Sacha Sacket
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Sacha Sacket


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"Sacha Sacket Interview"

Samuel Aaron: First off, thank you for taking the time to do this interview, it is a pleasure, 2007 is almost over, looking back what were some highlights for you?
Sacha Sacket: There were a lot of big steps for me this year - the greatest transition was definitely the band. I am very thankful for that growth at the moment - I feel it is the future for me, so to speak. Also importantly, the label is growing, we are touring quite regularly now in a way I never have before. Promotion is going really well, the word is getting out and we are growing. So on all fronts it's very positive. I think my performances are still in a growth process too - I still have new things to explore, which is really exciting. The guitar is finally starting to take more prominence in the music. This year really has been a hugely transitional one for me.

SA: Do you feel it was productive?
SS: But of course.

SA: Lets talk a bit about your new album ("Lovers & Leaders"); What do you want your listeners to take away after hearing it for the first time?
SS: My goal with every song I write is to make it immediately familiar. Like something you have almost heard before (but really haven't at all). I believe this happens with symmetry, proportion, and layering. I look at songwriting a lot like creating a great math equation or building a house. You have to have things flow and fit together in it's own perfect way. For me, finding the proper structure and then inserting all the details - takes time. It's a long process. I feel that when things have a good sense of shape to them, that they transcend just being a song. They become something a bit more. My main goal in everything I write is to dig as deep as I can while staying accessible as I can. These things are definitely not mutually exclusive. It's a careful balancing act.

SA: This album appears to have more of a theme then your last - care to explain it?
SS: I think all my albums have a theme definitely. Shadowed was a descent into Hades, into darkness. Playing with that idea. This album is about ascent. There is no dogma on this record, but there is a high spirituality to it. I see Lovers & Leaders as a direct answer to Shadowed. They exist together, in tandem.

SA: What were you listening to while you wrote this album?
SS: A lot of U2 actually.

SA: Do you hear them or any of your influences in the music?
SS: Not really. I have my influences - but I do feel that the music comes out in it's own way. Everyone around me works really hard to categorize the music - so I try to worry less about that, and work at creating.

SA: Do you have a favorite recording memory?
SS: Usually with the songs - the first day or 2 in studio are the most exciting. Prodigal (on "Shadowed") and Hail (on "Lovers & Lovers") were 1st day recordings and there was definitely an energy and magic in the air during them. The songs sort of defied the way I saw them originally - but I love them for that. It went a whole different direction but came out much better than I could have expected. That's probably the thing I love most about making music. When the song surprises you. When Brandon came to me, I remember seriously feeling like I had no idea where it came from. It was a whole different feel than other stuff I had written. THere is a violence in that song that I loved... I love being surprised and thrown into something new.

SA: So what is the story behind "Brandon Boyd"?
SS: I went to high school with him. It really isn't a song against him on any level. If you read the lyrics... it is more about how he was sort of the golden god of our school. even the cool kids couldn't be him. It's a song about how no one gets out of high school alive.

SA: You recently started touring with a full band - how has that affected your live shows?
SS: Things are definitely more dynamic now - as you would expect. Much more energy. It is also affecting the way I think about songwriting actually. I think I am getting more into rhythmics now - where I was more concerned with melody before. It's a natural progression I think. I think the greatest affect will be with the next album with the band. I think things are sort of mutating, there is suddenly all this fresh blood and a limitless horizon.

SA: They are all girls, - was that intentional?
SS: Yeah - completely. When I was brainstorming on what I wanted to do next, it was definitely an idea I had. Wasn't sure if it was possible to do too - because the musicality was extremely important to me. I don't want to do something JUST for the shock value or even JUST to be different. It has to have some meat to it. I haven't seen a band with just a male lead singer - but I also felt it would be powerful to have amazing women musicians that really have some balls to back me up. There is something to that, I feel.

SA: You have also begun touring a lot more, and focusing more regionally then your previous tours; what made you decide to switch your focus?
SS: -

"Sacket brings Flag an epic alt-pop recording and a new gimmick"

“Adult alternative” is a complicated genre for a musician to fall into. It implies a musical ambiguity: caught somewhere between the White Stripes and Celine Dion. It takes a certain caliber of artist to successfully walk the thin line between rock and roll ‘n’ emotional balm.
Sacha Sacket wants to be one of them.
“I grew up with all the garage stuff and that was sort of my first introduction to music,” says the L.A. native, whose third CD titled Lovers and Leaders was released this fall. “Alternative music, that sort of thing. Obviously that’s a lot darker and more personal … And I love writing a good pop song. I’m always looking for accessibility, but …it has to really come from somewhere I’m not necessarily even comfortable going.”
On Lovers and Leaders, Sacket faces this darkness head-on with songs that run the gamut of love and loss. “Maybe You Can Save Me (From You)” is a longing ballad that recalls a Coldplay/Dashboard Confessional hybrid at its most radio-ready, while “Brandon Boyd”—named after the lead singer of Incubus, Sacket’s former classmate—is a grim tongue-in-cheek reminiscence on high school social hierarchies. It plays like a concept album of sorts, with songs featuring strings and electronic beats unified by the driving presence of his piano to create a palpable atmosphere in which his songs’ moody characters dwell.
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It’s nothing fans of the genre haven’t heard before, but the clear strength of the various parts makes Lovers and Leaders a solid—and enjoyable—alt-pop record.
Though his smooth voice with its falsetto range, the classical training evident in his playing and haunting compositions have earned Sacket comparisons to Elton John, Keane, and Tori Amos, his lyrics can recall the surreal quality of Björk or, as on the album’s first single “Judy (For Shame)”, the storytelling prowess of classic rockers. Sacket doesn’t mind these comparisons: he sees his synthesis of musical styles and genres as evidence that he’s carving new territory as an artist.
Being independently signed is also comfortable terrain for Sacket, who counts Radiohead, Feist, Beethoven, and P.J. Harvey among his favorite musicians.
“You hear about all these … artists signing with big labels that are really awful and are just getting worse because they’re having trouble making money: it’s understandable. But at the same time they’re not even letting an artist make any money. So right now it’s sort of really interesting to see if I can make it work on my own with my own label and the people that I work with … if we can pull this together.”
In addition to touring and recording this year, Sacket also showcased his acting chops in “November Son,” a (wait for it …) gay/slasher/B-movie/psychological horror flick, but seems nonplussed about becoming the actor/musician cliché.
“I’m in the midst of Los Angeles; everyone here is an actor,” he says straightforwardly. After completing a double major in theater and film in college, Sacket realized music was his calling. “I had been playing piano literally every day since I was 5, and it just never seemed to occur to me that I love piano, and that music might be the thing I should be doing. Acting, you know, its something I feel I love so much … It’s just another aspect of my creativity I guess. But I can’t draw to save my life, I can’t dance. You can’t get me on the dance floor—it’s just not going to happen.”
Though still an emerging artist on the national scene, he has an impressive base of devotees. His MySpace wall, blog comments and fan sites are filled with praise from a motley crew of fans, from gushing 40-year-old Josh Groban lovers, to fellow independent bands, to college co-eds.
“I’m not big enough where I can still make mistakes, and I can still experiment,” he said. “But I am big enough where I’m not just starting from scratch and it’s not, you know, just like begging people to listen to my stuff. Like, I definitely have an audience and people come to the shows, so it’s sort of a really comfortable place.”
The big risk Sacket takes with this tour, however, is experimenting for the first time with being part of a band rather than a solo artist. Sacket will appear in Flagstaff on the Dec. 14 as Sacha Sacket and His All Girl Band with three women on guitar, bass and drums to supplement his keyboard and vocals. A male lead singer with female band members is a virtually unheard of concept in the music world, and it may be the shtick Sacket needs to propel his “adult alternative” to a new high. Sacket’s goal, he says, was to recreate the “epic” quality he feels the record captures in performance.
“I knew it was something that I sort of was ready to do because I was getting kind of tired of the whole singer/songwriter thing. I don’t know, I think I hit a - Flagstaff Live by Megan Reid

"Sacha Sacket reaches the heavenly highs of U2 and Coldplay on new CD Reviewed by Kit Burns"

Sacha Sacket/Lovers & Leaders

Sacha Sacket has a voice that is almost too pretty for radio. Given that much of commercial FM radio is overrun by screaming emos and inarticulate rappers, you have to wonder where Sacket’s place is on terrestrial airspace. Perhaps Sacket’s similarity to U2’s Bono and Coldplay’s Chris Martin will awaken the powers-that-be, showing them that there is a market for a singer who croons like an angel.

Lovers & Leaders is no generic singer/songwriter album. Not even close. In other words, Sacket is about as far removed from the likes of John Mayer and Jack Johnson as possible. He establishes this immediately with the first cut, “Hail.” Against a heartbreakingly intimate Bono-ish breathy voice, sunset piano stretches across the landscape, creating an atmosphere of transcendent love. On “Judy (for Shame)” and ”Maybe You Can Save Me (from You),” Sacket recalls the floaty gorgeousness of Coldplay without blatantly aping it. Sacket isn’t trying to be Coldplay; they’re just reaching for the same heavens.

“Brandon Boyd” (he of the alt-rock group Incubus) surprised me with its Radiohead-ish electronics; however, Radiohead were never this accessible, at least not since “Fake Plastic Trees” and “High and Dry.” The music is lushly produced throughout, but it’s Sacket’s dreamy, plaintive singing that’ll haunt my dreams. - Overground Underground

"Sacha Sacket 'Lovers & Leaders' Reveiw"

Forget what you think you know about indie musicians and styles, there is no bleeding heart folk artist or lo-fi media junkie to be found on Lovers & Leaders; this album is pure high quality pop. Sacha channels the dark, moody intensity of Nick Drake with the lush, unrequited (and unashamed) pop of Sarah McLachlan or Bjork.

Sacha strays a bit further into adult contemporary this time around, making his music more accessible, but perhaps, unfortunately, losing a bit of the edge that pushed his last album onto the radar. Where Shadowed was cloaked in some mystery and mystique, Lovers & Leaders finds Sacha wearing his heart on his sleeve in some of the most honest and straightforward songs of the year.

"Hail" opens up this new world, bleeding through the speakers and striking into the very heart of the listener; is it an anthem or a plea for help? No one can argue this is emotionally charged and engaging, a sharp focuse that builds up and up towards spiraling separation. Timeless enough to capture your soul, and perhaps bleed into your head.

Sacha also shows his teeth on "Brandon Boyd" (named for the lead singer of Incubus, who went to the same High School as Sacha, for those of you not in the know), one of the sharpest songs on the album, and a throw back to his debut album in terms of style. Pulling no punches when giving the commentary about cliques and the 'cool kids', this song is also as close to a full out rocker as you will ever hear on this album. Given the intensity, it is little wonder that Sacha immediately falls back into a ballad with "Maybe You Could Save Me (From You)", and recovers gracefully with the gems in "How Low" and "Jove" before bringing himself back up. It is the emotional and heavily electronic "What You Are" that drives the listener through the final two tracks and gently lays you down again.

Plant Sacha Sacket and his melodies firmly between Trespassers William and All Things Bright And Beautiful as a musician that is absolutely perfect for stormy weather, long drives and bitter heartbreak. He won't break your heart but if it is broken listening to him is a surefire way to start the healing.

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"Sacha Sacket 'Lovers & Leaders' Reveiw"

They compare him to a young Elton John, but aside from the fact that they both play piano, I honestly don't hear it. Instead, Sacha Sacket ( belongs to a more current generation of performers, namely crooning, lovelorn artists such as Keane, Coldplay, and the late Jeff Buckley.

Although John was a firecracker live in his early days, he was pretty much a pop artist, back when such a label didn't necessarily mean disposable fluff. Sacket's voice - melancholy, yearning, romantic - doesn't have John's theatrical flamboyance. In fact, there is nothing theatrical about Sacket's vocals; it reaches inward, deep into the farthest depths of his soul. Such introspection can be emotionally exhausting or exhilarating, depending on the singer and the lyrics. In this case, count me among those who choose the latter. Sacket has a beautiful voice. What I love about it is his restraint; he could, at any time, hit those soaring high falsetto notes that Chris Martin wooed listeners into platinum sales.

If there's a single musician that Sacket reminds me of, it wouldn't be male; stylistically and in spirit, Sacket mostly recalls Tori Amos. Like Amos, Sacket isn't afraid to put a few rough edges in his music, either sonically or lyrically. In "Brandon Boyd" (named after the lead singer of Incubus, in case you didn't know), Sacket sings, "We're the cool kids/We don't have to try." It's a complete slam on the popularity contest that is high school yet it's executed with a mature, sharply focused delivery.

Sacket veers beyond modern singer/songwriter cliches, unafraid to stray from acoustic pop and into electronics ("Stay"). Even "Brandon Boyd" evolves into dreamy rock that would make U2 smile in support.

Sacha Sacket may not be Elton John; the good news is that he doesn't have to be. - Whisperin & Hollerin

"SLO regular solo no more"

Somewhere between John Mayer and Coldplay stands Sacha Sacket, a newer name in the alternative, classical field of music. He sings in a calming tone plays the piano with passion and veneration for the artists he loves.

Sacket has performed in San Luis Obispo three times before at Backstage Pizza on Cal Poly's campus, and his recent performance on Oct. 13 at Frog and Peach Pub was a hit with the college audience. His music filled the quaint pub and lured others in to stand back and listen or even dance.

Katie Foley, a sophomore at Cuesta College and a Frog and Peach regular, thought Sacket was one of the better performances she has seen.

"The band was kind of a newer sound than what's normally here and it was definitely good music," Foley said.

Born in Iraq, Sacket has been singing since choir in high school, but never really got into it until he tried out high school musicals. When he was one year old, he moved to Los Angeles where his mom put him into piano lessons young and he quit not long after. However, since his mom played, he later got excited about it and taught himself how to read music.

"People liked my voice and so I started training. Later I quit while I went to college… Training was very controlled and focused on theory, but once I let that go I found my personal voice," Sacket said.

While going to school at the University of Southern California, Sacket was very passionate about music; it was what he was about. He had played piano his entire life, but all he had known was classical. To him this was an expression.

"In college I spent so much time playing that I decided to go for it once I graduated, and that's when I made my first album," Sacket said.

Sacket's main influences have been The Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Tori Amos, Radiohead, U2 and Beethoven. Yet Bjork holds his favorite spot; he loves how crazy and fearless she is.

Sacket produced his first two CDs solo, but his latest, "Lovers and Leaders," had help from three talented female artists. He had wanted to go in a slightly new direction, try something different, and an all girl band with a male singer is rarely seen.

"They're great musicians. I tried the solo thing for a while and it was time to grow. I put the search out and two months later we got the chemistry right," Sacket said.

Each band member is easygoing and has a great sense of humor. There's constant laughter, and they all share similar interests. Although they're still feeling it out, the band is already writing for the next record. A lot of the songs are going to have a new energy. While the old stuff was more subdued, the future sound will be going more hard rock.

There's also been disscussion within the band about doing a live record, which will have a whole different level of energy.

The best thing for Sacket about being on the road is playing the show, but he is still getting used to the new touring arrangements.

"I'm used to touring by myself and now there are three girls in the car with me. We all have our own characters and it's interesting," Sacket said.

When on tour in a loaded van, things like what radio station is on becomes life or death. Sacket loves to visit his hometown of Los Angeles to put on a show, and he recently enjoyed performing in Manhattan.

"I love to travel and sing, it lets you look into different lives and get a sense for people. The visits are short but concentrated, and the east is so different from the west," Sacket said.

If forced to chose a favorite song to perform, right now Sacket would have to go with "Hallowed," track 10 on the newest album, for its energy, or "Desire" from his second album.

Sacket admits to having trouble with writing lyrics sometimes. In the past, the task has landed him at Starbucks, so many times that they know his name and order. Diners also seem to attract him as a good spot to write, and he often just prays that inspiration hits him.

"The best songs come out of nowhere. People try to be inspired and try too hard, but the best comes naturally and randomly," Sacket said.

Although music is his passion, if Sacket had chosen a different career path it would most likely have been to teach history. If it were up to him he would love to stay a student forever.

"It was important to get out, but now I'm jealous and want to learn about things," Sacket said.

Staying in school used to be a regret for Sacket, but now he's happy he did. Although part of him wonders if he had left and tried his music career earlier where he would be now.

When Sacket isn't focusing on his music, he travels around alone to get out of his own world. While he was a film major at USC, Sacket did a film in Los Angeles, "November Sun," and continues to occasionally take acting classes.

Living in California while still having family back in Iran is hard for Sacket. He left at such a young age and would love to go see it, but returning would mean that he would be forced to serve ti - Mustang Daily


“He's sexy. He's talented. Armed with a piano and a lifetime of classical training, Sacha seamlessly incorporates rock, pop and even dance into his dazzling songs. He's like a modern-day Elton John, and we love him.”

"Catharsis on Cahuenga"

“Sacha Sacket is releasing his third CD, Lovers and Leaders, and advance copies delivered to select press members reveal a melodic song cycle coupled with extraordinary lyrical depth. Given the potency of the newest project and the promise of forthcoming videos, expect to see and hear him in your town soon.
-David Kimpel-American Songwriter Magazine
- American Songwriter Magazine

"Sacha Sacket"

“Adult alternative has been one of the more female-dominated areas of the music world -- an area where so many of the tastemakers (Sarah McLachlan, Vanessa Carlton, the Indigo Girls and Shawn Colvin, for example) have been women. But largely female isn't the same as exclusively female, and male artists have also made some valuable contributions to the adult alternative field, including John Mayer, and the Gin Blossoms. A name that should be added to that list is singer/songwriter Sacha Sacket.”
- All Music Guide
- All Music Guide

"Sacha Sacket"

“Knocked my socks off … (Sacha) plays the piano with reverence to the artists he evidently adores, but only in the quest to find his own individual voice.”
-Entertainment Today
- Entertainment Today


Live at the Zone (2008)
Lovers and Leaders (2007)
Shadowed (2004)
Alabaster Flesh (2001)



Opulent sweeps of electronic orchestration frame the evocative voice of Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Sacha Sacket on his third full-length release, Lovers & Leaders. A strong pop current underscores themes of surrender and acceptance.

"Although it's a love album, the theme is really more about my battle not to succumb to it," says Sacket. " I guess I equated love with losing power, losing my goals and aspirations. I was trying to find the balance between honoring someone else and myself, while at the same time - finding where the edges meet."

The boldly titled Lovers and Leaders is as diverse as the characters that inspired it. The lyrics explore the freedom that comes through love, the nobility of leadership, and the devastating impact of the lack of either. Fans of Sacket's confessional songwriting will immediately recognize the classically influenced melodies that are at the heart of the composer's polished musicality. Lyrically, he stretches beyond the internal scrutiny of self-examination to etch distinct portraits of others with crystalline clarity: A disillusioned lover watches the runway recede from an ascending jet as she recalls "days of legs and sheets and lips" in "How Low?" An obsessive friend, "Judy (for shame)," dries roses and arranges dolls in rows on her bed, and in "Brandon Boyd," the entitled "cool kids" intone threats to "keep the fat chicks/and the fags in line." Sacket's gift is not only to breathe life into these characters, but also to reveal their humanity.

Born in Iran to a multi-cultural family (his father is Iranian, his mother British) Sacket came to California at age one where he grew up in the sun-baked sprawl of the San Fernando Valley. Among his high school peers were members of Linkin Park and Hoobastank. And "Brandon Boyd," as named in song, is the classmate who co-founded the band Incubus.

With the release of his second album, Sacha Sacket took his artistry far a field touring relentlessly with concerts at hundreds of colleges and music venues while garnering airplay on 150+ independent, college and NPR stations. With the advent of myspace, his audience grew exponentially and national media outlets soon took notice. Noted one reviewer, "Sacket's music is not one for easy comparison. His remarkable and plaintive sensitivity conjures thoughts of a young Elton John, while a beautiful, textured piano recalls his classical past � a young obsession with Beethoven. His talent, however, is undeniable from any perspective. Armed with a unique and powerful voice, which is perhaps his greatest asset, Sacket grabs you right in the gut and never lets go."

With Lovers and Leaders, even though Sacket confronts emotional vulnerability, his position is one of strength. "I'm not crying, walking down the street or anything," he laughs. "My music balances me. It's a super shot, an 'espresso' shot of me. In my music, I say things that I've never said to anybody. It's private stuff that I don't really talk about: except to the world."