Hi Sara! We’ve been big fans of ‘Brave’ since last Summer but what’s taken you so long to release it in the UK?
A band of gypsies stole the one copy of the CD I had planned to send to the UK. It took me this long to find them and get it back. And here we are.
What inspired you to write the song in the first place?
I wrote this song with my friend Jack Antonoff (member of US band Fun.) at a time when we were both really inspired and motivated by all of the discussion and momentum in the gay rights movement. I had several close friends going through tough times and this song was a love song to one of them in particular struggling with coming out. It has since taking on lots of different meanings for me, but that is where it was born.
What’s the bravest thing YOU’VE ever done?
I think being truly honest is the bravest thing anyone can do. It’s so hard, and I’d like to say that it gets a lot easier, but I’m not so sure about that. I’m the most proud of myself when I’ve been truly honest with myself and others about what is happening in my heart.
The music video contains some epic ‘Dance Like No One’s Watching’ type dance moves. Do you think more people should just randomly start dancing in public whenever the mood takes them?
I think we would have a lot more to talk about around the water cooler if there were more spontaneous dance outbursts happening in the world. It is pretty terrifying but usually makes those around you smile, so that can’t really ever be bad, right?
‘Brave’ is one of the latest songs to be covered in ‘Glee’ – is it strange to hear cover versions of your songs? What’s the best / strangest one you’ve ever heard?
I am always flattered when someone chooses to cover one of my songs and part of me can’t even believe that my songs are being sung by total strangers. It’s one of the coolest things in the world. My favorite ones are reinterpretations of the songs rather than just covering them. I like to hear another artist’s take on the song stylistically, and I love it when they surprise me with what they do.
How do you like to write your songs? Do write on your own or with other people?
Writing alone is my favourite, I have to admit, but recently I have started writing with some other wonderful artists. My solitary process usually starts with a strong cup of coffee in the morning and my piano, guitar and Garageband. I love not knowing what’s going to come out and walking into the blank space with an open mind. Sharing that process has always been hard for me because it felt so intimate and vulnerable. I don’t think I allowed others in. But on my last record, I was lucky to work with some amazing people who feel like they augmented and elevated the writing experience for me. Jack Antonoff, Matt Hales, and Pete Harper and JasonBlynn from Mosco Rosco.
You’ve performed onstage with artists like Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Tegan and Sara, to name but a few. Who has been your favourite to perform with and why?
Every experience was so different and really cool in its own way. I had technical problems on stage with Taylor that left me in tears after the song, and she was so gracious and sweet to me that I feel like I learned the most from that experience.
There was a lot of coverage in the media last year about perceived beefs between you and Katy Perry. Why do you think there is so much focus on pitting female singers against each other in the public eye?
I think people are bored, and have been taught that conflict is interesting. I find it tiresome, and I hate seeing it especially when it’s between women. I don’t see the general public pitting male singers against each other like this. That particular situation was interesting to me because Katy and I have been friends for a long time and there is nothing negative between us at all. Ultimately I owe Katy a thank you card and an edible bouquet because in the end it brought more attention to my song.
Is there a typical Sara Bareilles fan? What’s been the craziest thing a fan has ever done for you?
I’m actually kind of proud to say that my “typical” fan spans a large spectrum of types of people. There are definitely a lot of female listeners, but I have seen a lot more men coming to my shows over the years too, which is a really cool development. The age range is pretty wide as well, although if you bring kids to my shows, beware that I swear like a trucker. And I’m not cleaning up my act anytime soon. F**k is my favorite word.
And finally, what can we expect from the album? Have you any plans to tour it in the UK anytime soon?
This album is as honest and whole hearted as anything I’ve ever made. I tried to be willing to take risks with the sonic aesthetic of the record, and push myself in directions that didn’t necessarily feel comfortable at the start. I watched myself do a lot of growth over the course of writing and producing this record, and I think it shows. I co-produced more than half of the record with John O’ Mahoney, and it garnered an Album of the Year Grammy nomination. I feel very very proud of it and I really hope people enjoy it. And yes absolutely I’m coming to the UK as soon as humanly possible. I miss it and I can’t wait to return :)