The first question I wanted to ask you is... I was reading
Letters To A Young Poet last night and I came across a
statement that really struck me. "Do not believe that he who seeks
to comfort you lives untroubled among the simple and quiet words
that sometimes do you good. His life has much difficulty and
sadness.... Were it otherwise he would never have been able to
find those words." Does that statement resonate with you in any
way in terms of how you are perceived or viewed through your
SARAH: Well, I can't really talk about how other
people think about me but I certainly understand that sentiment.
It does resonate with me too because I think often sadness is a
great place to get songs from. That's a really bad way of saying
it but it definitely feeds me lyrically.
P.S.: There was one other quote in the book I wanted to ask
you about. "Acknowledge to yourself whether you would have to die
if it were denied you to write."
SARAH: Oh I remember that one, yeah.
How important is being a songwriter to you?
SARAH: It's very important to me because it's a really
cathartic experience for me to write and it's taught me a lot
about myself. I'm not sure if... maybe it's because I'm older now,
but I'm not sure if I completely agree with the sentiment. It's a
very romantic sentiment but to think that you would die if you
didn't write and you'd have to make that decision, well I would
definitely choose to not write and live. I still do feel very
strongly about doing it, definitely. Honestly, everything's
changed a little bit since I've had a child. Nothing outside of my
child is important... is as important anymore. So writing
has sort of taken a second fiddle to her and everything in my life
has but I think that's sort of the way it's supposed to be. I
think that's a natural progression and I'm happy with that. It's
made writing even more of a challenge but I still think it's
something I enjoy doing. It's hard work but it's very fulfilling
when I get something I'm happy with.
P.S.: You've said that songwriting is therapy for you. At
this point in your life, you're not able to retreat to a cabin for
six months like you've done in the past. Are you still able to
find therapy through your writing with the more structured
lifestyle of being a mother?
SARAH: I think it's harder to find because there is less
time and I've become less disciplined (laughs) in spending enough
time to focus long enough. So it does happen. It just takes
P.S.: I know you've been through a lot in the past couple
of years (Sarah lost her mother just months before giving birth to
her daughter). You said the songs on Afterglow do not
reflect that experience because it was still too new to begin
processing. Have those songs begun to come to you yet?
They may well have but I'm not open enough to see them yet. I
think because what technically happens once a record is finished,
there's this huge whirlwind of activity around promoting it which
is the world I'm in right now. I've never managed to see much past
the moment when I'm doing all this work. So all of my experiences,
I experience them on the surface and then I file them away for
later when I can actually take them out and look at them and deal
with them. Then you give them proper time.
P.S.: How has it been being in this whirlwind for the first
time as a mother?
It's been pretty crazy. There have been times where I've felt
incredibly overwhelmed. For the most part, it's been fantastic. I
have the world's best little traveler. She comes everywhere with
me and I think just because we got her going at a very early age
she's really taken to it, thankfully. I couldn't do what I have to
do without getting some time with her everyday and I've been very
lucky. I've been able to work the schedule so that I could do
that. You know, which is essentially the goal of every working
mother. They want to be able to spend as much time with their
children and still feel fulfilled and feel that they're doing a
good job at whatever it is they've chosen to do outside of being a
mother. That's sort of the biggest challenge is getting to do both
and giving as much as one can to both.
P.S.: With the video for Fallen, I'm just curious
what the concept was behind the video and also, was it difficult
to make the decision to appear in the bathtub scene after giving
SARAH: (laughs) Thankfully water is very forgiving.
Everything lifts in water. (laughs) So that decision was very
easy. Once I had a chat with the director and said, 'Okay, listen
buddy. (laughs) This is going to be done tastefully.' Then of
course, the director is Paul Fedor. He's a lovely guy. He's an
artist so he understood that and so I had no fear about that. What
was the first part of the question? I just remember the bathtub
P.S.: Well I know you've directed some of your videos in
the past and have had a lot of creative input in your videos. I
was just wondering about the concept behind this.
SARAH: In the past I have. I have lately given up a lot of
control over that kind of stuff because I simply haven't had time
and I'm not that good at it myself. So I've allowed myself to
delegate authority (laughs) and find other people who can do it. I
mean, the concept's fairly loose. It's sort of about someone
who... the woman leaves and the man finds a letter on his pillow
and realizes that she's gone
. You know, I don't know what the
hell the thing's about. It looks pretty good. You tell me. What do
you think the concept is? She leaves, he's pissed off, he trashes
everything in the apartment and then he has remorse and she has
remorse but then she comes back and she drives through all of the
stuff lying in the street. It's sort of that unresolved feeling
of... You're in that place where you've made so many mistakes that
you can't go back. The only way is forward.
P.S.: You being in the bathtub throughout everything that
was happening seemed to be a cleansing from all of those mistakes.
SARAH: It is cleansing and there's a real vulnerability
there. There's sort of shades of suicide... of suicidal
tendencies. Being in that place of 'Okay, I can go forward or I
can go backwards.' Also, I think a lot of contemplation happens in
bathtubs. It does for me. Nothing like a hot bath to sort of ease
the tension and think about what's going to happen next.