American pop-rockers Saints of Valory have enjoyed a torrent of success over the past year as a result of their breakout hit “Neon Eyes.” Their third and most recent EP Possibilities was released under Atlantic Records in July 2013. It hosts a variety of new material combined with re-edited material that the band took from their first two self-released EPs.
The Saints, formed in 2009, are comprised of four jet-setting gentlemen: singer/ bassist Gavin Jasper and guitarist Godfrey Thomson, who were both raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Keyboardist/vocalist Stephen Buckle was born in Greece and raised throughout Southeast Asian countries like Thailand. The band’s latest addition, drummer Kenny Bovich replaced Gerard Bouvier in late 2013. He grew up in Florida and relocated to Salt Lake City, Utah. That level of cultural assortment definitely makes for interesting music.
Last week they announced plans to release a new EP called V and dropped visuals for the first single “Long Time Coming.” It’s an upbeat rock song with a folk-inspired chorus. The song’s hint of twang shows the Saints’ Nashville color. Visuals feature a selection of neon-painted dancers moving underneath the glow of a black light. Check it out above!
We got ahold of the Valory gents to find out what’s up with their music, living the international life and what’s next for this burgeoning band. Get to know them below and like them on Facebook for the latest updates.
Use one succinct sentence to tell me about yourself as an introduction of sorts to future fans who are encountering the band and its music for the first time.
Gavin: I sing and I play bass and I love the Beatles. There we go.
Godfrey: I like to feel hot and sweaty and sexy onstage, that’s what I do.
Kenny: I like drums a lot, my dog Norman and my wife Rachel.
Stephen: I love my kids and really loud bass.
You guys have spent a ton of time abroad, especially Gavin, Godfrey and Stephen who lived abroad in Brasil and Southeast Asia, respectively, for a large majority of your lives. How does growing up internationally affect your music style? Do you identify as Americans or as “acultural” in a sense and if so, how does that affect your music?
Gavin: I think growing up in South America definitely helps rhythmically, like it’s just a huge part of the way we write and a lot of our songs have an atypical rock pattern. We’re just a normal American band but we try to mix in some of that stuff for sure so I think that really helped a lot. Also, I think we all grew up listening to American and British bands.
Stephen: We were talking about that the other day, we’re not the kind of band that grew up in the same high school, on the same street, like in the garage after school playing music. It affects us in that way in that all of our songs don’t sound the same, so that’s what you get when you come from four different corners of the earth and you’re all growing up listening to different music and meshing all of that together.
Do you find that all those different forces sometimes hinder a sense of cohesion within your music?
Gavin: I think it’s a challenge because the [industry expects cohesion], you have to have one sound and it’s easier to break and get a lot of listeners if you do one thing really well and we kind of do a lot of things. So, there’s that challenge in that you’re not necessarily going to be as popular as fast as if you only do one thing and one sound.
Kenny you just recently joined the band, where are you from?
I’m originally from Florida but I live in Salt Lake City.
Nice, tell us a little bit about how you came to be one of the Saints of Valory.
Yeah it was pretty random actually, I was working for another band last year as a drum technician and we were playing a radio festival that the Saints were playing and we were sitting up onstage at the same time they were and somehow Gavin and I started talking. I think it’s because he owned the same shirt I was wearing.
Wow, that’s super organic.
Yeah, so we started talking and one thing kind of led to another and I flew out to Austin to audition and here I am. The funny thing is that the whole year of me drum tech’ing- I did that so I could find a [gig] like this and I had been really wanting to be a part of something that I believed in and that’s what I found with the Saints.
Gavin: And that was your last day drum tech’ing [Laughs]
You guys self- released your first two EPs The Bright Lights and Kids. This most recent album Possibilities was your label debut. How did joining a label impact the band’s experiences in terms of creation the newest album, releasing it, marketing it etc?
Gavin: Well, 50 percent of the new record are old songs, or pretty close to that, so I mean we got signed and had a partnership with Atlantic Records because of those EPs so majority of those songs are on that new record. The process obviously changes because we had a little bit more time to re-create some of the songs from the old EPs so it’s awesome. You get to spend a lot of time focusing whereas when you self-release stuff you push it to, like, a song a day because you don’t want to spend that much money. Plus, we get to work with great producers like Joe Chiccarelli, who is on the team, and he’s always pushing you sonically and stuff to so definitely a great opportunity.
That sounds like an awesome opportunity for musical growth. How has the band’s success changed your lives, affected your work-life balance etc.?
Gavin: A lot more work.
How has that affected everything else, your personal life etc.?
Gavin: It’s great, I mean America is such a huge country, there are so many markets so in each city you see the effect grow slowly. As you keep going around and watching things on the radio so it’s definitely affected a lot, from city to city.
Stephen: You mean its effects on us on a more personal level?
Godfrey: Well, I think we’re in that funny stage where we haven’t really broken yet but we have experienced some success so we still talk about it like we’re in the trenches. So, I don’t know that we’ve really experienced a dramatic change.
Kenny: There’s definitely more awareness to the band, there’s more people coming to the shows and all that which makes us feel like [the band] is headed somewhere.
Have you guys had any fans jump on you, baby-kissing requests?
Gavin: Florida was definitely, you know where the girl comes to take a picture of you and her hands are shaking so much that you’re just trying to calm her down like “it’s ok, maybe we should get someone else to take it.”
Stephen: We’ve had a few people tattoo lyrics on themselves.
Wow, that’s really real. What is your ultimate collaboration right now?
Gavin: I’d like to sit in a room with Arcade Fire for a day and see what craziness they come up with.
Stephen: It’s hard to not want to work with Pharrell at this point.
So true. Where do you guys see yourself in 5 years?
Stephen: Headlining the Glastonbury Music Festival.
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