Need To Know: Sally Shapiro

10.7.2009

By Jason Lamphier

You mean with the pseudonyms?
Yeah, exactly. That's how it started. Then I didn't want to be interviewed, and now I'm doing more interviews, so, like you said, it's not that much of a mystery anymore. It feels like the music has mystery around it. I don't want to be mysterious because I'm just doing it as myself now, but I still don't want to talk too much about my private life. I do it in a way I feel comfortable.

The video for your single 'Love in July' (at right) is very cute. How did it come about?
The directors [Paul Leeny and David Loom] contacted us with this idea and asked us if we wanted to do it. We thought it sounded good, so they did it.

Why the story of the fish and the whale?
[Laughing] I don't know, really. If I listen to the song, it's not the first thing that comes into my head. It's another story than what's in the lyrics, but it's a really nice video, so I like it anyway.

Is there any chance you'll return to America to perform?
No, I don't think so.

Why not?
Because I don't want to tour. It's about two things: I've realized I feel uncomfortable standing on stage. I get nervous just thinking about singing in front of people on stage. Also, I don't want that kind of life -- traveling around, late nights, never being at home. It feels like it could be very tough.

You've kept your office job. Do you think you'll ever leave it behind and pursue music full-time?
I don't think so because I think that would include touring. Otherwise, I would.

Let's talk about 'Dying in Africa,' which is my favorite song on the album. It's a strange notion -- love being connected to dying in Africa. I know it's a Nicolas Makelberge song. Why did you choose to cover it?
Johan and I liked it very much. We thought it fit our project. It's a very naked way to express your feelings. You know that you don't have it bad living in a country where most people aren't starving. You know that you are very well and healthy and your heart breaks because you know it shouldn't be so bad for those people. But at the same time, you have this feeling of heartache from a failed romance -- this feeling that nothing can be worse than what you're feeling right now. It is a way of expressing, logically, that it shouldn't be that bad, but it feels like it is.

Do you think you'll always write bittersweet love songs?
I think so. When you are in that moment in life, you need these songs. Happy songs -- some other people can write them. I am not that kind of person.

Have you noticed a gay following of your music?
With Disco Romance I noticed it. It was from gay clubs in San Francisco that we got offers to perform and not so many other clubs.

What is the gay scene like in Gothenburg, where you were?
The gay clubs are always the merriest clubs, with the nicest music -- maybe because I like that kind of music. It is where people seem more open.

Where is your favorite spot to go dancing/
Greta is an old lady's name, but Greta's is the best gay club to go to in Gothenburg. I also like Club Skoldisco. It is very nice, with people dressing like the '80s.

Back to your bittersweet music. Have you had your heart broken recently?
That's too personal. These songs do come from my and Johan's experience. Most romantic feelings and moments on the album are told in a way that you might write them in a diary.

Are you seeing anyone now?
That is also too private.

I had heard you were interested in women. Are you interested in both men and women?
Yes.

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