Date: April 05, 2002
Bottom Line Magazine

Gay Icons
by C.A. Lawver

Although openly gay musician Sacket is a classically trained pianist, he says that after a friend introduced him to the computer as a musical instrument it is something he has found himself using more and more. He readily embraces that equipment and sees it as one more musical tool to be explored. "I'm experimental in the way I approach music," explains Sacket. " I'm interested in going places where I didn't think I could go." Sacket continues, "Even on the new album, I've tried to do something musically different from the first. That CD, Alabaster Flesh, was "all about layering for me. I was playing piano and wasn't feeling like I was as loud as I wanted to be. I love rock and roll, grunge and punk." Sacket says, "Alabaster was a very internal project. I was told you shouldn't be a gay artist - I shouldn't talk about men." To Sacket it just didn't make sense. "If I had any integrity and if music had any power for me I have to be out.
All my music and poetry is about going into myself."

Sacket says he thinks honesty is often lacking in the music of gay performers. In a world where success is often achieved prior to coming out, "It takes away from you respect," says Sacket. "Being gay is like this little drop of dye in a glass of water. It's just a little part of you but it goes everywhere. It formed me as a person. It affects your whole life experience. It forms all your experiences - it colors everything."

For Sacket, writing music is a learning experience. "Songwriting helps me face my fears. In the process of writing I come to understand and process my own actions. It's like breathing - it's so necessary." Honesty, integrity, and sense of self are important in my music," says Sacket. "Every song I write is an experience and I love them all."

Archetypes and mythological images play a strong role in Sacket's lyrics. His album has been described as a modern day hero's fable. "Music for me is a way for people to get to their heart. It's about thought congealed." Sacket says he finds men like Martin Luther King and Gandhi to be more representative of what a hero is compared to popular tough guys like Arnold Swarzenegger, John Wayne, and Michael Jordan. "There are so many unsung gay heroes," according to Sacket. "A hero to me is someone who embodies guts and courage to be who he is."

If advances in music technology stimulate Sacket, he is equally inspired by music that's classic. "I'm finding inspiration right now in groups like the Velvet Underground, Lou Reed, The Clash. They're all about expressing things that may not always be pretty to look at." Sacket admits a special place in his musical heart for Tori Amos because she is also a classical pianist. "Hearing her music made me think - Wow, I can do this, too," Sacket explains.

Sacket has become a familiar musician on the coffee house music circuit and he has made a point of performing in schools. The frank messages in his music about his own struggles as a gay man, do not always open doors easily. But it is a message he has been trying hard to bring to teenagers. "For me, high school was so closeted," says Sacket. "It's a goal of mine to support these kids that have the guts to come out in school."

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