Anyone expecting Sarah McLachlan at the Temple Bar on Tuesday night will be in for a surprise when Sacha Sacket and his band start playing.

“People see the girls walk on stage and expect a very mellow performance, but when we start playing, we’re definitely a rock band,” says Sacha Sacket, the singer-songwriter scheduled to Tuesday, December 4th, at the Temple Bar in Santa Monica.

In a reversal of conventional music wisdom, Sacket, a male, is the main musician, backed by an all-female band — a band that “completely changed the sound” of Sacket’s formerly piano-based music.

“I recorded the album first, and then decided to get a band,” Sacket says. “So the music is completely different from the album, our sound has changed because the girls bring something different to the band that I couldn’t get on my own. But it’s more than just a shock factor, I wanted to make sure I got girls who were great players and could hold their own.”

Sacket’s roots as a pianist — “I started playing piano at five, and quit after a year or two, like everybody,” he says — led his initial endeavor in the music industry. From teaching himself Beethoven and Chopin, to the formative years of high school, Sacket had developed into a piano-based singer-songwriter devoted to music full-time. A graduate of Calabasas High School, the breeding ground of many mainstream bands such as Incubus, Hoobastank and Linkin Park, Sacket was influenced by the grunge era of the 1990s, until Tori Amos came out.

“Tori Amos was the first message-driven music that wasn’t classical or rock, but really a mixture, and from there I got into Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen,” Sacket says. “I had started singing in high school in the musicals at 15, then I started writing my own songs.”

After graduating with a double major from USC, Sacket decided to head out with a self-described, “Ani DeFranco, idealist approach to pursuing music full-time.”

Lovers & Leaders, Sacket’s third album, marks a change that he had begun even before assembling his band.

“I started writing about other people for the first time,” Sacket says. “The first two albums were mainly about what I was going through, and it felt like it was time to look outside and move away from the singer-songwriter format and start writing about other people.”

Even still, it’s impossible to avoid the influences of Sacket’s personal life in his music.

“Every song (on the album) is about life let for love, life let for power,” he says. “Can I have love and career? Music is my life and dominates over everything, but I came to a point in my life where I wanted something else, too.

“So each song is about somebody striving for power or love, failing and succeeding, people going for it, people that were trying to make a choice.”

Information, www.myspace .com/sachasacket/.

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