THE FAIR-EST OF THEM ALL
Sarah McLachlan is a muse with a message
Jump Magazine, July 1998
Sure, her voice could make a grown man cry like a baby and her sweet face
has been on the cover of practically every magazine in the universe, but
Sarah McLachlan didn't always have it so good. Before she was a
folk-rock goddess and the brain behind the mother of all music festivals
(that would be Lilith Fair), she was an awkward, frizzy-headed,
crooked-toothed kid struggling with her own growing pains. Through it
all, she found the courage and confidence to stay true to herself and her
music, which is totally obvious if you've given the grammy-winning songs
on her latest album, Surfacing (Arista), a listen. Find out what else
this Lilith flower is all about.
A LOT OF WOMEN LOOK UP TO YOU BECAUSE YOUR MUSIC INSPIRES THEM.
WHO'S YOUR INSPIRATION?
"I admire anybody who has a lot of respect for themselves, a lot
of humility and the power to basically do good things. On a personal
level, the person I look up to most is my mom. She gave up her career
for us kids. It was a different world back then. Women weren't expected
to have careers; they were expected to stay home."
SOME PEOPLE THINK CREATING THE ALL-FEMALE LILITH FAIR WAS SORT
OF AN "UP YOURS" TO GUY-DOMINATED FESTIVALS LIKE LOLLAPALOOZA. WHAT'S
THE REAL STORY?
"I would hate to say I organized Lilith Fair for reactionary
reasons [like because other festivals excluded women artists], although
it certainly did come into play. Mostly it stemmed from a desire to put
on a great music festival, and there are so many women out there making
great music. I wanted to celebrate that the music world is finally
opening up to women."
FINALLY IS RIGHT. YOU'VE BEEN SIGNING AND WRITING FOR 13 YEARS.
A LOT OF PEOPLE WOULD'VE GIVEN UP OR BURNED OUT AFTER SUCH A LONG HAUL.
WHAT'S YOUR SECRET?
"I have a lot of confidence in who I am, because a large part of
my songwriting is figuring out who the hell I am. There are so many
perceptions and expectations placed on you in the music industry, and
unless you're really strong and believe in yourself, you can get pulled
in directions that aren't necessarily true to who you are."
THAT'S HARD TO DO, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU'RE GROWING UP AND
EVERYONE IS TRYING TO FIT IN WITH WHAT'S COOL. HAVE YOU ALWAYS BEEN SO
"No way. I had pretty low self-esteem. My own lack of
self-worth and self-confidence was the biggest obstacle I had to
overcome. I finally realized that I was good at something--art and
music. That really fueled me."
SPEAKING OF ENDURANCE, YOU'RE THE ONLY PERFORMER IN LILITH FAIR
WHO HEADLINES EVERY SHOW ON THE TOUR. HOW DO YOU DEAL?
"I'm a big believer in having time to myself. When you're out on
the road, you have no privacy. I've finally gotten to a point where I
can say, 'I'm going to take two hours in the afternoon that are just for
me.' When I'm home it's a really different thing. People ask me 'Where
are you going on vacation?' and it's like, 'I'm going home [to Vancouver,
BC, Canada].' It's my sanctuary."
SO WHAT DO YOU DO DURING YOUR "ME TIME"?
"I work out pretty much every day. It's really great for my
energy level. I bought a StairMaster and a stationary bike, and I had
cases built for them so I could take them on the road when I'm touring.
They're set up in one of the dressing rooms every day. It's amazing.
It's great meditation, because I do nothing but push myself and get
really mindless. It's good therapy."
WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN YOU FINALLY STOP TOURING?
"I'm going to float--I have absolutely no plans at all."
If you missed last year's Lilith Fair, you can still experience it on
the live double-CD, Lilith Fair: A Celebration of Women in Music
(Artista.) Don't miss this summer's second annual Lilith Fair, featuring
Erykah Badu, Natalie Merchant, Bonnie Raitt, Missy Elliot, Sinead
O'Connor and more. For tour dates see www.lilithfair.com
Jump is a teenage girls' magazine. I'm told the print article also has a large picture of Sarah, similar to the one on the Adia single.
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