In our penultimate Bands in Lockdown interview, Mark Glenister speaks to Damien Sayell of The St Pierre Snake Invasion who talks about getting reacquainted with lie ins, working on what could be their last album and how things may become pre and post Covid in the future.
Firstly, how are you? How are the rest of the band as well?
I’m well thank you very much. The guys are good too. Paddy is dug-in like an Alabama tick above the Mothers ruin. Szack is at home with his family conquering the realm of DIY. Sam is staying down by the seaside with his better-half’s family, exercising and generally being a merry person. Sanjay on the other hand is still working. He works at a blood clinic so hasn’t had any respite at all bless him.
Do you have a daily routine, are you learning anything new as everyone else seems to be?
I had a routine, but like most I’ve rekindled my relationship with lie-ins. I had planned on doing some free courses in body language until DIY and music got in the way.
Are you seeing this lockdown as a time to be creative? And has it changed the way you view the industry?
I’m definitely taking advantage in terms of being creative. I’ve managed to get 11-12 songs demoed for the next St Pierre album. I’ve written 2 for a future solo album, and a song for a friend’s album as well.
As a band are you doing anything for the fans? A lot of online gigs and Q&As seem to be the norm for a lot of bands, how easy or difficult is that for you as a group?
We’ve done nothing, haha. Nothing at all. Not that we don’t want to, we’ve just not been asked, nor have we had the inclination to venture down that path. I was asked to do an acoustic set from my living room, which for the sake of anyone with ears I graciously declined.
With the lockdown being extended, does that effect plans for tours, singles, albums? I know you said earlier that this would be the last TSPSI album, is that still the case?
It’s put the brakes on everything except writing and pinning down the ‘sound’ of the new album. I said it would likely be the last TSPSI album. A lot of people jumped on that like I’d said our demise was imminent. It’ll more than likely will be the last TSPSI album for a number of reasons, the first being that I only ever wanted to make three albums as this band. We might do another album at some point, but I like the idea of having three albums wrapped in a ribbon, a trilogy which won’t be sullied by a fourth and fifth album which might not stand-up to their predecessors. Once album three is out it ‘should’ be clear that we’ve purposely changed our sound with each album whilst trying to maintain a sense of individuality. To do that four or five times consecutively (which is what we’d have to do to keep it interesting for us) is a massive ask, one which at present I don’t think I’ve the mental fortitude to endeavour.
As a fan I know how much I miss going to gigs, for the music and for the social aspect, is this something that you miss as well?
Of course, everything bands do, writing, albums, singles, videos, press, are all mean of getting people to come to your shows, because shows are the best part of being a musician. I miss it everyday, I’m sure all the boys do. I’m sure every musician does.
How important are your fans at this time, I know and I speak from experience, a lot of merch is being purchased to help bands, and I know you have a great connection with fans generally so are they an important aspect of getting through this?
Fans are the most important part of any band, lockdown or not. It’s been made abundantly clear how they hold the well being of artists during this period. There’s been an outpouring of appreciation in general for creatives in wide variety of disciplines. It seems to have struck home farther afield than your diehard daily gig-goers too. It seems like the wider public has a greater appreciation for those in ‘entertainment’.
Despite horrors of this pandemic, the lockdown seems to have a created a lot of really positive community action, and for once social media is being used mainly I a positive manner – Do you want life to return to normal once this is over, or would you like people to be using this time to evaluate their lives and start be part of communities and positive social change?
I don’t think it can return to normal. I think we’ll view world events as pre and post-covid once we’ve some semblance of our previous life reinstalled. The world, how we connect, how we work, how we socialise, how we travel, will all change to varying degrees. It’s evident now that a vast amount of jobs can been done remotely, and that perhaps as way of lowering the risk of something like this happening again, it’s something which should be implemented across all sectors. As for wanting people to evaluate their lives, I did that a lot in my twenties and it took me a long time to learn that how people go about achieving happiness is none of my business. I do think some people who’ve been furloughed will be giving some thought to work / life balance post-lockdown though. I’ve definitely questioned why I work the hours I do for the money I’m on when it leaves me little time to do the thing I love doing most in the world, but much like when we vow never to drink again when in the grasp of a world class hangover, I’m sure once it’s passed we’ll slip back in to character in no time.
Our final interview of the Bands in Lockdown series with Lumer will be out on Wednesday.