Date: October 21, 2009
From: OutFront Magazine
Running away with Sacha Sacket
by Matt Kailey
He went into the mountains of Southern California to find solitude in a cabin and ended up writing and recording a new CD. Singer/songwriter Sacha Sacket's latest offering, Hermitage, is a special album featuring five new songs that were created during his mountain retreat and that address the turn his life was taking at that moment. Here's what he had to say about it.
Matt Kailey: When you wrote the songs for your new album, Hermitage, you were overwhelmed and needed to get away. What was going on?
Sacha Sacket: I'd been touring for about a year, and the album before that was called Lovers and Leaders, and it was sort of a process of having a lot of voices around. I had a very opinionated manager, I had a very opinionated team around me - which is wonderful, in a way. A lot of people really cared and a lot people really wanted to do their best. But to some degree, it felt like a battle of opinions. And I'd gotten to a place where I just knew that I really had to stop and I really had to make the next piece of music somewhere else, because there was no way it was going to happen in Los Angeles. ... When you're surrounded by so many opinions, you lose yours, to a degree. It's easy to, at least. I literally just needed to go somewhere where no one could talk to me. And this cabin sort of came up, and it was a great opportunity and I took it.
MK: How long were you up there?
SS: I was up there writing it on and off. So I went up for about two weeks. Then I came back. Then I would go back for another week. It was somewhat fragmented, because I had to come back to Los Angeles and it's about a two- to three-hour drive from L.A. And then recording it up there, we actually did that pretty quick - we did that within a month. And then we had to come back down and do the mixing and do some extra recording, too.
MK: Do you feel like you learned anything about yourself from the experience?
SS: If anything, it was more a challenge for me. I knew I needed to do this. I needed to be isolated. And it was sort of scary. It's kind of a weird idea to go somewhere for a length of time and not know anybody and not talk to anybody. ... I wanted to see what would happen musically. ... I think, for me, the big learning thing was that I had to find what I liked about my music. I really needed nobody to tell me what they liked. And that was fine. I did get opinions later, but especially in the creative phase, you really need to make something that you're fully invested in.
MK: Do you have a partner and how did he feel about you taking off by yourself?
SS: You know, I'm kind of the artist. So to some degree, I get granted this sort of permission to do crazy things. It's almost expected, to some degree, for me to go on some new adventure. It was fine, as far as I know.
MK: What would you recommend to people who are overwhelmed and exhausted, but who can't necessarily get away like you did?
S:: I will unplug the Internet from my house. And I don't have television. There are times when unplugging yourself from the world - it doesn't need to be a cabin retreat, it can be your place - is really the hardest thing to do. ... But I think it's important, and I think it's important for people to know that they can do it. And I think the things that come out of that experience are usually very powerful things that you carry with you when you come back.
MK: What's your next project?
SS: I'm in a funny place, because Hermitage is really sort of this little record that I really wanted to make and I knew I had to make it, but I'm literally halfway through the next record. And I think it makes sense, in a way, because Hermitage really is its own little guy, and it was almost like I had to move on and finish the record before anybody could even hear it. The sense of isolation with that record is really interesting, and how it's being released, as well, is really interesting.
MK: How did you get inolved with music in the first place?
SS: I was always playing the piano, since I was very, very young. I had lessons at a young age, but I was mostly self-taught. Music was always a big part of my life. I was a gay kid. I didn't have anybody to talk to about who I was. Nobody 'got' me. You don't come home to your parents and tell them, 'Kids are making fun of me,' or anything, so to a large degree, the piano was that force for me. It really was a way to express myself. So I spent hours on the piano, but I never thought I would do it as a career. I never thought that until college. ... I worked through college at my craft a lot. ... And when I finished college, right after that, I released my first record and started trying to figure it out. Just figuring out how to make a living - which all the majors are trying to figure out, too, so I don't feel too bad.
Hermitage will be released to the public on November 17. The album's first single, "Running Away," will be served to radio in mid-October. For more information, go to www.sachasacket.com.