We recently introduced you to Nashville based Sarah Peacock not long after the release of her latest EP “Hot Sheet Motel” (catch up with that here http://bellesandgals.com/2018/08/21/introducing-sarah-peacock/ ) She has had a busy few months touring back home in the States and is currently playing some dates in the Netherlands before heading to Bonnie Scotland next week. Sadly she was unable to fit in any dates south of the border on this visit but I caught up with her via email as she was about to set off on her European adventures! She talks of her varied musical influences, love of co-writing ( and Netflix!) and her passions outside the music business among many other things!
1. LH Hey , Sarah, great to catch up at this exciting time for you! Where are you at the moment?
SP I’m actually sitting in the Atlanta, GA international terminal about to board my flight for Europe! So pumped!
2. LH You’ve had a busy year so far, your new EP “ Hot Sheet Hotel “ has been released, you’ve been playing a lot of shows back home and now there’s European dates for you! ( sadly none near me!) Have you played in this part of the world before and what are you most looking forwards to about your trip across the pond?
SP It has been a very busy fall, lots of festivals, touring, and even some home renovations in between! Haha. This will be my first time across the pond, and I couldn’t be more thrilled! I’m a glutton for wanderlust (big surprise). The gypsy side of my heart is bursting with excitement to soak in all the new culture, languages, historic sights, and food! What I’m most looking forward to is connecting with audiences over there and experiencing music as a true universal language in a brand new way. I know that most places I’m going speak wonderful English, but to me there is something special about coming over as a guest and sharing my songs with fresh listeners.
3. LH And I guess you’ve been playing both acoustically and with a full band…..which do you prefer or are they both equally fun for different reasons?
SP For the first decade of my career I performed mostly acoustic out of necessity. I couldn’t afford a band or the transportation upgrade it would have taken to carry a crew with me. There was a lot of freedom in that and the acoustic shows really gave me an intimate connection with my fans. Honestly, that’s what built my career in the U.S., and I’m very grateful. In the last several years I’ve played more with a band and really love it. It’s so amazing to share the stage with other musicians. It brings a whole new dimension to the songs. So many new textures and layers that were not there before. It’s incredibly inspiring. I love both full band and acoustic equally for different reasons.
4. LH I see you’ve recently been playing a couple of festival dates in TX…..how different is is playing to a crowd that maybe aren’t specifically there to see you than at a headline show?
SP These festivals have been absolutely incredible. Texas has such a supportive music scene. I showed up for the Marble Falls Music Festival with a captive audience waiting. Many of them checked out my music before hand and came specifically to see me. I was blown away. The songwriter festivals are such a beautiful experience. The audiences don’t necessarily come to hear one artist in particular, but they are attentive. They come because they LOVE songwriters and want to support the artists. I’ve been blown away at the respect audiences show in Texas. It is equal to a headline show in my book!
5 .LH So, your latest EP “ Hot Sheet Motel” …..I can detect a variety of musical influences in the five tracks, which artists were you listening to back in Georgia who have seeped into your writing?
SP I’m going to say Heart, Reba, Brandi Carlile, and Chris Stapleton.
6. Sorry but I don’t have the EP’s writing credits, do you co-write much , something that your now-home of Nashville is so well known for of course!
SP I’m all about the cowriting! I cowrote several of the songs on “Hot Sheet Motel,” actually. I absolutely love my cowriters. It’s a vulnerable thing to do to trust another human with something like creating a song. But it’s such a beautiful thing. Iron sharpens iron. A lot of times, the influence of other talented writers winds up richening the craft of the song. And that’s what makes a songwriter progress and continue to get better.
7.LH Do you have a favourite track from it to play live….maybe one that’s getting a particularly good reaction from your audiences?
SP I love playing “Waiting In Wyoming” just simply for the shock value when the song begins. I tend to hang on to the opening note a little extra and it really seems to grab people off the bat
8.LH As mentioned in our recent article, your’s really is a story of not giving up on your dream whatever life throws at you! I’m assuming determination is one of your key qualities, but how else would you describe yourself?
SP I think it’s safe to say determination is a value I hold very dearly. I tend to describe myself as an extroverted introvert. Extroverted by force, given the nature of my career path. But about 3 – 4 songs from the end of a set I’m fantasizing about wiping off my makeup and getting into my pajamas straight away for a good Netflix binge. Haha. Kind, tender, deep, seasoned, and wise are also words I would use to describe myself.
9. LH How do you think you’ve developed as an artist over the years?
SP I was just talking about this in an interview last week. I think my early years were filled with starry eyed love songs. My heart was hopeful and dreamy and naive. I’ve been kicked around a lot in this business. I’ve been heartbroken many times. The very nature of my work requires me to sacrifice and be alone a lot. There was a darkness that set in for me after my coming of age and loss of innocence. That darkness changed my writing and gave a richness to the songs that just didn’t exist before. I don’t mean to make it sound like I’m overwhelmed with a bleak cloud of heaviness. I’m a positive, happy person. But the life experience added more color to the pallet. I don’t typically like to write happy songs. I like to write songs that evoke nostalgia, thought, and something deeper than a happy feel-good love song.
10. LH Away from music, you play an active role in both anti-bullying and animal health/rescue programmes. What makes these laudable causes so important to you?
SP The anti-bullying platform is so incredibly important to me. I was never a cool kid growing up. After many years of being bullied, I had to learn how to overcome the scars that bullying left behind. I came to realize that we all have a gift and a dream that we can use to agents of change in the world. And I feel responsible for carrying that message of love forward. Music gave me wings. I want to empower young people to embrace what makes them different. Whatever that is may make them feel disconnected and uncool now. But if they can be encouraged to embrace it, maybe one day it could make them a hero.
The Band Waggin’ is a nonprofit organization I started in memory of my dog, Gibson who passed away last year. He had congestive heart failure. I was able to enroll in a clinical trial at Colorado State University that was developing a prosthetic mitral valve. We were all hopeful that the valve would cure him and he could go on touring the world with me for many years to come. But, that did not happen. His loss has been one of the most painful things I have experienced. There are so many dogs with this disease that can’t get help. There’s a $40,000 surgery in France (which I could not afford), and that’s it! This trial was the only other option. Congestive heart failure isn’t the only disease that affects animals who’s parents can’t afford to save them. And, so many animals need to be rescued. The Band Waggin’ creates hilariously punny band tees (for both dogs and humans). Through the sale of our t-shirts, we donate money to a variety of organizations that support animal health and wellness as well as rescue.
11.LH And what plans do you have for the rest of 2018 and going into 2019?
SP 2018 is winding down. I’m going to use the rest of this year to strategize and plan for next year. 2019 is off to a good start, but I’m choosing to focus next year on leveling up my career and starting a family. 2019 will make way for a new full length album, a tour supporting that new album, and hopefully a good many music festivals and tour dates opening for some of my favorite international A-list Americana artists! If I can dream big, I’d definitely wish for opening slots with Brandi Carlile, Lukas Nelson, Jason Isbell, John Prine, and Melissa Etheridge.
LH Sounds like a great 2019!! I can’t wait to hear new music from you, let’s hope some these artists you dream of touring with read this interview and take note! Thanks so much for your time!
All Sarah’s news can be found via her socials and at sarahpeacockmusic.com
Interview conducted by Lesley Hastings (twitter.com/lesleyhastings)