Sunday, 20th August 2017. 7:47:15am ET
Interviews Alternative, Indie Rock Interview- Saint Eve

 

Band: Saint Eve
Interviewer: Julie Johnson
Date: 8/1/04

The Saint Eve Website Listen to Saint Eve Here

Saint Eve evokes hard glamour and luscious ways to invite the unexpected into the familiar. The band, if you will, is the creation of L. Gabrielle Penabaz. Begun in 1999, the project has eve-olved to become an intense outlet for theatrical and melodic desires. Saint Eve's live show pulses with edgy rock sexing the electro sounds, integrated with visual projections, and always a few pleasant surprises. The new cd, Elixir, is faithful to this thinking and includes a video enhancement.

The songs are influenced by old school Glam superstars like early Roxy Music, Elton John and of course, David Bowie, as well as the New Wave diva bands who still burn into party playlists as we speak – Eurythmics, Blondie, Yaz and the Pretenders. So this might explain the mix of strong emotion with fat synths and sharp guitars. Current acts that seem to follow some of the same inspirations are found in bands ranging from The Faint to Goldfrapp.

What the name of your band and Who are the current members?

SAINT EVE: Sole Proprietress: L. Gabrielle Penabaz

Live:

Kerry Smith (bass) Anathema Device

Bec Stupak (guitar + video) Honeygunlabs.com

Michael Carrasquillo (drums) ISO18ed.com

Geoxie (cd turntablist/synth) geoxie.com

and sometimes - Bones Cardoza of Missing Foundation plays with us.

How did you become connected to make music?

By pondering my disconnectedness.

What are your musical influences?

David Bowie, Annie Lennox, Flip Wilson

What is your live show like?

Theatrical with video, sometimes with dancers. I prefer with a band, but I also do solo shows.

Tell us about your own unique style of music?

Dark humor infused vocals means that you get more out of repeated listenings. I like to throw in synths with guitars in a way that's familiar but not like anyone else, exactly. This is a blessing and a curse.

What separates your band from all the other bands out there?

My twisted mind and ability to laugh while perusing icky places in the mind. Some people think I sound angry. They need to listen better.

How do you go about writing songs?

Chaotically. And then, under pressure. I'm working on the process. I ask the gods to make me organized and all i get back is, "You're not on the list. Please hold for a representative".

Pick one of your latest song and talk about everything from writing it, meanings, the challenges of recording it?

Frame of Mine

Began as a song originally called Surrender Dorothy about one of my half-sisters. She is this strange combination of gay and uptight. I guess I was trying to let her know that she had my support, even though other members of the family gave her a really hard time. I am definitely the black sheep and so I am comfortable with upsetting the powers that be. The trick is to make your own frame of reference for your life. Comparisons are always debilitating.

I had trouble with the music and put the song away for awhile. Then I HAD to finish the Elixir album or I was going to implode from the flagellations of self-doubt and financial stress. I pulled out most of the lyrics and changed the music for Surrender Dorothy - where it evolved into Frame of Mine. Then, I did something that changed the later songs in making the record. I let go. I followed my advice and let go. The song is odd, but i think that suddenly throwing expectations away made it fresher and subsequently catchier and more original. Bruce Edwards, aka Brucifer from Don Hills' fame and Pink Snow's band, played guitar at my house during one of the songs' incarnations. It had an overly humorous voice-over thing that eventually found a home in the trash, thank goodness.

I tried to have Ian Fford mix it, but he was crazy busy and I just felt crazy. So, I had Chris Flam (http://www.SMack-fetish.com) mix it, who also mastered it.

What is your latest news with the band?

We're playing the Opening Night of BYTE at The Delancey in NYC in August as well as The Slipper Room on the 20th and possibly Octavio's new night "Starf**cker" in Philly on the 21st.

After that, I think it's time for some reinvention. The current music business is sinking and I want the good raft.

Where do you hope to be in 5 years with your band?

Beyond indie band hell. Somewhere in ArtLand with pathways to the mainstream, however subversive they may be.

How are people currently reacting to your music?

Always positively, which is the only reason I still bother. If not for "people" I wouldn't put stuff out. It would just be a thing i do at home to, uh, relax.

What would be the top 3 reasons for listening to you music?

Voice: Melody/Lyrics, Riffs, Beats

What is your best experience as a band?

I have to admit that I enjoy large audiences. They feed off each other and you. The whole point of playing live is to exchange energy. When you have a lot of people doing that in a positive way - it's heaven for an artist, and hopefully for the crowd as well. I've played smaller, but packed gigs that are also just amazing. You want to rip your heart out and feed it to the people - you'll give them anything.

What is your worst experience as a band?

Newark, NJ Halloween 2002... not sexy.

What is most important to you in your band?

As the live band - That my bandmates are happy.

As the Saint Eve project (cause it's really just tiny little me in big shoes) the best thing is to constantly fight off obsolescence. If I feel like I'm creatively growing, I'm ok. If I feel things getting stale, I cry.

Do you have a personal favorite song?

A personal song of mine? It's a mood thing and that changes.In general? Gosh. Every day has a different favorite song. I recently decided the Austin Powers theme is very good for the morning underwear dance.

What was the hardest song to write and why? "No Human Words" took months of awful journal wrestling.

What do you think of the current gothic/ EBM/ Industrial/ noise/synthpop etc scene today?

I wish there was a steadier bridge to the mainstream, like in the 80's. There was a time when The Police and The Go Go's were considered very alternative. It seems there is a terrible lid that has fallen on the scene that keeps it underground. And so, things get moldy and bands die off without tasting success. When you let things become mainstream, the underground gets pissed off and designs a new underground.

I think people are doing what they can, but in the age where everyone is a star and there's no central place to discover new talent, a lot gets lost in the cracks and we lack real starpower. I think you need to fall in love with an act, and everyone's a bit jaded. But the little girls understand...

What music do you current listen to?

I listen to soma.fm's various stations online. So, i listen to rock as well as spy music. I love a lot of the electro stuff that's emerging, though it's already turning into a parody of itself. In the 80's, the 60's were not a big deal. I don't mind borrowing from 20 years ago, but it really is time to wean ourselves a bit.

How do you keep changing your music from album to album or plan tochange it?

I evolve and then I drag my music with me like a big, dirty teddy bear.

What kind of recording environment do you have?

My NYC studio apt.. Mac G4 plus some hardware synths, software, decent mic (rode), cute little speakers (near 05) that I understand.

How long did you spend on your latest effort?

So long, I am embarrassed to talk about it in public.

What is the hardest thing about being in a band for this genre?

Wondering how long I can do this before all the credit cards fill up, suffocate and die.

Feel free to do any shameless self promotion here of you band,now is your turn to talk about anything you want about your band,ideas, or life in the band.

Oh - we're good. Come see us and buy the cd from us, online, in a store, or the digital files on I-Tunes and the like. It's all in the website.

Visit the websites so my web creators will feel pressure to update the designs.I am nothing without you.

thesainteve.com

sainteve.net

Want to know about releases and tourdates? Join the list!

Saint Eve Yahoo Group


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