The St Pierre Snake Invasion are known and loved for making one hell of a racket, for frequently not giving a shit and equally for frequently giving a shit (about things that genuinely matter). Considering that Damien Sayell sang, “If the only way is Essex, you can kill me now,” back in 2013, let’s rejoice that TSPSI’s consistent quality has seen them gradually rise since then, whilst TOWIE’s perma-tanned mediocrity has seen the show gradually decline. 2019’s Caprice Enchanté was a long time in the making, but worth the wait. ‘Not All Who Wander Are Lost’ could currently be a good anthem for your one hour of government-endorsed strolling a day (unless, of course, you’ve gone out for some peace and quiet). Damien gave us some thoughts on life in lockdown, as well as five songs that have resonated with him over the years:
“Lockdown. What have we been up to? Same as most I suspect, DIY, walks, binge-ing junk television, Zoom meetings, bodyweight exercises, and making music. I think most people with jobs outside of their creative life would probably agree that they’re ambivalent about the situation; you’re never afforded this much time to focus on the thing you love doing the most, but the source of that opportunity is a tragedy which is killing thousands of people every day. That’s never far from my mind when I find myself thinking, “This isn’t too bad actually.” All in all, we’re good. I’m trying not to drive myself mad thinking about 2020 being the marker for when we started referring to the world as ‘pre- and post-corona’, but that’s how significant this is and it hurts my brain to process it.
“As for ‘post-corona’ St Pierre activity, it’s all up in the air. We have stuff pencilled in, but with all the uncertainty at the moment, to talk about them would be a bit previous, like wearing a condom before going on a blind date, or something less vulgar. All going well, we’ll be looking to record the new album early next year, but this is St Pierre, so I might have laid an egg before we actually get to release it.”
See the video for ‘Braindead’ here:
Damien’s ‘In Five’ Songs:
Lykke Li – I Know Places
I could go on forever about how much I love this song. The simplicity, the delivery the beauty, all of it. Anyone with ears can tell that it’s not had an influence on the majority of our music, but in the delicate moments of our albums, you’ll hear my failed attempts at emulating this sense of drama.
Mclusky – Collagen Rock
Yada, yada, yada, “Do Dallas changed my approach to songwriting”, yada, yada, yo. This is a lesson in making a song memorable: an instantly recognisable opening riff, a brilliant opening lyric and a bass line which sounds like a schoolyard taunt. Make your songs memorable!
Radiohead – The National Anthem
I’m an armchair Radiohead fan really. I’d be a liar if I said that they had directly influenced the sound of our band, but I distinctly remember the first time I heard this song at a music venue when I was sixteen. The DJ had been playing all the usual rock stuff that was popular back in ’00 and then this came on. I hated it, and when my friend told me it was a new Radiohead song, I didn’t believe him. As I got older, I grew to love it and it’s the bravery it took to make that creative left-turn at that moment in their career which had an influence on my writing. Be bold. Don’t be predictable. Don’t be afraid to throw the curveball.
The Stooges – Shake Appeal
A song that makes me want to dance, fornicate and fight all at the same time. The greatest rock song ever written and a huge influence on the formative years of the band.
Cab Calloway – Minnie the Moocher
I hate musicals, all of them except Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and The Blues Brothers. The latter is my first memory of film and music. My parents had a copy of it on VHS that they’d recorded off the telly. I must have only been five, but I remember they’d taped all the adverts too: ones for Shell, Strongbow, Yellow Pages, Milk Tray, and the milk advert where the kid says “Accrington Stanley? Who are they?” I remember thinking John Lee Hooker was the coolest man I’d ever seen and that Aretha Franklin was out of order for not letting Matt ‘Guitar’ Murphy help on the mission from God. This was where it all started for me.
Check out The St Pierre Snake Invasion on Bandcamp here.
Featured Image by Jamie Macmillan.