After attending a sold out Mac DeMarco show in Dallas this past October, it was only right that I introduced a few of my friends to the gooey sounds of HOMESHAKE—the solo project of Mac’s previous live guitarist, Peter Sagar.
My good friend Justin easily described the experience as “being perpetually melt-in-the-couch high, emphasis on the melt. It’s like when you put Texas toast in the oven with the cheese on top and flip the light switch on and watch it bubble. It’s like the music is that lovely, golden brown bubbling cheese.”
While the names Peter Sagar or HOMESHAKE may not a ring a bell as loudly as Mac DeMarco does, Canada has been spewing out fire (insert three flame emoji here) with a new generation of underground heavy hitters coming out of Montreal. It’s also where Edmonton-born Sagar calls home.
Making his first mark behind the velvety vibes of his pseudonym in 2013, Sagar continues to take advantage of Canada’s cold, and his preference for being home, with his tasty albums for starving souls like myself: The Homeshake Tape, In The Shower and Midnight Snack. I instantly ate up his groovy sound, layered with subtle vocals drenched in melancholic lyrics and blended so exceptionally well that it’s really hard to categorize.
“I instantly ate up his groovy sound, layered with subtle vocals drenched in melancholic lyrics and blended so exceptionally well that it’s really hard to categorize.”
You can hear his progression and direction over these two years. While The Homeshake Tape harbors more of a chilled-out, funky lo-fi sound with hazy Dragon Ball Z-infused samples and more guitar than the other two, In the Shower still embodies that dreamy funk, but switches over to hi-fi, adding more of that infectious bassline and jazzy drums. With his most recent project, Midnight Snack, Sagar and friends get even sexier with it, the R&B influences just oozing through his mellowed-out, yet groove-provoking, eclectic tunes.
During our brief interview, I had the pleasure of chatting with the man behind the music. It felt more like pulling a thin layer of onion off, but I was so ecstatic that he agreed to talk with us that I don’t even care how short he was.
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How have Canada and your previous touring experiences shaped you for HOMESHAKE? Were you able to realize aspects that you didn’t want, or decided to bring out in your solo work, that maybe you weren’t uncovering in any of the previous bands you’ve been in?
I adopted the name a few years ago because I was starting to get frustrated with the formula I had been working on, and wanted to loosen up a bit. Life was so stale, and I heard it in the songs I was making, so I switched it up.
So, why the name HOMESHAKE?
It’s for a handshake my friend Ily taught me.
You’re easily one of my favorite artists to come out in the past few years, but who are some of yours (open to any era)?
Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of electronic stuff, really into Ash Koosha and DJ Earl right now.
If you made a collaborative album and could work with any R&B or soul legends, who would be on it?
Is Brandy a legend? Definitely Brandy.
“Is Brandy a legend? Definitely Brandy.”
I’ve noticed you added more synthesizers and drums for Midnight Snack. Why the switch up from heavy guitar?
Guitar was feeling restrictive and I wanted something new to work with.
So as a Dragon Ball Z fan myself, I totally picked up on some of the samples you used on The Homeshake Tape. What other outside influences make up Peter Sagar? What can we find you doing or watching if you’re not working on music? Would you consider yourself a movie buff?
I wouldn’t say I’m a movie buff, but I do spend a lot of time watching them. Laughing and crying are both really inspiring; I like anything that makes me feel like doing either of those things.
You’ve mentioned your depression having a hold on you, and it shows through your earlier lyrics. Do you feel its presence still lingers around in your work, or are you uncovering a different push behind your music now?
Yeah, I feel like garbage all the time, but it’s balanced pretty good with positive thoughts these days.
How did you go about picking the rad ass bandmates that you have now?
Craigslist. Shout out to Mark [Goetz], Greg [Napier], and Brad [Loughead].
I caught your performance at 35 Denton last year (and was that one random girl who came up to you after your set and thought it would be possible to interview you all during SXSW… Yeah right, Austin is a shit show that week). How is it being on the road with HOMESHAKE in comparison to being on the road with Mac and the boys?
Homeshake on tour is extremely balanced and mellow, Mac’s band was a party. Both good.
I read in an earlier interview that you’ve been collabing more and that you started a rap group, Climax. Is that actually a thing or just for shits and giggles?
Haha. Shit, I forgot about that. Nothing has happened.
What else can we look forward to in 2016?
Gonna tour some new places and stay working on the next record.