Here’s an interview that is up at Famous Indie Minute. Com….there’s more (pics and all) at the site, but here’s the interview, if you’d like to read
Interview with the Wonderfully Whimsical Sara Hickman
FIM: Sara, you are truly a role model for women of all ages. A number of celebrities think it’s unfair to be held to a higher standard and don’t want to be in the position of taking on that kind of responsibility. How do you feel about the fact that so many women look up to you and find you inspirational?
“I must say; I am very flattered by your words! Thank you very much. I think the truth of the matter is that I just try to be the best person I am expected to be…
by God’s standards and by my own. I grew up with women who were very intelligent, women who weren’t in entertainment or in the limelight, but who were everyday mothers that were polite and responsible and sent “thank you” notes.
As a person who is in a job position that is connected with press and the occasional limelight, I DO take it as a responsibility to share my beliefs, my thoughts, my actions with society. If my music or my actions inspire others to be more involved and present (whether with themselves or society as a whole) and to think of a position they hold in a different or new way, then I have, truly, shared my gifts. My goal is to always make the place I am in a better place every time, and that is from sharing breakfast with my children to singing at a concert.”
FIM: In today’s music scene, unfortunately, we have performers like Britney Spears who are not taking their music careers seriously. For some performers, it seems that media attention is more important than the art of making good music. Even some of the extremely gifted female artists with undeniable talent like, Amy Winehouse, seem to be happily skipping down the “Britney Brick Road.” Stints in rehab and court appearances have replaced concert dates and recording studios.
What advice would you share with the young female artists of today?
“I feel really, really sad for these young women, but I think we must look at what we, as a society, buy and support. I remember reading a syndicated article in a
newspaper in which the reporter, who was female and is very well respected, bemoaned the fact that music is so detrimental to women…She asked, “Where is the positive music in today’s world?” I immediately boxed up a complete set of ALL my recordings with a letter that said, “Here I am! Please write not only about me, but Michelle Shocked and The Ditty Bops and…” then I proceeded to list a complete litany of artists that are positive and amazing. She returned my box with a thank you note and said she’d listened to part of one cd and thank you for the note. That was it. So, I think there is a lot more money being made off of the negative, the dark and the belittling of one another. With that said, my advice to young women artists is, “What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?”
It’s a simple question for someone who is in the flow of making the world a better place, but it would seem like a ridiculous question to someone who is self-serving
and lost. My advice wouldn’t really be heeded, so I guess the best advice I can give here is to be the best role model we can be as PARENTS or MENTORS, because we help mold who our children will be.”
FIM: Your entire Spiritual Appliances booklet was dedicated to fighting the homeless problem, and you have visited Romania to work on behalf of orphans. I know there are many causes close to your heart. What do you look for when becoming a spokesperson for a particular charity?
“I look for people of action, who are using the monies raised to directly help the people, or animals, they are promoting. That’s it. I like to see growth, change and promises kept.”
FIM: Tell me about “MOTHERLODE”, your most recent two-disc LP. It seems to have a very different mood than your previous releases. There is even a cover of Tears for Fears “Mad World”. What was your inspiration for this new work and what was the motivation behind choosing to cover “Mad World”?
“My inspiration was the fact that I’m a mother, and I work really, really hard.
I give of myself to my children, to my husband, to my church and community (local and universally.) I feel things very deeply, like most compassionate people, and I get bummed out that people are suffering over oil and diamonds and religious differences. The recording came about because I wanted, again, to speak out on the human condition, but from the viewpoint of a mother who is, also, a musician. I had heard Gary Jules version of “Mad World” in the film, “Donnie Darko”, and it haunted me. I knew I wanted to sing it with my oldest daughter, Lily, to express it from a woman’s point of view.”
FIM: While promoting your new LP, “MOTHERLODE”, you will be visiting my hometown of El Paso, Texas. Is it true you will be singing with the Mayor and why?
“This will be happening in 2008, so, yes, I am supposed to be singing with your mayor, and I am looking very forward to it. This is a tour in support of “Music For Life”, a tour I have helped put together to start a dialogue in Texas about the death penalty. The tour includes musicians and speakers and invites the public to come out and discuss what the death penalty means, alternatives, viewpoints and experiences people have had on both sides: victims family members have spoken as well as those who have worked on death row.”
FIM: After a chance encounter with David Byrne of “Talking Heads” in a New York Gallery and a few toy bugs later, have you seen or spoken with him since?
“Nope, except in my head!”
FIM: I know you adore David Letterman. When Harry Joseph (Letterman’s Son) was born, did you send any of your lovely children’s albums to him?
“Yes, I sent Mr. Letterman a signed copy of “Newborn” for Harry. I suspect I need to follow up with “Big Kid” because I forgot to send “Toddler” during the “Toddler” years!”
FIM: In this new digital age of music, there are more ways for critics and fans to share their opinions about your music. In years past, the only worry an artist might have had is the opinions of radio DJ’s and music critics. Now with sites like Amazon and MySpace, anyone can voice their opinion. How seriously do you take reviews and what reviews carry more weight with you?
“I really don’t read them, unless someone forwards an online review or mails me a clipping. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but it is a big world and I have lots of music to make….”
FIM: That brings me to my next question. A fan said this about you and I quote: “After several years of recording mostly children’s recordings, Sara Hickman returns to music for grown-ups. And with the double-CD concept of “Motherlode”, she empties out the cupboards of all the goodies she’s been stashing for the decade so far.” How exciting is this type of fan feedback for you?
“I’m delighted when someone gets my music. The best feedback for me, though, is when someone comes up to me after a show with tears of love or joy or even heartache, and we share a living moment of what the music has given them.
That ALWAYS blows my mind. That something I had the honor to create, and share, has had an impact on someone else’s life, especially when my music can be so personal to me.”
FIM: What is your next project?
“A project entitled “The Absence of Blame” in which I sing songs that take the listener into the head/heart/experience of people who are usually condemned in society, or an extension of an experience that might broaden the listeners ideas of being human (a song from Cho’s mother’s point of view (the young man who murdered the students/teachers at Virginia Tech), a song about a woman who has just discovered a love letter to her husband from another woman, a couple in love that are torn apart because they are women, a man who gives his life saving others, etc.)”
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us!
“You are certainly welcome, and thank you for supporting my music!”