Sarah Peacock Interview

Sarah Peacock Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Casting her own harrowing spell, singer-songwriter Sarah Peacock draws
parallels between current events and the 1692 Salem Witch Trials with
the title song to her new record, Burn the Witch. Finger-picking
guitar work cleanses the throat as her voice swells to mimic the havoc
strewn through time, as well as present-day strife along our southern
border. Such raw intensity boils over onto the rest of the 11-track
record, and while her style is not easily defined, her storytelling
prowess is irrefutably potent and unnerving.

Lamitschka:  How was the last year for you? What were your highlights?

The
last year has probably been the best year of my career yet. Last
summer, my Kickstarter generated almost $50,000 for the release of Burn the Witch.
It was overwhelming to receive such incredible fan support on that. I
also had the wonderful opportunity to tour in the UK and Europe, which
was amazing! I also bought a house, which is the most adult thing I’ve
ever done, haha! And, on top of all that I’ve been able to put together
an incredible team of people that are doing a great job rolling out this
new album! There’s so much to be grateful for!

Lamitschka:  How did you choose the title for the new album?  Is there a story behind the name?

Initially,
I was not even going to record the title song for the album, “Burn the
Witch.” I was worried it was too “out there” for people. There was
another song on this record that I was going to crown the title. But,
I’m so glad my producer, Shawn Byrne, talked me into recording this
song. I feel like the song has a lot to say, and I hope people will read
between the lines. “Burn the Witch” is about the Salem Witch Trials of
1692, but it directly mirrors modern-day behavior towards marginalized
people groups. We continue to ostracize people for being different, and
that’s not okay. I think the song is a good conversation starter, and I
hope it will make people think not only about how they treat others but
also about what they can do to discourage this behavior from being
perpetuated by the patriarchy in their day-to-day lives.

Lamitschka:  Please tell us about the songs on your album (influences, etc).
This
record is heavily leaning on social justice issues. I’m very passionate
about elevating marginalized people groups (women, people of color,
LGBTQ, the handicap, the incarcerated, the elderly, the poor, etc).
There’s a lot of that mixed into this record, and all I can hope to do
is plant positive seeds of change in a world where we so desperately
need to do a better job of loving one another.

Lamitschka:  Do you have any interesting stories about how fans have been affected by your music?

A
few years ago I survived a tragic tour bus fire while I was on the road
in California. I had bought this silver eagle 40-foot bus from a guy in
Austin, TX. I fixed it up, got it road ready, and only had it out three
weeks when the whole thing caught ablaze at a truck stop north of San
Francisco Bay. It was like watching all my dreams disintegrate before my
eyes, and I didn’t want to go on. I was twelve years in at that point,
and I felt like I had given music a good try. I was ready to be done and
try something different. But something happened within a few days of
the fire. People started showing up for me.

Someone
started a fundraiser that went viral within my fan community. Musician
friends were sending me gear (strings, cables, tuners, picks, etc).
Someone mailed me a sound system. And someone even gave me a motor home
to finish my four-month tour. I realized then that people really were
listening, and that helped me to understand how important music can be
for the human connection. Music brings people together. And, if my tribe
was speaking up, then I needed to listen. For me, that meant not giving
up on music. This business is full of ups and downs, but I’m so glad I
kept going.

Lamitschka:  If you had the chance to change something about the music industry, what would it be?

I
would certainly love it if women received equal radio play, headlining
opportunities at festivals, and equal pay. It’s always been an uphill
battle for women in this business. We work twice as hard as our male
colleagues for half the attention.

Lamitschka:  What drives you?

I
absolutely love connecting with my fans, and that’s probably my
favorite part of this job. The live experience is just total magic. When
I get in a room, and it’s full of people who are there to listen with
an open heart, I am so energized by that. We are all looking for a piece
of ourselves in the story, and music is such a powerful medium of
expression. As the universal language, it has the ability to bring
people together in an amazing way, and that is something worth keeping
on for.

Lamitschka:  What has been your greatest challenge in music business?

The
constant rejection is by far the greatest challenge in the music
business for me. But after 15 years of full time touring, I have learned
not to take it personally. I put my emotion into the songwriting, which
is where it belongs. And when it comes to business I try to be
practical, strategic, and check my heart at the gate.

Lamitschka:  When you get time off, how do you like to relax?

Well,
I’m a new homeowner! So when I have time off, I love to be at home
hanging out in my bathrobe and relaxing with my family. My lifestyle is
so busy and on the go, I prefer to sit still when I have time off.

Lamitschka:  Is there any place you haven’t played that you would like to?

Red Rocks Amphitheater, The Ryman, The Troubadour, and The Fillmore, The Gorge, Madison Square Gardens!

Lamitschka:  Fans are always hungry for good road stories. Do you have one you can share with us (come on don’t be shy)?

You
don’t tour for 15 years without having plenty of good road stories.
Haha! I think one of the things that stands out the most to me is the
kindness I’ve received from so many people. My survival sometimes
depends on taking good people at their word. I can’t tell you how many
people have given me a warm, safe place to sleep and a hot meal over the
years. I have a lot of road parents, and that makes me feel so
incredibly loved.

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