MUSIC FEATURE: Behind The Noise – Saint Agnes
Photo Credit: Scott Chalmers
Goth-metal punks Saint Agnes have fast become ones to watch, with a series of hard-hitting singles leading to the release of their mini-album Vampire, which is out now via their own label Death Or Glory Gang Records. The record’s title-track explores the negativity of social media and, as guitarist/vocalist Jon James Tufnell explains, it’s “one of the darkest and most personal songs” they have written. We caught up with Tufnell and vocalist/guitarist Kitty A. Austen to discuss the writing process for the single, themes, stories from the video shoot and more.
Can you give us your quick elevator pitch on this track? Why does this one standout for you?
Kitty: This is a song about how our modern culture, lived so much online through social media, makes a vampire of us all. We suck the life out of experiences through documenting and ranking them.
How did you tackle the writing process for the song? Was there anything unique about this track compared to your usual/previous approach?
K: Social media is a glossy, smiling and sugar coated thing that underneath is ugly and riddled with narcissism and the power to destroy self-worth. We wanted to do the same musically, create a song that used pop production tricks and delivered an ugly message in a sugary way. So much of what we do is about being a spanner in the works, being subversive and to externally create something that is sweet, but underneath totally rotten felt like the most subversive approach to take.
Can you tell us how the song’s theme came about?
Jon: It’s one of the darkest and most personal songs we have written. Like everyone we have been living the lockdown life, starved of our outlet of playing live. We are first and foremost a live band and shows are an essential, cathartic thing for us that helps keep us sane. Reduced to gazing through the virtual window at the world outside we came to recognise in ourselves, in our friends and in our peers the deep sadness and ugliness buried in the constant brightly lit narcissism that is now seemingly the entirety of Western culture.
Tell us about the video, do the themes of the single transfer to the video?
J: Absolutely. We made Kitty bright and cartoonish, the pink hair, the insane jacket, to contrast with the back alleys and bins. Just as we present the shiny version of ourselves on social media, whilst we might be feeling ugly and grim in real life as we post.
K: We wanted the live part to feel like a 90’s underground Vampire rock gig. One of my favourite films is Only Lovers Left Alive and I was inspired by the scene in the club where White Hills are playing.
Do you have any behind the scenes stories from the video shoot?
J: It was freezing! We wanted to get some shots of the dawn and Kitty dancing across a bridge as the sun came up and commuters were heading to work. This meant Kitty was dancing in a wedding dress in sub-zero temperatures at 5:30am and the wind on this bridge was insane! In the end we used about three seconds of that footage I think.
K: Yeah, it was brutal.
Anything else you’d like to add for our readers?
J: Our live shows have always been about releasing pent up rage and frustration and tend to get pretty wild. After this last year the next time we hit the stage things are going to go over the edge into total chaos and we cannot wait! We know our fans feel the same and its going to be glorious.
Saint Agnes‘ new mini-album Vampire is out now via Death Or Glory Gang Records, available to purchase HERE.
See Saint Agnes live at one of the following dates:
Sun 17th – MANCHESTER – Deaf Institute
Mon 18th – NOTTINGHAM – The Bodega
Tue 19th – LEEDS – Brudenell Social Club
Thu 21st – GLASGOW – Broadcast
Fri 22nd – SHEFFIELD – Sidney & Matilda
Sat 23rd – NEWCASTLE – Hit The North Festival
Sun 24th – BRISTOL – The Crofters Rights
Mon 25th – SOUTHAMPTON – Heartbreakers
Tue 26th – GUILDFORD – The Boileroom
Thu 28th – LONDON – The Garage
Fri 29th – BRIGHTON – The Green Door Store
Sat 30th – NORWICH – Voodoo Daddys
Tickets for the shows are on sale HERE.