It takes a lot of confidence to choose a moniker that pays tribute to one of the most iconic figures in popular culture. That ambition is something Speelburg (aka Noah Sacré) takes with him into every aspect of his career. Taking a cinematic approach to his songs, he creates a lush soundscape with every track that is both atmospheric and weird (in a good way). If this is your first time hearing of him it won’t be the last, he’s heading out on the road this fall opening for Lindsey Sterling on a handful of European tour dates.
Speelburg answered some questions for The Young Folks on his creative process and his upcoming album, Character Actor. Check out the full conversation below.
Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for The Young Folks!
What have you been up to recently?
Designing t-shirts for this tour of France in a couple of weeks. I’m psyched! There’s still a ton of stuff to organize but it’s all fun stuff. Like choosing what audiobook to listen to.
Where do you find inspiration when you’re working on new music?
Depends on the day, I guess. I try and write a song every morning before noon. I’ve been pretty jet lagged this week, so that might have relaxed a little. Sometimes I’ll think of a cool opening lyric while I’m running. Sometimes someone says something cool on a podcast and I’m like “Cool, that’s mine now”. A LOT of inspiration comes from listening to other music. I probably change genres every 4 months because I’ll hear something new and go “Yup. That’s me now. That’s all I want to make from now on.”
You have also directed your own videos, how did you get involved in that
side of the process?
Equal parts curiosity and necessity. If you already have a knowledge of Logic or Ableton or Protools, it’s not hard to pick up something like Premiere or Final Cut. It’s all on a timeline. And sure there’s a lot to learn, but faced with needing a video in two weeks, you’re gonna get creative. Golly do I love a deadline! Also, YouTube tutorials and willing friends. I’m working on a feature length at the moment and have casted all my friends in supporting roles.
What made you decide to pursue music?
My parents forced me into it. I wanted to follow my dream of becoming a doctor-lawyer with a minor in animal husbandry, but my mother and father sat me down and told me “if you live under our roof, you’ll play by our rules. starting tomorrow, you’re putting down that stethoscope and picking up a midi controller”.
What is your favorite thing about songwriting?
My favourite thing is not writing love songs. I mean, I like writing love songs, but writing something that is truly weird and unexpected and oftentimes only funny to me is a true passion. Like when it’s 3 am and you’re trying to sleep and your brain is playing reruns of every firework display you’ve ever seen at the same time, and you’re trying to wrestle your mind but it’s winning and then you come up with two very good first lines, that’s pretty fun. When it takes you by surprise.
What do you hope people take away from your music?
i hope that people listen to it in their sleep. i hope they try and cover my songs and make a better version than the original. i hope they don’t take themselves too seriously but treat my words like gospel. i hope they listen to my songs in reverse and look for clues about the devil and doing acid with the devil. and I hope that in years to come, when i’ve retired from the glitz and glamour and i’m mayor of a small fishing town in Connecticut, that fans will try and track me down to tell me how much my words, melodies and music have meant to them and their families for all these years. Maybe they’ll ask me to play one of my old classics and i’ll reluctantly accept. I assume Google Glass will have made a huge comeback by then and someone will secretly be recording it and will post it online, at which point it goes instantly viral on whatever kind of internet we have in the future. Maybe Pitchfork (now an Enron / Universal company) gives it an 8.1, and for the first time, a youtube clip is named Best New Music. They’ll probably make a Sugarman / Dear Mr. Watterson style documentary about me that will win multiple awards at Sundance, the independent Spirit awards, and hell, even be nominated for a daytime Emmy too! i might show up in a white velour tuxedo with my beautiful wife by my side, and as the directors go up on stage to collect their trophy, the camera will turn to me and i’ll give them a knowing smile and a thumbs up the way Rodriguez gives Smalls in The Sandlot. a sudden standing ovation washes over the crowd as they signal me to come up and accept the award with them. Robot Tom Hanks, who was presenting the award leans in and says “take as long as you need, kid”. then, i guess, fade to black or something.
What can fans expect from a Speelburg live performance?
Flashing lights and flash-dancing. A lot of dancing! Maybe a photo montage of my greatest career highlights so far as a backdrop – like that time Tony Shalhoub bought three of my songs on Bandcamp or the time I visited the recreation of the Seinfeld set at the Sony lot gift shop. I’m having a real good time, and I hope the set reflects that.
I’ll be playing some classics, some new stuff off the upcoming record, and probably a couple unreleased ones too. It’s pretty nuts. I’m heading out doing my first ever arena tour supporting Lindsey Stirling. I’m looking forward to converting some new French fans by the thousands. You should google the venues, they’re crazy huge. I might get my brass section out if I can afford it. If they’re not there, you’ll know I couldn’t afford it, so maybe, like, buy a t-shirt or something?
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Besides the whole Tony Schaloub thing? I think writing and finishing two very different records at the same time was up there. Took a minute, but now it’s cool to see all the music start to come out. if we’re talking cold hard cash, I would say getting a song on that last Google commercial was pretty rad. I know they own YouTube, but it got seen by a couple million people in the first week, so there’s a few more people on board the Speelburg Express. Yeah, honestly, there’s so so much already happening over this next year and a half, with tours and records coming out, and hopefully a Stamps.com sponsorship / collab in the pipeline, the unannounced stuff is what I’m most excited about.
What is your favorite movie?
You’ve Got Mail. A true American masterpiece that explores romance AND capitalism. My two favourite movie genres.
When can we expect a full-length album from you and how would you
describe what the finish project would be like?
The second record I wrote is coming out first. It’s called Character Actor and I love it. It sounds like everything else out there, but better! There’s 10 tracks, some of which have already been released as singles.
Early metrics show it’s going to be a huge success, or the very least, do very well.
It’ll be out at the end of the summer / early fall. I refuse to release something this sunny in the dead of winter. I think, if you’re already familiar with Screener Season and Headlights and Oxy Cotton Candy, then you’re going to have a really good time with the rest of the album. Finishing Character Actor was an incredibly easy process. I’m very proud of the drum sound, synth work, and lyrics. And some of the basslines. Gosh dang I wish you could hear it now. Actually, I’ll be playing some songs from it over the P.A before my show at the Hammersmith Apollo in London on October 14th. It’s gonna be a really fun party.