We spoke with Sarah Shook about starting a new identity, being both compassionate and nihilistic, how our word choices affect others and the eel she has seen.
Language is far more powerful than we often realize. The way we talk about things and the words we choose influence the way we and others perceive the world.
We asked Sarah to name 15 colors of her choice.
Last week, both a famous comedian and singer were both taken down by the public for making inappropriate jokes. Should these art forms allow the artist to transgress or exist outside the norms of good taste?
Being a very odd mix of compassionate and utterly nihilistic, I have feelings on both sides of the equation. That said, I don’t follow shit like that, so I don’t know the particulars of who said what.
How do you see the nature of precision in language? Of course, words mean things, but should we also be allowed to remove them from day-to-day trappings? Is language so powerful that it can eat its own framework?
Language is far more powerful than we often realize. I ask my bandmates to use the term “sound tech” or “sound engineer” rather than “sound guy” because the way we talk about things and the words we choose influence the way we and others perceive the world. Pretty fascinating stuff.
How many eels have you seen in your life?
One. I’ve seen one measly eel in my entire life. It was sitting in a pail of water on the beach, forlorn and forgotten. So I slipped it back in the ocean. I like to think it smiled at me.
We were shouting at each other that we’ll never know, a dinosaur could have died right where our feet were at that moment.
Have you ever considered moving to an isolated region and starting a whole new identity? I’m not really asking this in a literal sense: I’m just wondering if you’ve ever momentarily gotten tired of your own “thing” and thought about what it would be like to start over in a completely different personal context.
Um, yes. All the time. I’m introverted by nature and it takes a lot of emotional energy to do this shit. I love it. I truly do. But I would also make a great hermit. The temptation is always there.
Please tell me about rhododendrons.
They’re too rhododendron-y if you want my honest opinion. They need to tone it down.
Do you consider your songs to be living beings? How so? Do you sometimes see them in three-dimensional, unconventional senses that wouldn’t make much sense to others?
Yes. I love writing songs. I love singing. But it’s my band that breathes life into everything. That’s why everyone is an equal among us. We all need each other to make the spirit live.
Are you a mostly open or closed person in social situations or social media? Do you believe that allowing ourselves to divulge our own thoughts, weaknesses and fears mostly just sets ourselves up to be intentionally misunderstood, or should we always surrender to freedom of self-expression?
I’m pretty good at dealing with weirdos and opinionated, passive-aggressive douchebags. And I speak my heart like the straight little shooter I am, so yeah. Those are good skills to have.
Finally, please describe the most recent dream you had in detail. What emotion did you feel?
I was in a forest with my friend Ben Carr. We were tripping on mushrooms, deliriously happy, and shouting at each other that we’ll never know, a dinosaur could have died right where our feet were at that moment.
“And here the noble Triceratops drew her last, gasping breath!”
“Oh my god!”
“I know! It’s possible!”
Curated by: Morgan Enos
Conducted by: Email
Published: June 14, 2018
Total questions: 8
Word count: 543
Reading time: Two minutes
3D, burnt sienna, cerulean, Chapel Hill, charcoal, clementine, compassionate, detail, dinosaur, divulge, expression, fascinating, feeling, freedom, fuchsia, grapefruit, hermit, identity, influence, introverted, isolation, key lime, language, lavender, magenta, moment, mushrooms, nature, nectarine, nihilistic, North Carolina, orange, periwinkle, precision, region, rhododendron, robin’s egg blue, Sarah Shook, sea foam green, shooter, story, tangerine, Triceratops
About the curator
Morgan Enos is a songwriter and journalist originally from California. His curatorial work for North of the Internet aims to strike a deeper place in his conversation subjects — the dreamy subtext to the linear everyday. Morgan also frequently writes power pop records as Other Houses about joy, outer space, frustration, chess and spiritual light. He resides in New York, where he continues to creatively fire on all cylinders.
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