About a Girl- Sage Tanguay
Sage and I met when we were both 4 years old at the swimming pool near both of our houses, and she has been a constant in my life since that day. We've gone to school dances together, had countless slumber parties, driven across states, danced in the rain, did theatre, school projects, played music, cried over boys, talked for 700 hours about boys, discovered Jared Leto and the drummer for Kaiser Chiefs who we had a crushes on for many, many years. I'm so happy we got to grow up together.
In our teenage years, we used to play music together and I was always so into the chord progressions and harmonies she'd make up. At one point, we were trying to come up with a band name and being a super lame 14 year old I thought "Beyond Perfection" was a good idea. Sage immediately said no (very good decision on her part.) In college, she was in a band for a little while but since moving to L.A. a couple months ago, she's been doing her own solo music by the name Trash Fairy- which is just as whimsical as it sounds and that's what we're going to be talking about today!
Let's start at the beginning- Who are you? Where are you from? Where do you live now?
I'm Sage Tanguay. I grew up in Bath County, Virginia and I went to college in Charlottesville which is like another hometown to me, but now I live in Hollywood, Los Angeles.
What was your childhood like?
I had a really great childhood, I would say. I was very happy. I danced a lot- dance was my whole thing back then along with school and I was into band. I thought I was going to join the circus and I had parents who were willing to let me pursue that. Also, I got my yoga teaching license certificate when I was 16, so I think that's a pretty good explanation.
Tell us about your background in music. Has LA or Virginia inspired the songs you write?
I was a percussionist from middle school to high school. I did marching band and was drum captain and I played the quads. On the weekends I would try to play drum set with my boyfriend at the time and we would pretend we were the White Stripes. And then I played a little bit of guitar some piano too through high school but I would just kind of mess around with them because they were around the house. Then in college I bought a ukulele after a breakup and then I was in a band for a little while at UVA which was really fun. I just love music forever. But who doesn't? Music is my life. Is that your AIM screen name? Yeah! musicismylife1394! But moving to LA has inspired my songs because I have a lot of emotions about being in a new place and leaving my homes back on the east coast. But I've only recently realized that there's a good amount of gospel and bluegrass influence in some of my music. In my song "Roundtrip," the rhythmic patterning and harmonies are a little reminiscent of ragtime, but at the end of that song is strumming chords and fast singing and it's totally gospel/bluegrass! Tire's totally an Appalachian influence in my music that I didn't expect.
What did you grow up listening to and was it always your plan to make music?
My parents listened to a lot of The Cranberries, Jethro Tull, The B52's, The Grateful Dead and a little bit of The Beatles and the Pixies, REM, and The Rolling Stones. My dad was always playing around on the guitar and I knew a good amount about music from a young age. I think that when your parents are that way and they sought out their own types of music that isn't necessarily the Top 20 then you're going to be that way too.
As a kid I thought I was so cool. I thought I was the best poet. I tried to read Shakespeare in 3rd grade and couldn't make it through because I was a child but I had these aspirations to be this arty, cosmopolitan, old gay man who's really into theatre and dance. But to answer your question if I always planned to do music- maybe in reality I didn't, but myself imagination about myself, I was always going to be this big creator.
How did you come up with the name "Trash Fairy"?
So my lovely co-host of my radioshow, Kerry Reichhardt, would always have an icebreaker to do at the beginning of a show and this one time it was to come up with a two-word aesthetic or description of your personality. I'd walk into my room and there would be trash and clothes all over the floor and you're looking at a messy room but then you realize what the mess is and it's glitter on the floor and tutus and dress-up clothes and flower crowns all over the place. I realized I am trash fairy. It's not even an alter ego, it's who I am. It also describes the production of my music- I am very haphazard with the edits and the recording of it which is kind of an artistic philosophy about trash. How nice does something have to be polished up for you to appreciate the intent? I'm very much about vibes and overtechnocality. Which has always been how I am in everything. So yeah, Trash Fairy means a lot to me.
What's your creative process like?
Often it comes from something that gets stuck in my head like a lyric or a feeling that I want to describe. The whole process varies. It's kind of all over the place mainly because I'm not good at settling into routines. Sometimes it's easiest when I start with words and then create the music, but a lot of songs on this album are produced by improvisations like how I make a dance and figure out what I like from it. As I've gotten better at the ukulele I can just start playing and find a pattern that I think sounds good and then I can start singing along to it, or at least find the melody.
Do you find that you're inspired lyrically from observations about the world or personal stories?
Oh, very personal stories. The only way I'm able to write songs that are general is if I start with a personal thing and then make up stuff afterwards. I guess I wrote an anti-Trump song but it's still about me.
What are you passionate about?
Education is important- not just in the sense that you need to go to college but staying really open to learning things. I'm passionate about having a more positive effect more than a negative effect on my surroundings. I don't believe in principles- I think it's really important to keep your mind open and decide on things constantly and not applying some strict rule to it. I think that leads to an atrophy of person character.
What are you looking forward to/what's next for you?
Doing more music and meeting up with other musicians. And releasing this album!
I'm excited for that too! But now it's time for questions that have nothing to do with what we've been talking about- what's your spirit animal and why?
I actually have a real answer to this. My mom asked a shaman what my spirit animal would be and he said an eagle because I will always try and be strong and logic-centered but really I am a heart-centered person.
What's the weirdest thing you've done/happened to you in LA?
I sold cheese to Courtney Cox the other day! You know, from "Friends." It was super weird but it was the most standout thing.
Favorite girlbands right now?
Frankie Cosmos and I'm really digging Angel Olsen and Waxahatchie. Also Bratmobile! They have a really good cover of "Cherry Bomb!"
Some of my favorite songs are Dejavu, Oh Grrl, and Roundtrip! Below her first EP "Phone Home" and second is a list of all of her songs!
Also check out her blog her and her friend, Alex write together called TÎT–À –TÎT!