Sasami talks sousaphones and teaching

Sasami has been on a journey and a half. From training as a classical musician playing the French horn to becoming a member of rock’n’rollers Cherry Glazerr, to now, battling it out on her own, she’s an interesting character. And as you know, interesting characters make for interesting conversations.

If you can handle that many micro-hecklers, 1 drunk white dude with an opinion is nothing.

You’ve described your song-writing style as a mix of a diary and a collection of letters, written but never sent to people – if these are messages you generally prefer to keep hidden, how come you decided to put them in your songs?
It’s a reclamation of my own vulnerability. This record is about honesty and vulnerability and learning from love and the fallout of its departure.

You’ve been on quite the journey musically, starting on the piano before moving onto the French horn? Back then, you wanted to become a classical musician right? What changed?
Classical music became boring to me. It’s too perfectionist and you don’t really get to compose or improvise unless you write or play jazz. That isn’t always the case, but for me that path began to feel stale.

Can you tell us about your time as a primary school teacher? Any transferable skills?
So many transferable lessons from teaching. Best lesson is probably dealing with hecklers. In pretty much every preschool class of 10 or elementary school class of 25 at least 15% are hecklers. That shakes out to 1-4 hecklers per class, usually 6 classes a day- that’s 6 to 24 hecklers, A DAY. If you can handle that many micro-hecklers, 1 drunk white dude with an opinion is nothing.

It feels as if you’re simply a lover of music, who’s got this desire to keep learning something new, moving from one instrument to the next, what’s the strangest instrument you’ve ever tried to play? Which would you like to get better at?
Strangest is sousaphone – enough said. One I’d like to get better at and devote more time to practising is the drums. I am obsessed with recording drum tones, good drum fills, paradiddles, snare sound, so yeah, I think I know the answer to this one.

I shoot fire out of my ass.

You experiment a lot with analogue studios, using the recording studio as a space to experiment and have fun – has this always been your approach to music? To treat it as a hobby rather than a job?
I definitely treat it like a job. I think more people should like their job. Or quit their shitty jobs, buy less useless shit and do the one they love even if they have to budget a little more to get started in it. But no it’s not always been my approach. That’s why I put out my first song when I was 27 years old!

You spent some time in Cherry Glazerr, right? What did you learn from these shows and why did you decide to break away into your solo career?
I learned a lot a lot. To not give a shit. To improvise and commit, submit to nastiness and chaos sometimes. 

You’ve got shows coming up in September over here, what can people expect from you? What makes your live shows different to everyone else’s?
I shoot fire out of my ass.

Tickets for Sasami’s upcoming show in Manchester at YES on Wednesday, September 4th are on sale, available HERE.