Tired of working in the stock room in a retail job, Peter Sager left his 9 to 5 to join Mac DeMarco’s live band. After years of grueling tour dates, he went solo, pursuing a career as Homeshake - a musical project that sees the singer-songwriter producing a lethargically dreamy take on rnb. During the London leg of his European tour, we spoke to the sci-fi loving artist about his recording process, bottle service culture, Beyonce and more, moments after finishing a shoot in our store.
How do you find photo shoots?
They’re ok. I get bummed out sometimes. There was a really bad one a few years back, they were telling me how to pose. I was hungover and they were like: ‘Ok could you just tilt your head down like this and raise your eyebrow?’ I really wasn’t in the mood. And now I see the pictures online and wish I never did it. For years my partner took all my photos. I dunno, dealing with strangers is always kind of strange
How do you find it having a team behind you who make you do that kind of stuff?
I don’t like the rollout, I’m not a fan of all the business stuff: single rollouts, doing press and all of that. I know it works from a business perspective, but I’ve lost interest in that. It takes so long for everything to happen; I don’t think I can do it anymore.
How old are you?
I’m about to be 31 next week. I remember my 30th birthday, my partner bought us bottle service at a club.
Did they give you guys the girls with the sparklers and the champagne?
Yeah all of that. But me and my friends don’t really go to clubs. People were scheming around our table trying to get drinks.
Yeah, we were like ‘get the fuck away from us!’ They were 19-year-old girls trying to get guys to pour them drinks. I think they had to carry me out of the club. I fell out the cab when we got back to my place and banged my head. They didn’t know if I had a concussion or I was just drunk. It was a mess.
How did it feel turning 30?
I don’t think people in their 20s exist anymore, everyone either feels a lot older or way younger. Everyone’s either under 20 or like, 40.
I mean, Jay Z’s gotta be 56 or something…
Yeah, I don’t think I could see myself hanging out with Jay-Z. Or Beyonce for that matter. I don’t think I can trust anybody who’s a billionaire. Like if you’re a billionaire, I def do not fuck with you.
How do you think people see you as an artist? And does it even matter?
No so much. Unless it's mean. In all honesty, I can’t do anything about it. People think my output is premeditated, but it's not. I don’t really think about how my work is going to be received. And I’d rather not give any context to my songs, I mean I’ve never shared the lyrics to an album before. I don’t like seeing them out of context of the music.
I don’t think context is necessary to enjoy art…
Explaining music is like explaining a joke. If you don’t laugh, then whatever.
What made you go solo?
Well, I’d already been doing it, but then I quit Mac’s band. I couldn’t concentrate on my personal life, the band and my music, it was too hard to juggle all three. Something had to give.
How did that conversation go?
It was awkward. Definitely wasn’t easy, but it worked out for the best. The whole touring process was really taxing. It was before he was big, so we were sleeping in some rough places. It definitely feels much better being solo, touring for weeks rather than half a year.
How do you feel about cultural appropriation?
I don’t know, it’s a tough question. I guess appropriating something is never a good a thing. It’s a hard line to navigate. Obviously, I have a lot of R & B influences. If somebody was to accuse me of that, I’d take it seriously.
Peter browsing the store's sneaker selects.
Meeting you now, I definitely say your personality matches your music.
I don’t think you can separate the two. All my songs are very literal; I’m not writing about fictional characters. It would seem dishonest if I did that. I’m just a guy talking about what he sees.
When was the last time you cried?
I cry all the time. I guess I’m quite emotional. I miss my partner and I get down sometimes. But this helps, the whole music thing. It’s therapeutic. I’m in a better place now.
A weird question here, but where do you see music heading?
(Laughs) I dunno man, that's tough. I feel like I would have had a really bold answer five years ago, but I dunno man, it’s none of my business.
Do you plan what direction you’re gonna go in musically? You know like all the great artists would have a bold stylistic shift with each project….
No, I never have. It’s always been whatever bawls out at me. But I am looking for more of a change on the next one, I don’t know how. I normally record in a studio, but this was the first one I did at home at a laptop. So now I’m at home and comfortable, I’d like to try something different.
Would you ever pay for a stylist?
No way. I don’t think I could justify paying for somebody to tell me how to dress, it just seems like a waste of time.
I hate when people ask me this, but how would you describe your style?
That’s a weird one. I dunno, lazy I guess. I don’t really know how to answer that. I just like loose things.
So you’re quite relaxed…
Yeah, its easier for me, I’m not looking for an exact fit - I like oversized stuff. I don’t really go shopping in stores, I prefer to shop on the internet.
Trying some Sun Buddies on for size.
Who are you into at the moment?
I like Brain Dead, they have some wacky designs. I saw a really interesting hoody the other day. I’m trying to do a show with them on NTS, hopefully, we'll figure something out.
How did you hook up with them?
I asked them how big their cow print pants ran, then we started chatting. Plus they work with NTS, so we have friends in common.
What do you see in the store at that moment that you like?
Listen to Homeshake's new album Helium here.
What do you spend most of your money on?
Food. My partner and I like to cook good food and go out to dinner, it’s worth it.
Can you cook?
Yeah, I’m pretty good, she’s much better though.
How long have you guys been together?
About 10 years now, we’re actually engaged. Her parents are Muslim, so they were like are you guys gonna get married or? They’re pretty chilled though.
Thanks for coming to the store, it’s been great talking to you. One last thing before you go though: where did the name Homeshake come from?
It's from a weird handshake I used to do with my friend, it's really hard to show you. You kinda’ twist your hand around like this…
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