This interview was initially published at SF Station. David Johnson-Igra, is SFCritic, and SF Station allows for the republishing of this material.
By the time you read this Sean Hayes has likely begun “a clean slate.” He will have become a father, and he will have recorded all sixteen years worth of his backlogged music. It will have all have happened quickly. This is new for the folk singer whose music career in San Francisco has moved slowly over the last sixteen years. While Sean waited to hear from his wife’s doctors, SF Station spoke with him over the phone about life’s new uncertainties. He performs on November 3rd at The Independent.
Sean Hayes: “When We Fall In”[audio: http://www.box.net/shared/static/uoedcqgpij.mp3]
SF Station (SFS): I hear you’re expecting a baby.
Sean Hayes (SH): Any minute now, we’re in the window. We’re going to do it at home.
SFS: How did you come to that decision?
SH: My wife was born at home, so she kind of had it in her consciousness more than me. This journey of learning about home birth and getting a midwife has been empowering because we are able to prepare the house, and where we want to have the baby. If there is a problem, we’re two minutes away from the hospital.
SFS: How are you feeling at this moment?
SH: Pretty excited about it, and also, I have this feeling of not really knowing what’s going on until you are there, which I get for everything, even traveling. It’s just this big creature in a belly right now, but there is an impending thing. It almost feels like being on a forced holiday. When you’re on Christmas vacation, everyone is just sitting around because they don’t know what to do because they’re out of the normal lives. There is a little bit of that feeling, too, of waiting.
SFS: Did you ever have that same feeling with your music career?
SH: I think early on there was some sense when I was a young man playing, waiting for some great hand to come down and show me the way, or anoint me. I realized at some point that I needed to do whatever it was I needed to do.
SFS: Do you feel like you’re still waiting?
SH: No, I don’t. I’ve done a lot of the things I need to do to get the music out, and while I’ve been doing them, I’ve watched the way you do them change around me. I write songs. I put them out myself. I go out and travel making a living.
SFS: You’ve become a hometown favorite of San Francisco. That must be nice.
SH: I’ve been here for sixteen or seventeen years, and playing music the whole time. It was a really slow burn for me getting all the music out, but it does feel good.
SFS: So what’s next?
SH: I’m really excited to have a clean slate for the first time in a long time. What I mean by that is that I had a backlog of music that I’ve never been able to record or get out. With the baby coming too, I’m going to go out and tour in November, but I’m going to try after I get back from that to not go anywhere for at least three months, or so, and just write.
“When you’re on Christmas vacation, everyone is just sitting around because they don’t know what to do because they’re out of the normal lives. There is a little bit of that feeling, too, of waiting.”
SFS: As you become a father do you feel like you’re creating a new musical path?
SH: It hasn’t shown itself too much yet, even though I do tend to write directly from what is going on in my life. A couple of nights ago I was sitting and trying to sing — it was about waiting.
SFS: Could you repeat a sample lyric from that practice?
SH: “Waiting for you, waiting for you, to come along, to come along, a moment to live, a moment to be, to be born, to be born,” was coming out of my mouth as I was cleaning the kitchen, cleaning the house, moving objects. [ laughs ]
SFS: Is there any concern about the economic issues of having a music career?
SH: That has been a big concern of mine for twenty years. I have song I wrote called “Mary Magdalene,” and Mary Magdalene made love to me last night on my living room floor. The song ends that I get her pregnant, we have a house and I’ve forgotten what I was doing anyway. The whole song is about the fear of family life taking you away from your passion and dreams of artistic adventures.
Sean Hayes performs at The Independent on November 3rd. Tickets are $17. Doors open at 7:30pm and the show begins at 8pm.