An Interview With Sarah Pendleton Of SubRosa
Sarah from SubRosa is a fascinating member of a fascinating band. An incredibly strong person who balances a deep relationship with her son alongside an incredible band with a diverse set of influences and ideas inspiring their music. She’s a powerhouse that makes me love artsy doom metal so much. This marked my first time interviewing Sarah and it made for a chat I won’t soon forget. Join us for a chat about Roadburn, Ulver, and chocolate.
How the fuck are you?
Wonderful, having the best Roadburn ever. I’ve never had the chance to stay for the whole festival and I love it. I’m feeling spoiled and elated and I’m about to see Ulver for the first time so Life is beautiful.
What has your relationship been like with Ulver?
I started listening to them in about 2003. Rebecca and I used to live together and I would hang up old bedsheets on the wall and paint to Ulver. It was the soundtrack for my visual art. I remember loving their brutal black metal and then when they got a little weirder it was like “Oh wow – there is a lot more going on here” and I loved them more deeply and I’ve waited for their releases to come out and appreciated them and never have seen them live.
To what extent does that impact SubRosa?
I don’t know if they are a huge sonic influence but I think their integrity and principles are an influence. Their longevity shows that they have a strong work ethic and a good familial chemistry otherwise they wouldn’t still be together. The Assassination Of Julius Caesar is a really important album and I know we are not the first generation to be worried about the end of times I certainly feel it lately and that record can be a great analogy. Sometimes I let myself go into a fantasy about some of our horrific leaders – but if we did that that wouldn’t help. What we need to do is assassinate the ego which is what they are really saying. We are at the bread and circus stage of Americas timeline but they aren’t just delivering that message, it’s in a beautiful sonic gift with a ton of melodies and sounds that are just beautiful.
What is your personal vision for SubRosa?
That we will continue on as a band for as long as that we are still creating something that needs to be created and to know when to stop.
What about Amenra moves you?
The first time I saw them live was at Doom Over Leipzig and it was incredible. It was after seeing them live that I started to listen to their albums and I started to use them as a way to find relief from anxiety and sadness in my day to day. They are incredible both live and on the record and that’s rare for me to love a band from both sides of that and they are sincere and their music is a way for them to heal and a catharsis for them but also for everyone who listens to it. So they mean so much to me. Talking to Colin in person you can see how far down his soul goes – his eyes are like deep windows and he means the things that he says.
How do you reconcile SubRosa with your relationship with your son?
It’s not always easy to do because I don’t like to be away from him, and yet for me to be the best parent that I can be means doing what fulfills me and following my dreams so that I never resent or blame him for me not being able to do that. Though he’s young he’s very supportive and he gets more so the older he gets. I try to tell him why I’m doing it and I talk to him as often as I can while I’m away. As a single parent I want him to be strong and independent and we are so close that I don’t want that to interfere with him being able to be independent and do things for himself and this helps him be independent of me so that when we are both home and together as much as I want us to be it’s a balance.
How does he support your work?
When we talk he says “That’s so cool mom!” and I show him pictures of where we are going to play. Before this I showed him the videos of Roadburn and he listened to the music and interviews so now he better understands where it’s coming from.
What kind of presents do you give him?
He’s really into building toys and he likes to build things so if I can find something like that, but chocolate is always a hit, he loves it as much as I do, which is saying a lot.
Why do you love chocolate?
Because of it’s bloody history! (Laughter) It’s comforting and delicious and calming and kind of sexy.
How is chocolate sexy?
How is chocolate not sexy?
I mean there are aphrodisiacs and it has to be tailored to your personal chemistry and I feel like chocolate isn’t purely a sexual aphrodisiac, it generally enhances my experience across all feelings. Only dark chocolate though!