RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW BELPER BAND PAYTRON SAINT
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
Dean: I kind of fell into it when some school friends convinced me to buy a bass to join their band.
Nick: I was surrounded by it from day one! My parents met through playing in bands together so it was the most natural thing for me to follow.
Dan: I’ve always wanted to make music, I remember playing a family members guitar when I was little and loving that little feeling of power you get from an instrument, even when you’re playing it badly. I’ve never been great at communicating, so as I grew up and started learning how to actually play I realized it was a much better way of me expressing myself than with words.
Introduce us to the members of Paytron Saint and your musical histories.
Nick: I’m Nick – singer/guitarist. I’ve played a lot but the only band I’ve played with you may have heard of is White Town, of ‘Your Woman’ fame.
Dean: I’m Dean the driver, bass player and up and coming backing vocalist. I’ve been playing for about 23 years now in all kinds of bands but mainly in and about the rock area.
Dan: I’m Dan, I’m the drummer, admin assistant and recording/mixing engineer on Under Scary Houses. I’ve played everything from pop to extreme metal over the years but alternative rock is my thing though so joining these guys was a bit like musically coming home.
What was life like for you before music?
Nick: None existent!
Dean: Early nights and less of a pain in my neck
Dan: It was good, my mum cooked my dinner and drove me everywhere.
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
Nick: Yellow Submarine
Dean: The first song I attempted to learn on bass was Chick Magnet by MxPx
Dan: It’s hard to pick any one song as there’s so much stuff I’ve listened to that’s steered me in various ways, but I think that my musical path started when I was a baby. I cried a lot when I was little and apparently the only thing that would settle me was the Caravan Of Love by the Housemartins so I obviously just wanted music from the off!
Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?
Dean: A speck within the abyss
Nick: What Dean said.
Dan: Thirded, there’s so much great music being released daily, you’re constantly fighting for attention.
I think with us being a little older, we have a responsibility to help a younger generation of musicians and bands learn from our many mistakes.
What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry?
Nick: Just keep focusing on the journey, don’t worry about the destination.
Dean: Keep doing your own thing and try really hard not to keep comparing to other bands – stop looking at the numbers!
Dan: Try not to overthink too much and say yes as much as possible.
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.
Nick: I’m a qualified scuba diver. I’m a qualified arachnologist. I’m a qualified drum teacher.
Dan: I was in Richard O’Briens backing band, One time I annoyed a member of the Specials in a mens toilet, I once spent an afternoon on Skunk Anansie’s tour bus.
If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?
Nick: To get better at guitar!
Dean: For every live gig to be packed out
Dan: The cheat code for getting on Spotify editorials maybe?
Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture? Discuss….
Dean: All the time, it’s so easy to be misinterpreted especially online and folks are extremely quick to jump on and point the finger these days. We try and keep things about the music.
Nick: No. Like Dean said, it’s easy to be misinterpreted online but generally, people who complain about cancel culture are people with something to hide.
Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories? If not why not?
Dan: Not so much, I think whatever the government is hiding is probably far worse than anything that’s been speculated so far.
Nick: Nah. Conspiracy theories exist so people can imagine they have some secret knowledge over everyone else.
Dean: I regularly take a deep YouTube dive into conspiracy theories
What was the worst experience on stage?
Nick: Playing an outdoor gig in a hailstorm!
Dean: Outdoor gig run off a little generator, every time the guitars kicked in the distortion my bass amp just cut out due to low power supply. Annoyingly this happened on every big chorus.
Dan: I stepped off a drum riser after a really good gig and pulled my groin muscle. I couldn’t walk for a week and that’s still probably the most painful thing I’ve ever done to myself.
Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about?
Dan: I have three nipples. RGM exclusive for you there.
What makes you stand out as a band?
Dan: I’d say it’s how unique Nicks lyrics and vocal melodies are, there’s some lines on the new EP I absolutely love (‘My headache grew a wingspan’ and ‘face yourself more gently, don’t be a shadow’ for example). I find them really poetic in a very abstract and moody way and I think it’s probably our USP.
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.
Dan: We’ve just released an EP called ‘Under Scary Houses’ that features 5 new tracks and a cover of Hüsker Dü s alternative rock classic ‘Don’t Want To Know If You Are Lonely’. Everything was recorded at our studio, the Chicken Coop, and I mixed the whole thing both there and on my home set up. We’re really proud of how everything came out and I think this set of songs really showcases the new, more mature, direction we’ve been heading in this year. I could write pages about ever minor detail of every song but I will just encourage everyone to give it a listen and drop us a message if they want to know more!
What was the recording process like?
Dean: The recording process was all done in-house in our studio The Chicken Coop. With no time constraints or worrying about the money meter going up it was a really relaxed process.
Nick: Like Dean said, fun! And pretty easy.
Dan: I loved every second of it. As I mentioned above, I was in charge of the technical side of this recording so it wasn’t quite so relaxing for me, but I was more than OK with that. It was really nice having full control over everything and being able to run as many takes as we needed without the fear of running out of time. This freedom also gave us time to experiment with different sounds, like the Mellotron in Blessed Be The Weight and the Glockenspiel in Tommelise, which we probably wouldn’t have had time to do in a more conventional setting.
In terms of recording and writing the drum parts, it was really fun working out where I needed to support Nicks vocal and where I could go off and play crazy fills. There’s so many different moods and concepts going on through these songs and that really kept me on my toes musically.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
Nick: Realising that, for now, the more energetic and rocking the tunes, the better. (Except Beautiful Repair)
Dean: Learning about syncing the world clock across interfaces so that we could actually use all of our channel inputs.
Dan: Nick is quite a prolific song writer so picking the songs we were going to include was the first hurdle. We decided to take this opportunity to sort of draw a line under the ‘old Paytron Saint’ and get the older songs recorded and released. Trying to keep a sense of cohesion across six songs that were written at different times and for different reasons was a challenge. In the end I think approaching the EP as a whole rather than six separate tracks was the key to that.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
Dean: Maybe have a bit more courage to have attempted some of the backing vocals now that I’m stepping up to do them in the live set.
Nick: I second Dean’s comment! The next one’s gonna sound better for it!
Dan: Anyone that’s mixed will know that you always hear things you didn’t at the time so yeah, there’s a couple of little annoyances. My main regret though is that we wanted an Australian singer called Daphzie to add a layer of higher harmony to the chorus’s of Tommelise.
We decided this right at the end of the mixing process and, unfortunately, she was having issues with her gear and couldn’t have it done in time for the release date we’d set ourselves at that point. I do kinda wish we’d just pushed the release date back a bit and had her on it, she’d have made it sound epic.