her: i dunno i wanna give you decent questions so i gotta do my homework first

SAGEkillz: questions suck

her: hehehe well i also don't have adequately developed concepts as to what to talk about. i mean if you're up for it that's cool

SAGEkillz: concepts are played out

her: why don't you just start telling me shit then. i'm sure you got plenty of stories

SAGEkillz: I do. What do you want to hear.

her: well how about getting into hiphop when you were a kid, being white in a predominantly black culture

SAGEkillz: Who wants to hear about that??? How about how I am currently moving out of my apartment in Providence due to a Slumlord who wouldn't supply me with heat, operable windows, or a smoke detector? That's a little more personable and original, no? Ok...I was a white kid in a predominantly black culture. It made me bust my ass in order to be better than the next man so I could get my props. It's a new era though.

her: it is. do youlive in providence?

SAGEkillz: Yes, I do.

her: i know a lotta kids who move there from boston 'cause it's so much cheaper

SAGEkillz: And a much better place than Boston. Got my RI pride, baby.

her: i've only been there a few times, it seemed pretty weak but then again i wasn't there for did havea vegan hotdog stand before us....and boston is pretty gross now.

SAGEkillz: Boston has great Vegan and Vegetarian spots. Too bad they are in Boston. Providence is weak when you go there without a native to hold your hand and take you to the special spots. Next time you're hear, I'll show you why I am reluctant to leave.

her: score! are you vegan?

SAGEkillz: No, but it looks like I am leaning more in that direction. I think that dairy is fucking my body up.

her: before i lost touch w/ so many people, i had friends in ri who would come up to boston justfor our great restaurants......yeah it's pretty fucked up in general. dairy, i mean, not their travelling long distances for fine eatings

SAGEkillz: haha
SAGEkillz: I just get excited about breast excretion. I don't care where it comes from.

her: hahahahaha

SAGEkillz: Tit juice is tit juice, ya know? love it.

her: who doesn't, really. you're straightedge/drugfree too,right?

SAGEkillz: Errrr. I don't even like talking about shit like this. It's almost silly. If not completely silly. But I deteste the socialization of drugs and drinking. I hate what drugs and drinking make people do. Very selfish indulgences. Like music and fast food.
SAGEkillz: and lots of things

her: do you think it's weird that people you've never met know these kinds of things about you?

SAGEkillz: No, because I know I have advertised aspects of myself in my music. More so in the beginning of my career. I never know what people are familliar with though, so I accept any possibilities. I accept that some people think they know things about be that are completel lies. That's how I balance it all out. I promote lies I can feel comfortable in knowing that everyone is confused. heh

her: hehe sort of like "based on a true story" movies?

SAGEkillz: they're all filled with lies
SAGEkillz: half-truths
SAGEkillz: blurry accounts

her: not moreso than the news shows they get their info from. it's all about getting the proper reactions out of people

SAGEkillz: no, but I think we all need to accept that we can get a grasp on how great or horrible another person is by what they say about themselves. Or what other people tell us about them. Their name just becomes a concept.
SAGEkillz: I still don't know that the world is round, and I've been all around it
SAGEkillz: so it doesn't really mean much to me that a bunch of trivial, half-truth information about myself is floating around

her: has it ever gotten you in trouble with people who actually do know you?

SAGEkillz: Definitely

her: what do you say to them? is it reconcilable or just something you need to pray passes over

SAGEkillz: Here's an example
SAGEkillz: The Providence Journal (biggest local paper in RI) did a feature on me. When the reporter inquired about my family I said, "I would rather not talk about my family."
He printed that. I didn't WANT him to print that, but he did. Some family members seemed a bit hurt by that, and that hurts me right back. However, I can't feed into this media machine with personal info that would make my loved ones vulnerable to the public by ANYTHING I say or do. Hopefully this all makes sense to them when...
SAGEkillz: Also
SAGEkillz: In the same article, I was quoted as saying, "I don't care if the people in my hometown know what I am doing right now. I didn't like the people I grew up with. My friends know what I'm up to."
Apparently, MANY people took offense to this. Especially some friends who I thought would get a big kick out of some shit like that. Disappointing.

her: well what about myths you create yourself, within your lyrics? are there any, intentional or un-?

SAGEkillz: What's the point of a myth?

her: well i think there comes a point in one's life where people are either in or out, and it's apparent. the connection isn't forced like in highschool, if someone cares to keep in contact then they probably would.......didn't say say you had some, and they counteracted the truths? or did you mean solely in the media like newspapers,etc

SAGEkillz: restate that question please.
SAGEkillz: I'm not sure I understand what you are asking.

her: ok. let me reread something from a while back in the conversation to make sure i understood you correctly as well
ok. you said you promote lies.

SAGEkillz: eh. I don't think that's fair to say. I don't discourage them though when they come about

her: ok. so they're not ones you intentionally create so people don't know so much about you

SAGEkillz: they have their purpose. Especially when it is on some personal shit.

her: do people in your family feel uncomfortable about you speaking about such personal issues that involve them?

SAGEkillz: Probably. I don't talk to them about it usually. A couple relatives became VERY upset. But how the hell is one supposed to avoid something like that? Everything I say or do involves them in one way or another. I refuse to let things like that restrain my subject matter. I am a free thinker and a free writer. Anyone who I disturb...pardon me.

her: i agree. i have the same problem with one of my zines. my mom said no one wants to get close to me because i'll publish all their wrinkles i find.

SAGEkillz: well, I am not a supporter of things like that
SAGEkillz: I don't really dig the poet who gets up on stage and reads their diary.
SAGEkillz: I don't care how bad your girl's ass smells after she takes a shit

her: haha

SAGEkillz: tact. tact.

her: totally. i don't think i ever say anything bad about anyone though. people can be afraid of compliments though.....oh well. so speaking of poets on stage, you did/do slam poetry, right?

SAGEkillz: Unfortunately, yes. Haha. I have been involved in the slam scene since 97
SAGEkillz: It has taken a definite turn for the worse, but there's still glimmers of hope that exist outside of HBO

her: this may not bother you as much as it bothers me, since you're also involved in the hiphop scene, but in slams i've been involved with i've been disgruntled by people being more interested in rhyming about how great a poet they are, rather than about something people care about or don't know

SAGEkillz: I DESPISE that shit. DESPISE.
SAGEkillz: I roll with a good bunch of people who all fight that current.
SAGEkillz: it is herrendous.
SAGEkillz: I have been attending poetry readings for a long time. I have been writing for a long time. I have been performing for a long time. I am so turned off by the arrogance of suck-ass "poet-rappers" who don't have a damn thing to contribute to the community at large.

her: good me too......and judges always seemed so into it, because they did have a good rhythm and gave a good performance......but to me, there was no point. they might as well have been dancing around with vanilla ice or some other empty rapper with nothing to you got a good team? do you think poets have an affect on people outside their poet/hiphop circle?

SAGEkillz: The good ones do.

her: .....i suppose it depends on the individual.

SAGEkillz: No, it doesn't depend on the individual at all.
SAGEkillz: it depends on their art.
SAGEkillz: It depends on what they communicate and how.

her: but then there are also things outside poetry that incorporate their ideals but not their art, as poetry. like helping out in community projects. those things would be individually based, though maybe the strength or the passion may come from being around such passioned people within their poetry culture

SAGEkillz: And since I was digging on Boston in the beginning, I would like to add that Boston has some outstanding poets who don't involve themselves in the slam scene much anymore. Why don't they involve themselves in the slam scene? Because things like HBO and Pepsi Blue have inspired a bunch of faux-poets to get up on stage and spew a bunch of a capella battle raps.
SAGEkillz: I have no respect for it.

her: well, i know the first time i ever heard slam poetry was when i was in jr high, and i heard it on mtv, and right afterwards i walked around my house and spewed out isuppose itdoes have it'sgoodside.

SAGEkillz: See, I am in a unique position.
SAGEkillz: Not only can I criticize these fools for how wack they are, but I could actually get up on stage and beat them with their own style. haha. It is an urge I get FAR too often. "Ok...let's freestyle. Ok...let's dis each other."
Most people have to keep quiet about their opinions because they're on some, "Well...I couldn't do any better."
Fuck that.

her: but by showing the american masses that slam poetry is just about discrediting another artist, it sort of discredits the art. so you gotta fight that, or do you give in sometimes, just to prove shittalkers wrong?

SAGEkillz: I have supressed those urges. I just do my thing and hope people understand the difference.
SAGEkillz: It's not a "rap" thing

her: totally

SAGEkillz: you aren't good because you linked a few sentences together with rhymes.

her: well, it is a skill i suppose

SAGEkillz: It is the weakest of literary techniques, for christ sakes
SAGEkillz: a SKILL???
SAGEkillz: we were ALL rhyming at age 4

her: i mean, the art is gone, but to do it in front of a large crowd probably takes something

SAGEkillz: It takes arrogance.
SAGEkillz: It takes falkse confidence.

her: yes.

SAGEkillz: whatever it takes, it certainly doesn't have much to do with contribution

her: are there are poets out there who do a lot of battle-style poems but are still intelligent and could, even if they don't always do, write a poem with social urgency of some sort?

SAGEkillz: Very few. Very few.
SAGEkillz: They are out there though.
SAGEkillz: And they are making an impact.
SAGEkillz: And it is almost necessary to have a style like that, in order to appeal to the young people.

her: do you think making an impact is the number one reason for getting on stage like that?

SAGEkillz: But that's what feels cheap about it. It's like...a lowest common denominator

her: what, using that style to get people's attention?

SAGEkillz: I feel it is a special opportunity to give your listeners something new to consider. I love leabing a performance feeling like I had just taken a trip to a somewhere interesting.

her: it must be great

SAGEkillz: you have never experienced that?

her: i've sometimes blanked out on stage and have just been sucked into my poem and it's like i'm not on stage, or i can't stop the words from coming out of my mouth. but nothing like having taken a trip somewhere

SAGEkillz: I am talking about as an audience member. Not as a performer

her: oh oh i see. that makes more sense
her: yeah totally.
i was at this slam in michigan and this person had a poem about being transgendered, and all she did was switch between "he" and "she" but it totally gave the feeling, you got totally sucked in to her life as she sees it

SAGEkillz: well it is far too often that I leave a poetry slam or rap show feeling like I had just watched a boring rerun of a wack tv sitcom. Rerun...after rerun...after rerun.
SAGEkillz: that's very cool. There are so many things that could and need to be spoken on that go neglected.

her: yes
her: have you heard really great poets talk about things you are strongly against

SAGEkillz: well...not to that extreme, but I have experienced things of the sort.

her: do you have an example?

SAGEkillz: there have been many instances. To recall the poem and the point in a way that would do the poet justice wouldn't be possible at this moment. But there was one about a woman who killed her child because she snapped. She brought you inside the mind of burned out mother. It was intense. a cop got up on stage and explained the horrors of his job in such a way that I almost felt bad for cops. Hahaa. Well...I definitely love this guy, but I can't dig cops in general.

her: hehehe

SAGEkillz: he actually got second place in the indie finals last year at the National Poetry Slam. A great guy.

her: it's a hard thing to dissect, cops. my dad's a cop, he used to do forenzics and now he works in the airport. and i used to work at a camp with a bunch of cops. and they were all such wonderful people, trying to help others out. but then there's the whole issue of their jobs created solely to protect property, and instances of police violence spurred on by ignorance and hatred on behalf of the cops.

SAGEkillz: There are many reasons why cops in general will never appeal to someone like me. And it's not because I am a criminal.

her: what do you mean by "someone like me"?

SAGEkillz: Well, maybe a soccer mom needs cops to patrole her suburb at all hours of the night in order to feel secure. I don't. In fact, getting pulled over by a police officer because he "THOUGHT" I didn't have my seatbelt on feels very restricting. And threatening. I think the kind of person who wants to put themselves in the position of power that cops have over "civilians" have foul motivations. As much as I have experienced in my years on this Earth, it is evident to me that most of them are not out to serve and protect the common man. They are bullies. They are irrational. Those kind of people do not appeal to me at all. My kind of person...rejects people like that. And nothing great will come of a community who operates under fear of an irrational, power-abusing overseer. Horse and all.

her: the ones with whom i have come into contact on their accord, not those other things i've already mentioned, have been very uncomfortable, like trying to get myfriends to speed so they could pull us over, getting trampled by police horses at a peaceful protest, etc. but i thinkthere are twotypes of cops. and it depends on what department one goes into as well.

SAGEkillz: Two types of cop...just one type tends to be much more prevelant than the other.

her: it is. and the few good cops that are there, are not getting into people's faces over dumb shit so no one knows about them......but as an overall occupation, i agree, it could definately go.
and in the meantime, while society figures out how to manage without patrolpeople, itcould use a serious makeover

SAGEkillz: to be quite honest, a "good" cop is put in too many shitty situations to stay "good" for too long without burning out. A job like that is just not condusive to positive thoughts considering the kind of people you have to deal with on a constant basis, coupled with how these people are viewing how shitty you are. Because you're a cop.
SAGEkillz: It's not a pretty thing, I'm sure.

her: yeah. i suppose when you're around so much negativity all the time, even those with the best intentions can sour

SAGEkillz: This cop/poet, whose name is Corbate Dean, offered some very enlightening pieces on the life of a police officer.
SAGEkillz: Yes.
SAGEkillz: SOUR. Unless you are emotionally-deficient and mentally I am willing to believe some of the best cops are. Sorry. I know your dad is cop.
SAGEkillz: I just want my rap friends to know that I'm still cool.

her: (in my basement we have pictures, which my dad either took or is in, in frames and tucked into many many books, of deadbodies mutilated or one can say it hasn't affected him)
her: hahaha. don't worry, my major audience is punkrock anyway

SAGEkillz: as is mine

her: in music preference or lifestyle? or were you talking aboutthe pictures of deadbodies in thebasement?

SAGEkillz: my audience.
SAGEkillz: As well as my preference and lifestyle. heh

her: so what else do you listen to?
her: does this mean you don't really think metal is all about killing moms? hehe

SAGEkillz: at this very moment I am listening to Fugazi. Before this, I had Bob Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde" tape in my radio.
SAGEkillz: haha...I used to.

her: that's ok, when i was a metalhead i thought rap was all about the same thing

SAGEkillz: Operation Ivy is next.
SAGEkillz: I dig punk rock for the same reasons I dug hiphop in the beginning.

her: i guess it's just about not understanding what people are saying......and also because the rap i was hearing was gangsta rap........oh man, they're so much fun........because it's fun and rebellious and parents don't like it?

SAGEkillz: and it's smart. and it's autonomous.
SAGEkillz: music of the people of our age.
SAGEkillz: it's our tool

her: they are most definately tools, possibly the most efficient ones for reaching the people they do right you go to many punk shows in ri?

SAGEkillz: I used to go to a few. We had a club in Providence called Baby Head which hosted MANY punk and hardcore groups. It was great. My cousin used to roadie for the Circle Jerks, which results in many interesting holiday stories.

her: haha woah!

SAGEkillz: in other punk rock news, Epitaph has been talking to me about maybe having an album of mine on their label. I thought that was very interesting.

her: are you considering it?

SAGEkillz: I've been listening to a lot of Bad Religion, and Brett owns that label. They have put out a lot of music that I dig. They also put out a couple Tom Waits albums on a subsidary label. I would like to be on their roster for sure, as long as everything was worked out properly. Definitely.

her: yeah even though they're a fairly major label, they seem to have good business ethics. andit'sa good way to get shit out

SAGEkillz: I think it would help me out a lot.

her: i would go for it, if i were you......if it were sony i would say it's not worth it, but it's not.....i like that they've been expanding genre horizons. sorta lets kids know that, hey, it's ok to listen to more than just one genre of music, nevermind just one style of that genre

SAGEkillz: People are too insecure. If they define themselves by the music they listen to, they feel insecure when their music gets mixed up. haha. People need to learn some humility and accept it before they can enjoy all the great things this world has to offer. That also opens up doors to many horrors as well, but fuck it. Lets see how vast this spectrum is.

her: if you don't experience some horrors in your life, then it makes me wonder how much you are actually living

SAGEkillz: horrors are inevitable. they are unspecial in that way. I dis them to their face, ma. They are peons. Piss ants. I laugh at their jokes out of pity.

her: hahahahaha. i think you pretty much said everything necessary about horrors. i have nothing to add.

SAGEkillz: Well that means this interview is over then
SAGEkillz: thank you for talking to me and having fun with it.
SAGEkillz: come to my show in Providence on Jan 25 at Lupos. I am touring with a live band.
SAGEkillz: info at

Last edited by Sage Francis on Wed Jan 01, 2003 9:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Wed Jan 01, 2003 7:13 pm
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Still Sick

Joined: 10 Nov 2002
Posts: 223
Location: Pittsburgh
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cool. thank god an interview without the same boring cliche questions.
Post Wed Jan 01, 2003 7:46 pm
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Joined: 28 Dec 2002
Posts: 110
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they should put interviews like this up in the windows of gun shops and make people read them before they get to go in and buy a gun. watch the sales of guns decline...
Post Wed Jan 01, 2003 7:59 pm
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 907
Location: Austin, Tx
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Sage just likes this interview because it is more human...more of a conversation, thats ok, it's why i like it....
Post Wed Jan 01, 2003 8:24 pm
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Location: Right here, fool.
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You're an Operation Ivy fan, Sage? Their old singer, Jesse Michaels, is doing music again. It's this really energetic band called Common Rider, they do a reggae/rock thing that's incredible. I think Jesse's come a long way as a vocalist and a lyricist.
Post Wed Jan 01, 2003 8:53 pm
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eggplant xanadu

Joined: 10 Oct 2002
Posts: 2946
Location: Boston
nice  Reply with quote  

cool interview holmes

her: if you don't experience some horrors in your life, then it makes me wonder how much you are actually living

SAGEkillz: horrors are inevitable. they are unspecial in that way. I dis them to their face, ma. They are peons. Piss ants. I laugh at their jokes out of pity.

thats the best
Post Wed Jan 01, 2003 9:55 pm
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kung-pwn master

Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 11292
Location: ann arbor
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this girl is a friend. good peoples.
Post Thu Jan 02, 2003 10:33 am
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Posts: 205
Location: Hingham, Hashachusetts
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That's dope that Epitaph wants to put out an album by Sage. They definitly have had an impressive roster of punk bands like Bad Religion, Joe Strummer, Offspring, Rancid, etc. They do seem open-minded though. One album they're putting out that I'm anticipating is an album by DJ Muggs from Cypress Hill called Dust. It's actually coming out on the same sub-label that put out Tom Waits' shit. It's gonna be a different kind of album for him though: dark music, downtempo trip-hop, hip-hop, rock, drum'n'bass, R&B,ambient, different experimental shit, a mix of every kind of music that he's into all meshed into one big bowl of soup. A lot of different guests are going to be on the album: Greg Dulli from Afghan Whigs, Everlast from House Of Pain, Josh Todd from Buckcherry. There is a female singer that is going to be a large part of the album, i forget her name though. I'm really looking forward to this though. That'd be dope if Sage put out an album with Epitaph though.
Post Thu Jan 02, 2003 4:48 pm
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Location: Chicopee & Springfield, MA
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KFC, bitch

Post Thu Jan 02, 2003 5:13 pm
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Posts: 100
advice from me  Reply with quote  

GO for epitaph sage, that would be some seriously hot distribution and (even if only thru their name recognition) publicity. god damn that's a good opportunity.

and dairy is poison to the body and the world.
Post Thu Jan 02, 2003 5:21 pm
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Joined: 03 Jan 2003
Posts: 13
Location: santa fe, nm
woah  Reply with quote  

robert just sent me a link to this. sick.
i'm glad you enjoyed the interview, i was kind of nervous since i had no idea what we were gonna talk about (you caught me wicked offguard).....i suppose we never really do beforehand, if we're really listening to one another in a conversation.

just for the record, or whatever, i actually live in santa fe, nm, now. but it can still be a boston zine if you want it to. doesn't really matter :)

but, yeah, thanks for playing along, it was a good time for sure.
Post Fri Jan 03, 2003 12:12 pm
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Joined: 03 Jan 2003
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Location: NYC
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Sage, good luck going vegan. It's worth it. I've been for a year and a half- it feels great.
Post Fri Jan 03, 2003 4:20 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous

Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21790
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A Santa Fe Zine.


It was a pleasure speaking with you.

Post Sat Jan 04, 2003 11:41 am
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shit stain

Joined: 05 Jan 2003
Posts: 26
Location: massachusetts..School in RI
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Petty simpletons will never learn, I guess.
Post Sun Jan 05, 2003 1:17 am
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Jim Nastic

Joined: 29 Dec 2002
Posts: 69
Location: SF CA
SF NM  Reply with quote  

If there was a hip hop scene, OF ANY SORT, in Santa Fe...I would have never left. ...Albuquerque is another story...

Great interview; hope to see it published somewhere...

Post Sun Jan 05, 2003 4:08 pm
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