Homeshake’s most recent record In the Shower is not to be missed. From start to finish the record is like one continuous silky tapestry of R&B-soul-groove-jazz. In the live setting Homeshake offers great live instrumentation, smooth melodies, and mellow vibes. Frontman Peter Sagar talks about life in Montreal, upcoming projects, and the recording process. With influences like 70s soul and 90s R&B, the resulting music is truly groovy. Dim the lights, and turn on some Homeshake.
What kind of music did you listen to growing up?
Well, I was a really big Rage Against the Machine fan. I still think they’re good. I like a lot of 70’s Soul and 90s Hip-hop and R&B. I really love R. Kelly and Brandi. I’ve been listening to a lot of Brandi lately actually.
What bands are you listening to these days?
Just my friends. I don’t listen to a whole lot of new music. I really like Mild High Club. They’re fucking incredible. Alex’s new record is just amazing. It’s coming out soon. We’ve been trading tracks for a long time, but he’s writing some amazing stuff. I like Silk Rhodes on Stones Throw Records too, and a lot of Montreal bands like Sheer Agony. I’ve been recording with Jackson for my new stuff, and we share a drummer. They’re a fantastic power pop band. It’s not really my thing but you just watch them and think, well that’s really fucking good. My bass player has a project in Montreal called Real Life, and it’s incredible. I like Oneohtrix Point Never, and Chuck Person’s Eccojams project. He’s really really good.
What is the vibe like in Montreal?
There are lots of great bands. It’s really mellow, and really inexpensive. That’s why I think it has a really vibrant arts community, because it’s just dirt cheap. They have rent control. It’s pretty left of center, and people are constantly pissed at the government so they don’t take any shit. It’s really inspiring. I love it.
What do you guys like to do outside of playing music?
Mark, our guitarist, goes to school for city planning. Greg plays drums for a lot of bands and they’re all really good. One of them is Sheer Agony. Brad likes to DJ and rave; he’s a dance boy. I just record a lot. I have another album done already. I record a lot and make dinner with my girlfriend. She’s an amazing cook so I chop for her, and watch a lot of movies. It’s very mellow in my life.
What does your song “Home at Last” refer to?
It’s about when I moved to Montreal. It’s about leaving all my friends in Edmonton behind, in the hell we grew up in.
What was the recording process like for this album?
I recorded with my homie Mike at a jam space/club that we run in Montreal, and he’s really good at recording. I did all my other stuff by myself, with a little help from friends. We had a small studio with a 16-track, half-inch machine and a lot of fun toys and gadgets, and a big room to record in.
What are your favorite effects?
I like tape echo. We have two of those in the studio.
How is that different from reverb?
I don’t use reverb anymore really. I’m over it. Tape echo is a tape loop. It records as it goes and then plays it back over again. I use a lot of that and a lot of compression. It’s analog so you have to compress everything pretty heavily, but all effects are cool, digital or analog. It doesn’t matter. You can make anything cool with anything.
What was the biggest roadblock to get this record done?
I was on the road a lot so it took a long time to do. I would get back from being on the road and link up with Mike and we just kept recording until it was done.
Do you write music and add lyrics later?
Yeah they’re the last thing I think about. I’m not a lyricist.
What would you like to do in the future with your music?
I just want to make sure each album is different than the one before it, and try new things. I’d like to work with other people. I haven’t done a true collaborative project in a while. I’ve just been recording all by myself and writing everything, and that can get pretty lonely and self-obsessive which I don’t think is good for you. So after I get back to Montreal from this tour I’m going to work on some things with a couple friends. I’m gonna play drums on my friends free jazz record hopefully. I’m going to start an extremely accessible pop group with a couple of my friends. We’re gonna make some top 40’s style beats and rap over them. It’s gonna be called Climax. We did two shows in Montreal where we covered Usher, Chris Brown, and Destiny’s Child. But, we got really tired of that so we’re gonna try and produce some stuff. Just goofy stupid shit.
Do you enjoy touring?
It’s not my favorite thing. I like recording and chilling and being at home. I’m definitely a homebody kind of guy, but touring is cool. Mark, Greg, and Brad are the best dudes to be on the road with in the world. We were really wasted on the front steps of my friend Nolan’s place the other night, just talking about how much we love each other, and how we’re gonna be a band forever. So stayed tuned, plenty more where this came from.
If you could give yourself some advice five years ago what would you say?
Do whatever you want, because that’s what I did, and it’s worked out well so far. I wouldn’t change anything. I don’t have any regrets.