Sarah Register

USA-based Sarah Register was born into a family of scientists who felt like life in the arts “wasn’t for them”. She speaks with equal fondness on Casey Kasem and Henry Cowell. Register currently tours playing guitar with Kim Gordon, is half of avant noise rock duo Talk Normal, plus one third of new experimental rock trio Thrash Palace. She’s an in-demand mastering engineer working across a breadth of projects with some notables by Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Horse Lords and Wye Oak. Teaming up with drummer/percussionist Valentina Magaletti (known for Holy Tongue, Vanishing Twin, Moin) and the multi-instrumentalist and modular enthusiast Matthew Simms (associated with Wire, MEMORIALS), she co-founded the band Better Corners. Their latest release, “Continuous Miracles, Vol. 2,” was released in October through London-based The state51 Conspiracy.


1. I was born in Los Angeles, and after four decades elsewhere I appear to have returned.

2. Valentina Magaletti can do anything.

3. Better Corners has 3-5 more albums ready to roll, we’re a joy machine.

1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?

Playfulness, and catharsis.

2. How and when did you get into making music?

As a kid I was always singing & performing with the radio, usually alone. I saw myself on stages from an early age… it took a while to figure out the impulses, for me to a degree it needed to be grounded in avant garde. I didn’t grow up with modeled cultural awareness of much ‘alternative’, so early on it was difficult for me to see options beyond a) ultra mainstream or b) being a virtuoso… & I was not going to be a virtuoso at anything besides playfulness. I had a guitar in my teens & spent more time with the strings above the nut than the normal bits, at the time I didn’t know I was in a long tradition of joyful experimenters.

3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?

This is an impossible question. I’ll highlight a few things broadly that have moved me and still do. Today’s list leans toward soft-on-the-ears.

Son Lux/Lorde “Easy (Switch Screens)” – is a staggering work to me.

Somewhat similar DNA, another song I’ll love forever: “The Island Where I Come From” by Laurie Anderson.

When I first heard Self Esteem’s “Your Wife” I thought ‘who the fuck is this, I will know them’. I have much admiration for this artist’s journey through a wide slash of performing excellence.

How about Dan Deacon’s “When I Was Done Dying” as another version of the beautiful breadth of perfect songs in this world. Which reminds me of Pterodactyl’s “February”, which meant a lot to me then and still conjures worlds to me now.

4. What do you associate with Berlin?

a) The (outdated) phrase “it’s like how Williamsburg was”.
b) The main place people reference that I haven’t spent much time in.
c) Andi who sold me her mattress and moved to Berlin.

5. What’s your favourite place in your town?

I’ve been somewhat town-less for a bit, though NYC has been home for most of my life. So let’s talk NYC – one of my favorite places later years in NYC was riding the ferry… best named (& clear favorite boat) = “Lunchbox”.

6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?


7. What was the last record/music you bought or listen?

I bought Activity’s song “Department of Blood.” I mastered a Xiu Xiu remix of this song and Apple store (the purchase area, not the streaming) is generally the most straightforward way to hear close to what was delivered to distribution. Listening to right now = Santigold (can’t stop her).

8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?

Hm… off the top of my head…

I really love an artist called Underscores.

I saw Klara Lewis & Nik Colk Void play in Tasmania with visuals by Pedro Maia – this performance was astonishing all around, everybody killed and I’d be honored to be in proximity to any of them. But I did think to myself – could I ever work with this maestro of visuals, Pedro Maia?

When I play with Kim Gordon, Camilla Charlesworth and Madi Vogt – our improvs are fun. We should record some. Absolutely unashamed to keep listing people I already collaborate with – Matt Simms & Valentina Magaletti. If we could have more time in the same room, that would be so lovely.

9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?

Best as a performer? I truly don’t know – moments stand out more than shows. As a spectator there are so many, but the most recent best gig I saw was Janelle Monáe – good god, how lucky are we to exist at the same time as that icon. Seriously, good god.

10. How important is technology to your creative process?

Intrinsically linked. I’m open to new experiences, but thus far – intrinsically.

11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your music?

I have one brother and he’s not very interested in my music which is fine, though he does occasionally wear a Talk Normal t-shirt, which is a language of love that I can understand.


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