Sean Nicholas Savage
words Zarah Cheng
Where are you from?
Grew up in Edmonton, Alberta – that's what I always say.
Your collaborators for the new record, Other Death, include some of our favourite musicians, like Agor (of Blue Hawaii), Doldrums, and members of TOPS. How did they help shape the sound for the record?
Well the sound, I think, is pretty eclectic – so they all are just my friends, all contributed in different ways. Errhead brought a lot of youth into it, which is what I wanted, but had long forgotten how to feel.
The second single, “Suburban Nights,” is very darkly satirical, reminding me a little bit of Stepford Wives-esque suburbia. What sparked your interest in writing a song about this setting?
I was just mad again, being a bit sarcastic. It's certainly not a comment on suburbia, which would be so general anyways, but just my own feeling. Like anything I could ever write, it's just about my own experiences. And I have some complicated feelings about where I grew up. Edmonton’s a big city too, gonna be a lot of different perspectives on that.
Your previous album, Other Life (2013), was largely shaped by the end of a relationship. With the title Other Death signifying a new chapter, are there any themes or sentiments carried on from that record that you want listeners to be aware of?
Nah, it's mostly just using my other record Other Life to make the point, you know. If I'm gonna burn it all up, tear it to shreds, I'm gonna start with me. And I might end there too.
You’ve been an integral part of Canada’s music scene for a long time. How do you feel the Canadian music community has contributed to your growth as an artist?
That's a nice thing to say. Of course, well I grew up here – everything to do with me has everything to do with time and setting. That's all I am, really. I mean, a victim of circumstance. Canadian.
Pitchfork wrote back in 2013 that Arbutus Records’ artists are stellar in “[tackling] questions of identity from unique and exciting perspectives.” How would you describe the way that you express yourself and your identity through your music?
Sincerity is not something I really strive for, but I don't have much interest in trying to do something unnatural artistically. I dunno if anyone does. I think maybe we're all just pretty sincere around here, with good artistic priorities. And when someone is sincere in their art, of course you're learning so much about them.
You’re going to be starting a North American tour soon. What can we expect from these performances? Who will be supporting you on the tour?
O ye, we're rehearsing all the time. There's going to be three part harmonies in every song. [It] sounds really beautiful. I've never had so much singing in a group – Matt Perri of the band Deep, and Adam Byczkowski of Better Person, are both singing with me, making up the band. I think we're doing the tour with Promise Keeper, which is Will from Mood Rings’ new project, a very nice fit.
Who are you listening to nowadays?
Well, it's been hot, so Ritchie Valens, just rewatched La Bamba (amazing biopic, great story), and Molly Nilsson came out with two new songs – they're pretty sunny.
What creeps you out the most?
Global politics and then political ignorance, and of course sexual abuse etc.
I don't know if creep is the right word for me, but it's a great name for a magazine – love that font too, creep.
Aug 1st | Detroit MI | Tires
Sept 12th | Edmonton AB | Heritage Amphitheatre
Oct 10th | Washington DC | Paperhaus
Oct 11th | Baltimore MD | The Crown
Oct 14th | Boston MA | Middle East (Upstairs)
Oct 15th | Brooklyn NY | Silent Barn
Oct 17th | Montreal QC | Bar Le "Ritz" P.D.B.
Oct 18th | Toronto ON | Smiling Buddha
Oct 19th | Detroit MI | PJ's Lager House
Oct 20th | Chicago IL | Shubas
Oct 21st | Minneapolis MN | 7th Street Entry
Oct 24th | Vancouver BC | Wise Hall
Oct 26th | Seattle WA | El Corazon
Oct 28th | Portland OR | Mississippi Studios
Oct 29th | Oakland CA | Leo's
Oct 30th | Los Angeles CA | The Smell
Other Death will be out September 18 on Arbutus Records.
Posted on August 18, 2015
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