Sean Nicholas Savage is a busy man. He just released his newest studio album, Bermuda Waterfall, this week – his fifth album since 2011. He’s also midway through playing a series of shows around North America and Europe. Born in Edmonton, Canada and loosely based out of Montreal, I caught up with him via email in Berlin.
You wake up in the morning and look in the mirror. Tell me what you see.
that face i stuck on the thing that i’m stuck in.
Your new album, Bermuda Waterfall, was composed largely on the road going back and forth between shows in Europe and North America. How has constantly being on the move affected your song writing process? Is there an ideal setting for you to be able to sit down and write a song?
i’m homeless, and it’s good for me, but i don’t like it. i like writing and recording music everyday at home, but i don’t like to be too comfortable either. i’m never comfortable anymore. i record in desperation, with the help of close friends, as often as i can, and i write songs every day in my little book.
What was your mindset during the creation of these songs? If historians were to look back on this period of your life, would there be a name to this phase?
to get to the point they’re at on the record, there were a few stages, so a few states of mind. poetic imagery, adventures in nuance and dreams. i’d call it his vanishing phase.
Describe some important musical and non-musical influences behind your latest work. What have you been listening to lately? What have you been doing?
i love alan watts, i listen to his programs and read his books. i read pablo neruda and he influenced my poetry, cos i need romance to feel alright. i listen to the billboard charts throughout the decades, trance music and bossa nova etc. i’m still touring, still at the party, but it’s very quiet now.
Is there any particular setting you’d encourage your listeners to put your album on in? Any particular article of clothing you suggest they slip on?
i don’t think it’s going to rile them up too much. pretty much chill out music, and if you’re alone, and you wanna drift a bit with the words, i think it lends to that. just slip into something more comfortable and you’re fine.
What are some pros and cons you’ve encountered about life as a touring musician?
life’s curve balls, riddles and games consistently entertain me. i think though, touring this long, i’ve seen some truths that aren’t meant to be seen, and i feel loneliness in company of good friends. music is more important to me than ever, but all alone you know?
i don’t think you ever will is what i mean, haha.
Do you have any travel tips you can share with us?
pack light, leave only loveliness behind, stay free and keep faith.
You play with a rotating cast of backing musicians. Who has been playing what with you where lately? Who can we expect to see with you at your upcoming show at Pop Revo?
i’ll be with full band at that show. i play with full band in my headline european tours, it’s my favourite time of year. i did a tour with touchy mob. he helped produce this latest album, and more shows to come with him.
What is the ideal live performance for you? Alternatively, what should the uninitiated fan expect to see at a live show from you?
execution of nuance in performance, that’s the next level for me. taking all chances in blind faith and letting the show play itself. that’s the kind of stuff i’m into. if someone’s a fan already, they’re going to love it. i love all of my shows, there’s not a lot can go wrong when you’re singing with all your heart.
What place/places do you call home right now? Where are you planning on going once you wrap up this set of shows in Europe?
i’m going to record in london with agor of blue hawaii. we’re doing a record. then, i’m going to british columbia [Canada] to work on a movie with angus borsos, then i’ll be back in europe touring again in august and september a bit.
Sean’s new album, Bermuda Waterfall, can be ordered from Arbutus Records here. Or you can see him live in Aarhus at Atlas, May 16, for his show at Pop Revo.
Interview done via email with Nigel Dembicki