featured interview

Sadistik: 'Writing sad music makes me happy.' It's a paradox many artists have to deal with: dark songs bring lightness to the heart. Why is it that writing about melancholy and the infinite sadness makes you feel good? Aristotle explained it as 'catharsis', The Beatles advised: 'take a sad song and make it better.' And Sadistik made a discography out of it. Just one year after his debut record on Fake Four, the 28-year old B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from Seattle, Washington, drops his third record 'Ultraviolet.'

Why did you set this ambitious goal for yourself?

When I finished 'Flowers For My Father' I just felt like I was in a really good creative groove. I wanted to ride it further. As an exercise in creativity I made a promise to myself that I would make something every day, even if it was just a few lines or a poem or editing a video, something.

I wasn't really anticipating on creating the album in such a relatively short amount of time but it really just came together that way. I learned a lot creatively along the way too. I feel like I've come out a more dynamic artist than I was a year ago.


The album's sound is very consistent.

I'm extremely conscious of the sound being consistent when I write my albums. I feel like art and media have grown more disposable than ever in modern culture. So it's paramount to me to make a collection of songs that work as a whole project rather than simply having a bunch of songs that sound good individually.

My favorite albums hold a consistent mood throughout. I aim for that in my own catalogue. I think my sound and writing can be dense or polarizing at times but I want the mood of my albums to be undeniable.

So what's your secret on staying into the same vibe during the recording process of the album?

I don't really know. In fact, I'm not sure if staying in the same mental zone for an entire album is a good or bad thing creatively. It really all depends. For me, it's about crafting and thinking about the album as a whole and addressing the details and parts as I go. That way all of the details are aimed at the same goal rather than making a bunch of music and then trying to find a way to tie it together.

What are the ideal circumstances for you to write a song?

I believe a writer is always writing. I'll be at the gym or at a store and something will cross my mind and I'll immediately punch it into my phone. I write when I'm home, on tour, on vacation, wherever. When I'm home I do try to control my environment and be in my studio lately. Weed, coffee and water are always present, too. Lots of coffee.


You put a lot of cultural references into your songs. Did you learn about writers, directors,... yourself from listening to rap songs?

Nah, not usually. I'm a student of things. I am naturally curious and unsatisfied. So I try to get a hold of anything interesting I can. For me that's usually in films and books, so a lot of those references make their way into my own writing.

You also make your own video's.

Yeah, I've directed a handful of my videos and have written most of them. I wouldn't call myself a director yet, though.

What directors, do you feel, are a direct influence to your filming?

I love a lot of directors' work. In modern cinema I've been into Gaspar Noe, Park Chan-Wook, P.T. Anderson and Lars Von Trier lately. As for my own inspirations: David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Dario Argento have probably been the most influential to me. Bergman, Theodor Dreyer, Franju, Hitchcock, the list goes on...

Are there songs of yours that got a different dimension or interpretation because you made a video for them?

Nah, I write the songs first. Then, I think about the visuals later. I actually wrote a video treatment for 'Blue Sunshine', 'Cubic Zirconia' and 'Witching Hour' as well from 'Ultraviolet', but didn't get the chance to bring them to fruition. My next video will be 'Orange'. I'm really excited for it. It's in post-production now.

You like the interaction with fans?

I do like interacting with my fans. Like anything, there are positives and negatives to it. But I'm grateful to even have fans to interact with.

You're doing something with their feedback?

Sometimes I'll ask things like who would you like to see me work with etc. but it's usually after I already know what I'm doing. I just like seeing what people think or expect of me every once in a while. And it's a good way to interact directly with my supporters.

Did you have to ponder a long time before including the Eyedea feature on this record?

Not really, the timing felt comfortable for me. I changed the majority of the song to fit my ideas for 'Ultraviolet' so I was more focused on making the track as dope as I could. I wanted it to sound like a current collaboration even though the song stemmed all the way back in 2010. I'm really proud of that song. I'm so fortunate to be able to include it on my project. It felt cathartic to finally give that song to the listeners.

What are some of your greatest memories of Eyedea?

Ah, there are so many. We didn't know each other for that long, but the time we spent together was always memorable. He was a very insightful guy, always interesting to talk to. I think his dry sense of humour is one of the things I miss the most about him. He was one of the funniest people I've known.

Venn diagram

In what way is Fake Records the perfect label for you?

It might sounds trite, but they let me be myself. Fake Four supports me and provides me with means to further my career without ever trying to shape or control me creatively. I don't think there's another label that would do that. I'm a genuine fan of what Fake Four's been accomplishing and a lot of the artists on the roster, so it feels good to be a part of it.

Louis logic said about Fake Four's Ceschi: 'He is the fully formed version of what I've worked to become over the past 7 years.' What did you learn from him?

I appreciate Ceschi as a friend and as an artist. There's just nobody like him. When someone asks me to describe his music I have to really think about how to explain it. Most artists get described with the lazy Venn diagram of X sounds like Y mixed with Z, but Ceschi is a completely different animal.

Writing music is a way to escape mental struggles. At the same time, while you're making music, you dig deeper in it. How do you explain that paradox for yourself?

I haven't been able to answer that one yet. Writing sad music makes me happy. I don't know why, but I know that I crave the process and I still feel obsessive about it. That's enough for me.


POSTED 08|20|2014
conducted by cpf

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