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Interview before the SLim's show. 2/15/03
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21605
Interview before the SLim's show. 2/15/03  Reply with quote  

here's an interview a woman named Megan did with me before the Slim's show
2/15/03

First off, how's tour going?

Tourís wicked good.

What year did you first tour the US?

I first toured the US in, I think, 2000 with Atmosphere.

How was that?

You really wanna know?

Yeah.

It was an exceptional experience.

How old were you?

I was 40.

Did you like it, being 40 and all?

Yeah, it was time to make an adventure.

What are the differences between touring the US and touring abroad?

Touring abroad is a bit sketchy because I donít have working papers and I fear being put in a foreign jail cell where they let cockroaches eat at your asshole. I heard that's common practice in Yugoslavia.

You can be put in jail for performing without papers?

Yeah. Its very big criminal activity out there. They storm the trains, its very scary. But in America everything's perfect, nothing bad happens here. You never have to worry about anything in America.

Youíve said that working with groups compromises the overall outcomeís reflection of yourself. What makes the outcome worth the compromise?

For the sake of creating something new with somebody else and creating something you would never be able to have done on your own. You always compromise whether its with somebody or not. Even when your doing your own music, you compromise your idea by putting it in the structure of rhyme. Translating emotion into words is a compromise. And when you interact with somebody else and you try to make a collaborative effort on this idea or concept its a child you make. Its something a little of theirs and a little of yours. That's a special situation. You should usually only do that with people you trust and enjoy. You should never do that for the sake of money cause that's when a lot of shity art takes place...That's my whole idea about it. I donít know, I may change my whole philosophy on it, but Iíve stuck to that for a while now.

I heard that Epitaph was looking to have a record out by you.

We just had a big meeting the other day. They came to my show in Newport Beach. Iím a huge fan of a lot of their artists, so to have label mates like Tom Waits and Bad Religion...I would probably bend over backwards, or forwards as the case may be. I donít know what will happen. In one sense, Iím a huge fan of their artists and I heard its an ethical label. On the other hand Iím an independent artist, so theyíd need to cater to that as well.

Do you think theyíd let you have the freedoms you need?

They know me. They enjoy my music, they know what Iíve done up to this point, and I think they respect that. If we do end up working together it has to be a deal where that's catered to. They canít ignore the fact that Iíve been an independent artist for so long and made so much of myself without the help of any label. What they would need to do is help propel me into a larger fan base and allow me my freedoms. Andy, whoís the president of Epitaph has really expressed these same ideas to me. If that works out and its done the right way, I think some great things could happen.

Would they let you get naked and vomit on stage?

I donít think theyíd stop me. Did you see that?

I didnít see that, I read something about it. What's that about anyway?

That's a secret, I donít wanna talk about it.

What has been the biggest or toughest obstacle for you to overcome to be the thinker and mind you are today?

The biggest obstacle has been random mouths talking down about it or just not supporting it. Its been difficult. Iím a guy who likes to please people.

How do you get past that?

You give up on them. You give up on people in general. I think Iíve given up on a lot of things, a lot of ideals, a lot of people, a lot of good situations that were holding me down. Girlfriends have been the biggest blanket. They donít want you to do this and do that. They want you to themselves and I dig that. When Iím in a serious relationship, that's what I cater to. And that's why I cant have... right now that's been so fucked up... I havenít been able to have a good relationship because the music ball that has been rolling since I was so young is finally getting bigger and bigger. Its not gonna stop. Even if I took myself out of the equation of music, its still gonna go on without me and Iíd feel so guilt ridden about it.

That's interesting. Its something Iíve been thinking about a lot lately because Iíve been really into writing and now Iím learning to make beats. I have friends who are my same age who have already excelled musically but theyíre getting caught up in other life lessons where Iíve already learned those lessons and can focus on music...but that's just a side note.

You seem to spend a lot of time on the Internet and I was wondering if you could equate how many hours a week you generally spend online? Is it like a second job?

No. Its like a first job. That's my job, I go online to handle all my business. I got the web site, I do orders through e-mail, I set up all my shows through e-mail. Its my main way of talking to people because its very rare that I use the telephone. I really hate it. I donít like talking on the phone, Iím not a fan of verbal conversation. So I use the Internet to check to see what's happening, if promoters have e-mailed me or industry people. Nowadays while Iím on tour Iím spending maybe 10 hours a week online. But when Iím home its pretty fucking close to at least 40 hours a week cause I stay there and I do all my activities.

So you do your own management?

Yeah.

Has that been hard for you?

No, because I manage my hand to my ass when I need to wipe it. I never understood what a manager was for. I always was able to do everything myself and I donít trust people enough to put their hands in my pot just yet. Unless I know for sure they know what the fuck theyíre doing. Which I havenít come across yet. People donít know what my direction is. I know what Iím doing, I know where I need to be, and I know what needs to be done. I havenít found a single person who understands my goal. I havenít found a single person whoís even shown me their own enlightenment about my own material. What they first understood was that its sellable and that its been selling and that the fan base grows larger. That's nothing but a by product of everything else that Iíve been trying to accomplish.

What do you think about the idea that you have fans who spend more time in your forum than you do?

I think they really need to go outside. I donít think any fan spends more time in that forum than I do though. I read through them all, then I delete them.

Youíve said that the same things which first drew you to hip hop are what draws your eyes to punk rock. Have you ever considered doing a punk album?

Iíve considered doing a lot of albums. Different kinds of music forms. I have to let it percolate a while and make sure it all makes sense. I donít rush into any music forum and just exploit it. I really have to understand it more. Punk rock has been around just as long as hip hop, maybe a little bit longer. They have similar origins... Maybe I wont do the punk rock, but would collaborate with a punk artist or rock n roll. Iím actually more of a classic rock kind of guy more than a punk rock guy. I just dig lyrics. I think punk rock is lyrically driven and energy driven, that's what hip hop was to me too.

Whatís in your CD player or tape player right now?

Well, its narcissistic but I have my new album in there because weíve been recording. So the Non-Prophets album is what Iíve been listening to trying to figure out what needs to stay and what needs to go. But beyond that Iíve been listening to a lot of Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Those are the 2 main CDs.

Neil Young? Which Neil Young album?

Most of the earlier ones, Harvest.....(trying to remember).........the Freedom one.....(thinking)......the big one....(still trying to recall).......I have the wrong tune in my head right now. Anyway, a lot of their earlier ones. All of the ones with Crazy Horse. Iíve dug every single Neil Young record Iíve listened to so far, the earlier work. I donít know when it got into the 80ís what I was feeling. Same thing with Bob Dylan, I donít really like his 80ís albums too much. Everything before thatís great.

Whatís the difference that you see between performing with a live band vs. a DJ?

Like I said before with the collaborative effort. When you work with another person you have that compromise between two people. When you have a group of people its a lot more compromise but it becomes a much more beautiful thing. The band Iím working with are exceptional musicians all of them know what the hell theyíre doing. Theyíre able to cater actually to my ideas and what Iíve already created. Theyíre replaying a bunch of my recorded material, adding their own twist. Its beautiful, its exceptional. Playing with the band allows me a lot more leeway as far as which direction I wanna lean. When I have a DJ its more straight forward. Youíre gonna see a much more eclectic set tonight than you normally would.

Do you prefer one to the other?

Not really. Performing by myself, performing with a band, and performing with a DJ all allow me certain freedoms I wouldnít have with the other. When I perform all by myself I get to do a lot more spoken word and I usually cater to that. I go a lot more off CD, so I get to play new songs. But when I have a DJ I usually gotta use wax and that's like the older songs, stuff thatís already come out. When I have a band I get to play all the shit that was never available as an instrumental.

Iím going to quote you here. ďIf there is nothing more behind (performing) then weíre not working towards anythingĒ -IM #4 me vs. a very special girl. Is there something more behind your performance? What are you working towards?

Right now when I get up there an perform Iím gonna run through my catalog of songs that I dig and hope people enjoy. Weíre gonna have a big party. I donít really know a greater meaning behind that performance in particular. My music in general is working towards...One thing. Iíve superseded my goal. Iím trying to figure out where its gonna go now and I donít know where that is. In that interview with Epitaph the other day they came to my performance and were able to really witness the performance live and it comes to life. That's a major part of performing. Actually bringing these dead songs that you hear on a CD to life. People a hundred years from now arenít gonna be able to see Sage Francis performance. Twenty years from now nobodyís gonna be able to see a Bob Dylan performance. I was able to watch him perform and that's a special thing. It comes to life. Some people donít like his shit but seeing the actual person who creates these songs perform them live is a fucking special occasion.

Are you planning on performing for a very long time?

Iím gonna perform for an hour and a half.

I mean on a long term scale.

I donít know. I have no idea how long Iím gonna do this. I say now I wanna do it for as long as I can, but...

Are there other thing you want to do?

I want to write. I wanna have a family, have a girlfriend that loves me and that doesnít annoy the shit out of me. I want to have people I trust in my life. I want to have fruitful friendships. I want to eat at my favorite restaurant.

What is your favorite restaurant?

Meeting Street Cafe on the East side of Providence.

I hear you have a vegan hot dog stand in Providence.

Its not vegan, but they have vegan hot dogs. Its called Spikes. Most of the hot dogs are real hot dogs they have an option that you can have the tofu dog. That's not too special, that should be common.

It seems that you make yourself very accessible to your fans and they know you very well. Do you think they know you too well? Do you do anything to keep your personal and professional lives sperate?

Yeah I lie a lot. Its very rare I find anyone who knows much about me. I donít make an effort for people to actually know me. I stay accessible because I want my music to be accessible. Personality wise, personally, my personal life; its rare that they have a grasp on what I believe in what Iíve seen, what Iíve experienced and why that's made me who I am. The more shows I do, the more people I meet, the more I see it pretty common for people to have a lot of misconceptions about me. You shouldnít be in the front row of my show smoking weed at me, blowing smoke in my face. I will kick you in your fucking face, I hate it. I will steal you camera and smash it on your head. Respect my space. Donít be offering cocaine to me after a show or I will stick a knife in your asshole.

Does that shit happen to you a lot?

Yes, it does. These people consider themselves hard-core fans but those are people who are listening selectively, experiencing me through a horrible filter. But that's their own personal interaction with me. I canít even dog that. Its just they have to respect the artist. And everybody who thinks they have me or anybody else figured out needs to respect that they see that person through a filter that theyíve developed themselves. They enjoy that person because theyíve done it themselves, some interaction in their brain has helped them enjoy that artist...You donít have Grand Buffet figured out because you can laugh at their jokes. In fact that's a very good example because they are very complex individuals. I toured with them and they are some of the greatest people to be around. Smart, funny, compassionate, theyíre complex. Those kind of people are what makes conversation interesting. They offer a lot, they bring a lot to the table and if you listen to their music, you probably wouldnít gather that. You could get a bio of their life and not figure it out. People, I think, just need to respect space a little bit more. Donít think you have me figured out because you know that my father passed away when I was younger. Little trivial facts like that donít make a person.
(Enter Gruvis Malt)
Weíre gonna have to end this. Thank you.

Thank you very much!
Post Thu Feb 20, 2003 6:45 am
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hugh grants hooker
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that tour with atmosphere was 2000?
i didnt realize.
at that show, you mentioned that you wanted to eventually make it to do a show in miami. so that you 'will have come full circle'. have you made it back there yet?

sorry, i'm still half asleep. i cant even force myself to make a point.

top o' the mornin' to ya,
adam from pensacola
Post Thu Feb 20, 2003 8:32 am
 
name



Joined: 12 Nov 2002
Posts: 955
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is that epitaph thing for real? or better put... how realistic of a possibility is it? im curious if anyone (musician/artist) has ever been able to reach a HUGE audience without ever signing to a label. is this something that just cant be done? i think itd be cool to just get insanely popular (and make good money) but constantly decline label offers, just for the fun of it. easier said than done, though.
Post Thu Feb 20, 2003 11:45 am
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21605
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I will be on Epitpah's next Punkorama cd compilation.

that is step one.
Post Thu Feb 20, 2003 2:02 pm
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PHIL LACIO AKA P DAWG
the godfather of troll


Joined: 18 Oct 2002
Posts: 4825
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Sage Francis wrote:
I will be on Epitpah's next Punkorama cd compilation.

that is step one.


A new song or a previously recorded track

I take it you arent worried about being lumped in with "punk" artists
some may get confused and think you are a punk artist
or hip hop purist may claim you arent hip hop by appearing on such a compilation.. I doubt you care
Post Thu Feb 20, 2003 2:27 pm
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excellrec



Joined: 11 Jul 2002
Posts: 1580
Location: Minneapolis
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why did you put this interview here? it was cool and all, just curiouw, didn't see anything to outstandin about it. Then again i've never been a huge fan of the interviews to much. I think i'm reading it to get to know more about you, but you lie......alot...so...
Post Thu Feb 20, 2003 3:15 pm
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killedbysharks



Joined: 16 Feb 2003
Posts: 334
Location: palm springs, ca.
blah  Reply with quote  

I like these interviews cause its interesting. I know that i can rely on sage not to talk about things i dont want to hear.
All day at work they just talk about cars, doing drugs, shit like boycotting france, and making fun of me cause i dont eat animals. It's stressful being around people who dont understand anything. Listening to what he has to say is a fucking sigh of relief. I think that fans are looking for the wrong things trying to figure him out. they just want confirmation that he's just like them. The only insight into him is when you see him live. You see that he is no star. He is just like everybody else, we just like him better than most people. Seriously, it takes a lot to be able to do what he's doing. We all like this forum and its only possible cause he wants to take on the responsibility.
Post Thu Feb 20, 2003 5:13 pm
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Chris Force



Joined: 29 Nov 2002
Posts: 12
Location: Chicago
Sage on Epitaph?  Reply with quote  

What does everyone else think about Sage being on Epitaph? Think it would help him (and therefore the fans) out 'cause of better distro, recording money, PR, etc? I mean if they gave him all the indie freedom he wanted - which Epitaph is know to do, he would still be the same old Sage with better backing.

Or do ya think it would really mark him as some sort of Sno-Core hip hop novelty? I mean we're talking about an amazing label - with some of the best bands in their genres, Bad Religion, Refused, AF, Decendents, The Business...but they've never touched hip hop. Just curious, 'cause I remember what a big deal everyone made when H20 and AF went to Epitaph, saying that they wouldn't fit, and now it totally doesn't matter.
Post Fri Feb 21, 2003 12:36 am
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killedbysharks



Joined: 16 Feb 2003
Posts: 334
Location: palm springs, ca.
good  Reply with quote  

I dont think it is a bad idea, just as long as his shows remain as accessible. and no music videos on mtv. which probably wouldnt happen anyway, but bad religion has mtv shit. It'll give more people something good to hear for a change.[/list]
Post Fri Feb 21, 2003 3:22 am
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CIA Is Trying to Kill Me



Joined: 21 Feb 2003
Posts: 1
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"What do you think about the idea that you have fans who spend more time in your forum than you do?

I think they really need to go outside.

Haha.
Post Fri Feb 21, 2003 7:14 am
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Jesse



Joined: 02 Jul 2002
Posts: 6166
Location: privileged homeless
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excell> he posts like every interview he does (except audio I assume). it's not really different, but it does have some pretty serious news in it (the epitaph stuff)

cforce> I don't think you really managed to establish much of a controversy on that topic, did you? I don't think there's really much of a potential downside to Sage having a relationship with Epitaph.

kbsharks> Oh, maybe there is some controversy to be had here... why shouldn't he have videos that get played!? Tom Waits also has videos that get played, at least on Much and Much More Music. If End To End Burners can get some BET (and Much) play, then Sage can. And that will be GOOD, silly.
Post Fri Feb 21, 2003 7:24 am
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excellrec



Joined: 11 Jul 2002
Posts: 1580
Location: Minneapolis
 Reply with quote  

i was asking why he moved it into the regular forum as well. I thought he was maybe suggesting it have some significance above the other interviews. I don't mind the interviews either. I jus.... think it's funny that he just lies alot. It's bound to cause a heap of confusion, frustration, blah blah, eventually, i'm not sayin we need his buisness, i always just assume be truthful or don't speak at all. i suppose it's like watchin television, "in this episode sage loses step on stage while trying to bash pot smoking wanksters upside they head, things all quiet on the joey beatless forum......"
Post Fri Feb 21, 2003 7:49 am
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Chris Force



Joined: 29 Nov 2002
Posts: 12
Location: Chicago
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Jesse wrote:
excell>
cforce> I don't think you really managed to establish much of a controversy on that topic, did you? I don't think there's really much of a potential downside to Sage having a relationship with Epitaph.


yea, i wasn't really lookin' to start the controversy...just to see if there was any - which i'm telling you, if he does sign to Epitaph there will be. Like that one cat who already posted he doesn't want to see Sage on MTV. The possiblitles of that happening are pretty slim, as videos directly relate to radio airplay, which Sage would probably not be getting for obvious reasons.

Fans, which Sage seems to have a ton of, get super possesive. So the fact that Sage could be playing fests in front of thousands on a constant basis might really piss people off. Their special little Sage genie would now be granting millions of wishes.
Post Fri Feb 21, 2003 10:22 am
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FoJaR



Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Posts: 1534
Location: VA.
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i wish i could find someone that could understand me.
Post Fri Feb 21, 2003 11:18 am
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killedbysharks



Joined: 16 Feb 2003
Posts: 334
Location: palm springs, ca.
mmmmm  Reply with quote  

mtv makes me sick to my stomach. as does most other commercial tv. i dont see how that could do any good. However, there is an la hip hop show on friday nights, which isnt so bad. they play shape shifter stuff on there. if sage wants a video, who cares. it doesnt interfere with my life.

tom waits has billboards in la, and his albums with his face on bus stops. that is disgusting. he is cool, but the billboard thing is very uncool.
Post Fri Feb 21, 2003 2:30 pm
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