Date: April 08, 2005
From: Gay Link Content
The Darker Side of Soul: Interview With Singer/Songwriter Sacha Sacket
by Andrew Hicks
We had already missed each other twice when I was finally able to catch up with singer and songwriter Sacha Sacket to talk about his new album Shadowed. He has been busy preparing to kick off his summer tour, which will take him across the country with stops at numerous colleges and pride festivals. The tour will be in support of the eclectically put together Shadowed. "I like playing the college campuses because they seem to be more open minded about my music," said Sacket in a phone interview.
It doesn't take much of an open mind to realize Sacket's phenomenal talent. Shadowed, which is his second album, is a collection of twelve songs that flow more like a 45 minute confessional set off by Sacket's haunting piano. His music is like a mixture of the better parts of Fiona Apple and Tori Amos with a vocal ability that explodes through the speakers and delivers a heaping spoonful of earcandy.
His story isn't much different than most piano players, he started at the age of six with lessons but hated it so badly that stopped until the age of nine when he discovered Beethoven and his love for classical music. Over time he learned to contort the sounds coming out of the piano into his own creation. "I knew classical music wasn't for me because the amount of hours these people practice was unreal, some of them spend like eight hours a day on a piano and I knew this was something I couldn't do but I was trying."
He explained that music was his way of dealing with being young and gay and it was an outlet to deliver his angst. "One reason music was so important to me was because I wasn't the most popular kid in middle school, especially because people knew I was gay. I had a rough time and music was pretty much the only way I could escape. You don't go home and say 'mom all the kids are making fun of me for being gay,' so the only place I really had to express these feelings was on the piano."
Sacket released his first album Alabaster Flesh in 2001, but now on his second album he said that he feels he has made an album that represents him. "This album is on a whole new level than the first. There are people who love the first one and who are not into this album, so its hard to say that one is better than the other. I feel that Shadowed represents me a lot more. I think vocally this album is better, because I stopped taking singing lessons and that actually improved my voice," he says with a laugh. "This album I focused on communicating exactly where I was at and if you want to join me we can be here."
Through the keys of his piano he communicates the deep pain of ex-lovers and jaded memories of forgotten love. One track that illustrates this best is the soundscape of orchestra and haunting piano, "Sweet Suicide." "I wrote the lyrics like three or four times. I basically wrote three different songs for that melody trying to find the right point of view. How do you write a song about suicide without making everyone that hears want to kill themselves. So I had to find the angle that reflected the right place. I'm not writing these songs to just depress people, I'm writing songs because there is meaning there and the emotion is very real."
Sacket pointed out that he rarely tries to detach his personal emotions from his lyrics, but feels its better to leave himself exposed. "Usually if I feel that a song is too personal, I record it. Before Shadowed was released I was really scared about what people would think of it and if it was too personal. I don't want each album to sound the same and the only way to do that is by going places emotionally that I'm really scared to go, and that's where the music comes from."
He explained that this album came from a very personal and dark place. "I basically had to dig out of a very low time for me. I came out of a really rough relationship that was very emotionally abusive and not cool. I thought it was love but when I look back it was more just need. With my music I had this feeling like I couldn't create anymore so there is all this stuff that lead me down to this low. I was coming out of the bad relationship and it really tore me apart and it wasn't fun and it made me question my self worth in what I was doing."
He said that in his fragile state he even doubted his ability as a songwriter. "There was just a lot I was dealing with, I wanted to be the most successful musician in the world and it just wasn't happening. I learned to just do music because I love it. Now I am in the process of starting to think about the next album and everyone thinks I'm sad, but I'm not. I'm not a sad guy anymore. So I see each album as a reaction to the last."
He said that on the next album he hopes to explore more rhythm and textures. "I feel a lot more powerful now as a person so I think the album will reflect that." To find out more about Sacha Sacket check out his website at sachasacket.com.