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Interview: The St Pierre Snake Invasion

With the release of their debut album, A Hundred Years A Day, at the end of this month, we decided there was no time like the present to get the band down to Colchester, for a ruckous with Dingus Khan and Slugworth. Frontman Damien Sayell has kindly agreed to an interview to introduce themselves.

I know this is the question everyone always asks every band but you’re going to be new to a lot of our readership; how would you descibe yourself to our readers? Why should they come and check you out on November 21st?

It is hard. If you’re not really into alternative music then I suppose we sound like Royal Blood. If you are into alternative music we sound like a mix of Refused, the Bronx and mclusky. You should come and see us on the 21st because it’s my birthday and we’ll definitely be on form for it.

The new album One Hundred Years A Day is finally released later this month – it seems like it’s been a long time coming! Can you tell us a bit about the record? Are you excited to see it released?

It has been a long time coming. We had quite a bit of interest from labels but, sadly nothing materialized. Not enough banjo I presume. I’d say we’re more relieved than excited. We didn’t want to have to wait this long. It was recorded in 3 days at Rockfield studios by Sean Genockey (Reuben/Jamie Lenman). It’s all live. Half the songs on the album haven’t been mixed, it really is a band in room making noise.

The album, at times, certainly goes on the attack – do you find that the band is an effective outlet for cynicism?

The majority of the album the is about escapism. Not in the classical, ‘I hate my town/job/life’ sense. Song’s like ‘Essex’ and ‘David Ickearumba’ are observations of other people’s escapism. Essex in particular is about people’s yearning for fame and/or fortune via the shortest route possible and in many cases without having any discernable talent other than being orange and sporting a daft haircut. The minimum amount of effort for the maximum return. A sickening and unwarranted sense of entitlement, ‘I’ve wanted to be a famous singer since I was a child’. Well, whoop-dee-fucking-doo! 

Other songs on the albums are reflections on my own escapism, whether that be through violence (Jesus, Mary and Joseph Talbot), day-dreaming (the great procrastinator), alcohol (Like a rag to a red bull) or through music (A hundred years a day). So, in many ways the band is an outlet for cynicism, but then again for me, everyday is an outlet for cynicism.

This will be your second set of live dates in just over a month: what would you say are your highlights and lowlights of being on tour?

Highlights of tours, spending time with the boys. We don’t get to hang out that much. We’re all really busy outside of the band so, it’s great to be able to drink together and not have to rush off after. That and of course a good show. The lowlights, bad diet, stinking van, stinking hostels, gigs with next to no one in attendance. It’s all so remarkably glamorous and romantic is this music lark.

How have you found the reaction to the new material on these dates?

The songs on the album have been around for a while but, we are seeing new faces at shows and we always (not always) seem to get a good reaction whenever we play.

You’re certainly not afraid to offend other bands and so called “celebrities” – I particularly enjoy the scathing attack of Razorlight and the like in Last Words Of A Bent Cop – do you ever worry that it’ll catch up with you? Not from Razorlight themselves obviously, I’m pretty sure you could take them, but some of these people might still, somehow, have angry fans?

I don’t understand how angry people can get over saying you dislike a certain artist or song. It’s subjective. It’s like me saying, ‘I hate mushrooms, mushrooms are disgusting’ (which coincidentally is true by the way) and then you flipping your lid because I dislike something that you like. It’s all personal taste I have lots of friends who don’t like our music, I don’t take offense. Why would I? Johnny Borrell would probably hate our music, I can live with that. I’d have a pint with him and take him on personal merit if we were to ever meet.

You’ve had a thing for video skits in the past; your mock episode of Cribs, or your festival videos complete with Diet Coke breaks – do you find yourself making these more for your own amusement than anything else? Would it be fair to say a sort of twisted sense of humour is important in TSPSI?

Humour is a big part of the band, but the videos are both for our own amusement and to give a little insight into what we’re like. I’ve always loved watching ‘behind the scenes/in the studio with’ type videos. I’m not really into the whole enigmatic, elusive band thing, and it’s just another way of being creative. I’m happiest and most focused when I’m creating, any excuse and I’ll jump right in there. I think it makes us more approachable as well. I think you can ascertain from those videos that we aren’t a bunch of grumpy primadonnas that are going to be rude if people try to talk to us. Why any would be is beyond me?

Finally, are you looking forward to playing in Colchester, or do you fear that it’ll be just like The Only Way Is Essex?

We always look forward to playing new places, I’m sure it’ll be fine. If it’s not, I’ll write a song about it.

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