Interview: Sass Jordan

(1995) Born in Birmingham, England, Sass Jordan came to Montreal to live at an early age. At 16 she played bass with one of the city’s top acts The Pinups. After that, she became a television hostess and backup vocalist for The Box and Paul Piche. Her debut album, in 1988 attained platinum sales and garnered her a Juno in ’89. “Tell Somebody” included So Hard, Double Trouble, and Stranger In Paradise. “Racine” was next. After moving to L.A., she picked up tours with Arc Angels and Joe Cocker for the “Bodyguard” soundtrack. She came back to Canada and toured with Bryan Adams, Steve Miller and Extreme, Her newest and third album to date, “Rats” is her strongest work to date. She also gets a chance to play bass again, on this album. In the midst of a busy schedule Sass had this to say about life…

JE: …Sass Jordan on technology. Sass we’re using the midi board 757. Do you approve?

Sass Jordan: Does it have the five bit microphone chip? (laughs)

JE: So, you’re on tour now supporting your new album “Rats”.

Sass Jordan: Yep. I wouldn’t call it support. We’re just going to have some fun this time. We’re going to do two and a half weeks, and just have some fun, you know? We’re going to pull some old stuff out of the old records and just have fun. It’s like, every now and then, I figure a musician who is working in the… how would I say this… the arena of today (laughs) you see, this whole thing can get deadly serious. Then, you kind of lose sight of what you started doing it for in the first place, which was because you love music or you have fun writing it, playing it, performing it. I think we can tend to forget it someties because you can get so caught up in the other side of it, which basically takes up 90% of it, which is the political side of it. The selling of it and the marketing of it and that stuff which is entirely completely important if you want to survive doing it. Every now and then one has the luxury of setting that aside and just doing it for fun again.

JE: Is that to say you’ve been out there and it hasn’t been fun?

Sass Jordan: Oh, of course. You know, it’s just like any other job. There’s moments that aren’t fun. As a whole, it’s a pretty good job.

JE: You were touring with Steve Perry.

Sass Jordan: Yeah, and that was great. We really had a good time doing that. First of all, Steve Perry being one of my idols. As far as white male singers go, Steve Perry was the favourite and we were also playing in all these theaters across North America which was really nice, because there is a particular chain of theaters called the Fox Theaters. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of them.

JE: Yeh.

Sass Jordan: They are just amazing inside. They would be a great topic for a coffee table book.

JE: This is your third album.

Sass Jordan: It is actually, yeah.

JE: Is it different… I’m sure it’s different… I mean is the experience of having it released and now going out to have fun, tour, and promote it, is it different the third time out?

Sass Jordan: (pause) Not really, no. It’s pretty much the same… kind of… it’s the same rolling out of events. You know, you write, you do preproduction, you record it, you go through all the monkey business of promoting it, you tour and then you’re done and you start all over again. That’s basically how it goes. The thing is it’s always different records, so you get energy going as far as each record being… after the grand total of three records, each record has a theme, basically, in my mind, to me. So that will often flavor the whole surroundings of the album and what’s going on around the album. That’s why it’s different.

JE: What would you say the Rats theme is?

Sass Jordan: The “Rats” theme to me was very cathartic. It was definitely the best record I ever made sonically, and also the one I was most involved in, musically and production wise. I love “Rats”. I think it’s a really good record. So that was a big plus for me. Thematically it’s an album that deals with things that I think are very current.I found that I got often lumped in with a lot of other work that was out there, and came out around the same time. It’s almost a year old now. There were a lot of songs or music out dealing with drugs, and the havoc that they reek on people. Drugs… drink… whatever. The difference was, I wasn’t singing about it from the point of view of somebody who had the actual substance abuse problem. I was singing about it from the point of view of someone involved with someone who had it. So it’s a whole different set of confusion and problems. It’s a really fascinating subject but I think that it’s all to do with timing. The time… of the century, the time we’re living in and the fact that things have to come out of the dark and into the light to be healed and so the best way to do that… I mean look at television. What’s on television all the time? These talk shows. People screaming their head off “You son of a… it’s your fault that…” you know? All sorts of stuff. There’s all that blame flying around in the air.

JE: Do you find a lot more of that stuff since you moved to L.A.?

Sass Jordan: No, my god, no. Well, I don’t think it has anything to do with me moving to L.A. I just think it has to do with the world, society and our culture.

Interviewed by Radio personality “John Eaton”