“The world is in a different place than it was a few years ago. That has definitely helped set the tone when writing some of the new material.” Austin based band, Saints of Valory told The Feature Story, and you can hear the escalation of that statement in their new single, Set It On Fire.
“I think in general it’s a bit angrier and more rebellious than our previous songs.” they explained. But its tone has caught the ear of many and is lighting up alternative airwaves and charts.
We caught up with the band for an honest conversation about their history and their journey in the music industry; which includes cutting ties with a major record label to pursue music independently, as well as the process for making their new album. With a lot planned for the end of 2017, get used to hearing frequently from Saints of Valory while they lay the foundation to ‘Set It On Fire’ in music.
Marian: As a band, you have been making and performing music together for almost a decade. But for the sake of anyone new to your music and you as a group, let’s start with your story. Can you give me some background on the band, (i.e. how the group was formed, summary of your history)?
Saints of Valory: Short story, we were childhood friends that met and grew up overseas. Later in life we were all in other bands in different parts of the world, working in music, producing etc. We got back in touch about nine years ago and decided to form SOV and launch this project out of Austin, TX. We started playing and touring pretty much immediately and put out two EP’s independently in the span of a couple years. They garnered attention from a few major labels and we ended up signing a deal with Atlantic Records. Two more EP’s and hundreds of shows later we decided to part ways with Atlantic and started the writing/recording process for our next album.
M: How has your experience working both with record labels and independently changed your perspective on creating music and the industry itself, if at all?
SOV: Well, the industry has changed so much since we were on a label and continues too. When we signed our deal we were pretty naive and were just excited to have the support. As time went on we grew a bit frustrated that everything took so long. We were having a tough time putting out new music, as it would get held up in the “big machine” so to speak. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of amazing experiences and opportunities that came with it that we’ll always be grateful for. But as artists you need the freedom to put out your art whenever you feel its best. Going through those initial experiences definitely changed our perspective and made us want to put ourselves in a position where we have full control of our music again.
SOV: It’s definitely a collaborative effort. Every song is unique and the initial inspiration is always different each time. But every song ends up going through our process, “the fire” to make it the best it can be.
M: Let’s talk about Set it on Fire and the album to follow the single later this year. It’s been called a departure of sorts from the music previously released by Saints of Valory. What sets this body of work apart?
SOV: Well, anyone that has seen us live knows we have a pretty big sound, so there wasn’t a departure in that sense when creating Set It On Fire. I think in general it’s a bit angrier and more rebellious than our previous songs. I think what sets this body of work apart is the simple fact that it’s been a few years since we’ve put out music, so we’ve all evolved as people and as artists. The world is in a different place than it was a few years ago. That has definitely helped set the tone when writing some of the new material. That being said, there will be songs on the record that have a similar sound or vibe as some of our older material.
M: You travelled to record various tracks on this album. What were those experiences like for you as a band? Did the different cities and studios have an effect on the songs recorded there?
SOV: It 100 percent had an effect on the music and that was intentional. We wanted to try something different this time around and so we went after new experiences and different locations. It’s just easier to feel inspired when you’re experiencing something new or working with new people, etc. It really helps give the music that fresh sound and feel when you yourself are feeling fresh and inspired. There’s a song on the record called, Escapades that was inspired by a trip to Africa we we went on, when you hear it you’ll notice a rhythmic, almost reggae vibe to it.
M: What else can you tell us about the forthcoming album? Release date? Title? Features, etc?
SOV: We can’t say much just yet, as it’s still a little early, but we’re excited to put out a good amount of music this year leading up to a full length release.
M: I understand you’ve taken a break from touring to focus on creating new music. Do you have plans to hit the road again soon in support of the new album?
SOV: Hell ya. We’re a live band at our core, so being in front of people is really important to us. We’ll definitely tour extensively to support the album. We’ve been working on a brand new show, which we’re very excited about. We actually can’t wait to get back out on the road as it’s been a minute.
M: What have been some of your favorite experiences in your career so far?
SOV: There’s been quite a few, but I’d say opening for the Rolling Stones on the fourth of July in front of 50,000 people tops them all.
M: What are some of your goals and/or plans as 2017 winds down?
SOV: Definitely planning and looking forward to emptying our shelves of all the new music we’ve been working on. There’s several videos ready to go as well, some of which were filmed in Africa and Europe. We’ll also hit the road in the fall with a brand new live set. So ya, lot’s in store!