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A Dirty Dozen with SAHAJ TICOTIN from RA – July 2021

| 3 August 2021 | Reply

 

According to a recent press release: “Ra, the Los Angeles-based alternative metal band, has released a new video for its latest single, “Enough” today via Wake Up! Music Rocks. “Enough” is a very special song,” states Sahaj Ticotin, the band’s frontman, and principal songwriter. “It was originally written for the Starset album Divisions, but as that album progressed, it was clear to both Dustin and myself that my personal stamp on the song really felt more Ra. When we began Intercorrupted, I knew it would be on the record, but it seemed weird not to have Dustin on it, so I asked him to feature, which he agreed to, and here we are. The song itself is both a question and a plea. ‘Will it ever be enough?… And I know you’ve had enough.’ It’s a commentary on our current state of wanting it all but also being overwhelmed. On how the world pours on top of us daily but also how we still can’t get enough.” Intercorrupted, the new album from Ra was released March 19th and features guest performances from Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust and Dustin Bates of Starset.”  We get Sahaj to discuss new music, influences, and more…

Photo Credit: Chet Atkins

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

I believe our records have traditionally required multiple listens. My favorite band has and always will be the police and the beauty of that band for me was always that you didn’t hear the settler nuances until you dive deep with multiple listens. For us the secret sauce has usually come in the form of color and chordal relationships that evolve over the listening. There are quite a few secret references on many of the songs, for example, in “Jezebel” we reuse the spoken part from our old song “Skorn.” There are many lyrical references to our past catalog and even references to songs that inspired the new material.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

When I saw Purple Rain and watched Prince performing “The Beautiful Ones,” I knew that there was something within that that I needed to experience. It was after seeing that movie that I decided to pick up a guitar and start dissecting how music was made.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Sting has always been my favorite composer performer followed closely by Prince and then Paul McCartney and then James Hetfield.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Well I’ve been very lucky to have already written songs with Nikki Sixx, Dustin from Starset, Lajon Witherspoon from Sevendust, and many people that I would consider idols of mine. But as stated earlier to be in the studio with Sting would be life-altering.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

As corny as it may sound, by far, my favorite activity outside of work is hanging with my son and my wife and then I do enjoy Motorsports quite a bit. I enjoy playing video games to unwind specifically call of duty and racing games.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Back in the day in order to get a record deal it was very important that you could define your music in a sentence or so. So I always described our band as The Police, Peter Gabriel meets Metallica and Korn. It’s definitely a simplification but I believe it’s still in some ways correlates. The only time I get frustrated with online comments regarding our music is when people for some reason have a preconceived notion that we have a responsibility to be heavy. The truth is our records have always been a balance of some heavy songs but mostly melodic and heartfelt content.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

That our current age there isn’t a lot of partying going on when we are together though we are definitely a family. PJ is our resident comedian and it’s probably the first to crack open some booze along with Skoota. Ben and I tend to be more sarcastic and joke around more as observers than protagonists.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I had the pleasure of working with Chad Gray from Mudvayne and he was someone that I always looked up to when the band got started but to be honest, I’ve had so many great experiences with people I respect that any feeling of being starstruck gets replaced very quickly with a responsibility to do a good job as a producer writer so until I meet The Rock I don’t think I’ll ever really be starstruck, hahaha.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

I have a real passion for filmmaking. My family is almost entirely in the film industry so if I wasn’t making music, I’d probably be trying to create original film content.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Haha, unfortunately the only question I really don’t like answering is the when did you decide to become a musician question. I understand why it gets asked but it is a bit of a mundane thing to respond to. The question I always wish interviewers would ask is what is your passion in music driven by? The answer to that is the will to repair some of the damage that the human condition unconsciously wreaks everyday all around the world.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Sure, there are many moments like that. I would say the biggest one was in our first album cycle, when I was offered $350,000 for my publishing and I turned it down with the horrible advice from our current manager that we should wait because that number would go up. It did not go up.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

This is a complicated question because the answer is Dark Side Of The Moon. But it’s not because the album is so personal to me it’s because the band, from a production and technology standpoint, was so far ahead of its time making that record that the engineer producer nerd in me would just be so satisfied to watch such incredible innovation take place in real time.

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Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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