Strange Famous Records

A long and in-depth Sage Francis interview from 2003

In 2003 I was interviewed in the basement of San Francisco’s Slims club by a college student named Jarrod Miller. He was doing a documentary of some sort, so this was all filmed. Parts of this interview were featured on my “Life is Easy” DVD, but Jarrod went through the trouble of transcribing the whole thing. It is long, and I don’t totally agree with all of my answers, but that doesn’t matter. Here it is:

Interview with Sage Francis
By Jarrod Miller

Sage Francis and Jarrod Miller
Jarrod Miller and Sage Francis, 2003

February 16, 2003 at Slim’s, San Francisco
Sage Francis: On the better days I wake up when I feel like it’s time to wake up and…I find something to eat, cater to the e-mails and the phone calls, and then we…I don’t know…I don’t have a routine, that’s one thing. It’s in between shows and all this, you know, between recording sessions and shows. Lately, it hasn’t gone so smoothly. I have to wake up, pick up the sound engineer, drive down to the studio, record all day, come home, eat for an hour, and then rehearse for the tour. That’s what we did for the past month. And before that there was another routine. But, you know, when nothing’s happening, which is rare, I find someone to hang out with or talk to, just like anyone else I guess. A lot of the time, if I have the opportunity, I spend it by myself. But right now it’s very intense. Every day we wake up early, drive for like 5 or 6 or 10 hours to the next show, and do the show.

JM: You were explaining a little bit about the recording process. How long do you usually have in your recording sessions?

SF: It’s been changing. What we do though is we…I figured out a routine with the engineer, his name is Chris Warren. I pick him up, we drive down to the studio, we spend four hours—increments—because after four hours…well, after one hour I lose my voice. It’s just like I go, go, go and it usually ends up going out, and then we mix down or we tweak some things here and there. I go home and listen to it, I mean, but it’s usually go the whole time. The whole recording thing…it’s not a science. I don’t have it down to a science. It’s new because now, I mean, doing the new album is a whole new process. The one before this one, I was recording most of it by myself. Sole, you know Sole from anticon…

JM: Sole, yeah.

SF: He flew me out to California and he let me stay in a little studio/recording area they had in their apartment, and it was just trash. It was like a mess of wires, a maze of dusty equipment and, you know, I’m not an expert by any means, but I figured most of it out, recorded a lot of the songs there, and mixed it down myself. That was an ongoing process, like I could do that all night long. And if I had a studio to myself I would probably get a lot more done, but at the same time I wouldn’t get a lot of the other things I get done. But we’ll see what happens. So now, it’s a much more professional approach I take where I actually go to a real studio…all the stuff is at its best sounding, you know.

I don’t even know all the terms…I go there and I’m comfortable in the fact that the person I record with knows what he’s doing. I didn’t know what I was doing; it may translate in the album, some of it’s just so raw and so–maybe sloppy–that you can tell that I basically just did it myself, playing with buttons. I didn’t understand. Maybe that’s part of the charm, I don’t know. Hold on. (Sage gets up and bangs on the wall to quiet down a drummer in the next room). Scott?

Scott: Yeah?

SF: Is it all right?

Scott: Yeah, it’s cool. Sorry.

JM: So, you were talking about going to the recording studio. How much of your written work…Do you ever record while you’re in the studio? I mean, while they’re just making the beats? Or do you have the beats laid out already?

SF: We always have the beat done and I know what I’m doing. I usually listen to the beat for a few months before I record to it, just because there’s so much backlogged lyrics that I have. I like to first go through what I already have and see if the mood fits. If not, if it’s a beat that actually has a very unique feel to it, then I’ll write to that beat. But that takes me awhile too. By the time we get into the studio, I’ll have changed the song a million times. I’ll think I’ll have it figured out, but sometimes I end up just writing while I’m in the studio and doing the last minute touches on it.

This last album I did there’s a song called “Spaceman” and I wrote the whole thing at 6 AM because I had to be at the studio at 1. It felt like a…it felt like…because when I was in school I couldn’t bring myself to study for a test. I would stay up the night before just telling myself, “Yeah, man. I’m gonna study today…gonna study, gonna study, gonna study. I just gotta eat one more cookie and talk to her for a second.” You know, you have all these things you have to do before you do it. You gotta mentally prepare. It happened a lot with these songs. By the time it came around to recording, I was just like, I don’t know. I stayed up all night long, and then I’d fall asleep for a couple hours, I woke up at 6 AM and just had to bang it out. It’s one of my favorite songs. It’s just, it’s very…if you listen to it and I told you I wrote it at 6 AM, you’d believe me. You can tell. My previous self would have kicked my ass for doing that because I like to have things very structured and planned out, and I know exactly how it is. And, I never would record without even having the song memorized, and it’s rare now that I memorize a song before I record it. In fact, by the time I perform the songs that I’m recording now, I perform them a lot differently because I have them memorized
and it just allows me to be a lot more comfortable with the inflections and stuff, and, I don’t know, maybe my recorded material will suffer for that, maybe not. I’m going with the moment for now. It’s doing me well, it makes me feel better. But yeah, “Spaceman” is my favorite song right now.

JM: What’s that about?

SF: Uhhh… (Sage shakes head.)

JM: Just wait until the album comes out?

SF: Yeah.

JM: You talked a little bit about your writing process. Would you mind kind of explaining? Like, do you have the theme in mind for a song, or do you just kind of free-flow write?

SF: A lot of times…writing comes from a lot of different moods and…random ideas, or if I’m inspired by an artist of some sort, and I feel like I want to continue that path of emotion that they bestowed upon me, I’ll take it to the page and see what I can do with it. Most of the time it just fizzles out. I mean, most of the stuff I write doesn’t go anywhere, you know? I save it too, I log it. It’s just like, well, that’s half of a verse that probably will never get used. But…

JM: Do you mostly write or is it on computer too?

SF: No, I never do lyrics on a computer. I can’t because the way I write…I wish I had a notebook for you. But I’ll do this…(Sage pulls out a sharpie. I hand a piece of paper to him.) I’ll write on this. (Makes marks on paper.) It would go a little something like, I know the points I want to make sometimes and where they should go in the verse. And if a flow of words doesn’t fit correctly, I’ll just put a line through it and do alternatives and alternatives, and by the time I’m done, it’s just…whatever, whatever. It looks like a diagram, you know? And I’ll look at it and I’ll figure out what makes the most sense throughout the whole verse. I need to see what I did previously—what came before that, what came before that—to know really what works best as a whole. It’s like a rough draft and a final draft all in one. I can’t do without…I couldn’t ever crumple up something and throw it away because the original thing that I wrote was there for a purpose, and maybe I’ll forget why, and while I go through it, then I’ll be like, “Oh, that’s why I had to have that,” you know? So I go back to it and keep it. I’ve come up with all my own…I think everybody who does something that’s personal and private to themselves, or they’re the only ones who look at it, they come up with their own little system of codes and legends. I have beats, and the part in the bar where certain words get said, and where the pauses go, and when it goes up and down. It’s a (scratches head)…yeah, I memorize something usually right after writing it. I mean, after a few reads I have it. But still, when I’m in the studio I’ll be reading it off paper because I start to get all nervous about “Oh my god, I’ve gotta record it now,” and I shouldn’t be like that, I mean I figured I’d be beyond that at this point, but I’m not (hands back scribbled paper). Still, when I get in the studio I tighten up and I have to do a few takes before I
start to get comfortable. When I say few I mean 50 (laughs). But after 50, man, I start to really break in. It’s pretty silly.

JM: So, I mean, most of the editing is done that first time where you actually have that concept, or whatever, and you’re actually writing? I mean, do you ever go back…

SF: Oh yeah, you asked me about the process of writing. I mean, it’s all different things. Sometimes I’ll have a beat, and I’ll know what beat I’m writing to. Most of the time I don’t, I just write to silence. It’s the idea and it’s the actual words. Words are what inspire the rhymes, and rhymes are what inspire the verse, and the verse inspires the song. That’s usually the chain of events. So I’ll have words, like a grouping of words that will just pop into my head or I’ll hear someone say something like…drum and percussion. I just run through a list of words that all fit into that rhyme scheme.

JM: Maybe like “something for nothing?”

SF: Yeah, yeah. And, you know, then that goes in a list of…sometimes I’ll write a list of all those things and I’ll be like, “Well, how do these fit with each other and where do they go and how would that fit into something else that I may have been inspired to say?” And it’s…I mean I think that’s a really simple process. It’s not rocket science. It’s very…it’s pretty cheesy actually.

JM: If you’re gonna kind of string them together and have coherence and have some sort of connection…

SF: It’s little steps though, man. It’s baby steps. The whole process is all baby steps. Rap is…well, the kind of rap that I do, sometimes it turns into something greater than I had started out thinking it was gonna be, but most of the time it’s just a linking of words here and there, and ideas, and what I can fit in between the actual rhymes is very important just to make sure no word is supposed to sound like it’s filler. Every word has
its purpose in a sentence, and if it’s there just to fill space I’ll do without it, you know, it doesn’t have to be there. But sometimes I’ll have…this is another way songs get written. I think a lot of people deal with this is…they have something to say to somebody in particular, you know, and it’s not like they can just address them with whatever it is they want to say. And it goes on page, and that helps direction a lot because you know exactly what you want to say to this person, you know what applies and what doesn’t, and you stay true to that. And that makes for great songs because it’s all coming from a core idea and concept of who this person is and what your relationship is with them. It doesn’t stray from that too much. And even though the audience doesn’t know who that subject is, it still translates that everything you’re saying is constant about this one being, you know? Like…to make it simple, if I was talking about a woman that was imaginary and I started applying all these male traits to her and slipped in the word “he” by accident, you know like that’s…I’m just magnifying a problem that exists when you start to write about fake shit—it doesn’t work. You actually have to stay true to your original idea, to your subject, and stray from it as least as possible because no matter what you write it’s already…it’s turned into fiction right away. I mean, I say I write about my own life but it’s…I mean, you couldn’t pass a test on my life if I gave it to you. You know, you listen to Personal Journals as many times as you want. I can give you a list of facts about myself that you wouldn’t even be able to mark off as true or false. That’s why people can’t really…shouldn’t be subscribing to these ideas of idol worship. Not that I’m that guy, there’s others though.

JM: You have in mind that you’re writing for yourself also, but you’re also writing for the audience, I mean…

SF: It’s always…nah…I’m lucky. I’m lucky. I only…Most of the time I do write for myself because it’s just…I look at it and I see what I want to hear, who would do this for me, you know? It’s like when I did “Makeshift Patriot.” Obviously, that wasn’t for me. I made “Makeshift Patriot” with a bunch of people in mind and it was to instigate…thought, question…but at the same time it was what I wanted to hear, it’s what I wanted to see from an artist. So I wrote it and I put it together as a project, and when I felt comfortable about it I was like, “Damn, this is what the fuck needs to be heard.” That’s what I want to hear, you know?

JM: Yeah.

SF: And that’s how I decide whether something is worth putting out to people or not. And that one is just like: as many people need to hear this as possible. So we put it out for free as an MP3, and I’ve put it out on multiple projects and it’s been put on compilations, and it’s still, like, being heard for the first time now…because I’m not a major pop culture artist. You’re not gonna hear my stuff on the radio.

JM: And…that doesn’t concern you at all…or does it?

SF: Uhhh…What, that my stuff doesn’t get heard or…?

M: Yeah, I mean like distribution or…

SF: I want better distribution.  I want to be able to be accessible to the public at large. A lot of people still don’t know how to get my material…unless they’re Internet savvy. And not everybody is, you know? I do think it’s important to learn the Internet and know how to get the information you need because this is one of our tools as people, you know, people of the world are all able to…Before we lose the ability to do so I need to utilize it. It’s a huge tool for all of us. For information, for misinformation, for communication.
But you need to know what’s what, you know, like you can’t take everything that you see at face value.

JM: Yeah, don’t be force-fed. Like you said.

SF: No.

JM: About 9/11…I’ve read you’ve went there, you actually visited the site.

SF: Yeah.

JM: Would you just mind sort of explaining how you were affected when you saw it? What emotions were running through your mind?

SF: The reason why we decided to visit…it was my roommate and I, and a woman by the name of Alixa. Umm…like everybody, I think we were all deeply affected by what was happening. But most of all, we were confused and…we had to see it. It wasn’t enough that we had this filter of a TV screen showing us images of an area that we’re familiar with, you know, we’re there quite often. And, I was supposed to be there that
day. All these people I know who were in New York, and just the fact that immediate threat was upon us, and that’s all that kept getting pumped to us. Like, this is gonna happen, this is gonna happen, don’t open your mail, you know, the anthrax scare and all this shit. Yeah, and seeing these images over and over…it became a blur to me, and I was like, “Fuck this. We’re gonna go to New York, and we’re just going to absorb the atmosphere. We’re gonna witness it, we’re gonna make more sense of it, and we’re gonna feel a little bit
better about ourselves,” because I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t think straight, everything that I did or said was consumed by the whole 9/11, America, you know, terrorism. I was just like, “Man, I gotta get this the fuck out of my system. I can’t watch the news anymore, I can’t read these papers, I can’t watch, or listen to the radio.” So we headed down to New York, and it was still…I mean, it was crazy. We went to ground zero but you really couldn’t get too far in. All you saw was the billowing smoke, and fire trucks, and police,
and rescue workers were still going in and out, you know, and…it felt powerful. It was almost like these are the moments that we really do come together, regardless of race, sex, religion, all this. Everyone at that moment had their whole situation simplified of basic survival. There’s people that needed to be helped, and everyone comes together to help those people because we were all at immediate risk, and we were all potential victims, you know? And, it made that much sense. It was a huge and crucial time for…people in New York who would normally not even look you in the eye had you ask them for help. So I went there and I recorded it on my minidisk. I just wanted to grab the audio of people cheering. I felt like it was very important…. To do a song like “Makeshift Patriot,” which was a compilation of a lot of news reporter quotes mixed with some pretty interesting takes on what just happened, and to throw in actual audio of people cheering on the rescue workers, and throw that on the song, it was just…I don’t know. It was almost like a stamp of authenticity. Like, this fucking happened right now. And this is what I’m witnessing at this very moment. And every time I hear this song I’m gonna remember the confusion, the pain, and…the rage that I was feeling, and what everyone around me was feeling. That was important to me. I didn’t want to…I don’t know why, it was almost like I wouldn’t have put the song out without that. It needed to be there. Even though it was a little, small part, it just was like: when I hear it, it puts me right in that space where I was the day…it was five days after the attack. We stood there and we cheered on the rescue workers, and we saw everybody just coming together. It wasn’t like we were cheering on George Bush…on top of a pile of dust with his megaphone.

JM: Did you actually see him?

SF: No, no. He was…

JM: If you would’ve saw him there would you have done anything or said anything?

SF: I would’ve…I would’ve killed him. I would’ve killed him. I would’ve picked up a rock and thrown it right at his fucking temple. No, I wouldn’t have. I don’t talk like that (looks at the camera and gives a smirk). Um, if he was there man, I don’t know. I don’t know what would’ve happened. We…

JM: Some shit would’ve went down.

SF: Nothing would’ve happened. I would’ve watched him. I would’ve fucking seen what he had to say, you know, like…I wouldn’t have been cheering him on. I see the footage of him of his fucking megaphone, playing cowboy on a pile of dust, and really working this “Wow! They finally like me!” angle, you know? Like, “I’m actually gonna be the fucking hero today.” And uh…it just was too see-through. His whole approach was a fucking 80′s movie, you know? He’s a fucking action hero, man. I don’t dig.

JM: So, what’s your stance on government and religion? I mean do you…

SF: I’m very anti-religion. I’m very anti-government. I gotta be back…I gotta do sound check. I’ll be back though.

JM: Thank you.

SF: Yeah, no problem. (Leaves to do sound check)
…(Comes back from sound check)

JM: I hate to do this, but it’s for the documentary piece.

SF: (Looks in camera) Okay.

JM: Want to explain who you are, why you do what you do, you know, where you’re from, how you got involved, that sort of thing?

SF: Yeah. Can I talk to you? (Looks and points into camera.) Should I talk to you? (Looks and points at me.)

JM: You can do both or whatever.

SF: All right. Can I talk to the microphone? (Grabs microphone from the sound operator.) How you doing? How’s this sound? Am I okay…huh…yeeaah? (Laughs a bit, then puts on an animated face.) All right, here I go. I wasn’t making sense before. I’m gonna make a lot of sense. I’m sick of it because I kept telling the same story over and over, and when I do that I lose all spontaneity of thought and it doesn’t come out in a genuine way, and you could say, “Oh, wow. He’s saying something he had already said a million times.” This is gonna be a freestyle off the top. Okay…my name…is Jim Mullen, professional skateboarder. Been doing it since I was eight years old. I listen to Public Enemy, I really like Hieroglyphics, I think punk-rock is the shit. (Pauses. Looks at camera, then at me, then at camera again.) I’m here at the club tonight because I’m gonna fucking rock. I’m gonna watch this Sage Francis show, I’m gonna do my thing. I got my kick flip, I’m gonna do a little ollie in the back, I’m gonna let them know it’s really for real this time. I got a mustache, I’m gonna make my face look pretty, I’m gonna catch this pussy in my face. (Stares into camera for a moment, twirls sharpie, thenstares off into space.) That’s it. (Looks up at me and slightly smiles.)

JM: Do you really know how to skate?

SF: (Serious mode…haha.) Yes. I was sponsored by Pppooowwer…Peralta. Aren’t you a skater? I used to rock Vision, man…Vans. Come on, how can you be into hip-hop and not be a skateboarder? You must have missed the wave of new white kids that wanted to be cool. Fucking, white skateboard rappers. (Smiles and laughs. Gets serious, sort of.). Umm…my name is…Paul. I was raised in Rhode Island and born in Miami…like the rest of the hip-hop greats. Vanilla Ice, 2 Live Crew…

JM: Luke.

SF: Luke Campbell. Umm…

JM: Do you listen to a lot of current hip-hop?

SF: I really don’t listen to a lot of hip-hop. Sometimes people who are in my inner circle will come out with an album and I want to check it out because I’m cool with them. I listen to a lot of music, and they all need their propers, so I’m gonna…let me really dig this time. Let me dig. What do I got? I gotta, I gotta big CD collection, man. Ummmmm…

JM: No burned CDs, right?

SF: Um, nah. Only when I have something burned is when it was a gift, you know, if someone gave me a compilation. I don’t mind burned CDs, but if you flip through someone’s CD collection and all they have is burned CDs, it’s like, “Where’s your class, motherfucker? Buy something! Be a consumer, a good American. Why don’t you support these…?” But most of these artists aren’t getting paid for these albums anyway, you know? Like, fuck ‘em. I mean, if they’re dead …hahaha…if they’re part of a really wack label, you know, don’t worry about it. Me? (Looks into camera) Buy my stuff– because it’s important and it helps me support my eating habit. I really appreciate it. (Smiles at camera.) And my mustache face.

JM: What’s your eating habit like on the road?

SF: It’s gas station cuisine. It’s horrible. It’s bad.

JM: And you’re vegetarian, also?

SF: I’m vegetarian and that severely limits what I can eat, and that’s very good for my health as far as gasoline stations go. Um, I eat cupcakes, genetically enhanced or chemically manipulated foods. I’m not a proponent…I’m not a fan and I do not endorse touring or traveling for the sake of doing it. I hate it. I don’t like tours. I don’t like doing all these shows and the situations it puts me in. I do it for a few reasons. One, I
spread my music to a lot more people. Two, there are hardcore fans and listeners who I really enjoy their company, and for them to be able to come to a show is great. Three, and most importantly, is it’s my main source of making money. If I didn’t tour, I’d be much more in the dumps than I am.

JM: Percentage-wise, I mean, how much? I don’t want to ask specifics…

SF: Go ahead.

JM: But percentage-wise, how much of your income is from touring?

SF: Uhhh…it’s six…seventy-percent of what I make when I do tours. Just because it’s that one situation where people are finally able to get all the albums that they weren’t previously able to get. And…it’s show time, man. It’s like, that’s where most musicians and artists make their money, is at shows, you know? You don’t…especially major label acts don’t make too much money off of their albums. It’s more of, like, shows. And I gotta say, anyone who has even a bit of a name for themselves has no excuse to be complaining about money situations. We’re given a lot of opportunity to make money for ourselves and sustain a good lifestyle, much better than…a much better one than I’ve ever had before, except when I’m touring. But when I’ve done the tour, I’ve got the money and I can live great, you know? I don’t need much. I’m a minimalist and…I need a roof over my head, I like to eat at Meeting St. Café in Providence, and uh, you know, pay for some hookers, and…beyond that, anything on top of that’s icing on the cake. I don’t need much more than that. I mean, sex, food, friendship—which you can buy…cheap in Rhode Island—

JM: Although, it’s not very good when you buy it.

SF: No, it’s good when you buy it. It’s good because when you don’t want it anymore, you stop paying and they go away. They don’t linger. That’s just like the girls. You buy the girls, you get sick of them, you stop payments. They go home. (Sips some water.) Same with the guys. It’s an equal sex issue. Ummmm…(knock on door). Come in. (Sage puts a big grin on his face as his road manager opens the door. They speak and
Sage leaves. Sage comes back.)

SF: (Grabs microphone.) Check, check, check. Ooohhhhh…(starts deep throating microphone). Do a little of that in the back room? Is that why you’re here? Hahaha…(smiles)…Aaaahhhh! Let’s do it! Real life. (Bangs hand on table.) Real rock and roll.

JM: Sorry. You know, I’m sort of a quiet guy.

SF: Me, too. I don’t like talking. I hate it.

JM: I hate talking.

SF: It’s the worst. (Drinks some water.)

JM: I mean, it’s great to be doing this, but…

SF: I know. I know, you gotta get an A. You want an A, you’re a good student. Mom’s proud.

JM: Ahh, probably not.

SF: No? Okay.

JM: I mean, college just sucks.

SF: I’ve been there, dude. I’ve been there.

JM: It’s a whole lot of money and…

SF: I know. It’s a sham, it’s a scam, it’s a scheme, it’s a…it’s a dream. It’s a spleen, it’s

JM: Do you think your college education helped?

SF: No, I…Here’s my theory: America and perhaps the world, since it’s been so Westernized, has two fangs. One of them is a credit card and the other one is student loans. And that tongue (sticks out tongue) is made up of some of college, family…uh, what else is in there? What the fuck is in there? (Looks up and thinks.) College, family, your job, careers—they all suck. They’re there. Families don’t suck but, you know, when you have to have a family, that kind of thing. Gotta have the wife, gotta have the kids…that kind of shit. (Sticks out tongue some more.) Uuuhhhh…aaaaahhhh…come here, come here…that’s what your tongue does. It goes, “come here, come here,” and it lures you in, and then…ERRRRRR! (Clenches his teeth.) The credit card and the college student loans in your neck…(stares off into space for a bit) then you’re done with. You’re done with. (Pulls out ringing cell phone from pocket and looks at who’s calling him.) They’ll come for you, man. I paid off my student loans…last week, in a bulk…of 20,000 dollars. I owed 30 grand, and college was so fucking wack. But, I could only imagine what I would’ve turned out like if I didn’t go to college because I see all my friends who didn’t go to college and they’re the same exact people they were when I left high school. Maybe it’s not college that was so important, rather than the environment and being in this group of people who all had the same ambition to just get the fuck out of their hometown, you know? I did so much learning outside of class. In class, it was a different story. It actually was…I went to a strict high school, so when I got into college it was a breeze. I was, you know, I was a straight-A student. I graduated my first college—it was only a junior college—I graduated with 3.8. And, high school I was a C- student, you know? And it’s like, I got to college and I figured, “Shit, I’m paying for this, man. I really want to get the good grades and all that. And then I…I just lost that drive, too. I was just like, “I’m getting the As, but who the fuck cares really, you know?” I…I was going through a rough time at that time anyways. You don’t want to hear about that. (Makes a call on his cell phone.) Sorry, I’m such a fucking dick.

JM: No, it’s all right.

SF: I gotta make sure it’s okay. Someone left me a voicemail. Sorry. (Pushes button on cell phone. Loud, indistinct noise is heard. Listens to the message again and begins speaking to the voicemail message.) Shut up. Shut the fuck up. (Turns off phone and puts it into his pocket.) Okay. Ready! (Makes scrunched up faces into the camera.)

JM: Uh, yeah…you have degrees in communications and journalism…

SF: Amazingly.

JM: How did that help you, as far as, you know…

SF: Well…

JM: I mean, when you first got out, you didn’t directly step in to being a hip-hop performer.

SF: Uh uh. (Shakes head.)

JM: I mean, you had oddjobs, right?

SF: Uh huh. (Blows out some air.) Yes, I got my degrees in journalism…well, I got a bachelors in journalism and I got an associates in communications with a focus on public relations. And…uh…you don’t have to go to college for journalism. It’s a fucking scam, man. I think a lot of these subjects that they try to turn into this big, intricate, complex study–field of study–is just their excuse to make more money, or to lure kids in and, like, “You gotta fucking pay 15 grand for this, 5 grand for that, and books are…aahh.”
(Sighs). So anyways…

JM: Have the degrees helped you? I mean, job-wise…

SF: No, nah, no. Obviously not. I mean, the degrees themselves…no, they didn’t help because I didn’t pursue any of those careers. It wasn’t part of what I wanted to be. After seeing how everyone else turned out, and studying what I studied, and seeing how the teacher was, and how all these other kids who were like so, “All right, I’m gonna write for a paper and do the news,” it was like the fakest, most contrived shit. But what was important was I learned the ethics of journalism. The system, the rules that…that at its
core—what it should be—and I wouldn’t have known about that hadn’t I studied it. And, you don’t get that from watching the news because they don’t follow those rules, they don’t follow those set of ethics. It’s a really fucked up and unfree press that we have. It’s not a free press. These…these media outlets are all owned and controlled by the CEOs and presidents of oil companies that are benefiting from the news being skewed. There’s no way you’re going to get a real report on what’s happening in this world in a way that…shows them in a bad light. You know what I’m saying? Like, it just wouldn’t happen. And that’s fucked up for us to realize that we know…I think most of us understand who runs the media. And, for us to realize that, “Shit, you know. They most likely wouldn’t run a story that would show us exactly what’s happening, as far as what they’re benefiting from the war, what the purposes of a preemptive strike are without the
UN’s support.” It’s just like…. Dude, I went to the DC protest a couple weeks back, and, literally, there were hundreds of thousands of people there. It was insane. It was peaceful. There was no arrests…there may have been, but it was very…I didn’t see any, I didn’t hear about them afterwards. There were no fights, and it was just basically a whole bunch of people…from all over the country, all gathered together at DC to say,
“Listen. We are not for this war. You are not to do this in our name.” And, uh, we go home to check the press, and the way it was underreported just really fueled my fire even more than it already had been. Fucking…(imitating reporter’s voice) “At least ten thousand people show up in DC for the antiwar protest.” They also said…they put another twist on it that was so fucking crazy, man. And they would not show an
overview. They wouldn’t show an aerial view of the crowd. Because I looked at the crowd…you couldn’t see the end. Either way you looked, you couldn’t see the end of people. What they showed was them on the side…the camera angle was the side of the street and, like, 10 people walk by. You know, like, “Heeeeyyyy!” (Impersonates a protester with a goofy look on his face.) These fucking hippies, waving their fucking
signs, you know? It wasn’t a hippie thing. It wasn’t just this fucking artsy or lazy movement like, “Peace, man. No war.” It was all kinds of people. And that’s what they do. They’re trying to like….And I have a…yes, I have a problem with hippies. Not with what the idea of what a hippie is, but the whole hippie look and them trying to recapture what it was in the 70s, for people to rebel against the Vietnam War. This is a new world. This is a new purpose. This is a new approach that we need to be taking. You can’t just go there wearing your fucking…what do call these? Drug rugs and fucking play your hacky sack. It’s like, fucking show up in a suit and tie, man. We got doctors, lawyers…police officers. We have people from all different fields that are going to these protests, and they need to be represented, and they need to be presented as such. People in America, in middle America and other places that aren’t—I don’t know, they’re not around these kind of happenings too often, and maybe they don’t understand how much America, in general, is truly against this war—need to realize that it is everybody. It’s all different kinds of people. It’s not just one group of people. It’s not one religion. It’s not…it’s not an age thing. It’s just all across the board, different kinds of people. That needs to be represented. I’m sorry for dissing hippies. If…if you have dreadlocks,
fucking great, man. I hope you fucking…really rock.

JM: It’s all right. I think my dad was a hippie.

SF: I think my mom was, too. She won’t admit it. (Knock at door.) Come in. (Talks to road manager.) Okay, all right. I’ll do it. (Door shuts.) Thank you! I didn’t say, “thank you.” She fissed. She didn’t…I didn’t say, “thank you” when she left. She…she logged that information.

JM: Her name’s Dina, right?

SF: Dina. Lovely girl…woman. (Looks at camera.)

JM: Yeah, she’s got the Napoleon complex or…?

SF: Oh, man. Don’t say that! (Smiles.)

JM: Okay, I won’t say it!

SF: I don’t know if she does. We had a talk.

JM: Did you talk to her about that?

SF: Yes.

JM: I mean, you brought it up?

SF: She didn’t…

JM: Take it well? No?

SF: No. Let’s not talk about that.

JM: Okay, sorry. So…did you want to talk more about the war or…?

SF: No, I have nothing to say about it. I’m against it. A lot of people are against it. I’m not following it anymore. I won’t fucking subscribe to…I just don’t support it. And that’s where it ends, like, I will not support it. I will not fight for this country, and we are not represented correctly. We, the people, have lost the power. The government will and needs to be overthrown at some point. And…that’s all I believe in. I don’t believe in a George Bush. I don’t believe in this country, as we know it. If I’m ever to wave a flag,
it’s gonna be for the people that live inside of this country, and it has to be understood as such because at some point, man…When I was in…did I tell you that, man? When I was in Europe, I opened my set with an American flag and…it’s almost like an attack on the people at the show, you know? They see the American flag and the American rapper, and I’m sure, in their head, they had all these images of after 9/11. All the media showed was these crazed Americans waving their flags around and shit. And it was like, I wasn’t
there to disrespect the people of my country as much as I was to represent the people of my country, and let them understand that we aren’t the crazed people that they see on TV. We aren’t George Bush. You know? The people that exist underneath the symbol of this flag are me, you, people who are gonna go to this show tonight, people who fucking are going to the restaurant on the side of the street rather than the show, you know? It’s just like, the people who all went to the protest today, it’s like, also, we are not represented. And the world doesn’t know that. I don’t think they do…because it’s not reported on. How the fuck else would they know…the sentiment of the people of this country? Yet again, we’ve lost complete control and all power, and we’ve been knocked down to our knees for the fucking top few rich people. (Sips water.)

JM: Do you see any…

SF: I’m so inarticulate in this field of discussion. I don’t study it, and I’m not trying to figure it out. All I know is I’m very upset, and I don’t support the killing, and I don’t support the.…We’re going over there, we might as well just act like it’s 1500 and colonize these places that we have no place being in, you know?

JM: Yeah. Enough about the war.

SF: War is the worst thing that ever happened on this earth…and it should be the last resort. When there’s absolutely no…nothing to do, when there’s no way to go about doing what’s right for people…war. The very last fucking resort: war. I can’t believe that we are at our last resort right now, about to have a fucking war where, literally, millions of people are probably going to be killed. And if it’s not a million people, I’ll be surprised. Or maybe they’re just gonna explode a huge part of land and it’ll be over, but…

JM: Do you see any hope for mankind, ever, in the future?

SF: Uh, ye…dude, I don’t know, man. As far as mankind goes, I don’t see much of a future for it. It’s sad for me to say that. Um…I have hope. It’s there. But it’s not rational. It’s hope, that’s what it is. Hope. I fucking hope that it works out. I hope we realize what’s good about us, and we cater to those things. The path that we’ve taken since the beginning of humanity has…has been a very negative one. There needs to be
powerful people. There needs to be people who are convincing enough to the rest of this world, who have a positive light, who have answers and solutions and are able to lead through example, and we need those people. We need them to be heard, and we need the current leaders to fucking step aside when something like that happens because there’s some elements that exist in our daily lives that are preventing that from happening. (Answers cell phone.) Real quick. 10, 15…whatever pack comes in. Uh, yeah…I haven’t…all right. Well, they’re all on the list. I have no say in that. Yes, yes. Okay. Hello? (Puts phone into pocket.) Okay. Sorry, I said…(gets vocal) I’m really upset. I have a lot to say. I have a lot of things to say, but I don’t have anything to say. I’m not even upset. I think humanity is fucking beautiful. I think um…we’re still hairy, we still have hair on our bodies, you know? We need sex, and we need to fucking eat, and that will keep us down forever. When we break out of this fucking skin shell maybe we can evolve in some other weird plane that we don’t understand yet, and that’s my hope. That’s my fucking hope. I hope we live forever in a much better place. (Sage and sex)…missing

JM: I was reading somewhere that you were abstinent or something?

SF: What did you read?

JM: I don’t know…I think it was through a HipHopInfinity interview. You were talking about how you were abstinent. There’s no truth to that, is there?

SF: There’s none. (Laughs.) Because…sex is…one of these only fucking things that keeps my mind off some very negative and horrible things. The act of it…what leads up into it, what exists after it…is one of those…it’s…it’s a lot of things. It’s fucking beautiful, it’s fucking ugly. And it’s one of those simple things that, as a human and as an animal, I can believe in. I mean, it’s not a great thing to believe in, but it’s fucking…I like sex. Um, it fucks me up. It’s…I don’t know. Maybe I have a problem with it. I have a problem. I’m gonna talk about that problem. (Knock on door. Someone opens it.) Hello! (Shakes hands with fellow at door.) Let me talk to you. I’ll be real quick. Who’s that? Hi Anne! How are ya? I’ll be done soon. (Sage sits back down.) That was Christian. (Christian reappears at door.) I put them on the guest list. It has a…wristband. That’s what it said in the e-mail. Yeah. (Sage sighs.) Ooooohhhh.

JM: Yeah, hopefully we can wrap this up pretty soon.… How long do you see yourself

SF: I don’t know. I see some of the people that I enjoy and they’re in their 60s and they’re still performing. There’s other people who I love and they didn’t live much past 26, you know? Physically, I feel like…if I don’t make any major changes I won’t be able to perform well beyond…five years from now. My show has become too intense and too hard on myself that I just can’t see it happening. I just see it degenerating my body and my brain. It’s fucked up. I wanted to talk about sex.

JM: Okay, go ahead. Continue. (Laughs.)

SF: Okay, I had a problem. I have a problem. I think I have a problem. A real problem. I have an issue with it. It’s…uh…(thinks a bit). See, I have a dual nature. In one sense, sex is—and I was very idealistic about it from the get-go—to be for one other person. You know, um…and I thought…I thought I knew that one other person. And…you know, when you subscribe to that theory, and when you’re so idealistic—and you think you have the whole fucking universe worked out, figured out—and it crumbles, and it leaves you, and you have to reevaluate. I was like, “Well, I’m gonna fucking pick up where I left off and I’m gonna resettle somewhere else. And then that situation doesn’t work out, you know? And then I start to reevaluate myself and my ideals and what the fuck I’m thinking because everything that I wanted to work out for myself didn’t and um…I think about the simplicities of life. I enjoy good food. I like to feel healthy. I like to be awake and have good sleeping patterns. And, almost none of my life is conducive to that kind of shit. But I enjoy sex. And when I can’t have somebody to have sex with, I’m gonna have sex by myself. And I’m gonna fucking…when there’s somebody that’s fucking great to have sex with, and if it can be done correctly and it won’t fuck me up too much, hopefully we can have sex. And maybe I’m a virgin still and I don’t understand
sex. And maybe my dick fell of last year and…I’ve been trying to rebuild it. Um…I don’t know. I don’t like sex with guys, but I’m not against it. I just…I’m not a…personally, it hasn’t worked out. It’s um…my ass is…weird. I have a pink sock that sticks out of it. (Looks up and sees me making a disturbed, yet concerned, face. Sage breaks into laughter. So do I.) HAHAHAhahahaha. I wish the camera was on your face. Hahaha. Let’s not do th…I don’t…the gay talk was just to see how you were, if you were comfortable with it. If you were comfortable, I’m comfortable!

JM: Nothing against gays, but…

SF: I…I’m…I said I’m not against it, and I’m not…because I have issues with my homosexuality. And, uh, maybe that’s why sex with girls has turned into such an issue with me. I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m too old to be fucking caring about sex and food and sleep. It’s just gonna come and go and…it’s a simple hunger. It’s a simple hunger that can be satisfied simply and then it’s time to get on to bigger and better issues.
I want to be the metaman…and I want to have a metadick…and the metaworld is where I want to live.

JM: And use that with metaforce (metaphors)?

SF: Metaforce.

JM: So…(looks at questions) hip-hop. Do you see yourself doing anything else besides hip-hop?

SF: Uhh…yeah. I don’t see…

JM: Could you quit today and not look back on it?

SF: I don’t know…because I’ve quit other things that have been just as big in my life, and I haven’t really looked back. I can’t really help it. I mean, if it’s engrained in me it’s there, and I have dreams about it, and I can’t escape that. It’s something that I probably think about more than I even realize. No, I couldn’t stop cold turkey. I would do it…I just have to do it. It’s part of my routine. It’s like a fucking…it’s just a habit of action, of thought. But that doesn’t mean I have to put it out to the public, that doesn’t mean I actually have to produce it. It’s just there. I don’t want to do hip-hop. I don’t want to do anything with a word like that. That is something that’s so undefinable. I want to do things. I want to do stuff. And, I want it to be enjoyed by people. It’s gonna be art, and hip-hop is very artistic, but it has to go beyond that. The whole hip-hop appeal has become cheapened and it feels cheap. And, that’s why I try to do what people consider hip-hop, with as much integrity as possible. I try to do it with as much…genuine spirit and…as truthfully as I can, and as honest as I can, without really pimping out my fucking mundane activities of life, you know? It has to be done artistically. I try to be creative as possible…and with as much integrity. But, um, it’s a point now [where] it’s time to move on. It’s change and do new things. As an artist, if I stick…if I’m just going to do this hip-hop forever…like, where the fuck am I going to go? How am I going to change and develop as a human, and just as a…rational being. You can’t do…you can’t be Sysiphus. You can’t be pushing that same rock up the same hill, up and down, up and down. That’s what sex is for. That’s what eating’s for. That’s the rock. Those are the rocks that we push. Sleep, sex, food—are the rock. And there has to be something
beyond pushing the rock up and down the hill that helps you elevate beyond the mundane world. Whew, deep. I just thought of that.

JM: Let’s go deeper.

SF: I’m gonna write it. Go ahead.

JM: Let’s go about six feet deeper…and talk about death.

SF: Okay.

JM: On your shirt, you know, and the name of the tour is “The Live Band, Dead PoetTour,” and on your shirt you have 1968-2001…you have your own start and end points, you know? It says, “Sage Francis” up there and…would you just mind explaining…death?

SF: Ummm…I can, a little bit. I mean…you said it well. You said it well. We have our own start and end points. We really do. And, we generate every so often and we start from new places. And, um, 2001 was the year that a lot of things happened for me and a lot of things took off, and Personal Journals was completed. That was a huge benchmark for me and um…it was it. That’s it. That was my life up until that point. It was…it was…I don’t know. The dates represent a few things. I can’t get into it, I’m not going to
explain it, I’m not going to break it down. It’s just…having the death date there is there for a few reasons, but one is…it’s a new beginning. When I’ve done that, like when I usually put that down, it’s a new beginning from that point. Like I’m going to go in a new direction.

JM: How is your life now different from what it was back then?

SF: It’s…I have a whole new…I can look back on things that I’ve thought two years ago, things that I’ve written, and not even identify with it. It won’t even click. And…I can look at myself…we all do that. Can’t you just look at your teenage years and, you read your diary and—I don’t know if you wrote a journal or whatever—and just shake your head and be embarrassed by like, “Why did I…why was I thinking that?” You
know, it’s just like because we’ve reprocessed, we’ve…went down new lanes of existence and understanding, and we’re so far from beyond that point. I don’t even want to do that. I feel sad because to consider the fact that I’m not even the same guy I was back when I was 14 years old, when I thought I had this world figured out. I was a fucking much happier person back then. Maybe I should go back, backpedal to where I was…but it’s, I’m beyond the point of no return now. It’s not like I can do that. Um, I
don’t know. Death is an issue…obviously. It’s something that consumes a lot of my thoughts and I don’t want it to and…

JM: So setting your own start and end points gives you more…gives you a sense of control?

SF: Sort of, yeah. A little bit. That’s part of it. Yeah.

JM: I think that’s about it. If you’d like to say anything else…

SF: You know, dude, I’m…(looks into camera) I want to apologize. Your red light’s blinking. What does that mean?

JM: It’s okay. I think it’s still recording.

SF: (Stretching out t-shirt.) I want to apologize…for…paying too much attention to my mouth when I talk, and my hair and my mustache are uneven, and it makes me self conscious, and I’m very aware of my face. My accent annoys me. Um…

JM: What kind of accent is that?

SF: It’s a Rhode Island accent. But it’s been bastardized and switched up through the years. Um…there’s other things I wanted to say. Uh…(looks back into camera) I want to keep making things. Death really is not to be a part of my everyday activity. It’s not to be in my music anymore. I don’t want it there. It’ll sneak its way in and out but that’s…we’re beyond that. I mean, death only as a concept is what matters, and god as a concept is one of those huge things, to me, um…and to you. I know you. I know you much better than you think I do. I hope we meet sometime. I would love to shake your hand and…maybe get a kiss, uh, right here (points to mouth) on the face. Uh, I don’t know…maybe have sex a little bit, if you want to have sex. Just, uh, no condoms. I like skin. I don’t believe in diseases. I think they’re fake. And, uh, germs…were never real. Do the knowledge. (Puts on t-shirt. On the front it reads, in big letters written with a sharpie: I BLAME YOU. Stretches arms out.) Good night. Thank you. (Shakes my hand.)

JM: Thank you, Sage.

SF: Get it on camera…like a politician. (Smiles.) Thanks.

Sound Operator: That was very cool.

SF: (Gets up and hugs sound operator.) I love you.

May 30

SFR video interview from SXSW and pretty pictures

Here’s part 1 of an interview we did at this year’s SXSW, features me, B. Dolan, Prolyphic, Scroobius Pip, Jared Paul and Sleep.

As promised, here are some  pretty pictures:

Substance Event at 1st Ave. Photo by Jonathan Hoffner

Substance Event at 1st Ave. Photo by Jonathan Hoffner

Substance Event at 1st Ave. Photo by Jonathan Hoffner

Substance Event at 1st Ave. Photo by Jonathan Hoffner

Eyes like dead lights. Photo by Jonathan Hoffner

Eyes like dead lights. Photo by Jonathan Hoffner

Stange Fam gets personal. Photo by Jonathan Hoffner

Stange Fam gets personal. Photo by Jonathan Hoffner

Want vs. Do Not Want

Want vs. Do Not Want

Apr 20

Record Store Day on April 18th

Apparently April 18th is “Record Store Day”
One of my favorite record stores, Twist & Shout in Denver, made me aware of this. They sent out a questionnaire and I feel like filling it out. So hurr it is.

1) Where did you buy your first record? What was it?

“The first album I bought with my own money was Run DMC’s ‘Raising Hell’ which remains to be one of my favorite hip-hop albums. I purchased it at a tape store in the Lincoln Mall. I can’t remember the name of it, but it isn’t a store that lasted very long. I remember they had a jukebox type thing that had a limited list of songs you could purchase and it would dispense a cassette tape with your mix. That was the original itunes. When I got home from the mall, I discovered my mom had gone and bought me Raising Hell already.  I was excited to have two copies of it.”

2 )What record have you wanted more than any other in your collecting career? Did you ever get it?

“Masta Ace had a song called ‘H-A-R-D-C-O-R-E’ as the b-side to a white-label 12″ back in the early 90′s. My friend Mig had it but I’ve never been able to get a copy of my own.”

3) What is it about records, or record stores that are different from downloading?

“Walking through aisles of artwork, flipping through classics and non-classics…letting your imagination and instinct run wild. Downloading can’t hold a candle to that experience.”

4) Any of the products for Record Store Day that you are particularly excited about?  Why?

“Not really, no. I’m not prepared. The ones I’m excited about come out in June. Until then, I can’t pretend I know of anything coming out before then. Don’t even let me know. Quiet now.”

Sleep Hesitation Wounds June 30th on SFR

Sleep "Hesitation Wounds" June 30th on SFR

Apr 10

“How Do You Sleep?”

Upon entering the wonderful world of this evening I damn near suffered from a brain aneurysm. In the group of videos recommended on the home page, I was introduced to Jesse McCartney’s “How Do You Sleep” video.

Any John Lennon fan would see that artist’s name grouped with that song title and think the same thing I did:

“Are you fucking kidding me? Paul McCartney has a snot-nosed kid covering (or responding to) John Lennon’s ‘How Do You Sleep’ song?”

For anyone who doesn’t know, “How Do You Sleep” is something of a battle track aimed at Paul McCartney off of John Lennon’s “Imagine” album. It is one of my favorite battle-ish tracks of all time. Not only did John Lennon attack the government, military, government, and the concept of “god” while doing it with incredible melody and production during his solo career, but he lays into Paul McCartney with dis tracks and response tracks. Does he do it for obvious reasons or personal reasons most of us could never understand? Who cares. It’s great.

“a pretty face may last a year or two. But pretty soon they’ll see what you can do. The sound you make is muzak to my ears. You must have learned SOMETHING in all those years. Ughhh….how do you sleep? Ughhhh…how do you sleep at night?”

Here’s the full song if you haven’t heard it before:


For those who don’t need the little history lesson, you’ve skipped ahead to this part. Well here is the “How Do You Sleep” song by Jesse McCartney:


For those who decided to skip the video altogether, you may have missed the fact that it features Ludacris. This cameo, for some reason, added validity to my fear that this guy actually has some clout and that this song is in reference to the John Lennon’s song with the same title.

Well…it’s not. Kid…I researched this shit. I put my journalistic training to use and I surfed the rough waters of the internets until I came up with cold hard FACTS. Boom bam. You’re welcome! This Jesse McCartney dude is not related to Paul McCartney. Not only that, but he is probably totally unfamiliar with John Lennon’s song. I suspect his career and the song title is a failed attempt by whatever collective of schmucks tried to manufacture a hit with this twat.

According to wikipedia:
“Jesse Abraham Arthur McCartney (born April 9, 1987) is an American singer-songwriter and actor. McCartney rose to fame in the early 2000s as member of the boy band Dream Street. He subsequently branched out into a solo career, having appeared in the television series Summerland.”

Why the hell did I waste part of my life (and possibly yours) dissecting something that doesn’t matter at all to anyone? Because after a long day of work I tried finding something enjoyable on youtube, but instead my head almost exploded.

If nothing else, I hope I introduced some people to the wonderful solo work of a highly under-appreciated John Lennon album.

Also, to make this hip-hop related, I’m amused by the fact that Ludacris will seemingly do anything if the money is right. Or maybe he was obligated to appear on this kid’s track due to a Mickey Mouse contract. Friends and contemporaries of mine swear that Luda is dope and I can understand why they think that. However, the Lennon spirit in me tells me otherwise.

Tell me. Tell me.
How do you sleep at night?

Mar 23

People pay for “plays” on Myspace. (prt 2 of a continuing series)

Some people may remember the last time I did something like this. The difference here is this “company” is trying to sell their “online marketing/promotion” services rather than just being upfront and admit they’re in the business of falsifying play counts for musicians on Myspace.

As everyone knows, it is more important to make it look like people listen to your music than actually make music people are interested in listening to. Yes, people pay for play counts. So this company can thank me for the free advertising I’m giving them. God damn, I hate spammers.

I did my best to spell as bad as them so I could blend in. But damn, they even spell their own name wrong. If you want to waste 5 minutes then read the interaction below:

Date: Mar 9, 2009 12:51 AM

Hi there! We recently added you as one of our Friends here on
Myspace; Reason being, we took the time to listen to your Music and we
are very impresed by it. You show great talent and vass potential. Here
at Millenium Promoters we take tremendous pride in providing our
Artists with outstanding service. If you are intrested, please contact
us whenever you get a free minute. To learn more about us and what we
do here at M.P. please take a minute to visit our Myspace Page.
Thank you
-Millenium Promoters


hey! thank you for adding me. I see that you sell “plays” on
myspace and youtube. The figures you offer are very impresive. I
understand you have vass potential but I need an understanding of
exactly how vass. Could you give me some details?
thanks man


Hi there, and thank you for choosing Millenium Promoters as your
source for online Marketing/Promotion. To answer your question; What we
do here at Millenium Promoters is take your Myspace Page and Boradcast
it all throughout Myspace. If it is only plays you are looking for, we
take just your Myspace Player and market your songs to listeners who
fit your Genre of Music. I hope my answer to your question was
satisfactory. If you have any other questions, feel free to send us a
message at anytime.
Thank you
- M.P.



Thanks for the response. I’m interested. How would you boradcast my
myspace page in ways that I am not doing already? If you could, let me
know what I’d be paying for and what my options are. Same with youtube.


Hi there. Our question to you is, how are you Broadcasting your
Myspace Page at current moment? Once we determine that, we can assure
you of the ways our Company Promotes for Artists like yourself.

Thank you


cool. well, i don’t know much about broadcasting. but at current
moment i just have my myspace page running through the internet. which
means it is online and other people are checking it out from their own
computers (not my own obviously) via the internets. So really it just
seems like…it’s kind of been working out pretty well for me but i
know there are ways of improving this. I just want an idea of how this
happens. I have a budget but I’m first need to know that i’m not being
scammed. not that you are a scammer. but i get tons of scam emails. i
mark them as scam and then they’re gone. this one i kept though


Well, first off thank you for not Marking us as Spam. That we definatly
are not. Secondly, you are right about your Myspace Page getting
Traffic, soley based on your talents and noteriety as an Artist. In our
case though, there are two ways we can Promote your Music for you. If
it is only the Plays that you are looking; for myself as well as my
other team of Associates Market your Myspace Player to the Genre of
listeners you impact the most. If it views you are interested in we
Market your Page itself.(as I have previously explained both of these
before to you) We have teamed up with Jeff Goldstein of Last – Route
Ent. With his Contact List (Listeners, Promoters & Musicians) and
our Associates, we have taken Online Promotion to new and greater

If you are still warry or need reassurance on our end; we will
first Promote you FREE for ONE day (being tomorrow 3/10/09) and assure
you will recieve 3,000 Page Views & Song Plays, to get you started.

Thank you for your time.


well yes i am warry just because this seems like some weird magical
type stuff. hehe. but what concerns me is i typically get more than
3000 plays. so if you do this test run does that means i will only get
3000 plays? also, just to be sure, when you get me plays on my myspace
page it doesnt mean youre hacking my page right? thats something i
warry about. i dont have tons of internet knowledge but i do believe in
promotion when its done right.


Hey! Ok, so we Promoted your Myspace Page accordingly and I now see you have 10,000+ Plays/Views today already!

If you are interested in doing business with us after showing you,
what we can do for you; please contact us at your earliest convenience.

Thank you

Hi there. We were curious to know if you had recieved our last Message yet?
Thank you


I think so. Can you explain what happened?


We targeted your Listener Genre; Since your such a Popular Artist
it was not nearly as difficult to get your Views/Plays to increase. We
set a goal of atleast 8,000 Views/Plays and went well beyond that.


How did you target my listener genre? That’s what I’m wondering.
Because whatever form of promo you use, all it results in is play
increases. No other activity was different.


No, your Views & your Plays were increased. We monitored your Myspace Page very carefully the day we Promoted for you.


So what you’re saying is you are in the business of increasing play counts for people who want to pay for that?


Not exactly. Our service is strictly to increase Traffic to an
Artist’s Page; Myspace, Soundclick, Youtube or regular URL. When
Increasing Traffic to Myspace, Soundclick & Youtube, Traffic
results in higher numbers of Plays/Views.


Yes, but traffic didn’t increase. Just my play count. No other activity changed. So what’s the magic trick here?


There is no “Magic Trick”. If that was the case, how did you
recieve your other 6,000 Plays that day that you usually obtain by

I will prove to you your Plays/Views did Increase.
I will make sure myself & my associates Promote your Music page on Tuesday 3/17/09.
Before we start Promotin we will Tell you your Total Views, Total Plays, and Plays for the Day.
At 12 Midnight we will again, send you another E-mail showing you the results.


OK. Let me know where it’s promoted so I can give it a look.
thanks man


Hey there! Ok so as we promised we would let you experience another 1 free day trial period.

The time now is 9:45 P.M. and our efforts of promoting have ended.(this
doesn’t mean your Statistics will not Increase further from now until
Midnight, or further).

When we started your promotion your Total Views were: 3,347,685,
which now are at 3,357,615 — That is an Increase of just under 10,000

Your Total Plays were: 6,027,117 which now are at 6,037,104 — That also is an Increase of just under 10,000

We have been Monitoring your Page for the past 72 hours and our
Statistics find that on a daily basis you are averaging anywhere from
3-7,000 plays. Today you have already hit 13,000+.

We now look forward to doing business with you sir. Hope to hear from you soon.


But as I asked twice before, I need you to show me where my page is
being promoted. I’d like a link or an explanation as to how the play
counts are going up. Because otherwise, all you’re involved in is
increasing song plays which is not promotion.


I’m sorry we cannot show you where and or how we Promote you as an
Artist. If that was the case, you yourself could take the information
we provide, and do it yourself. I’ve explained before, your Page Views
& Song Plays are Increasing due to where, how and who we are
Marketing your Music to.

If it is our process of where and how we market you, we cannot provide you with that knowledge.


If you can’t show me, then you can’t show anyone else, and that
means no one else is seeing my page. Why don’t you just be upfront
about what you’re actually trying to sell me? You’re trying to sell me
extra plays on my myspace player. And lucky for you I am interested in
purchasing that. I’m just not going to pretend that I’m paying for
So do you want to do this or not?

Let’s go.


Which Package Deal are you most intrested in at this time?
We will give you an added 5,000 Plays Extra, instead of the normal 1,000.


Where do I send the money?
Who do I write the check out to?


No checks. We have set up a PayPal Account;

Once you have srnt the money please send us a Message, telling us what
Package Deal you selected and how you would like to ercieve your Plays
and or Views. All in one month, one week, etc.

Thank you


OK. I wasn’t going to pay with a check. But paypal is some magical
stuff I have never been able to understand. Is it OK if I pay you in
props? Or something else that’s intangible…sort of like play counts?


No, sorry strictly money. If you are having a problem with PayPal I
can walk you through it. It is actually a very simple process.


If you were a real business man you’d accept the props and just
roll with it. You’re beginning to frustrate me and make me warried.


I don’t understand why your getting worried. And by “props” you mean what exactly?


Props, ya know? Big ups. Much respect. That kinda thing. Don’t you do this for the love? You should.


No sir we do not. If you would like recieve services through us, thats fine. But we will not do this for Free.


Now I feel deceived. Have you ever heard of the BETTER BUSINESS
BUREAU? Yeah, well…they’re about to hear from me. I hope you have
your internet business registered properly with the state you come
from. Otherwise you’re in more trouble than you could ever imagine.


Are you trying to Black Mail us sir?


Alright, now you’re getting racist. And there’s no need for that.
But so what if I was a black mail? SO WHAT??? You gonna get all uppity
on me?

What I am TRYING to explain to you is that I’m going to send you to jale for false advertising. So get ready.


Your a funny man.


To: All Spammers

Mar 18

A toy, a video, and a sausage mix

First things first, check out this “sage toy” a guy named Jay222 put together and sent over to me. This thing is diesel. It’s heavy and rugged. If it comes to life it will kick my ass. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about stuff like that a lot.

the toy was hand sculpted out of a polymer based clay called sculpey and hand painted with acrylic based paint.

If you want to check out more of this guy’s stuff the pictures are available at

Second things second, here is a fan video someone made of my song “Good Fashion.” Not only did the person not learn the words before making a video, but it’s awesome in all different sorts of ways. It’s truly entertaining to me and if you don’t like it then I guess we’re not cut from the same cloth. So eff off.

Fan video for \”Good Fashion\”

Last things last, here is a mix I put together because I felt like it. I call it “Tom Sawyer Sausage”

And final things final, B. Dolan and Jared Paul are on tour! Check them out so you can get learned on some stuff.



Mar 11

Slow Down “Ghandi”

I often receive messages from US soldiers from over seas. Sometimes they tell me how they feel like they were tricked into the service. Mostly they tell me about how they can’t wait to get home. Some of my friends from school have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. It always makes me wonder how they perceive my music or my message. Ever since 9/11 I’ve been on an anti-war crusade, and that reflects in my music. However, art is always left to interpretation and sometimes people interpret my lyrics in ways I never intended. That’s not “right” or “wrong”…that’s just how it goes.

That being said, I’m very careful about the type of energy I throw out into the ethersphere when it comes to my art. I know that ambiguity can work against me, but sometimes there just isn’t any plain way of saying something without it being a 30 page term paper that no one would ever read. For the record, my song “Slow Down Gandhi” is about fly-by-night activists who get caught up in political fervor every election year and then they fall by the wayside when the party is over. Those people annoy me to no end and it’s a big reason why meant so much to me. At the risk of being a broken record, the motto stands true…”You vote with your wallet every day.”

Recently I received these photos from a soldier in Iraq. I assume it was meant as some sort of homage to my song or the idea of my song, but I can only hope that the homage is for the intended purpose of the song.

Dear Barack…bring ‘em home.

Mar 05

Underground as F*ck

When we say we’re underground/indie, I don’t think you all really understand how precise that description is.

I’ll make this short and then get to the pictures. But first I want to give a hearty THANK YOU to everyone who attended our basement show last night and to everyone who helped make this show such a great success. I was incredibly nervous about this show which is abnormal. I never threw a show like this. It’s something we had to build from the bottom up. Handling everything from sound system, door charge, stage construction, performance times, store management….I mean…EVERYTHING. And it all went off without a hitch which felt like something of a small miracle. The crowd was great, the performances were great, and everyone helped out where need be (right down to our girlfriends picking up the slack wherever necessary.) The sound was great. The venue (our office space in Pawtucket, RI) worked out really well. The crowd was respectful and supportive. Bam, bam, bam…awesomeness.

Massive ups to B. Dolan, Prayers for Atheists, Prolyphic, Shane Hall, Ryan G., Storm, Erich, and The Grant building for letting us throw our basement show. All photos by Amanda Goss.

Cross Colors hats are making a come back.

Cross Colors hats are making a come back.

Sage Francis and B. Dolan discuss chubby bumble bees.

Sage Francis and B. Dolan discuss chubby bumble bees.

Prolyphic takes the floor

Prolyphic takes the floor

Prolyphic applies ear plugs in the SFR office

Prolyphic applies ear plugs in the SFR office

Prayers for Atheists

Prayers for Atheists

Jared Paul and Cousin Tom from PFA

Jared Paul and Cousin Tom from PFA

B. Dolan looms over the crowd and crushes JTs adams apple.

B. Dolan looms over the crowd and crushes JT's adam's apple.

Shane Hall

Shane Hall

Storm Davis and Prolyphic

Storm Davis and Prolyphic

RI love. Thank you once again.

RI love. Thank you once again.

Feb 28

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