By Ezlyh Gutierrez
What is your earliest musical memory?
“That’s so hard. I went to Catholic school until I was, like, seven. And I definitely remember singing in chapel.”
First song you remember ever writing?
“Um, I definitely wrote a song with my dad on piano– it was about different kinds of jams, berries, and jellies that we liked. I think we just took the lyrics from like, a children’s book that was about different kinds of jams and wrote a song on the piano about it. I must’ve been, like, six or seven!”
I really liked your album Slugger a lot, do you think you can talk about the song “Hype” for me?
“Yeah! I had to think about which one that is. I’m at that point of the tour where I don’t remember what the songs are called anymore. “Hype”, I wrote the chorus, with the obscenity, a few years ago driving around. It got stuck in my head and I sang it into my little voice recorder. [Then] when I came back to it a few years ago, I sort of built the song around pushing back on the idea that women need to be competitive against one another. And pushing back against the idea that gender is genre. Sort of just writing about supporting my friends and thinking that they’re the best.”
Specific thing you want people to get out of your music?
“Different things, because there’s definitely that part me that’s played music since I was so young and gets joy out of writing things musically that surprise me or that, like, excite me to play. But from a lyrical side of things, I think there’s been so many points in my life where listening to music has helped me through depression, anxiety, anger or, you know, fear. — I guess if I’m writing music to help myself through something specific, I’m thinking if somebody else hears it and is able to find strength and get through something tough because of it, that would be the ultimate thing that I would want my music to do.”
What inspires you the most to write?
“Yeah, I don’t know, it’s hard for me to say because I don’t always like sit down and have something come out. Usually the best ideas I come up with come when I’m not ready to sit down, compose, or record– I’ll be biking and get stuck with a melody, I’ll have to, like, pull over while driving or being in the shower so, like, the musical stuff is a totally different thing. That just comes when I don’t want it to. The lyrical stuff, I think I get a lot of inspiration from not only my own life, but I like to be sort of playful with the lyric references to other songs or my friends’ songs that might be more of a second hidden layer for in-jokes. So there’s this one level of wanting the song to do something clear, or do something that can help someone else, and then there’s the level where I’m like, ‘this is a joke about my other friend’s song and if you listen to all of our bands, you’ll get these jokes.'”
Where did the name sad13 come from?
“It’s my Twitter handle, and my name is Sadie. So, um, in like internet speak I-E would be 1-3.”
When did you decide that music is what you wanted to seriously pursue?
“I’ve always played music pretty seriously. I was in a professional children’s choir for most of my childhood. It was a touring group nominated for a Grammy, it was serious. So I’ve always played a lot of music. I started recording myself when I was thirteen and really see music when I was fourteen. So I’ve always been doing it. But you know, I went to college, I’ve definitely had a lot of of office jobs. I think taking music seriously and having it be your profession aren’t really the same things necessarily, because it’s such a crap shoot whether you can do it professionally. Like I have a friend who got a PhD playing trombone and it’s not always easy to find work, even if you’ve trained your entire life for that to be your profession. So, I’ve always taken music seriously, and always will. It didn’t become my day job until three years ago or so. And it was because enough money was coming in that I could quit and make this the day job.”
What artist would you say is your guilty pleasure?
“I don’t think you should have to feel guilty about music you like.”
Who do you think is your favorite political figure in music?
“I’m very inspired by Downtown Boys. They’re a band based in Providence who I think have really used their platform to spread a lot of awareness to the issues they’re passionate about. Not only in their music, but members in the band have started a political magazine that allows musicians to talk about their own feelings and agendas in terms of activism. So yeah, I’ve been really inspired by work that members of that band have done.”
What’s been your favorite experience during this tour or most embarrassing?
“–One of our stops was a petting zoo. You could pet all these donkeys and deer. I pet a stingray, I got to hang out with so many goats. Like, lorikeets landed on me and I feed them nectar from a cup. So that was really cool! That was somewhere east of Phoenix. Then later that same night we went and toured this really beautiful recording studio outside El Paso called ‘Sonogram.’ It’s very well known for being the largest recording complex in the world and they have all this incredible artwork: Dali pieces, they think they have a Picasso. Not to mention a really beautiful collection of vintage gear that’s in perfect condition.– Most embarrassing, I overate today. That’s pretty embarrassing. So I got really bratty and had to curl up in a ball and take a nap.”
Where are you from?
“I grew up in New York City, I’ve lived in Austin, I’ve lived in Boston, I’ve lived all over Massachusetts and just moved to Philadelphia.”
Have a favorite?
“It’s Austin, Texas.”
What’s something you miss the most about Austin?
“The Yellow Bird Hot Sauce.”
Brag about yourself, what do you think is your best work so far?
“I’m just really good at eating spicy foods, I think that’s the best thing I do on a daily basis.”
Some goals you want to accomplish in the future?
“I want to eat even spicier food than I already do.”
Any hobbies outside of music?
“Competitive spicy eating.”
What do you think is important now that you felt five years ago wasn’t?
“Five years ago I was in grad school, and now I just eat spicy food and sleep all day long.”
Featured image by Ezlyh Gutierrez.