Saint Motel is one of the hardest working bands in Indie-Rock today.  With over the top live shows and an extensive media catalog, they can grab your attention on a variety of levels.  These things only add to the Journey-meets-Two Door Cinema brand of music they are responsible for.  They have just released their first 7 inch, “1”, featuring two of their most recent singles.  I got the chance to talk with singer/guitarist AJ Jackson about their new release, 2012 plans, and their New Year’s resolutions…

Hey man, how are things?
-Good, good just relaxing, finishing some stuff up to head home to Minneapolis for the holidays.

You guys just released a new song, “At Least I Have Nothing”,  tell me a bit about it.
-We’ve been playing the song live for a bit, and is a 7 inch release with “Puzzle Pieces”.  It’s kind of a prelude to our 2012 release.

Are you guys planning a new album?
-Yea, we are working on some songs and plan to put out our first full length late Spring.

Where is the music headed?
-We’re always trying to progress, so some of it’s thought out.  A lot of it just kind of happens.  The conscious part of writing is which of the songs we want to focus on.  So far it is a mix of what we did on ForPlay and the 7 inch, and it’s what we want on the album.  This 2012 stuff is less epic guitar, and has more subtle nuances.  There are other instruments and more harmonies.  Saint Motel always has the same elements to it, and there’s a bit of Journey in there.  Lyrically all the songs are unique, I try to think out what the reason for a song is.  What’s the story or feeling.

The new release has some interesting artwork, is that your guitarist A Sharp, or Bob Ross?
-Haha, that’s a bit of a mystery.  It’s a theme we’re considering continuing into the new year.  The songs on it mirror each other, “Puzzle Pieces” is more positive while “At Least I Have Nothing”, isn’t.  We wanted the artwork to reflect that.  It is important for the art to have its own life, and is just as important as the music.

You guys have quite a catalog of music videos, do you guys intend to keep up the pace?
-When we were writing ForPlay, some of us were just getting out of film school and had friends with plenty of ideas.  We already had a couple done and figured why not finish all of them.  Thought it was unique, and it tied in with the release.

You guys are known for extensive live shows, any new ideas?
-Since first EP we kept doing various live visuals.  Some were practical like fake trees, lamps, and taxidermy. Other visual stuff included projection screens, we had a video artist do live projections with video feeds.  There were even self powered laser shows.  We’ve learned that we’re never really satisfied with what we’ve done, and we don’t want people to expect things.  Grand ideas for shows we played were, a rock and roll circus, and a zombie prom.  Each time we wanted to break the mold for a typical concert experience.  There’s a line now, where people expect us to do things like this, and it contradicts why we did.  It’s led us to new 2012 ideas.  We don’t like to be expected

A lot of bands are making the tracks available to remix, and Saint Motel has joined in on that.  How is it working for you guys?
-We’ve heard some we really like.  Thinking we may just hold onto them and put them out in 2012, don’t want to get the lost in holidays. It’s fun. Nerve racking to make these stems available, but really cool to hear songs with different elements and situations.  I just did recently our own remix of song, called a b mix, and is probably going to put out in the beginning of the year.

What are Saint Motel’s plans for 2012?
-We’re doing a full US tour starting late February.  It starts in LA, hits SXSW, and comes full circle.  It’s actually an international tour, there are a couple Canada dates in there.  A full length release in late spring, which the tour will build up to, and just tour on that rest of the year

Any New Year’s resolutions?
-I just make really small personal resolutions, so there’s no pressure to break them.  It’ll be to floss more, so you’re welcome dentist.  Band wise, we just always want grow the band. We have some cool stuff scheduled in 2012, including a Valentine’s concert in LA.

If someone had to listen to one Saint Motel song to get you guys, what one?
-“Puzzle Pieces” or “At Least I Have Nothing”, more current songs to get a feel of what we do. Either one really, and just depends on the mood your in.

Thanks again AJ, and without further ado…

[soundcloud url=”″ height=”200″]
Saint Motel Soundcloud 


Leave a Reply