RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW CHICAGO SACHA MULLIN
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
I think music decided for me. (laughs) Every time I’ve attempted to take a more conventional path, music keeps pulling me back in.
Introduce us to you and your musical history.
The super short version is that I studied piano formally starting in third grade, and took part in a children’s choir my mother directed. At some point, I got obsessed with soundtracks and the people who would get hired to sing that music, and was determined to make music with particular voices in mind. I was briefly a demonstration singer for a couple Japanese corporations, and went to an arts high school and a music college in Minnesota. Eventually, I moved to Chicago, fell into a couple of art rock bands for a while, and a few solo releases in, here we are!
What was life like for you before music?
Honestly, I’m not sure there was one. I grew up in a pretty music-oriented family, so whether I was focused on music or not, I’d be roped in to find the missing harmony to a song that someone was singing with a guitar.
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
The Mamas and the Papas version of “Dedicated to the One I Love”. I was a child, and my mother was driving us home at night with the oldies station on. I remember crying at how beautiful the harmonies were after Michelle’s ethereal solo. I knew I needed to find more songs like it and make music that had that same intensity.
Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?
I suppose to most people I’m pretty anonymous, having done a lot of session singing, teaching, or public relations work. To others, they know me from my time in Cheer-Accident or Lovely Little Girls, which has defaulted me as a progressive rock singer. I don’t really know if I have a particular “place” within the “proper” industry anymore, but not having the pressure of needing to impress people in suits anymore is pretty relieving.
What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry?
To remember why you do what you do. I make music to express myself and to move people. If I lose sight of that, I’ll need to regroup and find myself back on that path.
If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?
Silent grant nomination? Anyone? Is this mic on?
Do you subscribe to any conspiracy theories?
I wholeheartedly believe that my phone is listening to me for the next targeted advert!
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about?
When I was a kid, I met Bobby Caldwell at a mall, and I had him autograph a yellow legal pad because that’s all I could find. He was like, “how on earth do you know who I am?”
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it?
Yes! It’s called Casino Wilderness Period, and was produced by Todd Rittmann. It’s probably the biggest and most fulfilling project I’ve ever done, and I couldn’t be happier that it’s finally seeing the light of day.
What was the recording process like?
It was a lot of work for a few sessions at a time, and ultimately very fulfilling. Todd and I were both very busy, so it became difficult to schedule sessions, but actually the down time made it better for us as we could reflect more on what the next steps would be along the way. I love any chance I get to work with Todd. He has a very cool studio, and he’s a brilliant musician. It’s so great that we made such a cool record.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
For the most part, writing songs comes very fast for me. The difficult part is always about the endless possibilities about arrangement and production, but I think we succeeded in the end!
Would you change anything now that it’s finished?
I think at this point, only I can hear where a “mistake” would be. But unlike other recordings I’ve done where I’d give a resounding “yes, for the love of god, let me fix everything”, I wouldn’t change a single thing on this album. It’s exactly the record I’ve always wanted to make.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?
Just a big thank you to everyone who’s been a part of this journey, and another thank you to RGM for having me.