FOR today’s interview...
I have been speaking with Saint Lo. about their new track, Wounds, and what its story is. They reveal how they got together and what is coming up in 2019; what the scene is like in Canada right now and which rising artists we should watch out for.
The band talks to me about their favourite musical memory and albums; what sort of music they are drawn to and what they would like for Christmas this year – they end the interview by selecting a couple of very cool tracks.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
It has been good! We released our video for our single, Wounds, last week and played a lovely show in Montreal this past Sunday. It’s been a good week. It's also approaching -20° in Montreal so we're keeping warm.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We are Saint Lo. We are an Indie Folk Pop-Rock band from Montreal. Our band members are Bashu Naimi-Roy, Marc Richard; Laura Glover, Isabella Harned - and our most recent addition is Jory Strachan.
Wounds is the new track. Is there a story behind it?
Yes. Wounds was inspired by heartbreak/pain that came from the ending of a three-year-long relationship and the strength that came from sitting with and acknowledging pain and then turning it into art. Wounds grew from an experience that was deeply rooted in the process of healing. The lyrics were co-written by Bella and Laura and the whole band collaborated on instrumentation and arrangement. In the direction of our music video, we really wanted to capture that heartbreak does not occur in isolation; it is marked by many intersecting systems of power.
We wanted to challenge the male gaze by depicting our actor moving through suffering, sadness; playfulness, creativity and, ultimately, healing - on her own.
How did Saint Lo. form? Is there a secret behind the band’s name?
Saint Lo formed in 2013 in the Mile End area of Montreal. We came together serendipitously through mutual connections. We noticed a certain magic when we played together and we’ve been nourishing it ever since. We were previously known as ‘St Lawrence Warehouse Company’ after an old building.
You are a Canadian band. Is there a strong and growing music scene in the country?
Our band members come from all across Canada - Nova Scotia, British Columbia and Ontario. We recently toured British Columbia and it was a beautiful experience. We think the Canadian music scene is super-strong and supportive - we have felt nothing but love in all the places we’ve played. We are also very smitten with many other Canadian musicians whom we’ve met in Montreal and on the road. Super-proud to be part of the Canadian music community, for sure.
In terms of music; which artists are you drawn to?
We are a band with many individual and collective influences: among them are Fleetwood Mac, Sylvan Esso; Arcade Fire, Haley Heynderickx; Janis Joplin, Emma Ruth Rundle; Andy Shauf, Phoebe Bridgers; Godspeed You Black Emperor, Cat Power and Broken Social Scene, to name a few.
As Christmas is coming; what one present would you each like if you could have anything?
A complete transition to sustainable energy systems! And dark chocolate is nice too.
Do you already have plans for 2019?
Yes! We have a few surprises that will be announced in the New Year. We will also be releasing our debut L.P. in 2019. Stay tuned!
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
In a small mountain town in British Columbia, there's a siren that goes off at a certain time every night for one hundred years now. It's ear-splittingly loud, very close by the venue we were playing and nobody thought to tell us about it. It went off in the middle of our show. Thankfully, we didn't panic.
The promoter admitted afterwards that she didn't warn us because she likes to see the look of complete incomprehension on visitors’ faces. The siren also happened to be perfectly in key with the song we were playing in that moment. So, that memory and memories of being hosted by beautiful warm people all along our tour.
Which one album means the most to each of you would you say (and why)?
Bashu: Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven by Godspeed You! Black Emperor. I was fourteen and it was the first album I bought. I didn't know you were allowed to make music like that.
Bella: Joni Mitchell’s Blue. My earliest memory of loving a whole album was lying on the couch with my mum (I think I was nine or ten) singing the lyrics at the top of our lungs to the entirety of it. Still to this day my favourite album of all time.
Jory: Tournament of Hearts by the Constantines. I don't think any album compares to the song structures and brilliance in writing. Very formative album.
Laura: Julia Jacklin - Don’t Let The Kids Win. I’m super-inspired by Julia Jacklin’s writing.
Marc: Joel Plaskett - Three. I learned what I know about song structures by listening to this prolific album.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
It would be sweet to play with Mountain Man or Big Thief. Our rider would probably involve an elaborate snack plate.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Believe people when they believe in you.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
We have some exciting announcements coming up soon! You can hear them by liking our Facebook page or following us on Instagram (at @sttt.lo.)
IN THIS PHOTO: Saint Sister/PHOTO CREDIT: Lucy Foster Photography
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
Bashu: My two favorite new and hard-to-Google bands are Someone and Pronoun and they are both very worthwhile. I've also recently been moved by Fenne Lily, IDER; ANIMA!, Saint Sister and Andy Shauf's new band Foxwarren.
Bella: I’d recommend checking out Victoria BC’s, Looelle - incredible velvety harmonies.
IN THIS PHOTO: Looelle/PHOTO CREDIT: Mike Graeme
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
We like to go to shows, spend time with our pets; be outside and host improbably-themed house parties.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can choose some songs and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Bashu: Thanks for having us! I'll choose Abigail by Richard Garvey
Bella: Tomberlin – Self-Help
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