Saint Mad - Hanging out with Saint
"Saint Mad let's it all hang out..."
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST:-
I first had the privilege or hearing Saint Mad a few weeks back reviewing their debut release "Waiting to Start." Saint Mad is just a blast to listen to, & is a strong musical production from start to finish. The music is highly original, extremely melodic, and it will lift your spirits without even trying. As the CD progressed I became more and more impressed with this 4 piece. Because of the influences I would say the flower children out there will love this one. My hats off to Daoud Shaw for not only playing percussion on the CD, but adding his producers touch to the presentation. The musicianship is first rate, the songs are short and sweet musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. Lastly - the writing, and singing abilities of Saint Mad is about as good as it gets for this genera. Like an Evil Saint it's Saint Mad let's it all hang out delivering music that is as much fun as it is entertaining, & unpredictable. I look forward to hearing more material from Saint Mad in the future.
IMD How would classify Saint Mad’s music?
SAINT MAD Our acoustic pop draws from many genres, inducing jazz, folk, and even classical, but in all our songs, rich vocal and instrumental are the hallmarks of our original tunes and arrangements of familiar standards.
SAINT MAD Our lyrics are compassionate, positive, often funny, and built upon themes that have run through all of our lives
IMD I was impressed with some of the amazing vocal harmonies on your CD do you guys have an extensive choir background?
SAINT MAD Molly & Lynda have extensive experience in professional choral performance, and Molly has been a church music director, in charge of choirs, for years. Jim and Martha have been singing in church choirs since they were kids
IMD Who are some of your top 5 musical influences as a band, starting with the most influential?
SAINT MAD The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Manhattan Transfer, Paul Simon, Sufjan Stevens.
IMD I hear Dr. Hook, Joni Mitchell, & even a splash of Jimmy Buffett am I off the mark there?
SAINT MAD We are fans of Joni Mitchell, in terms of harmonies, chord structure and jazz influences, but were not that familiar with the other two. We do see the resemblance though, now that you mentioned it.
IMD What inspired the Band Name Saint Mad anyway?
SAINT MAD You’re right about the choir background. Jim, Molly, & Martha met in the choir at a church called St. Madeleine Sophie. They began playing covers and eventually original songs and named the band St. Mad. (Martha later introduced Lynda to the group.) We also like the juxtaposition of the terms Saint and Mad, which are somewhat oppositional, but many saints have been labeled mad because of their unconventional world vision and actions, just as artists have. All of these mad saints are good company in which to be included.
IMD How’s the music scene in Philadelphia these days?
SAINT MAD Pretty good, there’s lot’s of small venues for live music. Everything from bars and clubs (younger crowds) to churches and coffeehouses (older crowd
IMD What are some of the best concerts you guys have been to individually over the years? Martha: I remember seeing REM at the Tower Theater in the 1980s. They closed with “Rock and Roll Star” and then Michael Stipe sang “Moon River” a cappella. There’s something powerful about going against the grain and giving people not necessarily what they expect but what you want them to hear.
SAINT MAD JIM: I heard Paul McCartney a few years ago. It was pretty heavy sharing that night with all the thousands of fellow fans.
MD I especially enjoyed the song "O' Sweet Spontaneous," what else can you tell us about that particular piece, what inspired that one?
SAINT MAD MARTHA: I used to play in a jam-oriented band and always liked the idea of a poem set over an unrelated background. When I met Jim, I shared the melody of an ee cummings poem with him, and he wrote these amazing Manhattan Transfer style backgrounds that are almost humorous but challenging to perform.
"I used to play in a jam-oriented band & always liked the idea
of a poem set over an unrelated background."
MD How about “What Else is Kindness For.”
SAINT MAD Jim: Inspired by a homeless man and his dog whom I befriended back in the 90’s. The man’s devotion to his dog was something I will always admire.
MDIt’s obvious you guys have fun with it. What do you guys like most about playing live together?
SAINT MAD; MARTHA: Seeing how the performance will gel, and how we’ll try to work with that. Sometimes a song that misses becomes the comedic commentary for the rest of the show. It’s also fun to see how some audiences gravitate toward one instrument or song and others respond so differently. You enter shows with expectations but are usually surprised. Jim: I’m still amazed that I am actually in a band doing original material. After decades of playing in cover bands, this is a dream come true, and extra nice to do it with such good friends.
MD What’s next for Saint Mad?
SAINT MAD Developing new material and working on what works for us: new twists on familiar material, often in a comic way, and enjoying the opportunity to share our musical visions with our peers.
interview conducted by Cyrus Rhodes. Property of Indie Music Media LLC.
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