SASS JORDAN DISCUSSES HER NEW RELEASE “LIVE IN NEW YORK NINETY-FOUR,” AND TOURNG WITH A PRE-FOO FIGHTERS, TAYLOR HAWKINS
As previously reported, singer Sass Jordan has released an archival recording called, Live in New York Ninety-Four. Songfacts‘ Greg Prato spoke with Jordon, highlights from the interview appear below.
Songfacts: How did the idea come up to issue Live In New York Ninety-Four now?
Sass Jordan: Somebody I work with said to me, “Sass, one of the main questions we get on your site is, ‘When are you going to do a live album?'” And that stuff is sort of peripheral to me, because I’m always wrapped up in my own “cacara,” as we say in Italiano. But I did know that we had this recording somewhere in a box.
Compound it with the fact that my friend said, “It’s also been a year since [drummer] Taylor [Hawkins] passed. Maybe it would be nice to do some sort of a tribute to him, because we know how much he meant to you.” And I thought, “Right there, my dear, is a fabulous combination of reasons to put this record out now.” It’s always about timing, isn’t it? And it felt right to me.
Songfacts: What did Taylor bring to the band at the time?
Sass Jordan: This was his first professional band, so he was learning the ropes. Just being on a tour bus, traveling from country to country – because we were in Europe as well with that tour – and being a part of a working band and playing these huge shows. His whole life up to that point, he was 22 I’d say, had been dreaming of doing this. It was like he suddenly felt like he was catapulted into it, and he was living the dream. He was having the best time ever. And his incredible joy and his incredible energy just made everything kick up a notch.
It’s very easy to get jaded and cynical when you’re in a rock band on the road, especially after a couple of months, so his energy was like that little spark that lit the fire, that kept us just like [let’s out a scream – hear it here].
It was a wonderful, wonderful time… and also a horrific time, I’m not going to lie – because nothing is always 100% great or 100% terrible.
What was difficult about it was being on the road. It’s exhausting and it just wears you out. You get worn out emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally. That can get you into states of moods and states of being, “Why am I alive?” [laughs] I mean, that happens in regular life, too. But everything is compounded in a situation like that. It’s just so intense, and the pressure is intense.
Songfacts: [What was the lyrical inspiration behind] High Road Easy [here it here] ?
Sass Jordan: That was directly speaking to a situation that I was going through in my life with this person that was addicted to drugs. It was not happy. My goodness, all these songs… now, Make You A Believer is a happy song because what it’s saying is, “I will make you a believer in yourself,” and that’s the greatest message ever because you’ve got to believe in yourself. It’s nothing other than that. Whereas High Road Easy was not happy at all.
Songfacts: Which song of yours do you feel is the most underrated, and why?
Sass Jordan: There’s a song I really like, but I don’t know if it’s underrated, that’s called I’m Not. It’s on Rats. I really like the lyric and I really like the way it kicks into the chorus. One of my favorite songs in the world that I often cite as an example is a song by Supertramp, It’s Raining Again. The reason why I love that song so much is because it has the happiest, almost circus-like melody… and the most miserable lyric. “It’s raining again, oh no, my love’s at an end.” But you assume it’s a happy song because of the sound of the music, right? I always try to emulate stuff like that that I love.
With I’m Not, it’s like a twisted lyric. I can’t quote the whole thing, but it’s not what it appears at first sight. And it’s exactly like Sun’s Gonna Rise. It’s not what it appears to be. You know who else has a song like that? Bruce Springsteen – Born In The USA. Everybody thought it was this great patriotic song, but at the end, when you listen to the lyric, it’s not at all. It’s like the opposite. I love that stuff.
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