Interview with Homeshake’s Peter Sagar

Homeshake will release their 3rd album 'Fresh Air' early next year.
Homeshake will release their 3rd album 'Fresh Air' early next year.

Homeshake are a Montreal based indie pop project from Peter Sager, who blends R&B influences into his homespun lo-fi pop music. The prolific songwriter; who was originally part of Mac Demarco’s touring set up, is set to release his third album in as many years entitled ‘Fresh Air’. ‘Fresh Air’ is set to drop February 3rd 2017, but before then Homeshake have been out on tour across the United States and Canada. We caught up with Peter before his show in Atlanta last week.

Northern Transmissions: You are originally from Edmonton, but now reside in Montreal. What can you tell Northern Transmissions about Montreal’s music and arts scene?

Peter Sagar: It’s great… really good. Myself and a few other bands contribute to a DIY space called ‘The Drones Club’ where all my albums get recorded. It’s a real community spirit in Montreal, and theres lots of great bands there. Do you know the band ‘Un Blonde’? they’re a fantastic band to check out, and their from Montreal. Rent is very low, its inexpensive so you can work less, and it leaves you more time to work on your creative endeavors.

NT: You are a big fan of R&B music, and with ‘Midnight Snack’ [Homeshake’s 2nd record] you ventured further down that road and introduced a more eclectic and electronic sound. Is it important for you that Homeshake doesn’t have any parameters as far as what they ‘should’ sound like and that you have the ability to push the sound where you want it to go?

PS: Yes, actually when I first moved to Montreal I decided to switch from other pseudonyms that I had been using and wanted to it to just be whatever, and was tired of making different sounding music under different names, and just put whatever out under one name. The idea was kind of I don’t make any definitive choices as for what a record is gonna sound like. Theres no blueprint going in, I just write it and make it sound nice and string it all together. That’s one thing though, I am really set on making an album ‘sound’ good and flow together well. I don’t like too much empty space or tracks that don’t go well together, so that can be difficult and a lot of tracks end up getting cut because of that.

NT: Homeshake to me has somewhat of a solitary feeling to it, is a lot of the recording and writing done at night and is it a very collaborative process for you?

PS: All the writing and demoing is done in my Montreal apartment, and ‘In The Shower’ [Homeshake’s 1st record] was recorded with a buddy of mine named Mike. He and I did all the recording together and he helps with the mastering as well. For ‘Midnight Snack’, I recorded everything with a friend name Jackson [Jackson MacIntosh, Sheer Agony], and I like to have a partner to bounce ideas off of in the studio. It helps you to not get too caught up in what it sounds like. All the writing and stuff is done alone, so it is lonely but… you gotta have another set of ears in the studio otherwise I feel I would get stuck and when there is another set of ears theres someone there to tell you “This is good the way it is”.

NT: Biggest influence on Homeshake’s music?

PS: I like any music that has a sense of humanity in it, like sadness. Sadness probably, the emotion of sadness is my biggest influence. I’ve never successfully written a song when I was happy.

NT: Album artwork is often overlooked by artists, and for me it should be seen as an extension of the music found on the album. Your artwork has a very specific feel to it, can you tell me a little bit about the album artwork and record sleeves associated with Homeshake?

PS: All the good art associated with this band; not the gig posters on Facebook and stuff, are done by my partner Salina. She’s an artist and ceramist based in Montreal. And all the songs are about how much I love her. So she does especially influence the music. She’s a deep and urgent influence on me in everything I do. We’ve been together for ages, I’ve known her for about 13 years, and we live together now in Montreal.

NT: Is there any music or podcasts that have been making the time on tour alittle more tolerable?

PS: We listen to a lot of trap and top 40 pop music, and we got big into that Tim Heidecker “Office Hours’ podcast a little while back… we need to up our podcast game this time around. We listen to a lot of droney ambient music too, sometimes you just get sick of the songs you know. And Mariah Carey.

NT: Thanks for your time man, I’ll see on the 9th in Toronto.
PS: No problem! That sounds good I’ll see you there.

Homeshake are back in Canada on December 9th 2016, playing with fellow Canadians Jaunt and Elsa.
Homeshake’s 3rd album ‘Fresh Air’ will be released February 3rd 2017 via Sinderlyn Records. You can listen to the smooth ‘Call Me Up’ below:

Homeshake – 2016 Tour Dates
12/5 – Nashville, TN – COBRA
12/6 – Louisville, KY – Zanzabar
12/7 – Chicago, IL – Schubas Tavern
12/8 – Detroit, MI – El Club
12/9 – Toronto, ON – Silver Dollar

Interview by Stuart McCardie