Small Town Saviours – Interview

This week I’ve been chatting away to Carl Donaghue (great abs btw please can you do some more Instagramming) and Skinny Pete from Berkshire based Small Town Saviours.   Old school punks with an updated flavour and a skill for an earworm tune, the guys in STS have played music since they were teenagers in various different bands and have the collective creativity to produce a bomb of a debut album.  Let’s find out more!

VL:  Welcome, Carl and Skinny Pete from Small Town Saviours – lovely to have you!   For those that don’t know, how would you describe STS?

Skinny:  We describe our music as pop ‘rock punk. Our music is unique in the fact we all bring in these very different influences, yet we tie them together with our own thread which gives us the perfect vehicle to drive and deliver our lyrics / story telling in an upbeat party fashion.

Carl: Our music is for everyone to enjoy; you don’t need to know the “secret handshake” to be able to get into the club!


VL: Tell us a bit about your background – where you’re from, and how you came to start making music together.

Skinny:  We formed in 2019 but we’ve all played together in various bands over the years. 

We’re based in Berkshire/Hampshire; there has always been a fairly big Rock /Punk scene around here which always inspires us to keep playing and be a part of it with our friends

Carl:  We’ve known each other for years, playing in various projects together.  It’s been awesome to see my friends grow together.  It isn’t about chasing the next shiny object that promises a hit of fame.  We work together and grow as a team – if something’s not right, then we can fix it together -also when something goes right it’s much more satisfying.   I’m reminded of when Def Leppard’s drummer lost an arm – they helped him and continued with him – A lot of bands would fire someone if they got a haircut these days.  Our hometown audience is awesome – a lot of our friends are also musicians, and we can often be seen hanging out at Studio 91 in Newbury. We try and support each other as much as possible – we are all in this together.


VL: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?

Skinny: Our music is inspired by our real life experiences, very biographical and I think that’s what keeps it all so sincere and relatable.

We all bring different influences to the melting pot, but I’d say some of the main ones would be The Wildhearts, Green Day, Backyard Babies and Weezer. 

We address issues like mental health, friends and lovers lost and found, acceptance and resolve. We hope that the take away from this is that things always get better in time if you just keep fighting through, better days are ahead.

Carl:  Good answer, Skinny.  What I can say about Lance’s lyrics is that when I listen to them, I know how honest he is being – we’ve been on some adventures together, and when I listen back to what he’s singing about sometimes, it’s like flicking through a photo album


VL: What are your aspirations as a band?

Skinny: Like every band it would be nice to make enough money to do this for a living and to fund bigger projects; over the years we’ve had the privilege of playing on the same bills as many of our favorite artists ,Backyard babies, La guns ,Tyla of Dogs D’amour to name a few ,so it would be awesome to play more shows like that and maybe meet some more of our heroes along the way

Carl:  Continue to make albums with my friends, and travel around playing them live – I don’t ask for much


VL: What has been the proudest moment in your music career so far?

Skinny: Proudest moment so far has to be making our self-titled debut album “Small Town Saviours” which will be released on 27 /01/2023 produced by the legendary Dave Draper.

We started work on it just before the whole Covid thing and a lot of work and creative energy went into it, so it’s going to feel really good to finally set it free into the world


VL: Promoting music can be a real challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?

Carl: Social media can a great tool for building an audience.  We use Facebook, Instagram and TikTok and find that there is a different audience for each of these.  We do sometimes forget to use these things as we are usually jamming ideas and just being a band.  It’s something that we are getting more used to, and we are now getting into some good ideas for content that we can share.  That said, just creating content and sticking to a posting schedule does not guarantee that we will be able to grow.  When our fans engage with us online, that’s a big help.  Also, we work with a PR Company called SaNPR and they have been a very welcome addition to our little team, particularly with the buildup to album release


VL: Any performances coming up?

Carl:  We are working on that.  Stay tuned to our socials for upcoming dates!


VL: What are you working on at the moment?

Carl:  We have been working on the release of our debut album.  At the time of writing, we have wrapped up shooting the video for our next single – Moving On.  Our good friend, Matt Starbuck has shot and edited the footage for us, and we are so happy to have him on board.  We kept the concept for the video as honest as possible and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished article!

We also have written and demoed 90% of our next album and studio time is booked for March, so the next few weeks will be about delivering the best performances we can muster! 

Will also be putting together a live set for upcoming gigs


VL: What song do you wish you’d written and why?

Carl:  I’m into Metallica’s new one – Lux Aeterna – I love the energy and vibe of the track. They still manage to sound like a garage band – still raw after all the success they have had. The day I heard that one, I just had to get on my drums and jam along. It’s the blend of old skool song writing and riffs mixed with new production and sound that makes it sound fresh to my ears.  Good on them!


VL: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, that you would change if you could?

Carl: Every industry has its pros and cons – What’s frustrated me in the past is that there seems to be more people that would like to wait at the proverbial finish line to congratulate the first band to grab some success, and claim they were always a fan.  It’s like – “where were you when they were struggling and needed you?”  If you like a band, get behind them, regardless.  I’m a big fan of people who have integrity and the courage of their convictions. Also, I’m not into people that want to take short cuts or don’t like to work for the things they want out of life. 


VL: What’s the most outrageous thing you/your band has ever done?

Carl: This question has come up a few times and it always makes me chuckle.  What can we say here that’s going to be printable?  We are in a rock n roll band, and we do what rock n roll bands do.  After a while even “outrageous” stuff seems normal.  I can politely decline to answer that fully, or tell you about the time I took a library book back to the library a day late…..


VL: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online? 





Small Town Saviours links:
Band/Artist location – Reading UK
Facebook – You Tube –  Reverbnation –
Instagram – Apple – Spotify – Amazon – Deezer
Check our page for Small Town Saviours

What do I think?  Easy one, this.   These lads have rock n’ roll running through their veins and are as comfortable and natural on stage it’s as if they were born to do it.   You can get my thoughts on the debut album in the review section on this page, it’s going live today, and it has already become one of my most played this year so far.   STS are so organic (and I don’t mean they are full of weeds and fungus) their music comes as second nature to all of them.

Sticking firmly to their punk roots but not afraid of a spiky genre blend or a curve ball here and there, fans can expect noisy tunes and raucous shows, all with the charm and ease that STS can deliver.  I absolutely cannot wait for this album to get toured, I’ll be on the barrier for every show.