Everyone’s favorite indie-pop band, St. Lucia is currently on tour lighting stages up all over North America, but this time bigger and badder than ever with a brand new set up on stage and a new drummer that they are keen on. With all these new additions, it is safe to say that St. Lucia is continuing to kill the game. On the first leg of their tour, St. Lucia has been getting support from opening act, Sir Sly, an L.A based trio of hunky hipsters who debuted on the music scene last year at the top of Hype Machine on their debut single, “Ghost.”Whilst on tour together I chatted with both groups to hear a bit more about what makes their bands unique and two killer new remixes of their hit singles from members of the opposite bands. St. Lucia’s “Elevate” has been remixed by RAEKO (Jason Suwito of Sir Sly) and Sir Sly’s “Ghost” has been remixed by Togetherness (Ross Clark & Nicky Paul from St. Lucia).
Sir Sly’s “Ghost” has been remixed by Togetherness, which is Ross Clark and Nicky Paul from St. Lucia
RAEKO, Jason Suwito of Sir Sly, did a funky remix of St. Lucia’s “Elevate” with a mean bassline and super groovey feel to it.
ST LUCIA INTERVIEW
Raised in South Africa, curated in New York, St. Lucia incorporates a mixture of perfect harmonies, 80s synth and indie rock to formulate the perfect sound. After a wildly successful 2013, St. Lucia is back at is again touring around with a brand new stage set up and super fun vibe bound to sell out any venue. I sat down with front man Jean Phillip Grobler to talk about music, St. Lucia, and ridiculous adventures on tour.
EARMILK: On this tour how many cities are you guys going to?
St. LUCIA: Um, let me count, like 15 maybe?
EM: I would assume NY is your favorite place to play because all your friends and family are here, but aside from the obvious, what has been your favorite show to date?
SL: We love LA because we spend a ton of time there and Nicky, our keyboard player is from LA, so when we go there we stay at his parents house and it’s so great. It’s the classic 60s open plan LA house and its amazing.
EM: Of all shows you’ve ever played…is there one that stands out that is was your BEST show ever?
SL: The last two nights (January in NYC) were amazing. We’ve gotten to a point that we have this incredible production and we’re like pigs in shit at the moment, it’s been so great. But last year our last day of SXSW was one for the books. The day started out complete mayhem, I had lost my voice and had to literally run off stage and then we had 2 more shows that day, but by the end of the day it was the best show ever. It literally went from absolutely DESTRUCTION to rebirth. So that was epic.
EM: Do you have your own personal favorites off the album?
SL: I think my favorite track is Elevate. It came together so easily for us and if you listen to that track I think it best demonstrates who St. Lucia is as a whole. Its like, the perfect musical sandwich that I’d want to make..and then eat.
EM: Your favorite artists of all time? And Favorite Albums of all time? Pick 3 you’d bring to a desert island
SL: My favorite band of all time is easily Fleetwood Mac, but I grew up listening to their greatest hits, so I don’t know if I’d bring 1 of their specific albums to this desert island, but definitely bring the greatest hits. Then I’d bring Radio Head’s ‘OK Computer,’ that album like changed my life. That was the album when I really develop my own musical taste. My parents gave it to me for Christmas when I was like 13 and the first time I listened to it I HATED it. Then I was forced to live with it because it was Christmas and I couldn’t return it. So by the 4th listen I was like OK, I love this. And then in terms of recent albums I would say the John Wizards album.
EM: OK! So this is a good Segway then, what up and coming artists are you really into and on the look out for these days? You guys were “up & coming” at one point, but
SL: So, definitely John Wizards. He’s doing something really fresh and refreshing and especially because he’s South African, he’s doing something very ahead of the time. I love the Rhye album, I don’t know if they’re really up and coming anymore, but I love that album.
EM: What influences you the most in making your own music?
SL: I’m most influence by a certain approach to making music. Even if I don’t like someone’s music, but I feel like what they’re doing is going against the grain is considered acceptable or normal, I love that. For example, I love Kanye West. He’s a bit over talked about, but its true, he makes incredible music and is constantly delivering something new and unique, which I respect as an artist.
EM: Are you working on new music now?
SL: Oh yeah. We have tons of time in the van. I will think of something and sing into my voice recorder, you know go into the corner and lay down a beat or a melody or write down some lyrics and when we’re on tour I have so much time in the van. So when I have some alone time I’ll go back through my notes and start working on a song on my laptop. When we
EM: Do you only write the music or how does that work?
SL: Well the first album I mainly wrote and this process has been a bit where I start it, but we all talk about it and they give me their ideas and input. We’re all so talented; it’s so nice to get different ideas on the stuff from the beginning.
EM: When you’re in the van do you guys do fun stuff or is it zen time?
SL: Yeah, I mean, the last tour we had we would play x-box…but in the van mostly we keep to themselves. In the early days we’d be all stoked and share music the entire time, but now its more like… keeping to ourselves. I think people like to think of bands as being super crazy and so fun in the van and on tour, but were together a lot so van time is chill time.
EM: Whats a really embarrassing story form tour?
SL: I mean the SXSW horror show was probably the most embarrassing moment for me, maybe ever. Running off stage…but man we had this one experience that wasn’t embarrassing, but it was just terrible. We were supporting Ellie Goulding and had this tour van that was not in prime shape, borrowing it from friends. And that van broke down in the Bronx and we had to take all of our gear and get on a train with all of our stuff and play a show. And then 2 days late we were in Montreal, and mind you its -20, and we realized our trailer was broken. So we had to take all of our gear and pack all of our stuff into the van, which was ridiculous. And then a few months later we got fined from the Canadian government!!
EM: Do you have a favorite remix?
SL: There are so many that we love, the John Wizards “Elevate” remix is incredible because its so artistic, but we love all the remixes we get!
Speaking of remixes, I got a few moments to chat with SIR SLY about their music and time on tour with St. Lucia…
SIR SLY INTERVIEW
EM: How is the tour going? How many shows are you playing with St. Lucia?
SIR SLY: We’re very grateful to be able to play music every night in different cities. We are doing a total of 13 shows with St. Lucia on this tour. They’re some of the nicest people we’ve met and we’re excited to be on the road with them. St. Lucia has really respectful, music loving fans, so we have definitely been lucky to have an attentive crowd at every venue we play.
EM: What are your plans after the tour?
SS: We’ll head back into the studio to finish up our full length. The album is coming along really well at this point, but it is important to us to keep using Jason’s studio as a place to stay creative and continue writing as much music as possible. SXSW is also on our schedule in the near future so we have some preparations to do for that as well.
EM: What artists do you find inspiration for your music?
Landon: Radiohead, Moderat, and Arcade Fire lately for music. And I have been reading a lot of Kurt Vonnegut, John Steinbeck, and Cormac McCarthy lately. They all have an amazing way with words.
Hayden: Trent Reznor, Thom Yorke, Joan Didion, John Steinbeck
Jason: Ta-Ku, Flume, Clams Casino, SBTRKT. Love the production of these producers.
EM: What did you think of the Kul Kid remix of Ghost?
SS: It is always great when someone is able to take a remix and make it into their own song. He used great old school synth sounds and drums.
How do you go about remixing other peoples music? (re: St. Lucia & RAC)
Jason: (Jason does all the remixing): I’ll usually build the remix around the vocals and rarely use anything else from the original song. It’s the best way to not get distracted by the original song and be able to flip the song on it’s head. Both the St. Lucia and RAC songs are very up beat and the remixes went the opposite direction for a dark / moodier vibe.
EM: Playing any festivals?
SS: We’ll be playing SXSW and Firefly. This will be our second time doing SXSW and our first time doing a major festival like firefly. So we are definitely excited for that.
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