A Conversation with Sarah McLachlan

On Her Music

AB: Let's talk about your album, Afterglow. It sounds like you were doing the album before and after you had India. SM: I tried to get as much done beforehand as I could, knowing that she'd be the biggest distraction of my life -- and the most amazing distraction! I figure I got about three-quarters of the way done. And then I had her. So there was some lag time there in the middle where I was pretty much useless to music. It took me a while to get back into it.

AB: Were there songs you wrote before and then songs you wrote afterward? SM: Most of the songs were written before, or at least well established. Maybe not completely finished lyrically or musically, but well on their way. The only song that was written after the fact was "World on Fire." And actually, my producer and I wrote that -- it's definitely got the idea of being a parent. We don't necessarily say it in the song, but the whole thought behind it was looking at the world that we bring our children into and what a scary place it is, and what we can do as individuals to try and make it better, on a small scale.

AB: When you went back to the songs you wrote before India was born, did you find that you wanted to change the meaning of them at all? SM: No. Everyone is asking whether these songs are all about the baby. Give me five or six years and maybe there will be songs about the baby. But I'm not objective enough at this point to write about that.

AB: So, knowing that you were sort of preparing, getting ready to get pregnant, was the creative process for Afterglow different than the albums you did before? SM: Not really. Beforehand I had no idea what I was getting into. I had five months of morning sickness. I was green 24-7. And India had five months of colic after she was born, so it was challenging. I probably should have gone away and lived by myself for a while, but I was really happy to be home. So that slowed down the process a bit. I was just enjoying life and thinking that there was no rush to write the album.

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