LAST year, I got to see Saints Patience perform for…
the very first time. Well, it was the first time I had seen them play – they had already performed quite a few gigs. Speaking with the band members after the show (at The Finsbury, North London); I got the sense of a hungry band of musicians who has plenty to say. They were not your average band with a model-thin sound: a proper, funky and electrifying juggernaught; both psychotropic and sexy. Starting with founders Spencer and Mudibu; they recruited Ed on Bass and Amanda on Drums – Saints Patience’s upcoming album, Weather the Storm, strips things to Spencer and Mudibu – Amanda and Ed will be performing the songs with the guys on the road.
I was eager to know what we could expect and what the recording process was like. I ask the chaps whether it was tough getting the material together; if there are any tour dates on the horizon and what direction the band takes next. Band founders Mudibu and Spencer give us an insight into Saints Patience’s world and the kind of music that inspired them growing up.; how vital London is for gigs and inspiration and how their latest single, Taste of You, came together.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
We are very well and getting excited about our imminent album launch
For those new to your music, can you introduce yourselves, please?
Saints Patience are Mudibu on Vocals, Spencer on guitar; Ed on Bass and Amanda on Drums.
Break of Dawn was the single I think we all recognise with Saints Patience. Can you remember when that was created and how it came together? I guess it was just you two (Mudibu and Spencer) at that point?
Break of Dawn was one of the first things we wrote together. Spencer came up with the riff and developed the other instruments around it. Mudibu had this great idea: “We dance ‘til the break of dawn” and it fitted so well that it shaped the rest of the lyrics.
On that note; can you remember the moment you both got together and created the band?
We had played together about six years ago and didn’t really push the band enough; we lost a bit of direction so it didn’t work out. We kind of went our own ways after that. We had a chat two or three years ago after Spencer re-recorded and mixed the parts to a few tracks and played them to Mudibu. He loved them and decided we should get together again and try and capture that energy and flavour we stumbled on in the beginning.
We knew what we wanted and the kinds of musicians we wanted to work with. So, we put the word out last year and Ed and Amanda agreed to jump in short-notice and see how things went.
They have been a real asset and are both amazing players.
Amanda is your drummer and, having seen her in the flesh, can attest to her awesome sticks chops. How did she get discovered and what, would you say, she adds to the band?
She actually approached us. We watched her video and thought she had so much emotion and power in her playing – we knew we wanted to work with her.
She is a happy soul: she constantly smiles whilst playing.
She has the right attitude: she keeps her influences wide and knows how to make noise.
IN THIS PHOTO: Amanda
Weather the Storm is the new album and I am intrigued by that title. What was the inspiration behind it? Does it seem like the band has had to overcome quite a lot of hurdles?
I think most bands find it difficult to get the sort of attention they need. Weather the Storm seemed to hold all the songs together: it’s a lyric from Break of Dawn, actually. We want to be encouraged and encouraging and Weather the Storm alludes to standing your ground and putting the work in.
Taste of You is the first cut from the album. What can you reveal about the song origin and the ideas behind it?
Taste of You was the first song that we (Spencer and Mudibu) worked on together from the start. Spencer had a couple of chord changes and that was all. Spencer was jamming along on the bass and we realised we had a pretty fiery dance track in the making. It went through a few iterations until that sound was developed.
How does it feel recording material as a group as opposed to a duo? Is there a different dynamic? Is the music a lot stronger/different?
Actually, we only recorded the album with just the two of us. Since we had these songs written and ready to go it seemed better to focus on getting the live outfit ready and then finish the album in our own time – since we had already come so far with it. There are definite changes in the live versions and we would love to record material with Amanda and Ed as the dynamic is always surprising – in a good way.
Speaking with Spencer; I know it was a challenge getting the album completed and challenging balancing costs and time. Does it feel a relief to complete it? What was the recording process like?
It really is so time-consuming: it takes long enough to get enough equipment together and learn how to use it. We still need to pay the rent so we were working full-time and recording the album whenever we could.
We got a couple of really nice bits of equipment and they shape everything we do. Recording the parts is fine (although always trial-and-error) once you have decided what is going to work. Sometimes, changing a bassline in a song means you have to record drums again to fit.
IN THIS PHOTO: Mudibu
Recording without annoying the neighbours is also a bit of a challenge – we recorded everything in Spencer’s spare room! Trying to get things done to a deadline helps you to focus. Spencer had to learn a lot on the fly about recording and mixing. I think that there will be things we might listen to again and want to change or re-record – but you have to stop somewhere. When you get it right the process is so rewarding. It really is a pleasure hearing the end result and knowing we did it all ourselves.
I know, in the same vein, getting tour dates have been a little tricky. Is it quite tough getting those paid gigs, even in London? Can we see you guys live anytime soon?
It is tricky to get gigs that are right for the band. We have had help from Lost in the Manor – who handle P.R. and run some great venues. Our next live date will be the album launch on 13th May in the Tram and Social in Tooting. That is the one to get to and see what Saints Patience is all about.
It is obvious when listening to your music, there are influences of Led Zeppelin and Otis Redding. Who were the artists you all grew up listening to?
Where to start… Queen, The Wailers; Ray Charles, Soundgarden; The Police, Simon and Garfunkel; Jimi Hendrix… Fortunately, we were exposed to a lot of different music so Saints Patience is Folk, Funk; Rock, and Soul – all wrapped up together in a powerful package.
IN THIS PHOTO: Ed
I have stated how your music has that arena-ready ambition and passion. What are your dreams and aims for 2017? Are you always aiming to be the band that plays the big festivals?
You know, we want to get our music to as many people as possible. We write and play music we love and want to hear over and over again.
If festivals are what suit us, then yes, we would love to play them.
Our aim is to keep stepping up and improving all year.
London is, in a way, where you are based but you all live in different areas. Is the city important as a creative and professional base? What is it about London that draws you and speaks to you all?
London is important because it is such a hub for live music. All members of the band hail from different countries and we think that helps add a unique flavour.
IN THIS PHOTO: Spencer
If you each had to select an album each that has meant the most to you; which would they be and why?
Spencer: A Night at the Opera by Queen – the first album I bought on C.D. I used to play my dad’s vinyl to death. This album has many influences and styles: amazing studio work and sounds so fat. It gives me the confidence to do whatever I want.
Mudibu: Exodus by Bob Marley – Inspirational. It represents a deep understanding of human emotion. The band is so tight on this.
Is there any advice you’d give to artists coming through at the moment?
Persevere and have a plan. The plan can change but you need to work to something.
Get your songs right and sounding good (both in) recording and live. Work with people you like. Be nice.
Finally, and for being good sports, you can each select a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Spencer: Fanfare Ciocarlia – I am your gummy bear
Mudibu: Bob Marley – Exodus
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