Saint Agnes make the type of music that makes you want to put a cowboy hat on, jump on a horse and ride into the sunset. Their Western inspired dirty rock and roll features striking guitar work, impressive organ tunes and distinctive vocals that blend together like a delicious cocktail. Tarantino should definitely take a notice. Jon (Lost Souls Club) and Kitty (Lola Colt) bring back the kind of sound that some musicians forgot how to master. It’s raw, bold, sexy and vast.
Read on and find out about the birth of Saint Agnes, creation of their EP The Good Fight (which you can download for free!) and future plans.
You both play in different bands. What gave you the idea to start a side project together?
Jon: Both of us are in bands with 4 or more members and despite your best efforts that can mean things creatively move quite slowly. We craved the spontaneity you get when working with just one person and talked about doing a project where we make decisions fast, we don’t agonise, we just have ideas and go with. Let the music lead us.
Kitty: We both are happiest when making music, so I think it was fairly natural that we would have a jam and see what happened. Saint Agnes grew from that really. I’m obsessed with playing shows, playing live is my favourite thing in the world, so I jump at any opportunity to do more of that. It’s also fucking great to be playing guitar live again! I just got a beautiful 1961 Hofner Verithin and I can’t wait to get it stage-ready.
What drew you to the particular sound you are creating with Saint Agnes?
Jon: Initially we assumed it’d take the form of some kind of lo-fi acoustic blues thing, but the first song we jammed was based on a riff of Kitty’s and within 20 minutes we had the bones of it ready and it felt more grandiose and cinematic. Sticking to our ethos we just went with it and that first song (The Tower Falls) led the way for rest of it. Oh and we resent the lack of musicianship in a lot of modern rock with so many bands wanting to be so ‘cool’, they seem self-conscious and afraid to really play their instrument in the way bands like Lep Zep or Jimi Hendrix did. Unashamed guitar solos, huge keys parts and lots of just real playing were the order of the day. Expect more of that with the stuff we’re working on too!
What kind of feelings would you like your music to bring out in the first time listener?
Jon: We really created this to please ourselves without the listener in mind so I have never thought about that. I just want people to enjoy it, simple as that, in whatever way they please.
Could you tell us about the making of your first EP ‘The Good Fight’?
Kitty: We set up the gear in my bedroom in my grotty student house in East London and between us we played everything on it. We recorded the songs as we were writing them, so it happened very quickly.
Jon: Yeah it came together incredibly quickly. Excluding the mixing I think we spent maybe in total one day per song writing and recording it, as we really did just go with the first ideas that came to us.
Kitty: We’d decided earlier on to not be too cautious or worry too much about making it perfect. You can spend literally months agonising over the smallest of decisions, so it was really refreshing to just do it and mix and release it quickly. It felt natural.
Do you have a favourite track on the record and if yes, could you tell us why?
Jon: Probably Old Bone Rattle because when Kitty came up with the keys in the middle she was like “Is that too much? A bit over the top?” We decided to make it even more over the top and then throw a Jack White-ish guitar solo at the end, and as we were recording it we were smiling like little kids because it was just so FUN and something we’d probably never have room to fully do in our other bands.
Kitty: I really like our Doors cover actually. It’s got a real tense kind of edgy feel to it.
Your sound has been compared to the likes of Ennio Morricone’s work. If your music was chosen for a movie, what type of movie would you want it to be used for?
Jon: Kitty will know this better than me as we have discovered since we have known each other that I’ve seen what seems like NO films.
Kitty: Yeah I’m slowly educating him! Tarantino should DEFINITELY use the EP, it would be perfect in anything of his. Any kind of ‘road movie’ as well; I think the music definitely conjures dramatic landscapes and a feel of journeying through it.
If you could chose any person to co-write your next record with, who would you pick and why?
Jon: I think it’d not work if we co-wrote as the fact it’s just two of us is where the magic lies. That being said, I’d happily do one song rather than a whole album with Jack White or Peter from BRMC. Also we’d happily have Ennio Morricone write song string parts for us too!
What are your plans and ambitions for the near future?
Jon: Well we’re both busy in our respective bands, in fact in The Lost Souls Club we begin recording our album at the end of this week, but we’re getting a live band together for Saint Agnes with the aim of gigging from September onwards. In the meantime we’ll release a ltd edition Good Fight CD I think and will be recording more when we get the chance.
Kitty: Yeah, releasing more music and playing anywhere and everywhere.