Saint Lane's new single Toothbrush is out now! We chat to the musician about the release and so much more!
Image: Logan Preste.
Earlier this month, Gold Coast-based artist Saint Lane shared his new track, Toothbrush. Conceptually inspired by a conversation with an Uber driver, whose love life had taken a turn by the time Lane stepped foot in his Toyota Camry.
To celebrate the release, the musician will be hitting the road this August. kicking off in Brisbane on August 13, the run of shows will continue on to the Gold Coast, Sydney and Melbourne. before wrapping up in Melbourne. The tour will feature support sets from Doolie, S.A.B, Lemaire, Renzi, Blush'Ko and Meghna.
Toothbrush is out now! Read our interview with Saint Lane below.
Could you tell us a bit about how you began your musical journey, and your background in music?
The first memory of my life and dude I mean MY LIFE. Everything pre this moment I’m telling you about is off wire, this is the moment the matrix plugged in: I was standing or sitting in front of my Grandad’s guitar, and it was HUGE, I’m talking larger than life, I must have been a toddler or something. I was touching the guitar strings and was really fascinated by how each string made a different noise. CHILD PRODIGY ALERT. My Grandad taught me bass lines when I was like 5 years old, I could play Taxman by The Beatles and Rock Around the Clock pretty well for a kid, when family came over it was always performances. Did that just die off? I remember performing constantly as a child, I was a one man show, The Jackson 1. Now I haven’t seen a child forced to sing and dance to my family in years. I’m finally old enough to be an audience member and the show gets cancelled. Fast Forward a decade and a bit and I get accepted into the Queensland Conservatorium of Music as a bass player. Money well spent. I don’t even own a bass.
Your new single Toothbrush was inspired by a conversation with an Uber driver. Could you tell us about that story and how you approached conveying that in the track?
I wish I knew the man’s name, he’s just the Uber driver whenever I talk about the song. But Mr. Uber was going through a tough time when I entered his Toyota Camry (it's always a Toyota Camry isn’t it? The Toyota Camry has been upgraded more than the iPhone at this point. When I was at uni, I drove a 97 Toyota Camry and by God that car was the most dangerous weapon on the road) he had been stuck in a one-bedroom apartment living with his ex-girlfriend who absolutely hated him. I wrote the song about him; I’ve actually been going through my Uber history to try to find him so I can play him the song. Maybe the song could re-spark his relationship.
How important is it for you to have your songs resonate with your listeners, and form that intimate connection?
It’s cool when a song resonates with the listener. That’s primarily the job when I’m writing music for other artists. Vague emotive language that can apply to multiple personal situations, there’s really not too big of a gap between being a songwriter and being daytime television psychic. You’re saying anything and hoping it rings true to whoever is listening. I don’t like doing that with my own stuff, my music is autobiographical. If people resonate with it, they’ve more than likely been through a similar event.
The track is accompanied by a wonderful visual! Can you walk us through your process when it comes to conceptualising the clip and how involved are you with the development of the visuals?
I love music videos but fucking hell they’re a bit expensive. How on earth do my artist friends pump out a bunch of them every year? That video left me with some dents. Well worth it though, I now have a cool video of the very talented Perry Mooney destroying a set while I sing on a couch. I took the video concept to Tristian Es-Y and he liked it and said it was possible, which is all you can really ask for when making a video with someone. He managed to bring the idea in my head into reality like some sort of directorial 3D printer. Tristan also directed the music video for my song The Water from earlier this year.
How important are the visuals to you when it comes to portraying the stories and themes present on the songs?
The visuals should really be secondary. Unless you’re Bo Burnham or Lil Dicky and are making music for the purpose of being accompanied by visuals, I really think the music should be good enough to carry itself. I know I’ve shit on Drake in multiple interviews, but one thing Drake can do is release a great hit record with no visuals at all. That Lemon Pepper song with Rick Ross is fucking great and it doesn’t need a music video, the song speaks for itself.
What is your favourite moment from the Toothbrush music video?
Perry smashing the lamp. Go watch it
How did you create and arrive at the sonic sounds present on the track? And how do you think your overall sound evolved throughout your career?
That's all Danny Duke and Chunkyluv with the production and sonic space. I wrote all the lyrics and melodies, but they really are giving my script a scene with the sonic space. I can’t tell if I’ve evolved to be honest with you. I’m ten years into my career and have made thousands of songs, I like to think they all have their own lives and their own space on the spectrum of music I’ve written. I personally think The Fire is the best song I’ve ever made. I took 3 years, and it has two thousand streams on Apple Music, that’s a backwards step career wise but in my opinion the greatest forward step in my ten years of creating music. The sound evolution is one thing but I’m running a business here, Saint Lane is a company with multiple employees, it’s in the best interest of my business to release “bad songs” and follow trends. I could release a song with fart noises as the chorus and go to number one on TikTok but I want to have a discography that still sounds solid in 50 year’s time
Could you tell us a bit about your creative process when writing and recording?
There’s nothing too unique about my creative process except I do one thing which I would recommend to anybody making music: when I think a song is done, I get the session and remove the drums and bass. If I would be happy to release the song without drum and bass, then it’s a good song. That tells me my songwriting is good, my vocal performance is good, and the arrangement of the song is good.
Australia has a diverse and vibrant music scene, who are some of your favourite Aussie acts and why?
Sloan Peterson is getting a lot of streams from me at the moment, I think the best is yet to come from Sloan. Jarome Farah is great, the fact that Vibrate wasn’t one of the biggest songs of last year is a disservice to humanity. Kian is brilliant, I met him once when I was FUCKED and thought he was Jack Harlow. My friends Scott and Jackson have a band called Buttered, if you’re a fan of D’angelo (everybody) check them out.
You’ll be hitting the road this August performing across the east coast! What can audiences expect from this run of shows?
I’m going to play the whole new record and all of the last one too. New stories between the songs too. I’m really excited.
The past twelve months have taken its toll on the music industry, specifically the touring sector, but also in terms of making that in person connection with audience members and creating a shared feeling and experience. How important do you think live music is not only for yourself as a musician showcasing their art, but also for the audience members who resonate with your music?
Live music is the best thing on earth. I could go to a show every night for the rest of my life if that was an option. I really love performing, that’s the happiest moment in my life. I don’t go to therapy because nobody really “gets it”, like I’ve tried to see a bunch of therapists and they can’t help me. An hour on stage for me is like a year of therapy.
What can we expect from you for the rest of 2021? Will we be seeing an album or EP, and if so what can listeners expect from it?
New EP this October. Toothbrush is not an indicator of the sound of the record, each song is its own style. I’m real excited for people to get their hands on it.
Kanye West & John Mayer
Album that has had the most impact on you?
To Pimp A Butterfly - Kendrick Lamar
How do you define your musical style in 3 words?
House on Fire
Best song of 2021 so far?
Liz by Remi Wolf
If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?
Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?
A song you would love to cover on tour?
Shake It by Metro Station
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?
The Black Parade
First concert you went to?
Fall Out Boy & All American Rejects
Best concert you have been to?
D’angelo & The Vanguard
First album you ever bought?
With my own money it was Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge by My Chemical Romance
Would you rather be a Spice Girl or a Backstreet Boy?
Posh Spice got to fuck David Beckham so Spice Girl
If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?
Coriander Spice because I would have ruined the group
Guilty music pleasure?
I’m listening to Kacey Musgraves Same Trailer Different Park right now
If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?
An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry.
What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?
Remember when you wanted to retire from music at the start of the year, well well well... look at you now (this is either gonna be really sad or really dope)
The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?
When I looked up at the guitar.