Saints Among Us Interview
Saints Among Us are a modern alternative rock band who hail from Doncaster, UK. Formed in 2014, the band have constantly been evolving and changing their sound ever since. They effortlessly blend high octane guitar riffs, pounding drum beats and sensational vocals with synth and electronic elements to create a truly unique sound.
2018 has already been a huge year for Saints Among Us. They released a music video for their brilliant track “Home”, have played countless shows and festivals and have even found the time to release their stunning Debut EP Broken World. I recently caught up with the band to discuss their music, their musical tastes and why the population should be given free dogs…
“it’s very exciting and rewarding to release our music out there and it’s nice to see their reaction to each and every new song we release.”
This interview is taking place a couple of months after the release of your latest single and music video “Criminal”. How has the last couple of months been for you all? Is it a good feeling to finally get your music out to the fans?
MADDY: it’s very exciting and rewarding to release our music out there and it’s nice to see their reaction to each and every new song we release.
BRAD: Yeah it’s a really good feeling for us to finally have our music out there. It’s been a hectic couple of months with the release and everything, but it’s been really successful, so I wouldn’t have had it any other way!
ADAM: Yes definitely. It has been an amazing experience to work with new people and getting out to different places and getting our music out there. It is definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity.
LILE: It’s definitely a good feeling but a very strange one too, the fact that we’ve been producing this song for so long, we’ve heard it over and over again, the magic has almost worn off for us. But other people are hearing this song for the first time and seeing their reactions and their excitement is bringing back the excitement for us.
“Criminal” shows massive ambition for a band so early in your career. The song has a massive anthem feel and sounds as if it could easily inspire stadium singalongs. Ambition emanates from the band and is clear to see on another of your singles “How We Fall”, but what is the scale of ambition for the band? Are you genuinely going to take over the world?
MADDY: Personally my biggest goal with this band is to just have fun and enjoy what I’m doing, being successful is only a major bonus it’s just about doing something you enjoy and not wasting any time.
BRAD: We’d like to! I mean, to be honest we’re all just excited that even 10 people are listening to our music, but I’d love for us to pack out arenas and have masses of people singing our songs. It’d be a dream come true.
ADAM: We are expecting and hoping to get to the point where we have many fans who just enjoy our music and have fun listening to it and maybe even other bands covering our songs as covers. It would absolutely amazing to get to world wide known. It’s every bands dream.
LILE: We’re all still very young so for us this is the beginning of our future, we want a career in music and we are all so determined to make it a success.
“I’d say we’re the next generation of alternative rock. We’re taking that genre up a level by adding some banging bass drops and cheeky riffs”
If you guys were to take over the world, what are some of the new laws you would make people abide by?
MADDY: Me in charge of the world wouldn’t be a bright idea but one law to enforce would obviously have to be free dogs for everyone. (along with all the important world peace stuff, that would be brilliant too)
BRAD: I’m not sure I should have that kind of power! I’d definitely make sure that things such as the wage gap are properly addressed, and that small venues get better licensing deals so they don’t get closed down and local talent can grow. I’d also make politics a mandatory subject in school, or at least have it addressed in education at a much earlier stage. I know myself that everything that’s caused my political opinion to manifest had to be self taught and self researched. It’d definitely change a lot of people’s views on subjects if they were properly educated from day one.
ADAM: One Rule… Rock out to our music!
LILE: I would bring back so many small music venues that have been closed down, as well as putting rules in place to make sure artists are always paid fairly and ticket touts are stopped. Also, no more tampon tax.
If people have never heard of Saints Among Us before, how would you describe yourselves to them to hook new listeners in? Is there a specific track which you feel best shows what the band are?
MADDY: Our sound is as you call it modern day alternative rock with more of a synth style. The most current songs we have written such as “Home” and “Storm” show off this the best.
BRAD: We’re an Alternative Rock band, similar to more recent Bring Me The Horizon or 30 Seconds to Mars in style. I think the song that best shows us off is either our track “Storm”, or Home (which we’re releasing next).
ADAM: We are an alternative tech rock band. I would suggest “Criminal” as it has equally tech synthetic parts and alternative rock in it.
LILE: I’d say we’re the next generation of alternative rock. We’re taking that genre up a level by adding some banging bass drops and cheeky riffs. I’d show them our next single “Home” as it’s our most recent and we are going from strength to strength with each new song.
“Music has no gender, music is a movement and a culture. It’s a sense of belonging and family. It brings people together regardless of age, race, colour, religion or language.”
There is much noise made in the music industry about the difficulties of being a female-fronted rock band in a male dominated industry. Is this something that you have encountered yourselves? If so do you have any words of advice for young female singers who are looking to start a rock band?
MADDY: There is definitely a bit of stigma around female front women but yeah what I say is just go for it, as long as you’re happy with what you’re doing keep at it and don’t let anyone stop you and that goes for everyone not just girls
BRAD: It’s never so much really bothered us, but it’s more the attitude other people can give you for being female-fronted. Some of the time we notice that a lot of people judge us before they’ve even heard us, just because we’ve two girls in the band. But while that’s negative we’ve always took it on the chin, and it’s just made us more determined to change their minds and presumptions. There’s an awful lot of talent out there in the UK and the world that’s female fronted, but instead of it being described as, for example, an “indie 4 piece band”, the acts are usually described as “female fronted indie 4 piece band”. Female-fronted isn’t a genre, if a band went around going “male-fronted” they’d get called stupid. Music has no gender, music is a movement and a culture. It’s a sense of belonging and family. It brings people together regardless of age, race, colour, religion or language. To any girls out there, whether you sing, play bass, drums, guitar, Peruvian nose flute or bongos, don’t let people talk down to you just because you’re a girl. Show them what you can do, blow their minds. You have the potential to be brilliant and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
ADAM: Words of advice for female rock singers… just aim for what you love doing most in singing and don’t let anyone bring you down.
LILE: I’ve encountered it in both respects of being female-fronted and being a female bassist. A lot of people underestimate girls in this industry or try to oversexualize girls in order to sell their product. But there’s a huge amount of events that are specifically for female-orientated artists and I really believe these events are propelling those artists. It is just a shame there has to be these specific events.
Being a female bassist, I often feel overpowered by my male counterparts, they always seem to know more than me and play better than me. I also noticed on adverts by bands looking for a bassist, I would often only get the job because they specifically called for a female bassist. This really put me down, but I had to remind myself I must be a reasonably good bassist otherwise they’d look elsewhere.
I say this advice for anyone looking to get into music but I shout it for girls; NEVER GIVE UP. Even when everything seems against you, out of reach and impossible, you MUST keep pushing for it.
Let’s be honest, it’s only a matter of time until you hit the major major big time. You are currently on course to play some of the best festivals around the UK including Turbofest. However, if you had the choice now to headline any festival which would it be and why? Also what would the Saints Among Us band rider consist of?
MADDY: All of the festivals would be amazing to play such as Leeds, download, Glastonbury(etc) hopefully we someday get the opportunity to play amazing festivals like that! But our band rider would definitely be full of a thousand dachshund puppies, McDonalds, and a ton of mini eggs.
BRAD: If it was me, I’d love to headline Glastonbury. Not just because it’s the biggest festival in the UK, but because it’s got a bit of a sentimental value to it. Every year when Glastonbury’s on, my mum and I sit and watch it, and she’s always sat there and gone “be you and your brother soon that!”. The amount of support her and my dad have shown us is unreal, and it’d be amazing just to play Glastonbury, headlining would be unreal.
Our riders would be the least high maintenance part of our set! Honestly, we’re literally the least diva-ish people! Probably just a bottle of water or a coffee and I’d be set!
ADAM: Headline the smaller stages at Glastonbury. We would have Bang Bang Romeo with us as they’re an amazing band and we know them quite well
LILE: I would love to play TRNSMT Festival in Glasgow. The larger festivals are becoming mainly pop acts and there’s so many festivals for metal music. There’s very few for alternative rock and similar genres and that is how TRNSMT shines through.
Our band rider would just consist of snacks, loads of chocolate and crisps, maybe someone to grab us a McDonald’s after. It’s unreal how much we eat!
“Criminal was completely a song written by us all, it has different elements in it inspired by us all. And due to being very lucky to have our own recording space and equipment, recording Criminal was a case of ordering a pizza and getting down to work.”
Who were some of your musical influences growing up? Has making the style of music you create changed your musical tastes?
MADDY: My dad has always been insanely into music, which led to me listening to all the music he did at a very young age. Bands and artists such as New Order, The Smiths, David Bowie, The Killers and much more. The Killers are one band that has always been a major part of my music influence, as soon as I heard The Killers I was hooked by their phenomenal guitar riffs to their amazing synth lines. Their music will always be a major inspiration to me. I know every single Killers song and sing along to every part in their songs, (including the guitar solos, I basically turn in to a human guitar).
BRAD: Growing up, I listened to a lot of Queen and Guns ’N’ Roses, and that lead to me listening to a lot of guitar showboaters like Hendrix and Rage Against the Machine. Making the kind of music we do has definitely opened my eyes to other artists.
ADAM: Personally for me, I grew up listening to Dream Theatre, a progressive metal band. I enjoy listening to Mike Portnoy’s solo band Projects. I put my style of progressive metal drumming techniques into the band to create the songs we do now like “Criminal”.
LILE: Personally, I was raised on classic rock such as Bon Jovi, The Killers and Foo Fighters. I was introduced to Muse and they opened my eyes to a whole different range of sounds and effects. Now I listen to Nothing But Thieves, very similar to Muse but a little more modern, and 5 Seconds of Summer, who are able to create radio-friendly tunes to get them popularity while sticking to their roots, which I’ve found has really helped with our writing.
How did you find the journey of writing and recording your latest single “Criminal”? From beginning to end how did you find the process, was it more difficult than your debut single “How We Fall”?
MADDY: Writing “Criminal” was a group effort, usually one of us writes most of a song and then bring it to the table but “Criminal” was completely a song written by us all, it has different elements in it inspired by us all. And due to being very lucky to have our own recording space and equipment, recording “Criminal” was a case of ordering a pizza and getting down to work.
BRAD: It’s weird, that one. As a song, “Criminal” has a lot more going on, with pianos, synths and all that jazz, but personally I found “Criminal” much easier to write and record. “How We Fall” is definitely us still trying to find our sound, but in saying that, “How we Fall” to “Criminal” is like a journey. “How We Fall” is very much us all when we first got together and were testing the water as to where we wanted to go. “Criminal” secured that direction, and I think we’ve definitely found our sound now, especially with our songs “Home” and “Storm”.
ADAM: Yes it was a lot more difficult to write and record. Especially since we use a lot more techno synths in our songs now. The journey was interesting and we all had fun since we wrote and recorded it over a period of 1 night. Writing “Criminal” was definitely a new window to us for the songs of the future.
LILE: I can’t really answer this question as I joined the line up after these songs were recorded, but I was there for the recording of a few newer songs including our next single and I found the process of writing and recording them very easy and relaxed. We’re very lucky to be in a situation where we have our own equipment and space for recording so we can take all the time we need to get every detail right.
As your latest single is called “Criminal” what would your own criminal superhero name be?
MADDY: No idea but brads would be recedingman BRAD: I’d probably be something daft like Night Boy. Not because I’m incredibly scary, but because my sleeping pattern’s the wrong way round.
ADAM: Bongo Basher
LILE: I’m guessing you mean supervillain there! I’d be called Anonymous, because everyone would think my name is unknown while unwittingly saying it.
Finally, the release of Criminal has caught the attention of many rock fans. Can we expect any new music in 2018 from Saints Among Us?
MADDY: You definitely can, this is just the start we have plenty of songs just waiting to be released.
BRAD: Definitely! We’ve just filmed the music video for or next song Home, which is currently in production! We don’t have a date penned in yet, but we’re on about releasing a few more songs this year. 2018 is going to be full of Saints Among Us releases!
Adam: Definitely, Yes!
LILE: Absolutely! Just this week we hit another milestone in likes on Facebook and we are determined not to disappoint those fans.