Interviews anglais

SAINT AGNES (20/09/23)

Version française

The English quartet returns with a new album, Bloodsuckers. Marked both by the loss of a parent and also affected by the pandemic, Saint Agnes reveals what lies behind their music and their latest studio release.

Bloodsuckers is your latest album, released in July. It’s your first time with Spinefarm Records. What does it mean or represent for you to release an album with such a label?

Jon: It feels great to have validation from a label that we respect. The main A&R guy in the UK is Dante Bonutto. He’s a very influential figure in the music industry and a long-time friend. When he expressed interest in releasing a record for us, it was the only label we trusted to be protective of our music.

Kitty: Especially with this album being so personal. We’ve released everything on our own label previously, very independent/DIY. There’s no one else I would trust other than Dante, given our great relationship with him.

Jon: He said: “You know Saint Agnes, go and make a Saint Agnes record.” They had no involvement in the creative process. They just said: “We trust you, we love your band, make your record and we’ll release it for you.” For a major label, it’s like a dream.

Bloodsuckers (Deluxe)

Could you describe the overall theme or message that runs through the songs on this album?

Kitty: One of the main themes is empowerment, feeling bigger than you are, and being part of something bigger. A lot of our music revolves around that. We’ve all struggled growing up, feeling alone, and dealing with people trying to diminish who we are.

Jon: Another theme is the relationship between each other. Finding comfort, safety, and respect within our group, different from the outside world. Songs like ‘Follow You’ and ‘Forever And Ever’ are about our friendship and belief in each other.

How does the title ‘Bloodsuckers‘ combine those themes?

Jon: Bloodsuckers embodies the entire record. Originally, it came from the idea of people taking from you, sucking your energy. We wanted to reclaim that name and turn it into something empowering, like a gang against those who drain power. The song embodies the friction between those taking power and those empowering themselves.

Regarding the creative process, how did the passing of Kitty’s mother affect the new album?

Kitty: After my mom’s passing, I was determined to make something honest and authentic to honor her and my own feelings. It became a healthy outlet for coping with grief.

Was it a healthy trigger creatively?

Kitty: Yes, definitely. Initially, we were nervous about being so raw and open, but it felt necessary. Creating something during a difficult time helped me channel my emotions.

How did the pandemic impact the band and its activities?

Jon: Before COVID, we were gaining momentum, but with COVID, Brexit, and personal challenges like Kitty‘s mom passing, everything became complex. The positive was that music became an important outlet for us during lockdown. We recorded covers, made videos-it was for ourselves, a way to cope.

Your album’s rhythm might feel disjointed to some. Was this mix intentional or just how it naturally came out?

Kitty: We didn’t plan specific rhythms; we aimed to convey emotions authentically. That’s what we do-raw and authentic.

Jon: Our influences, like Nine Inch Nails, have diverse sounds. To us, it sounded natural, but we realize it might seem unusual to others.

Which tracks would you highlight and why?

Kitty: I love ‘At War With Myself’ because it’s brutally honest, capturing a difficult time in my life.

Jon: ‘Follow You’ is special; it brings an element of hope and positivity to the dark tone of the album.

How would you define your sound signature in one sentence?

Kitty: Raw, authentic, loud, honest, abrasive, obnoxious-six words.

What are your next plans? Will you come to France?

Kitty: Next February/March, we’ll headline shows in Europe, including Paris. We played once in Paris before at Supersonic.

Andy: We’ll also play a few festivals in France.

Jon: Our booking agent knows we’re back in Europe in February/March, and we’ll definitely be playing in France.

Last question: we’re “RockUrLife,” so what rocks your lives?

Kitty: Surfing!

Jon: Yeah surfing as a band! In the winter as well. Hardcore. Yeah, yeah, yeah, of course. Surfing. Yeah.

Andy: The colder, the better.

Jon: It’s a very in the moment, real experience. Like it’s just you and the board. It’s very different to music, but there is something similar in the fact that you just embrace the moment for what it is and it’s you and the elements, in something very real, you know, when you’re in nature, it is by definition real and authentic and you’re just in it. So yeah, that that inspires us quite a lot, I think to just go surf and then come back and write music and stuff.

I think we’re quite inspired by like really impassioned sporting things like we’re not… it’s not specific sports but when like we all quite like sports, something like watching kind of the Women’s World Cup recently was really inspiring and seeing people who are battling against something, you know, they’re fighting against preconceived notions.

And I love sport for the fact that the individual person, they can only face their problems. They have their body, they have their age, they have their ability, and they do the best with it and create the moment that they kind of music is so similar that you have your ability, your physicality, your voice, your experiences and you create something. And watching someone be victorious over and something difficult, someone winning a race or scoring a goal or something. There’s a true fundamental like spirit that I think is incredible.

And when we recorded this album and when we would finish some of the songs and Kitty would finish a vocal on something, it was quite similar feeling. I was like, that wasn’t fun, but it was victorious.


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