Friday, June 30, 2006

Finally.....Miss Sarah Saturday!

After many months of begging and pleading and whatnots, I have finally gotten this interview finished. Let's talk about something, about the history of me and Sarah. On April 13, 2003, my life changed completely. And this is a serious change. I was with my now best friend and a couple of people we were working with. We were in Cincinnati to see The least, they were. I knew none of the bands on that tour (my musical influences were still not fully formed yet). I looked at the list of bands: The Used, Coheed & Cambria, S.T.U.N. and theSTART. Nope, not a clue on any of them.

But I went anyways, this would be a show to enjoy I was told. We got there so early, by the time the doors opened, this show better kick so much ass. And in a way, it really did. The first band on, theSTART, had this new wave punk sound that I really got into, but it was this bass player they had that kept my eye. Her name....was Sarah Saturday. She was this mid-height, punky bleach blonde that couldn't help but smile the whole show. She seemed pretty cool. The next band was S.T.U.N., who were amazing, but deserve their own post.

So after S.T.U.N., I decided to go back to the merch booth, cause I just wasn't ready to be smashed against the barrier anymore (that would change as I got more shows under my belt). So at the merch booth, there was Sarah, standing there, chatting up anyone that came by, selling them her homemade zine she put out, which I always found really cool. I could never put out a zine. Hell, that'd be like trying to sell of the stuff I write here. I'm just not that good.

So I started chatting her up for I was developing a total music crush on her (you know, when you love someone for them playing music and being cool). She gave me her email address and the name of her own band....Saving Face. A band I would get to know pretty well the next few years. And not long after that show, she finished her touring duties with theSTART (she was a temporary bassist) and returned to Madison, Wisconsin to work with Saving Face. After that, things went break neck, and that also deserves a follow up post. But without Sarah, I would not be where I am. I traveled out of state to see her and her band play, I've housed them at my apartment, I got to meet her then boyfriend Andy Stensrud, I've bitched to her about my women troubles even, and she gave me my first music industry job (working for She's one of those people that changed my life. So here's the interview, where you can learn more about her:

What started you out in music? Was it your parents or family that influenced you, or was it friends in school?

I started taking piano and violin lessons when I was 3 years old. I grew up in a very musical household and was constantly exposed to music. Everyone sang and played multiple instruments, and we were always jamming together, learning songs and new instruments, making up goofy songs about our pets, and singing in harmony together on road trips. I was always in choir and school bands growing up. When I was 14, my mom told me about the Fender Jazz bass she had in the basement. I couldn't believe she had kept this secret for so long! She brought it upstairs and taught me a very simplified version of "Moondance" by Van Morrison. The next day, I got my own practice amp and that was it for me. I picked up the acoustic guitar a couple years later and taught myself how to play (one of the most frustrating things I've ever done).

Your first band, Wish, was formed when you were in high school. What was it to play shows when you were that young?

It was all very exciting. At that time, there weren't very many high school bands playing shows, and Wish was the only local band in our town. So all our friends would come see us play and I would get really nervous and stand totally still on stage. But we were, like, the coolest kids in school. Haha...

What did Wish sound like? Were there any demos?

There actually were two demos released -- on cassette tape! I can send you copies if you want. I've been meaning to put them online. We were an alternative rock band all the way. We covered Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, Deftones, Stone Temple Pilots, Bush, and Tool -- the whole nine yards. I had hair down to my waist and leather pants.

You were in the band with Ryan McLain, who you also went onto with in Saving Face. What was it like working with him?

Basically from the day I joined Wish (originally called Manifest Destiny) when we were both 16, I was best friends with Ryan. We even dated for a few months when we first met, but that didn't last very long and we became good friends because of it. Ryan was my "musical soul mate" -- meaning that we could sit down together and write an entire song without saying more than a few words to each other. We just knew exactly what needed to happen with the songs. It was really incredible.

You booked almost every show you've played. What made you decide to take charge?

Well, I only started learning about booking shows at the end of Wish. We were living in Madison, out of high school and playing local shows. We had met a local Madison band called Ed Temple, who was very involved in the underground, DIY community. They are the reason I got into the scene, learned about the DIY philosophy, and discovered the world of punk rock. Until that point I had only heard a handful of punk bands, but I had no idea there was an entire underground network and way of life to go with it.

I started slowly taking over the booking of local Wish shows, and soon booked my first tour, which ended up being two dates in Michigan -- one of which was in a restaurant that served mussels and had dirt and feather bowling in the back room. Very strange. But from that point on I was hooked on this new world I had discovered.

After Wish, you formed Saving Face with Ryan. What were your goals with the band?

I think my goals were the same from the day I joined Wish to the day I decided to move to California (and maybe even after that): I was going to leave my mark on the history of music.

Saving Face ended both abruptly, yet inevitably. Care to explain what happened?

Well, from an outside perspective the ending of a band is always more abrupt than it is from the inside perspective. The last year or so of Saving Face's existence was all over the place: we lost our drummer, I left for three months to tour with The Start, we changed our sound a bit---and the pressure of taking the band to the next level began to weigh pretty heavily on all of us. By the time we embarked on what would be our final tour at the end of 2003, it was apparent that we had reached a fork in the road. I was pretty depressed and we were all struggling to pay our bills and keep the band alive. Ryan and I had been playing together for nearly a decade and we were starting to wonder what the future held for us. We never in a million years thought the band would end, but when I got offered the job working for Kevin Lyman and the Warped Tour out in California, I couldn't turn it down. The guys came out to California to record our E.P. a few months later, and we talked about the options. Ryan and Matt both expressed the desire to keep touring and make the band work, but in order for that to happen they needed to move to California (not an easy---or cheap---decision to make). I had also just started an incredible job that took up most of my time, and when I got invited to go on the road with the Warped Tour, I think we all knew that the band was over. It was a long descent into a quick unraveling...

"P.S." ended up being your last release for Saving Face. If you could have kept going, what would you have liked to do with the band?

It is so hard to say... I think the better question would be: "If it would have been possible to keep the band going, what would you have done?" And my answer would be, "I would have kept it going."

You now work for Kevin Lyman, who is the creator of Warped Tour. Care to explain what it is that you do for a job? What kind of connections has that created for you?

It has been a great experience. I have learned so much, met so many people, and completely changed my entire view of music, the music industry, bands, record labels, and human beings in general. Even now that I am moving on and starting to do some of my own things, I still work closely with Kevin's projects and value what I have learned from him in the last two years.

What were some of your favorite live experiences and experiences while on the road, with either Wish, Saving Face or your times on Warped Tour?

Yikes. Favorite live experiences varied, between basement shows that were packed with sweaty punks and playing to 11,000 people when Saving Face opened for Good Charlotte. There is nothing like the feeling of unity and idealism at a punk rock basement show, but then again the adrenaline rush of walking onto a stage in front of a huge crowd for the first time is a pretty intense experience. I can't say that I have a favorite live experience, except for a couple of our last shows at The Warehouse in La Crosse, when we had returned from very long and fruitless tours only to be welcomed by sold-out crowds whose energy and love for Saving Face made the excruciating tours worth it, just to play those thirty minute sets with that crowd.

Which recording/s are you most proud of? (Be it Wish, SF or Alma)

Saving Face's releases were the ones I put most of my time, energy, hope, and efforts into, so I would have to say I am most proud of those. My fondest memories of being in the studio are from the first few times I recorded with my first band, Wish. It was all so exciting and new -- and analog, so we would spend like 12 or 14 hours straight in the studio with nothing but Mountain Dew and cigarettes to keep us awake.

You run two websites: and, which stands for Earn It Yourself. What are both websites for? is basically a site where I can promote good undiscovered music and complain about everything I hate about the world. Haha... OK, it's more than that. Reviews, resources for bands, a zine, mix CDs, a radio, and an introduction to my EIY philosophy. You can find cool stuff there, but I am planning a huge facelift for the site so that it can be more effective and require less time on my part. is a spin-off of, dedicated to my philosophy for the music industry, called Earn It Yourself, or "EIY." It's an idea I came up with after being in Wish and Saving Face and learning about the music industry, and how most bands actually become successful. Very few of them earn their success through hard work and dedication to their values of a band. I think everyone would be surprised by how most bands become "famous." I believe that a band should have a goal-driven philosophy and agreed-upon values as a band that never changes no matter how much money is offered to them. EarnItYourself is also getting a facelift soon, and I will post a detailed, updated explanation of the philosophy on the new site.

You have a new project, Alma, which you've been working on in your spare time. Can we expect a release soon?

No, definitely not. Alma was a happy accident that my friend Wyatt and I started, but we have since become co-VPs of an online music television channel, which means very little (if any) time for recording.

I do miss playing music though, and I just bought myself an electric piano the other day so I can get back into writing. I am considering starting up a band for fun, but who knows? I've gotten used to the fact that my life changes dramatically every few months, so anything is possible.

I know you have a Bono obsession, but what bands have you always wished you could work with or play with?

I have a Bono obsession? Really? Haha I didn't know that. There aren't many bands I wish I could work with; working with established, "famous" bands always makes me feel uncomfortable (I would much rather be playing in the opening band on their tour than working in the production office giving them their laminates). But I do have daydreams of playing on stage with bands like Radiohead and Coldplay, and I used to always wish I could have done just one tour with a super heavy band, like Thrice durring their Illusion Of Safety days.

You also “manage” a band, Single File. How did you get hooked into doing that? And what's it like to help run a band you aren't part of?

I don't so much "manage" Single File as I "consult" them from time to time. I walked into an open mic they were playing as an acoustic duo and was blown away. I knew I wanted to help them in some way, so I met up with them and starting helping them figure out their strategy as a band. I helped them book their first tour, then basically talked to them about their goals, their 2-year plan, and tips on booking tours and managing themselves. Since then I haven't had enough time to devote to "managing" them, but I have kept in touch with them and helped them out whenever I can. They are great guys and I consider them friends above all else.

Final Question: How did you ever become Prom Queen?

Psht, by being AWESOME!!!

Check out Sarah and Earn It

Next, I'll have some pictures up from the recent We Are Scientists show and more on what I'm going to be working on this summer for you guys. Hopefully a switch to a real .com site. Who knows!


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