Date: July 13, 2007
From: Santa Barbara News-Press
In Concert: Behind every good pianist ... Sacha Sacket's all-female band is no statement; it's about the music
by Jacob Thorn, News-Press Correspondent
Ever seen a male pianist backed by a female band?
Singer-songwriter Sacha Sacket hadn't, but he thought it would be interesting to try out. It worked, and he brings the eclectic lineup to SOhO on Tuesday.
"There's this sort of unexpectedness to it that just excited me," Sacket said. "I don't know if it's this sort of huge political statement. It's more just we've all played as musicians together and it just clicked so well, and it seemed like something that was new.
"It's nice to play with people's conceptions."
Listening to Sacket's music, it's hard not to hear traces of Coldplay and Radiohead. Imagine soft, polished piano-based pop with personal lyrics.
Vocally, it's reminiscent of Thom Yorke's ability to sing with lilt and routinely inflect into seemingly impossible high notes. The difference is Sacket trades Yorke's anger and penchant for building on discordance for smooth melodies geared for harmony. The music doesn't rock -- it doesn't even try -- but it can soothe a soul in the mood for it.
When asked about his inspirations, the Los Angeles-based songwriter mentioned Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen for lyrics, U2 for their "strong melody lines" and the "fearlessness" of Bjork.
He also has classical influences, having started playing piano when he was 5. He wrote his first "real" song when he was 16.
"I sort of made my albums for myself and nobody will ever hear them," he said with a laugh. "They're locked away, and yeah, it would be bad."
After playing in college, he came back to L.A. with the idea of piecing together a life split between music and acting. He toured, focusing on the campus circuit, and gained heavy play on college radio and MySpace.
His third official album, "Lovers and Leaders," comes out in the fall. Sacket said it's about seeking balance between love and power, inspired by his struggle to maintain a personal life while touring across the country.
"I felt like a life led searching for power was very different from a life led searching for love," he said. "I was sort of at this place like, 'Can I have a relationship and a career?' ''
This figures to be a recurring theme for Sacket, who seems on the edge of mainstream commercial breakthrough. But he swears he's in it for the music, not the fortune.
"If I focus on the fame and the money, it's an ego pursuit," he said. "And I've been there and it's been my focus, and I don't sleep, you know, because I'm freaking out. So more and more I'm trying to rein that in and focus on being an artist.