We also speak to vocalist Kitty A Austen all about their new mini-album 'Vampire'.
We are delighted to be able to present the video for 'Repent', the snarling new track from Saint Agnes.
The band have also just announced the details of their new mini-album 'Vampire', which is set for release on March 26 via Death Or Glory Gang Records.
Though to 'Repent'. A stomping, incendiary number chock full of swagger and sizzling aggro on its own, matched with the off-kilter and intense visuals becomes a completely different beast altogether. It's a perfect amalgamation of everything Saint Agnes want to be both aesthetically and sonically and leaves you reeling long after the feedback has faded away.
We chatted to vocalist Kitty A Austen all about the track, where it fits within 'Vampire' and how exactly the whole project came together:
Where in the process of putting 'Vampire' together did 'Repent' come from? How did it start to come to life?
"I had the line, ‘an animal caged, is a cannibal made’ knocking around for a while, I really liked it but didn’t have a home for it. I was messing around on bass and Jon James was recording bits he liked and chopping them up and editing them. I started singing the cannibal line over one of the bass parts and we both got really excited. The lyrics came really quickly after that and we had a Pantera-inspired riff lying around that felt right for the chorus."
What does it represent for you within the context of the record but also as a piece of art on its own?
"'Repent' is the first track on the mini-album, with this year of no gigs, we wanted to start the record off with the equivalent of a headbutt in a mosh pit. It’s a bloodthirsty cry for revenge - I realised that a lot of my songs have this theme… People piss me off all the time and the cool thing about being a songwriter is that you get to blow up and dramatise things that piss you off and, if you’re lucky, doing that makes you feel a bit better about them, sometimes."
"I always have a very strong visual scene or like a little film playing in my mind when I’m writing music. Music and visuals are inseparable, in my experience. For Repent I kept picturing a fallen angel stalking prey in a night-time, neon-lit city where it’s always raining. Kind of like The Matrix crossed with Sin City. The idea of righteous revenge is very appealing. Life is a mess, isn’t it? It’s all grey area, so it’s soothing to fantasise about a more simplistic, black and white version of events where you mete out just revenge (in an aesthetically pleasing manner.)
What feeling were you trying to encapsulate visually for this particular song?
"We wanted our fans to remember what our gigs are like, so we wanted it to be a performance video. We’ve never done a straight performance video before so in true Saint Agnes style we wanted it to be as extreme in that regard as possible - so a totally blank, white room with nothing but our bodies to entertain you with. I hope you are entertained."
What is it about 'Vampire' that you feel defines who Saint Agnes are in 2021 and how did that develop over the course of putting it together?
"I’m trying to learn to be more honest and vulnerable as a songwriter and though the songs are in the overblown, histrionic Saint Agnes tradition, I think they are more personal, lyrically than anything we’ve done before. The stories the characters are telling all across Vampire are personal to Jon James and I. In regard to the music, for obvious reasons, we had to write the mini-album differently to how we usually write and record. The songs had no rehearsal room time or trying them out live, Jon and I created them locked in our tiny home-studio in East London during the first lockdown. It was a claustrophobic, almost desperate time, we really turned inward to deal with the catastrophe that was happening outside. And I think that claustrophobic intensity can be felt all over the record.
"When we recorded the songs, it was the first time we were playing them as a band and I think the energy of getting to play together for the first time in months really comes across. In 2019 the longest amount of time we spent apart as a band was like 2 weeks as we were touring all year. To go from that to not seeing each other for months was bizarre, I missed them so much and I missed feeling like part of something. We felt delirious in the studio as it was the first time we’d been around each other (and other people) and I think that innocent joy of being in each others’ company comes through. The other thing I think really comes across is a feeling of defiance. The arts has been treated appallingly badly during the pandemic, highly skilled people being told to retrain etc and it’s hard to keep your chin up when your government is telling you very loudly and clearly that you’re not viable or a valued part of society - I think we all felt shitty and so getting to be together again gave us a defiant feeling of, oh yeah, I'm a fucking musician in a fucking rock band and it’s viable and it’s legitimate, and I like to think the whole record is us giving the finger to the idea that the arts aren’t worthy."
What effect do you want 'Vampire' to have on the people that let it into their lives?
"I think songs belong to the artist until they are released and then they belong to the listener and I hope that the listeners of Vampire feel like they can take whatever the hell they want or need from them. Someone I admire greatly told me the other day that my music makes her feel strong, and that was extremely fucking cool."
So without further ado, here's 'Repent':
As we said, 'Vampire' is set for release on March 26.
The artwork looks like this:
And the full tracklisting looks like this:
03. No Pussy Blues
04. This World Ain't Big Enough
05. I'm With You Everywhere You Go
You can also hear 'This World Ain't Big Enough' right now:
You can pre-order the record right now from right HERE