Date: March 2007
From: Beat The Scene
Rachel: For those who don't know much about you, tell them a little about yourself and how you got started?
Sacha: Well. I started playing piano around 5 or 6 and singing a bit after that. I got to be Mickey Mouse in kindergarten for a school wide show – so that was my introduction to the whole thing. I took lessons for a short time but quit like almost everyone does. But I learned to read music and for some reason that I still can't figure out – I started trying to play Beethoven Sonatas... And from there my passion for music grew. So I am mostly self-taught on piano. As for songwriting, my first song was written in high school for a play we were doing (Shakespeare's - Twelfth Night) . I wrote the music to his poetry. And ever since then I was writing songs.. Wrote hundreds, very literally, before I released my first album in 2001. And I've been writing, touring, and recording ever since.
Rachel: What are some of your greatest influences when it comes to your music?
Sacha: My greatest influences are probably more literary nowadays. I love poetry - especially Walt Whitman. Steinbeck was a huge influence for this new album – his book East of Eden, pretty much helped me finish recording, and Dostoevsky works in there somewhere as well. Musically I listen to a lot of diverse things. Surprisingly U2 has grown a lot in my estimation. I love Björk with a scary passion, if I can ever get close to having the balls she does, I will be a happy man. Beethoven was probably my original musical influence. I learned how to play piano by figuring out his Sonatas.
Rachel: So the name of the new album is Lovers and Leaders, where did that name come from?
Sacha: I guess it came from the idea of being able to balance the need for power and love. I found them somewhat divergent. I fell in love for the first time in my life at a time when it was really the last thing I wanted to do. I was at a place where my career and my ambitions were paramount. Every time I got involved in a relationship, it seemed to end up in direct opposition to what I was trying to do with my music. The touring went counter to building any form of bond with anyone. There seemed to always be a jealousy thing going on with my music and my relationships. So there was this tension going on between love and power in my life. The big question on this album is how those forces relate to each other and just a search for balance. All the characters on the record seem to struggle with those two forces. I think I was trying to resolve that for myself when writing this thing.
Rachel: You've made three albums, which ones your favorite and why?
Sacha: Well of course the new one... Because I think I have just improved all around as a musician. Also, I think it really became important for me to communicate clearly with lyrics and my songs. Before, I feel there was a level of hiding behind poetry. Especially with my first album, Alabaster Flesh. Shadowed, my second LP, was much more upfront and heart-on-sleeve and I am still very proud of that record. But Lovers and Leaders just has this fearless simplicity to it and it took a lot of guts for me to write without bullshitting around.
Rachel: What are your thoughts about MySpace?
Sacha: Not really sure about MySpace nowadays. In the beginning It was really amazing to get to reach out to people online and have them listen to my stuff. There was a huge response to my music on there. Now it is a TON harder to break through as it is so saturated. I use it primarily to keep in contact with people that are already into what I am doing.
Rachel: If you could tour the world with any two artists who would they be?
Sacha: Björk. No question. Touring with Björk is like a wet dream for me. And perhaps U2. I'd be back stage watching the show every night.
Rachel: Have you had any really embarrassing moments on stage?
Sacha: The first open mic that I ever played was right after some popular country band. When it was my turn to go on the stage, the crowd was literally booing because their band had to stop playing so this new kid could come up and play his 2 songs. That was my FIRST experience playing live to ANYONE... I have no idea why I decided to play a shady country-esque open mic. But there it is. And the fact that I got through that pretty much means I can get through most shows now :)
Rachel: What was your first concert?
Sacha: Green Day!!! I was 15 I think... Moshing and everything. At the time, it was one of the more amazing things that had ever happened to me.
Rachel: What was the first cd that you ever bought?
Sacha: That is embarrassing a bit... C and C Music Factory... I was in middle school. They BLEW MY MIND at the time :)
Rachel: What is one song that another artist wrote that you wish you had?
Sacha: Joni Mitchell's Clouds perhaps? That comes to mind first. Also "The Way You Look Tonight" - I love that song. I really love the old American Songbook stuff. You can't get better than that in the songwriting category.
Rachel: Finally, any last words?
Sacha: Check my stuff out at www.sachasacket.com! :) And thanks so much for the interview!