Date: February 09, 2005
From: Allalom Productions
by Allalom Productions
They say that music can create emotions, or bring out dormant feelings long considered dead. Sacha Sacket has achieved that wonderful skill and power with his latest offering, his unique blend of sounds and styles have created a lasting impression on all who listen to him, he was gracious enough to let us talk to him about his views on music and censorship.
ALLALOM PRODUCTIONS: Thank you for taking the time to talk with me.
SACHA SACKET: No problem!
AP: OK, for our readers, can I get a brief history of you and your music?
SS: Cool. I started playing piano around the age of 6. My mom put me in lessons, which were never much fun for me. I didn't take to them, as most kids do not. I think I was in them for about 2 years or so when I decided to stop. I remember it being somewhat of a heartbreaking and sad decision on my part. So about 6 months to a year later, I just sat on the piano again and taught myself how to play. I knew how to read music from lessons. Everything you hear is basically what I taught myself through reading classical music. I started really singing in high school. I got cast as the lead in the high school play and the spring musical which was a big deal for me at the time. In hindsight, it is rather embarrassing. I know those tapes are somewhere. After I graduated, I decided I wanted to do music full time and perform my own songs.
AP: Shadowed is your second album, correct?
SS: Yes. Alabaster Flesh is my first.
AP: This album had some of the most moody and heavy pop music to come around in a long time - what influences you?
SS: I have tons of influences. A lot of them literary to be honest. I would say that Walt Whitman is my top influence. His ability with words and the thoughts he presented in his work are pure genius. I read his poetry all the time. Music influences are very varied. I like a lot of stuff. Everything from Beethoven to Bjork.
AP: What was the recording process like, how long did it take you to record this album?
SS: Well it's hard to say how an album starts really. The songs themselves take a while usually. The actual recoding process was somewhere around 3 months in studio. But I was programming on the computer for 6 months before that. A lot of stuff did not make it on the album. I wrote at least 100 songs before I found the ones for Shadowed. Recording is incredibly difficult for me. I work myself to the bone. There is just something that overtakes me. I push myself as hard as I can, don't sleep, drink too much coffee, pull my hair out… It's an extreme experience for me. But I love it at the same time. The extremity of the situation also bleeds into a lot of beautiful moments and realizations. It makes the album take on its own life. The experience becomes more profound the more you put into it.
AP: How has the reception to the album been?
SS: Awesome. A lot of people really respond to it. I think its funny how across the board my audience can be. I get people of all shapes and sizes. I absolutely love that… my goal was to be as accessible and as open as possible without trading the artistic truth or intensity of the songs. I think Shadowed does a good job of straddling that balance.
AP: Is there anything in it that you would have liked to change, or edit?
SS: There are always things you want to change with a song once it is done, but I think that is the purpose of playing live as well. I really don't see an album as concrete as most see it. I know that the song can be sung and played many different ways – because I usually try them all out before going to studio. The record is just a testament to what the song wanted to be at that period of time and in live situations, I will change lyrics and sections as I see fit. I think that's another part of the process of music.
AP: What is the music scene like for a pop artist in southern California?
SS: I don't really see myself as much of a pop artist to be honest. That term gets used for so many different kinds of music. But southern California is a difficult place to pursue your art - I will be honest. There are a lot of people you have to go through, a lot of weird races for certain things… its all too competitive and false. I try and keep a level head with LA because most of it has nothing to do with music to begin with. I think we forget that sometimes. No one cares how many competitions, attention, or reviews you garner at the end of the day. It's all about what you brought to the table in the first place. It's all about how you express yourself and the person you choose to be. I think that is what people respond to, but not necessarily what the industry does.
AP: What do you think of the current music being played on the radio?
SS: Mainstream radio not indie right? I do listen to it when I am jetting from place to place and keep a tag on what is currently popular. It's more of a science to me – I try and take the songs apart to understand why people think they are "hits." Those songs rarely affect me emotionally or intellectually. There are a few bands that come out with a hit every year that I like. I always seem to stick to the less commercialized music – it's just my taste. I DO feel that radio is somewhat arbitrary in what it chooses to play. What they deem as good is rather random. I think the public is a lot more open to different kinds of music. Radio is very strict in its formats. I think that is out of fear more than anything else.
AP: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
SS: I have lots of ideas for things I would love to do in the future. I really want to get involved with film and writing. I am not entirely certain in what capacity or when.
AP: What kind of impact do you wish to leave behind in your music?
SS: That's a HUGE question! One of the things I find very important to me with my music, is that it keeps me honest and true. I really fight the pretense. My music is not about what is cool, it is about who I am deep down, what I struggle with, how I fight and push through life. How to live courageously and authentically. I write songs because I need to know how to do this. That is so important and so poorly valued in music a lot of times. I guess I hope to supply a record for others to see how I have lived and learn from it in whatever way they choose to.
AP: Do you have any plans to tour this upcoming year?
SS: Yes! I will be all over the place this spring and summer. Fall 2005 and Spring 2006 should also be packed with shows.
AP: What is your view on the following: the current state of independent music?
SS: I think we are in an incredible position with all that is going on in the music industry. A lot of the labels are taking heavy hits. I do not think it just has to do with music sharing on the internet either. I think they have been pumping a lot of bad music into peoples homes. There is very little loyalty. An indie artist can really take advantage of the situation and get heard a lot easier than before. Labels are busy trying to cover their own asses, they are less in control. The internet is an incredible tool in itself. It's a ton easier to reach people now.
AP: Downloading MP3s?
SS: Most people don't understand that CD sales are what help make the next album and give the artist a future! Even when an artist is signed to a major label… if you like their music, you need to buy their CD or else they will get dropped (from a perceived lack of interest) and you will likely never hear from them again. This is especially true with indie musicians. You have to directly support them or else it makes it impossible to keep on going.
AP: The FCC & RIAA?
SS: I think the whole censorship thing is really, really boring. I am quite liberal and open, so I don't see why people go so crazy over a nipple in this country. I mean, we all have 'em… We have this puritanical, warped opinion that I don't vibe with. I really think that if we create an open forum to discuss sex and our lives in general, things would be a lot better in the end. Non-communication and censorship breeds discontent. It smells suspicious to me.
AP: Is there anything else you would like to end with?
SS: Thanks for the interview!
AP: Once again, thank you for your time, we at ALLALOM wish you the
best for your musical ventures.
To hear more about Sacha Sacket and to pick up a copy of his latest release, please visit him online at www.sachasacket.com.