Santigold: "Why does aclub banger have to havestupid lyrics?"

Have we lost touch?
I think maybe a little bit. I don’t know that we really have, because I think it’s impossible not to feel all of the things that are going on in the world and not to be affected by them. But I think the natural thing now is to turn your back and paint yourself into this false reality where things feel nice. To turn your cheek and pretend it’s not happening. Because everything’s about immediate gratification – so if there’s nothing you can do about it to see immediate results, you shouldn’t do anything at all.

Nowadays you can hide in a dark room on your computer.
And on your computer you can have the best life ever. You’re so hot and all of your friends are so great and you’ve done all of these things that you’ve never really done. That’s the world that a lot of people do at the moment – lead a false life within a false reality. It’s escapism. It’s nicer. And that’s a really dangerous place to be.

My favourite record so far this year has been the Bruce Springsteen record for that reason – because it is so angry and it’s such a necessary commentary. Have you heard it?
I haven’t but I’ve heard good things. I was just at SXSW, and he was there and he gave the keynote address. I’ve heard it’s a really good record. I think it’s weird when people call it dark or angry when they’re describing the way in which somebody is telling the truth. Do you know what I mean? It’s not necessarily dark and angry, it’s urgent and true.

Then I guess, to use your own euphemism, everyone can be the master of their own make-believe in a really literal sense.
Exactly. Exactly. Anything that you dare to see for the world or for yourself, you are totally capable of creating. That [idea] partly came from my process of making the record – to see something bigger for myself and to know that I could achieve it. In the world, when I see something that I don’t agree with, I know that it’s within my power to change that. Being the master of your make-believe works both ways. You can be in control.

By that same token, this is still a record that makes you want to dance and be happy about being in control.
Exactly! Nobody wants to feel bad about themselves, which is why so many people don’t pay attention to these things. I love pop melody. I love melodies that are accessible and make you want to sing along. Sometimes you can say a lot in a fun song. Why does a club banger have to have stupid lyrics?

Santigold's Master of My Make Believe is out now through Warner.

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sarahanne said on the 8th May, 2012

Loved this interview Max, nice job!


batdan said on the 8th May, 2012

I think she had a 3pm slot at Coachella and the place was just as packed as the headliners at night. Had a great time.


humanracin said on the 8th May, 2012

She'd be great in the late arvo (last years TV On The Radio) slot at Harvest ;)