What are your earliest musical memories?
My earliest memories are very Christmas-focused. My parents aren’t particularly musical people and I don’t remember a lot of music in the house growing up as a rule, but every Christmas my mother would crank up her old record player and play Mozart while she was putting up decorations – I still get Christmassy shivers when I hear certain pieces, I love how music has that power.
Who or what were your musical influences growing up and why?
I went to boarding school when I was 7 and that’s when I first really encountered pop music. A friend had a battered old Walkman and a Bangles tape and I was absolutely hooked – then I found out about Michael Jackson and Madonna. I still have really strong feelings for the Bangles. If anyone out there wants to form a tribute band with me I’ll play drums really badly and insist we call ourselves The Bungles.
Does music influence your writing?
A little! I have a few go-to pieces I use to help create particular feelings and stances when I’m writing contemplative or very non-contemplative scenes.
Do you listen to music while writing, editing, etc.?
I do, I listen to music to try and help evoke certain moods while I’m writing – espeically for action scenes when I want to try and write something brash and ballsy. Soundtracks are really helpful, high-octane stuff like Mad Max: Fury Road, Pacific Rim, and the slightly more thoughtful Moon and maybe not surprisingly, 28 Days Later. Having a musical representation of the incredible writing that other artists have created is really inspiring.
Is there one particular novel or piece of writing you wrote that was directly influenced by a piece of music?
There isn’t so far, but my track record is very short!
What music are you listening to at the moment?
I’ve a couple of friends and one or two podcasts who kindly steer me in the direction of good music – I’m completely inept at discovery. Without them I’d never know about Sylvan Esso, Twin Shadow and Active Child. I’ve a love for rock bands like Siouxie and the Banshees and the Runaways. I’ll forever be a fan of Tegan & Sara and Robyn, so they’re another go to.
Musically, what’s your guilty pleasure (or is there such a thing)?
I’m not really a believer in guilt unless it inspires reflection and change, and unfortunately my relationship with music isn’t so complex that it’ll do that for me. So I can listen to 90s boybands to my heart’s content!
Sarah Davis-Goff is one half of independent publisher Tramp Press, which she founded with Lisa Cohen in 2014. Sarah recently published her first novel, “Last Ones Left Alive”.