Interview with Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: What type of artist are you?
FS: It is hard to say. We bridge the gap between indie rock, alternative rock, and pop-rock, but we also have elements of shoegaze and dream pop while simultaneously being a little psychedelic. Our music reinforces notions of anti-consumption and focuses on the human experience, which kind of makes it a little punk, as well. One thing I can say for sure is that we are emo. Neo-aging-millennial-emo. We are five artists that are collaborating and creating deeply relatable songs that focus on the human experience. We reject promoting capitalism in our music. When people listen to our music, we want them to leave feeling like they are not alone in the world.
PD: Tell us the brief history of yourself.
FS: The history of this band has some layers. Essentially, we began to form the band at the very beginning of 2020. Christian, Austin, Doyle, and Kyle were all members of a previous band, Young House, that had just broken up. On top of this, Christian and Austin put out a few post-hardcore records together in a previous band called Gatherer (Equal Vision Records and No Sleep Records). At the same time, Sara began her master’s in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management. She started jamming with us and gave the band an entirely new sound. Consequently, a completely different band was formed. Her education profoundly influenced what she writes about and was inspired by notions of care economies, anti-consumerism, and living in harmony with the community of life. Those themes are reflected in our first three tunes.
Our first three songs are Plum Tree, Harborview, and Packing. These songs were recorded in November 2020 at Timber Studios. Each song was released as a single starting with Plum Tree in May 2021. By August 2021, all three songs were available for streaming and we had five more songs written, which would soon become our first EP, “In a Field, Away From The City”. We went to Nada Studios to collaborate with Music Producer/ Engineer John Naclerio on this release. We’ve worked with him in the past and knew he was going to capture the sound we were going for. Now we are playing shows all over New York City, New Jersey, and Philadelphia in support of our debut EP release.
PD: Who are your musical and non-musical influences?
FS: We have SO MANY influences. Sara and Chris are inspired by the music of anime. Every time we write a song, we think, “would this work as a beginning theme in an anime?” If so, we typically begin fleshing out the idea.
There are also many visual influences for us collectively- misty nights, neon skies and lights, colorful pastels, the vast cosmos, and mother nature are a few that come to mind. Of course, we are also influenced by other forms of art, media, documentaries, film, books, etc
As far as musical influences are concerned… well, all five of us are living on different musical planets (aka the list goes on and on.) Our influences range from Jefferson Airplane and Pink Floy all the way to Stephen Sonheim and more contemporary artists like Wolf Alice, St.Vincent, and Explosions in the Sky. Oh, and we all grew up listening to either punk, pop-punk, hardcore, and metal. So there is that influence floating around.
PD: What are your dreams and goals?
FS: The future seems to come faster and faster every single day. Fool Saint has major ambitions- both collectively and as individual people. But, it’s hard to have goals; you can only control so much in the music industry. Our goals are to do what is in our power: use this process to foster our friendship with each other, keep writing music, and make content that excites everyone. Our goal is to create music that emphasizes our relationship with ourselves, other people, time, and nature. We want to use music as a medium that shifts public consciousness for the better. We have big plans, at least. We choose not to let the limitations of society limit our dreams.
PD: Who writes your songs, what are they about?
FS: Our songwriting process is incredibly collaborative, but Chris is the primary songwriter. Every song is written a little differently: some start with Chris noodling for days on his classical guitar, some art ideas spawned from the band jamming, and some were written years ago, but never saw the light of day.
When the idea sounds right for Fool Saint, Chris asks Sara to jam over it. From there, our process has levels of collaboration that typically focus on developing the vocal melodies and lyrics. Those decisions then inform the rest of the song and artistic choices that are made by the group. Rarely is this process fast. It is the collaborative process that makes the music sound like Fool Saint and it is slow because we are giving everyone equal say. Our music is about nature, time, and ties with other people and the community of life. Some songs have environmental justice, and activism themes, and some pieces are about how our relationships with other people and things (like nature, and technology) affect us. We try to make sure the music reflects the message of each song.
PD: How do you promote your band and shows?
FS: Social Media is the obvious choice for most interaction and promotion for shows, but we also believe in the grassroots method. We are constantly going to shows in our scene, supporting other artists, putting up/ handing out posters and stickers, and focusing on being part of a much larger artist community.
PD: What do you think about downloading music online?
FS: It was probably the worst thing to ever happen to musicians in terms of making a living off of their art, but it is an amazing tool for the music consumer. It makes listening to music accessible, discovering new bands easier than ever, and provides an affordable outlet for musicians to distribute their music. My real issue is with the companies that are making billions off of artist’ hard work but only paying fractions of a penny to the artist for each stream.
PD: What song do you wish you’d written and why?
FS: Happy Birthday. Because it makes people happy (sometimes sad too 🙁 ) and you sing it together with friends/ family
PD: What are some of your pet peeves?
FS: As an entire band, we struggle with getting to shows many hours before it begins to do absolutely nothing. We love playing and meeting everyone, but this is a drag.
PD: What is your proudest moment in music?
FS: We recently released our first EP. Sharing it with everyone and receiving so much positive feedback has been gratifying. We are so proud of the work we did on that EP. We wrote and finished five songs in 8 months while juggling our jobs, school, and life in general but we did it, we made it work, and we love the final product. We also headlined our first NYC show back in October at a New York Musical institution called Pianos. The house was packed, and people were rocking out, dancing, and screaming along—a Super proud moment for us as a band just starting. It makes us feel that all our hard work amounts to something.
PD: So what are you working on at the moment?
FS: Since we just released our first EP, “In A Field, Away From The City,” we intend to hit the stage hard. We want to continue focusing on the Tri-State area while broadening our reach via little mini-tours/ weekend tours in states and cities easily accessible.
We want to begin focusing on higher quality content that can make attending one of our concerts more accessible. So we are tossing around the idea of filming a live session of all our songs. Regardless, we are writing a few new songs that we will either release as singles or incorporate into a full-length record.
PD: What music have you available online and where can we buy it from?
FS: All eight of our songs are available online! You can listen to our band on all the streaming platforms you desire. Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Google Music, Tidal, Youtube and Bandcamp. You can also purchase our music straight from Bandcamp. In December 2020, we participated in a charity event where bands were asked to record a Christmas cover. We did Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses, and you can listen and buy that track on Bandcamp or listen on Youtube.
Fool Saint links:
Band/Artist location – Jersey City, New Jersey
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