Interview - HOMESHAKE
“I’ve never seen a Canadian band live before,” I overheard as I shuffled through the crowd at Homeshake’s packed Songbyrd show this Monday night. Surrounded by moustaches, embroidered baseball hats, and the lingering smell of cigarettes, I swayed alongside the other audience members, entranced in Homeshake’s relaxed and jazzy sound. I had the chance to sit down with frontman Peter Sagar before his set, covering topics from his decision to leave Mac Demarco’s band in order to pursue his own musical endeavors, to Sagar’s overall disappointment with Canadian pizza. CSDC: What are you most looking forward to about the show tonight.
P: I don’t know, nothing. Don’t take it the wrong way but I’m at work. It’ll be fun to play, It’s always fun to play!
CSDC: You’ve played in D.C. before. Is there something about the crowd in D.C that’s special or memorable?
P: I don’t know, I can’t really remember the last D.C. show, but that’s probably because I can’t remember any shows. If I remembered, it would probably be bad, so it was probably really nice. Everyone seems nice down there. When I was going through the crowd people were like “oh I’m sorry.”
CSDC: Earlier today when I told my friend I was going to interview you, I realized she had never heard your music. I wanted to describe your sound to her, but struggled to place you into a genre.
P: That’s good.
CSDC: Which leads me to ask, what’s the funniest genre that you’ve been grouped into?
P: I hate all of them. Usually if it has the word Indie in it I get pretty annoyed. But lately on the internet people have been describing it as Vaporwave, and I don’t even think that’s an actual thing.
CSDC: It is.
P: I don’t think it is. I think it’s a made up word applied to nothing. So both of those are dumb. I know it’s technically a thing, but it’s not really a thing.
CSDC: If you were to make a genre that fits your genre-binding music, what would it be?
P: “Relaxing music.” I don’t think it needs anything more than that. I don’t like genre names, they’re all dumb.
CSDC: Stepping away from Mac DeMarco’s tour while he was the most demanded he’s ever been takes a lot of courage and trust in your own musical abilities. What advice would you give to anyone that feels stagnant in their musical adventures?
P: I don’t think you should be doing it if it doesn’t come naturally and feel really good. I mean it’s not like you don’t have to work at it. But just do it. Keep doing it. Do it often, and do it a lot. I feel like a lot of kids will record something and try to make this one thing perfect for a really long time, but you can’t do that. You have to just throw it away if it’s not working and move on. So allow yourself space to do new things all the time. As long as you can also feed yourself, you know?
CSDC: We’re sure touring with Mac included crazy times but tell us your favorite tour experience as Homeshake.
P: It wasn’t with the band, but I went to Japan twice last year. I missed them. I played a show in February and November of 2015. I played 10 shows in Japan. My favorite one was in Osaka. Everyone took their shoes off at the door and sat cross-legged on the floor.
CSDC: I was about to ask what the crowds were like-
P: Polite. Super-duper polite. It was a good place.
CSDC: Tell us your favorite thing about your hometown, Edmonton and your least favorite thing about your new city of residence, Montreal.
P: My least favorite thing about Montreal is easy: it’s the worst pizza on earth. And my favorite thing about Edmonton is my friends from when I was growing up there. We’ve all moved away now so I don’t have anymore favorite things about Edmonton.
CSDC: So why Montreal?
P: It’s cheap.
CSDC: And your prime minister is cool.
P: No he’s not. He’s hot, he’s super hot, but he’s not very cool. He’s all image. I mean, he’s cooler than your new guy *chuckles.*
CSDC: Tell us about your upcoming release,Fresh Air, and the process behind making it.
P: I was trying to write a song everyday at home. I recorded them at night and ended up throwing most of them away in the morning. This goes back to what I said earlier about doing it as much as you can and throwing it away.
CSDC: What are you doing with all the unreleased songs?
P: I released one of them the other day actually with my friend Alex Calder. It’s on bandcamp and we’re giving all the money to the International Refugee Assistance Project. (find it here)
Stay up to date with Homeshake at the links below.
All Photos by Ilhan Alyanak for Capitol Sound D.C.