Saint Motel are currently one of the biggest up and coming indie pop bands of the year. Blazing away three shows at SXSW this band is headed for bigger things. Currently playing a mini tour with indie darlings Band of Skulls, singer and guitarist A/J Jackson took time out of his busy schedule to talk to us this afternoon.
Modern Mystery: You just got back from SXSW. Did you enjoy it? How did you find the audience’s reaction to be?
A/J Jackson: t was our first time officially at a showcase. We played three I think. We had one official show and two parties. I think the reaction was good, we played shows for 1,800 people and it was madness. After the show we met some interesting people. A drunk man came up to me and said to take this advice “I’ve seen a lot of shows and I think you’re going to be playing stadiums!” I think the reaction was really good.
MM: You’ve blown up pretty fast. Does the constant attention you’ve been getting amaze you?
Jackson: I don’t know if we really noticed it, we just do what we do. From our music to our shows to our videos, we try to take it to a larger level. We’re just trying to outgrow the van
MM: The band formed while you were all in film school. Do you have any input on your music videos?
Jackson: We came up with the concepts, yea we all came up with the concepts. I came up with 3, one of the other guys did 2, and another 1. We come up with ideas ourselves.
MM: What’s the meaning behind the name “Saint Motel”?
Jackson: We just wanted a name that was two words that necessarily didn’t fit together, and when you say it together if feels good and when you think about it’s good. We wanted a name that charaterized us. We wanted music that described the name, not a name that described the music.
MM: What bands, new or old, inspired you to make music?
Jackson: Current bands I’d say like, a lot of bands that are performance bands are great. Animal Collective, a lot of stuff like Grizzly Bear. This local band called We Are the World, who are kind of like performance art. As far as what we’re influenced by is things we can agree on from noise rock to metal to folk music.
MM: If you had to choose one, would you be making films or making music?
Jackson: Music for sure. Music is everyone’s number one passion in this band.
MM: How did you start your own label (On the Records), and what inspired you to do so? Does the band have a lot of involvement in the inner workings of the label?
Jackson: I guess result of the situation we were in. There was nothing that was too amazing out there for us at that point so we decided to do it independently. We do all our own videos, posters, and we do a lot of the visual ideas. We made an EP and CD.
MM: How does the band write songs. Is it a collaboration or does everyone bring in their own ideas?
Jackson: It’s a collaborative effort. It used to be just my stuff, but now it all get’s interpreted.
MM: Which do you prefer more, being in the studio or being on tour, since they are so different?
Jackson: Personally I like being on the road. I like being in a new city every day. The studio doesn’t always equate with new music. I don’t need a studio. I can be in a van or a park or Stonehenge or at the Eifel Tower!
MM: After this mini tour with Band of Skulls, what is up next for the band?
Jackson: More touring, a new release sometime soon with exciting material. Different stuff we haven’t done. We’re having fun with everything we do.