Joined: 26 Jul 2004
|JonkMusic interviews Sage Francis. May 2014
New interview with JonkMusic: http://www.jonkmusic.com/2014/05/qa-sage-francis/
CHRIS: You were the first hip-hop artist to be signed to Epitaph, any
plans to bring a punk band on to Strange Famous Records?
SAGE: We signed a punk band called Prayers for Atheists back in 2008.
I wouldn't be opposed to signing more punk bands, but I really don't
have much interest in signing more groups/artists right now. Or maybe
ever. I'm happy to have developed the infrastructure required to
release my own albums and the albums of others who are close to me. I
don't have the time or energy to break new artists, and I often regret
taking on other people's projects when I know they are taking time
away from what I need to do for my own projects. So, yeah, maybe
that's not the best way to run a label. But unless other people can
take on the duties of running a label while signing a bunch of new
acts and make it a successful venture for all parties involved, I'd
rather just stick with what we have and put total focus back on my own
CHRIS: Being on both the sides of the table (label & artist), what
would your advice be to independent labels & artists trying to make a
living in a world where Spotify & similar services exist?
SAGE: If people want to make a living off of their music, they have to
embrace the idea that everything is moving toward streaming.
So...figure out how to make as much money from that as possible by
cutting out unnecessary middle men, and always look for way in which
your fans can support you directly. It's not easy to explain, but
artists have a better chance of making money by doing shows if they
can manage to build a support system that ALLOWS them to tour and not
lose their ass in the process.
CHRIS: A friend playing “Personal Journals” for me in 2003 ignited a
new love for hip-hop me personally. Has it ever been goal for yours to
a hip-hop ambassador in some regards? I can see something like your
recent Daytrotter session generating not only new fans of Sage Francis
but new hip-hop fans as well.
SAGE: No, not really. Not in any regard. I've actually seen, met with,
and worked with people who consider themselves "hip-hop ambassadors."
Bozo the Clown would be a better ambassador. In fact, they already
have a whole franchise system in place. They can have that. That's for
them if it makes them feel like they're doing a valuable service of
some sort. If someone tells me that I was their gateway into a
hip-hop, which they often do, I'm afraid to see what else they've
decided is OK in their book as far as hip-hop is concerned. Sometimes
I'm pleasantly surprised, but other times I'm like, "Oh...you lump me
in with these clowns now? Give me my music back. That's not for you.
Here's your refund on the free download." That's a me problem though.
Not a them problem. But this is why I'll never care to be considered
an ambassador of anything. Because if it gives me some special,
magical, ambassador power, then I'll just use it to eliminate all of
the shit I don't like. And then people will be like, "What happened to
95% of my playlist? Who deleted all of my shitty files?! I'll have
your head for this!" Nah, fuck all that.
CHRIS: What does a day look like for someone who is recording an album
and running a record label?
SAGE: It doesn't look pretty. That's why I don't let anyone come over
or look at me. It can't be viewed. Because if it's going to be viewed,
then I'm going to have to place some energy toward making things look
a bit nicer and there's just no time for that. It's binging, purging,
dirtying, organizing, disorganizing, pacing, swearing at random times
for apparently no reason. Staring at a computer screen, typing
frantically, hating what you love, shitting blood, and convincing
yourself it's all worth it in the end. And I still believe that it is.
Oh, and cleaning the litter box twice daily.
CHRIS: It’s been 4 years since you last toured, are there any
surprises in your set that you can hint at for the fans that will be
attending your show here in Madison onJune 6th?
SAGE: What I'm most excited about is that I'll have a whole new stage
show with new songs mixed into the older material. It won't just be me
on stage with a flag draped around me as a cape, though that will
probably always be what I return to. I'll have a team of people with
me who will help execute a bigger, more badass show.
CHRIS: Are there new artists are you are excited about right now that
you think everyone should go listen to immediately after reading this
SAGE: I'm not up on any brand new stuff. All I've been listening to
since last year is my own album and the other SFR albums. But I
definitely recommend checking out "Working Man" by Prolyphic & Buddy
Peace, "Definition Sickness" by No Bird Sing, anything by B. Dolan,
"Sick of D(eat)h" and "Copper Gone" by Fatty McFrancis.
Thu May 08, 2014 11:42 am
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