Interview: State of Sate Deals The Cards

Scroll this

All beings on this earth are powerful and intuitive and magical.” State of Sate

Speaking with Toronto born artist State of Sate is like being visited by an otherworldly, mystical punk rock guru.  Days after our zoom interview I felt a strange and wonderful shift. We spoke about things that I have never said out loud, to anyone.  Secrets, epiphanies and profound cosmic connections dominated our supernatural conversation and just when I thought I was going too far off the edge Sate said;

“I love this conversation, this is the best interview ever!”  SS

I usually read and prepare and read and prepare and write a list of questions but this time I had too many questions and I didn’t know where to start. I had feeling that the interview would be different based on Sate’s new music but I had no idea how off track we would go.

The Fool is such a magical and intense album, full of twist and turns, like a movie that you can’t stop watching. From the crazy powerful intro guitar riff on ”Howler” to the primal scream on “Nobody”(featuring The OBGMs), Sate draws you in and holds you under her spell with force so powerful that you need to play the album twice in its entirety to figure out what the hell just happened. She chants the names of her Goddesses (I Call Her) and invokes a bluesy siren in the hauntingly luscious ”Weight On Me”. And then, just when you think that you’ve been sated, the voice of Ursula Rucker cuts through in a stillness so heavy that you cannot move. And when she says “Come on let’s go, I’ll meet you on the edge of everything”, you go.

So, why the fool? Of all the tarot cards, why the fool? MR

Let me see if I could give you the shortest possible answer. I was seeing a lot of numbers.  I see numbers, I hear voices, I heed signs, I guide my life that way.  I was seeing 11 and 22 a lot and something kept telling me to go to the tarot. So, I cross-reference a lot of things. I am an 11 and 11 in the Tarot cards is justice which is Libra.  OK so that’s me but what’s 22 about?  And when I started going deeper, I noticed that it was the fool…ha, that’s interesting so I read deeper into the fool understanding it and relating it to me as a performer and how every time I feel like I’m starting a new project or even stepping on stage or just putting myself out there. I’m literally just flinging myself off a cliff. I’m literally stepping into the unknown.   Like I don’t know, what the fuck, here I go. I just kept hearing the fool and I just kept seeing 11 22 together.  Not just on the clock but everywhere. So, then I was like OK… maybe it’s time to explore how I am the fool. SS

Isn’t 11 the messenger? MR

Yes, the messenger and intuition. Yeah, by flinging ourselves off the cliff you know like into the unknown that’s what we do as artists all the time.  We’re always like I don’t know what I’m doing but I’m being called and we’re vessels were being called to put this message out you know.  SS

There’s a line in “Weight On Me”, “I’ve always been a seer.”

That’s why I was excited to talk to you so when did you know you were a seer? MR

Do you know the saying that hindsight is 2020? When you look back and you’re like oh, I knew that. I saw that. I’ve been using my magic in my power and dreams and visions.  Oh, I’ve known this feeling as a kid I just trusted it and knew it without knowing and declaring.  But it was as an adult to look back, when I-started to get language around it. Oh, that’s what that is, I get it now.  So, I’ve always been doing this. SS

The album is coming out on November 4 any tour dates? MR

It’s a tricky situation, so I’m going to wait it out… till things settle down.  I’ve seen a lot of artists planning tours and then having to cancel. I don’t want to do that. That would devastate me So I’m just looking at different ways to still be able to connect. SS

(Sate did a pre-recorded show in Toronto where she hadn’t played with her band in over two years)

The album is full of these intricately woven and carefully crafted interludes. Beginning with the very first track “Loofeth” which sounds like someone running or being chased through a forest.  I can hear panting and twigs snapping.  It has a very eerie and cinematic feel to it. MR

Yeah! I’m so glad.  I gravitate towards albums that tell a story. I grew up loving listening to Stevie Wonder albums. You put it on from the beginning and listen to the end. And Pink Floyd, Put it on an experience it. So, I’ve always wanted to do an album like that where I can tell a story.  And weave and bring you into my world. SS

I felt like that connection between all the tracks. I grew up listening to vinyl and still do.  Where you put the record on and don’t touch it and let every song play. MR

I love singles but I’m so fascinated by track listings.   There’s a reason why the songs come on after the other and if they have interludes, how does that relate and if you sit down and really get into it, it’s like reading a book. And how does that move you? What do you experience? How does that relate to you as a person?  And that’s also why it’s the fool because I believe that we’re all fools on our own journey. SS

The album went through a journey.  I started recording it in 2018 and I kind of put it on hold because there was something in me that wasn’t sure. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. I was insecure about it. And then my mother-in-law passed and then my mother and the pandemic was happening.  I was faced with what are you gonna do with this body of work? You don’t hate it but you don’t love it. So, what do you do to make yourself love it?  So I went back in and tore things down and changed lead vocals. I’m coming from a different perspective and a different vantage point. SS

You did a revisit or reconnect. MR


Yes. SS

Track 6 Guardian Angel features the sound of an old movie reel, a piano and the voice of a little girl singing with a woman. MR

So, it’s actually a reel to reel.  When my mom passed, we uncovered all this archival footage, and we digitized a bunch of them and found this one.  This was something that my mom would do.  Sit down at the piano with the reel to reel, turn it on and play and work through songs. So, there’s a good solid hour of my mom, myself and my sister singing this song over and over and over again, perfecting it.  I am about four or five years old… Yeah and that’s my mom. SS

(Sate will be accepting the Legend Inductee on Canada’s Walk of Fame in December, on behalf of her late mother Salome Bey Canada’s First Lady of Blues.)

What is your process? Do the words come before the melodies? MR

Everything comes as it wants to come. Sometimes it’s the music that comes first and sometimes it’s the lyrics.  I’m just a messenger you know, the vessel.  I am open to however it wants to come through. I don’t do it one way. SS

I don’t like to define music styles as genres because I don’t really believe in that.   Like rock came from blues, there’s no such thing as a pure form.  MR

You listen to music that resonates with you because it’s vibration, it’s frequency. It’s not genre. SS

So, when you were a kid, which artist spoke to you?  MR

Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan, Funkadelic, Minnie Riperton, Michael Jackson (loved) EarthWind and Fire, Duran Duran.  I remember the first time I heard the Sex Pistols; I was like oh my god what is this! Bjork, Fiona Apple, Puccini, Stravinsky.  (I was a ballet dancer, so I listened to classical music)

My mom was on Broadway so The Whiz and Dream Girls and Hair.

When I was growing up, we didn’t have a television in the living room, we had a record player.  So, I would put on a record and choreograph to them because I was dancing all the time and creating my play and my show.  (Chuckling) yeah that’s what my life looked like growing up. SS

I love Olivia Newton John. We share the same birthday. I’m a huge Xanadu fan. It was the worst movie ever I know but I love that movie. It brings me so much joy. SS

I don’t know what to say after that. MR

I listened to the podcast 5 Pounds of Rock which features women of colour in rock music.  And it got me thinking, shit, who are the women of colour in rock?  I love Brittany Howard (Jamie was one of the best albums I’d heard in a long time) MR

There’s obviously Tina Turner but then you know people don’t consider Patti LaBelle and her band a rock band, but they were. Now there’s Honeychild Coleman, Kimberly Nichole, Yahzarah, Liza Colby and Kia Warren, Jackie Venson… there’s a lot and it’s unfortunate that we don’t know the names of these women and they’re  killing the game.  They slay. And there’s more.  And it’s about fucking time they come back to the woman who started rock and roll; Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

The roots of rock is Blues.  All of the fucking rock ‘n’ roll bands were all blues bands you know.   Black Sabbath wanted to be a blues band and they’re the fathers of metal. Pink Floyd wanted to be a blues band. All of these English rockers, Led Zeppelin, they’re at the top of the list, they stole the fucking blues.  Ripped them off.  It’s just interesting that it’s marketed or still seen as the skinny white guys with long hair as rock n’ roll you know, but that ain’t it.  SS

The older you get the more you realize how everything is just a scam. MR

Yup. The older we get the more we start to see through the bullshit and question the bullshit. SS

Yes and the less you seek approval. MR

And this all comes back to the fool, right? Coming back to self.  It all comes back to who are you and how each and everyone of us are divinely, uniquely made and perfectly made.  And we each have something so beautiful to offer the world, so we don’t have to be like anyone else and we don’t have to seek the approval of anyone else because we are who we are. SS

I think you just nailed it right there. MR

Home – SATE (

The Album The Fool is available on the new moon in Scorpio November 4th

Annette Aghazarian October 19, 2021

Photos by Richard Ashman

Share this :

Submit a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.