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St Spirit speak to Stereoboard about Debut EP ‘Pigeon’ (Interview)

Tuesday, 07 February 2012 Written by Rob Sleigh

Following the recent media attention sparked by their upcoming debut release ‘Pigeon’, Crystal Palace-based quintet St Spirit are unlikely to have escaped many people’s notice. With a genuine DIY approach to making music, the band completed the new songs at home before sending them over to be mixed by Adrian Bushby, who has also worked with the likes of U2, Muse and Foo Fighters. As the five-piece prepare to launch their first EP with a handful of dates in the capital later this month, frontman Myles McCabe spoke with Stereoboard to tell us more about the history of St Spirit and their music…

Your debut EP ‘Pigeon’ is due for release later this month. Please can you tell us a bit about what the song is about and when it was written?
It was written at the start of last summer, just before we started gigging again after a long time in the rehearsal room.

How did you all meet and what events led to the formation of St Spirit?
The band line-up has been evolving over about the last three years. It started off with just Sam [Robson, guitarist] and me. We met and put together the first version of the band at college.

I couldn’t help noticing that one or two people have confused the origin of your band name with the title of a well-known Radiohead song. Are you big Radiohead fans or is this purely a coincidence?
Both. That’s one of my favourite Radiohead tracks but the similarity didn’t cross our minds until people started confusing it. We neglected to change it primarily out of laziness. We did a couple of gigs at the start of the summer under the alias Daughters Of The Soho Riots, which is a track by The National.

What other artists or genres would you consider to be a big influence on St Spirit’s music?
My Bloody Valentine, WHY?, Take 6, Leonard Cohen. Stuff like that. It depends what we’ve been listening to around the time of recording.

Are you all into the same music or does each member of the band contribute their own tastes?
I’m not sure exactly what the Venn diagram would look like. We all listen to a lot of different stuff, but there’s plenty of crossover.

We’ve been reliably informed that the real inspiration behind your band name was an Xbox game called ‘Just Cause’. Whose idea was it to choose that name and what made it seem like the best choice?
We chose the name when it was just Sam and me in the band. The name was my idea. We really didn’t put a lot of thought into it though. Maybe if we had we would have come up with something cooler like Smashing Pumpkins or Guided By Voices.

Do the band get up to a lot of gaming when you’re not making music?
It’s something I try not to do too much. Sometimes I’ll force myself to read a book instead. But I’ll play any game I can get my hands on. I can obsess over RPGs and I’ve lost months of my life to Tetris. I won’t play sports games though.

You’ve become a bit of a DIY band since you started out, with friends and family helping on various things. Is this something that you plan to continue in the future?
My brother Max makes the music videos and the sounds you’ll hear on the album - whenever that happens - will most likely be the ones we’ve recorded in Sam’s living room. Yeah, it’s going to stay like that for now.

ImageHow important do you think it is for a band to have more of a DIY attitude at the moment?
That’s just how it is. We don’t really have any other options. We’re not signed and we do all the recording ourselves.

Adrian Bushby, who mixed a lot of your songs, said that your demos were some of the best he’s ever heard. How do you feel to receive that kind of praise from someone which such an impressive CV?
Yeah, Adrian Bushby is the best. Me and Sam work on the recordings together, but Sam is more in charge of the overall sound.

St Spirit have been through a couple of line-up changes recently. How have the new members settled in and do you think their input will have a big impact on the band’s music?
As far as the live show is concerned, it’s always taken a lot of work to get the songs tight. We’ve done a lot of rehearsal since our most recent members Josh [Taffle, drummer] and Joe [Reed, bassist] joined, so I’m looking forward to doing our first gigs with this line-up.

You’ll be playing a few dates in London this month. How are the band feeling ahead of those gigs?
I’m probably most looking forward to our EP launch at the Amersham Arms because it’s pretty much next-door to where I live.

How have St Spirit progressed as a live band since you started out and how important do you think that is?
It took a long time to nail our live sound. None of us are really singers and we all have to do separate vocal harmonies live. When they’re not on, it really throws the whole set off.

Are you planning many more gigs in the near future?
Hopefully some festivals and stuff this summer.

What’s next for St Spirit?
We just want to keep writing, recording and gigging.

What are you looking forward to most in 2012?
The apocalypse.

The ‘Pigeon’ EP is due for release on 20th February.

St. Spirit UK Tour Dates are follows:

Tuesday 14th February 2012 - The Social, London
Friday 17th February 2012 - Amersham Arms, London (EP Launch Show)
Wednesday 29th February 2012 – Buffalo Bar, London

St. Spirit are:
Myles McCabe – Guitar and lead vocal
Sam Robson – Guitar and vocals
Ryan Shettle – Keyboards and backing vocals
Joe Reed – Bass guitar and backing vocals
Josh Taffle – Drums and backing vocals

To find out more about St Spirit, you can follow them via Facebook or Twitter.

St Spirit ‘Pigeon’


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