Joined: 30 Jun 2002
|My interview w/ Scene Magazine (Colorado weekly paper)
This Sage Francis interview was conducted by Conor Hooley for Scene Magazine on June 14th, 2011 in promotion of the 3 upcoming Colorado shows listed at www.tinyurl.com/2011SageShows
Q: In your interview with Rap Ireland you mentioned that you’ve become
a bit more selective with the dates you play these days. What interested you
about the Cache Flow Hip-Hop Festival?
A: Colorado has an amazing indie-hop scene. It's been one of the most
supportive places for artists like me ever since the late 90's. So
when an appropriate offer is made for a territory that is as hot as
Colorado, chances are I will take it. Almost always.
Q: Coming from a non-traditional, so to speak, hip-hop market like
Rhode Island, do you look to play in similar areas, like Fort Collins?
A: I definitely have a soft spot for small towns and "B" or "C"
markets that often get skipped on big tours. That's the best thing
about my post-tour life; I get to make random appearances in random
places and then go home immediately after. There are no great tour
expenses for me to worry about and consider when choosing places to
Q: The music on your last album, Li(f)e, was primarily live instrumentation. Have you been trying to incorporate that into your recent live performances?
A: I incorporated live instrumentation on my last US tour when I was
touring the LI(F)E album. In fact, I brought a 7 piece band with me. I
wanted to go all out for my last major jaunt across the continent.
However, I feel much more comfortable as a solo performer and I can't
imagine ever putting on a huge production again. I just want to have
fun on stage and explore the one-man show thing. That's what I've
Q: You’ve played a handful of shows overseas (for instance, you have a
date booked in Sweden at the beginning of July). What are some of the differences,
good or bad, in the American and European hip-hop markets? Where have been some of your favorite places to play in Europe?
A: Well, Europe has very different crowds in all the different
countries. So, in that way, it's the same as America. The crowd in
California is different than the crowd in Connecticut. And the crowd
in Germany is different than the crowd in Amsterdam. But I'll always
be bugged out by non-English speaking crowds who go crazy at my shows.
I have no idea what they enjoy about me and that taps into a weird
insecurity of mine. Like...am I a clown to them? Am I stupid fat
American clown to these guys? haha. My favorite places to play in
Europe are probably all in the UK...if that's still considered Europe.
I have no idea what I'm talking about anymore.
Q: Your songs cover a range of topics that are often taboo, especially
for hip-hop. What is the appeal of controversial or untouched subjects to you?
A: If there's an appeal that is driving me to do that, I suppose it
might be the ability to explore subject matter that isn't properly
explored via a medium that I think could use a broader scope of
Q: Given the meteoric rise of shock-rap like OFWGKTA (who, in my opinion, share
a certain DIY punk-rock ethos with you, which I’d certainly be interested in
hearing your thoughts on if you’d like), how do you tread the line between using
controversial topics for substantive purposes vs. being taboo for the sake of shock value?
A: Being taboo for the sake of being "naughty" and "rebellious"...that
is for kids. And kids will be kids. And kids have their place in music
obviously. But it's not for me. Not entirely anyway. For the most part
I am entertained and inspired by grown man shit. I feel no shame in
that and I don't like feeling like I'm expected to take kiddie shit
seriously on any level. I hate kids. Unless kids like my music, in
which case they're the fucking best.
Q: You’ve mentioned that you’re trying to branch into music
production. How’s that been going for you? How would you describe your sound as a producer?
A: I've always been involved with the production of my music.
However, as far as beat-making goes, that is something I've kept under
wraps for close to 15 years now. I can't say much about it. I'd rather
just let the music speak for itself. Hopefully I can put the puzzle
pieces together and release something completely self-produced within
the next few years.
Q: What can we look forward to in the future from you and/or your label Strange
A: This year Strange Famous Records will be releasing an album called
"Rooftop Shake" from a new group called The Metermaids.
Other than that, Prolyphic is working on an album with Buddy Peace
called "Working Man", Cecil Otter is finalizing a follow-up to his
classic "Rebel Yellow" album, Scroobius Pip is wrapping up a solo
project, and B. Dolan is working on Vol 2 of his "House of Bees"
mixtape series while he records songs for his next official release.
As for me, you can expect a steady stream of material on all fronts
until I completely burn out. Songs, mixtapes, albums, books, videos,
blogs, tweets and facebook updates, random fart sounds, etc. I don't
know in which order all of those things are going to happen, but
they're all currently in the buffering stage.
Q: You’ve been very outspoken against music piracy, specifically bootlegging through blogs. What steps have you taken, both as an artist and a label owner, to prevent that? Moreover, what’s worked and what hasn’t?
A: I don't really take any steps other than simply addressing the issue openly.
Sometimes I contact people directly and ask them to respect our situation. That usually works when direct contact is possible. Otherwise, bloggers are more concerned with driving in traffic and making money off of ad revenue.
Q: You grew up a wrestling fan (as did I). Plan on doing any flying
elbow drops in honor of the Macho Man? Freestyling over the “Be a Man” beat? I
suppose you could.
A: If someone sends me that instrumental then maybe I'll cook up
something sweet in his honor. My kitchen counter is currently occupied
by all the old WWF figurines, back when toys were made out of parts
that didn't move. Wasn't I the one talking about maturity and "grown
man shit"? Hey, look at that...I'm feeling like a kid again.
"Little boys have s-w-a-g. Grown ass men have s-t-y-l-e."
Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:27 pm
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