Greg Erwin, A/J Jackson, Dak Lerdamornpong and Aaron Sharp of Saint Motel
Local foursome Saint Motel have been bringing us Zombie Proms, bitchin’ shows and music that bounces from vintage pop and rock to Caribbean tunes and orchestral sounds. The outfit now prepares for their next adventure with a new label, new album and new singer. Just kidding! The group still consists of A/J Jackson (lead vocals/guitar), Aaron Sharp aka “a sharp” (lead guitar), Dak Lerdamornpong (bass) and Greg Erwin (drums). With more support in tow, they promise to offer continual madness and a louder sound.
For any band, being signed to one of the most successful record labels in the world would be incredibly amazing, so you can imagine Saint Motel’s delight to have signed with the legendary Parlophone Records, which has signed Coldplay, Blur, David Guetta, Kraftwerk and Kylie Minogue, among others.
“It was a long process, but they seemed like they understood everything we’re going for. We’re passionate about it, and they have a small roster of really amazing artists,” says Jackson. “We wanted to try something bigger with our next album and look forward to having more talented and creative people involved. It’s going to be cool to have a whole team of people to support us.”
According to the group, they held out until they finally found the label that would understand them and let them run with their whimsical ideas.
“One of the reasons why they were so attracted to us is that we are a very self-sufficient band, and we have clear ideas of what we like across everything that we do. That makes it easier for both of us to move forward and help each other,” says the singer. “With more smart, talented people in our corner, we just have a bigger tool box to work with. That’s where we are now, there’s no one telling us, ‘Change this or do that.’ They signed us because they like what we do, and they are here to help us build it.”
Now backed by a major record label, the quartet seems fairly close to breaking into the limelight, but the band seems more preoccupied with what they’re doing here and now.
“I’m not sure what the future holds, all you can do is the best you can. For us, it’s always really exciting because we’re constantly making videos, movies, art of some sort. We’re producing more than we ever have,” exclaims Jackson. “We only have one rule: We’ll try anything. We don’t say no, and we approach all different options. There is no one way to do things, there are various equations that steer you in the right direction.”
Saint Motel has been hard at work for years since their inception in 2007, however, it seems that more recently the bands success has taken a giant leap, playing sold-out tours with Weezer, performing at major festivals and headlining venues like Los Angeles’ legendary El Rey. For the band, there is still a lot of turf to cover.
“I consider us an underground band with a cult following that is slowly growing just based on the merits of our efforts and sensibilities,” says Jackson. “We never had any sort of backing, we were just four friends that love to do this and want to make it our life’s work. We want to do this ’til the day we die. We’ve played some big shows, and we’ve played some really small shows for like four people at the back of a bar, but it really doesn’t matter for us whether we’re playing for one person or a million people. The fundamentals are the same: to make the best, craziest show you can.”
Their upcoming EP, due out July 28, is as of yet untitled, but in typical Saint Motel fashion you can expect major changes and a totally different direction than their last effort, Voyeur.
“It’s going to be a really fun collection of songs, an EP, it has [their latest single] ‘My Type’ on it,” he reveals. “[The Song] is a good reference to what you can expect. It’s higher energy, fun, good times, tongue-in-cheek lyrics, female vocals, poems, huge group vocals choruses, strings. There’s a lot of elements.”
It is no secret that the band is into some unusual stuff. If you have ever been to a Saint Motel’s Zombie Prom, you understand what I mean. People dressed like zombies in the middle of spring in an old vintage venue Downtown dancing so hard their dead fake skin literally melts off. Will they do it again this year?
“I’m not sure,” says Jackson doubtfully. “We have a show coming up on Aug. 2 at the Troubadour. That’s going to be a live streaming, multimedia show with comedy, bands, a special host and a retro television vibe. We want to have crazier, bigger shows and give people a more immersive experience. If that doesn’t happen for a little bit, that’s fine we’ll just keep building it to the point where we finally have the means to offer people all the craziness that’s in our head.”
For more information, visit saintmotel.com.