Clark Kent’s Rock and Roll Revue #010 Meet The St Pierre Snake Invasion (part 2 of 2)
Sub-edited by Kate Shall
‘I don't want people to like our music and buy our albums because Nick Grimshaw has sewn our band logo to his face, thus giving us our fifteen minutes in the dim glow.’ – Damien Sayell of The St Pierre Snake Invasion
- Damien Sayell fronting The Invasion at ArcTanGent festival
Picture by Matt Jarrett
And here we have the continuation of my chit chat with Damien Sayell of Bristol based punk rock band The St Pierre Snake Invasion. Late at night. On the internet. And yet, the convo is so real you’d swear on your mother’s life we were in the same room. The Invasion continues…
Points raised during discussion: Twerking in Damien’s mum’s face, turning thirty…what does that mean these days? Also, last but not least, we find out if Damien would ever commit himself to some public stunt to gain more fans…You read it here first.
So then, this is part II of our lil interview...great answers to 'last weeks' questions. Now, tell me about your song-writing methodology How the hell did ya write Innocent?
Different songs have different origins. 'Ales from the Crypt' was written completely in my head during a car journey from Manchester to Bristol. 'Innocent' was the result of my A string being broken; I detuned the E to D-Flat and stumbled across the riff. I demoed the riff with a drum beat and improvised the middle part on the drums and came up with the guitar part afterwards. I like to write our songs starting with different instruments, I find it helps me keep writers' block at bay. It’s probably because I’m nearly thirty, I've found my resentment of all things 'hot right now' rising at an exponential rate. I write the songs and present them to the boys, less commander and chief more maître d'. (Thank you for the matinee).
I love 'Innocent'. I love the fact that it was a happy accident.
Would you ever commit yourself to a media stunt to grab attention for your band? I shudder at the thought, but then I do like your music and want other people to discover it. Perhaps what's wrong with a lot of bands is that they are keen to sell to anyone, in order to evade some feeling of inferiority, as if the only bands worth their salt are the ones that seem to be 'it' or happening. What say you Mr Sayell? Keen on twerking in front of a member of The Hives anytime soon? Also, do you think the idea of what one might want to achieve by thirty has changed somewhat over the last twenty years? And yet we have a hook into the old way: that with thirty, humans must become more responsible and stop 'messing about'?
Musicians are the eternal adolescents. We, aspiring musicians reaching thirty, are still just hanging on to our teenage bedroom ruminations. I've thought about fucking it all off and becoming a carpenter, but what would be the point of giving up on what I've been working at for more than half my life because I've reached an age where I should be settled with kids and a nice mortgage? There's nothing wrong with people who have that at that age, but there's also nothing wrong in me not wanting it just yet.
- Crowd surfing. Yeah!
Picture By Rebecca Cleal
As a thirty six year old, I heartily agree. So, no twerking then? If it's good enough for Miley...
No twerking, no. I don't think they're ready for this jelly. That stunt worked a treat. She's clearly a knob head, but everyone's talking about her. The best part is the irony of Sinead O'Connor's open letter which only added to the controversy and exposure. Bravo.
I think you've hit the nail on the head. I don't want people to like our music and buy our albums because Nick Grimshaw has sewn our band logo to his face, thus giving us our fifteen minutes in the dim glow. The bands who do that end up with a lot of people who 'like' them. Ideally for me, I’d love to have a number of people who believe in what we're doing and have our logo tattooed on the faces instead. Not really of course, about the tats.
Excellent. So it's about setting up your stall and concentrating on selling your produce, hoping that enough people LOVE it to make a living. What if there is not enough LOVE? Does that mean that at some point the band might find it harder to produce and perform? Should the aim be a balancing of making money and providing interesting cultural value, or is one extreme your thing?
- Due to another band pulling out, the band performed not one, but two sets at ArcTanGent festival.
Great work ethic!
Picture By Rebecca Cleal
I'm not opposed at all to us selling shit loads of records so I can build a house made out of money, but if that success had come from us performing songs about my failed past relationships and my pained heart then I would hope that someone would petrol bomb my palace of hard currency.
Did you read Amanda Palmer's response to Sinead's letter?
Penultimate question: Is your band one hundred per cent behind everything you've said in these last two interviews, or do you beat them to near-death with a rusty chain every time they whimper about a record company showcase-invite landing in the band inbox?Answer that and we'll move on to the final question of what has been deep but also finely cut and refreshingly upbeat.
I haven't seen Amanda Palmers response. I'll google it imminently.
I'd say so. I've written so many songs that we could have been three different bands and had three albums a piece. But this is the music that we collectively enjoy playing the most. We all want careers in music, but careers on our own terms.
Amanda's response is interesting. Not as cynical as you're own. She defends Cyrus' right to be get explicit. I wonder how Miley will be able to communicate anything other than all this licking of mallets nonsense? Surely she'll evolve her thinking past wanting to shock us, right?
O.K., final question: When the fuck are you guys playing London so the good people here can see what I keep rapping about? WHEN?! I want specifics or I'm gonna find out where your mum lives and twerk...in her face.
There were a few levels of offensiveness articulated by the press. Firstly was her showcasing (ineffectively) her sexuality. The second part was her alleged objectification of black women as sex objects in her routine. I think people have looked too far into it. All I really saw was a child gyrating on stage trying to be cool, current and grown up to sell her single. I say let the fucker do what she wants. Madonna is fifty and is still at it. Soon enough no one will give a shit about her. Anyway, London. Genuinely no idea. I'd imagine in the new year. You'll be the first to know though.
Right then. I'll be asking your mum where she lives since she sent me a req on FB...and I accepted. Thank you for an actual conversation man, it's easy for bands to fall into manifestoitas (not a real word, go with it) when they are interviewed on here.
You are legends in your own time. Thank you for converting me to your cause.
Oh, and twerking-in-your-mother's-face-jokes aside, do throw some dates as to your availability regarding London in December. I sorted The Hysterical Injury out and I want to do the same for you.
Have a good night mofo!
You're more than welcome. Thank you for taking an interest. Equally, it’s refreshing to be interviewed by (have a chat with) someone who cares about music and not just someone who likes the idea of being able to interview bands. Hahaha good luck with my mother, she is absolutely batshit crazy. If you're ever in Bristol give me a shout and we shall take tins of red paint to the harbor and its surrounding areas.
Yes, I’ll see when we are free, which should be most of the month. Goodnight/Nos da
HAHAHA! I'm sure you had your suspicions when the Gonzo T.V interview is still in the can but not out in the open. I CAN'T review/interview bands I don't like. I've been that person before but have managed to cast him down a vault in his Death Star...the emperor is dead, and he'll stay dead. G'night man.
The St Pierre Snake Invasion are:
Damien Sayell - Vocals
Szack Notaro - Guitar/Vocals
Patrick Daly - Guitar/Vocals
Sam Forbes - Drums
Mark Fletcher - Bass
Video for Call The Coroner
THE ST PIERRE SNAKE INVASION HAVE AN E.P ON SPOTIFY.
IT'S CALLED EVERYONE'S ENTITLED TO MY OPINION.
LISTEN TO IT TODAY!