Sarah and the Safe Word's Upcoming Gulf Coast Tour
Exploring music as a multi-faceted art form, incorporating unique lyrical content, hosting theatrical stage performance, and sporting a full stage line-up of seven members, Sarah and the Safe Word have really set themselves apart from the local D.I.Y. scene from which they came. At its inception, S&TSW was vocalist Sarah Rose’s solo project, with their guitarist Kienan Dietrich coming on board very near the band’s beginning. Through the past three years, an EP, an LP, and several singles, S&TSW has added five more permanent members: Susy Reyes on violin, Courtney Varner on viola, Beth Ballinger on synth and keys, Maddox Reksten on bass, and Sam Freeman on drums. Many, like Reyes, began as studio musicians. “Susy originally came in as a studio musician on the album...We loved her sound so much we asked her to stay,” vocalist Sarah Rose informed me. The rest of the seven S&TSW members have similar origins; they brought something special to the recording so when it came to a live performance the band knew it was time to expand.
Although great for sound, seven members is not always the most comfortable way to tour. “We all pile in our van. It’s great because we’re all so close…we’re like a family. I feel bad if we bring a new person with us [to sell merch] though, because we all snore really loudly!” joked Rose. Despite the close quarters, S&TSW are all super excited about their upcoming tour. The band will be traveling from their home in Atlanta throughout the Gulf Coast, playing in venues in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and back to Georgia for a home town show with other locals The Funeral Portrait, Awake at Last, The Keepsake, and Turf Wars.
Despite the different states and different venues, one thing remains the same at all Sarah and the Safe Word shows: the band does everything possible to create a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ youth. Online and in person, S&TSW members talk openly about issues facing queer and trans kids in the music scene. Although they don’t focus their lyrics on LGBTQ issues in the way that a band like Against Me! does, Safe Word stands as a pillar of the Atlanta rock community, providing advice and comfort to those looking for a place where they can feel safe.
Apart from tour, S&TSW have their plates full in the upcoming months. The band has recently spent time in Soundlab Music Studios in Atlanta working on their new album, booked multiple shows in and out of Atlanta, and will be appearing on the CW show The Originals whose final season premieres April 18th, 2018. When asked if they had anything else instore…an upcoming rock opera, perhaps, Rose laughed and replied, “No, but if someone was going to make a rock opera, it would probably be us!”
Photo Credit: Grin & Barrett Media