GO reporter Maria Woehr sits down with Rachael Sage to discuss her new album, tour and love life.
GO: How is your tour treating you?
Rachael Sage: A few weeks ago I was in the UK. This has been the longest stretch I’ve had between two tours. It has been a great year. I had an adventurous and extended tour. It has been a general rollercoaster of places. I went to London and Brighton, Swindon and White Chapel. I had 100 people over the past few years asking me to come out there.
GO: Where is your favorite place to perform?
RS: To be perfectly honest, I think my best show was at the Rockwood Music Hall. It is a great venue and it is in my home town. I even got to share a bunch of my new tunes with the crowd. That is the beauty of performing live.
GO: I heard you are already recording your new album.
RS: I am recording 21 brand new songs for an album that will be released in early 2008. I’ve been doing that for the past three weeks. It is tentatively named Chandelier. I may have to cut a couple songs off of this album, but right now I’m treating all of the kids equally. I usually play my new songs live and usually my band knows them and we can try to get the best arrangement. But this one is a lot more personal and the band members really haven’t heard a lot of these tunes.
GO: Why Chandelier?
RS: I try to make music that sounds like Andy Warhol. I am obsessed with his images. Lately I’ve been obsessed with chandeliers. I keep drawing them. When I create art I use a lot of glitter and silver pens. I use the philosophy that other peoples garbage can be your goals.
GO:What makes this album different?
RS: Throughout the album I was really focused on the lyrics and the story of the songs. If anything this album is going to be a more stripped down album. The songs are going to be asking for less. It is more or less a reflection of my own psyche.
GO: Is there an overall theme to the album?
RS: I don’t think there is an overall theme, but it is about philosophically towing the line and focusing on what you have to do, and balancing that with your own challenges as well as helping others and those you love. It is about self preservation and strength. It is about how you can sometimes come short of hurting yourself to help those you love.
GO: Your last album was The Blistering Sun. How does this album differ from your past albums?
RS: This was probably the least challenging album I have worked on. There is something to be said about a process that unravels easily in the recording studio. I have always been fond of recording, but every album seems to have its own challenges. This is my seventh record and I didn’t feel like I had anything to prove to anyone. I reflected on where I was and the journey of the precious years. It is almost impossible to not rely on habits, but all of the elements came together easily. To me, The Blistering Sun is the duality of knowing how much I enjoy what makes music and the pressures in running a label and promoting an album.
GO: What is the story behind the song “Burning Witch”?
RS: That would have been my favorite, but it is so sad. It is about a relationship that is very much over. It is a passionate love lost song that vaguely enters into the cape diem realm. That is when you pull yourself together from your mistakes. It is when you do everything to make it in a relationship and it still falls apart. When I am in love I have some serious patterns. I am either working or in love. When I am in love and working I get overwhelmed. I seem to radiate toward people with similar circumstances.
GO: Are you currently in a relationship?
RS: I have been in a relationship with a lovely lady for a year. I will not say it has been easy. I love this person and I’m trying to make it work. It is one of those relationships that you know you want to keep, whether you are [together] with this person or not.
GO: When did you discover you were bisexual?
RS: I didn’t really know until I was in college. By the time I finished college I came to New York and I almost immediately met a young woman and our relationship was relatively smooth. The process of coming out was relatively hard. I’m grateful for it, but it was a challenge. It was much worse to be keeping secrets and once I came out I could finally be honest to myself. I am 34 now. The phrase “I am,” is a spiritual and social reminder not to be closed-minded, but to be more empathetic to what others are struggling through.