WHAT IS PULSE?

Pulse Music Journal is Saskatchewan’s hub for music indulgers. We ‘eat/sleep/breathe’ the music and entertainment industry – plug into our outlet while we highlight new music, recap live performances, and interview the biggest names, local legends, and the newest initiatives surrounding our local music scene. We are honoured to be a leading cultural staple in the Saskatchewan music and entertainment scene.

WE SUPPORT SASKATCHEWAN’S ENTERTAINMENT & MUSIC SCENE

Whether it’s reaching out to a newly released project, musician or creating a spotlight for local talent to be heard on any of our stages, as well as opportunities to be heard opening for larger acts on our full-venue stage. We look forward to reopen and launch our newest concepts that strongly support the local music in our city. The local music scene is super important to us – we are a small city, but we have big dreams. Let’s grow and support each other – putting Saskatchewan on the map for premium music and entertainment experience.

STICKS + STONES MIGHT BREAK YOUR BONES, IF YOU LET IT

Undeniably when you list Saskatchewan bands that are excelling in the ‘Hard Rock’ scene – you put Saintvicious among the top. Don’t let the latter half of their name intimidate you, these are good guys letting the music speak their name into existence. The band formed in 2018, consisting of Madison Erhardt, Robyn Dolezsar, Dan Mason, Charlie Barnard, and Ryan Kimmerly. These long-time friends with consistent views on what their sound should be – took the Saskatchewan music scene by the reins. Their debut album made a lot of noise and gained notoriety in their circles by executing brash riffs and larger than life stage presence. Saintvicious is just getting started, and they aren’t letting anything get in their way.

Ryan Kimmerly of Saintvicious joins us to chat about how the band formed, their band name, and he breaks down their sound and genre. We learn about their music tastes outside of rock, songwriting process, opening for Royal Tusk, the latest release “Sticks + Stones”, future plans for Saintvicious and so much more.

WHO IS SAINTVICIOUS? WHAT MADE THE BAND COME TOGETHER?

SAINTVICIOUS: This band was essentially a reformation between Madison, Charlie and I. We played with each other in a project before Saintv formed, but because we had family things going on and the project was creatively stifling, it disbanded. A year after that, in 2017, we all just kinda gravitated towards the idea of doing music again, so we got together. We first had this idea of doing a straight-forward rock joint, so I quickly threw together a demo track – which became our song, “No Apology” – and we went off of that. Ultimately, with our history of playing in metal bands, some of those elements came out, with some screaming vocals and breakdown sections, so we’re just on the breaking point of being heavy, but not too heavy where the average person is going to turn their nose to it.  

IN 2019, SAINTVICIOUS WAS A NOMINEE FOR THE “BEST BAND NAME”. HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE NAME?

SAINTVICIOUS: So that’s always the hardest part, is getting a name that fits the vibe, doesn’t sound too grotesque or pretentious, but it’s still cool. I remember the name thing was a struggle for months. What I would always do is put a generic word, like “bad” or “fast”, and run it through Thesaurus or a synonym website. So, one day we did that on Urban Dictionary, and I forget which word it went off of, but we eventually saw this word “saintvicious” listed. We looked at it, and the definition associated didn’t seem like it was anything in particular, so we copped it. It wasn’t until a year later we found out that a pro gamer was using it as their handle, so in a way it feels like a rip-off, but it’s just such a good name. It captures that duality in the music, where we have those nice glimmery ballads and vocal hooks, while on the other hand we throw down some greasy riffs and solos.

WHAT DOES “HARD ROCK” MEAN TO THE BAND? WHY WAS THAT YOUR GENRE CHOICE?

SAINTVICIOUS: We’re riff-driven music, and it all starts with a memorable guitar line. I’ve always approached songwriting from something Dave Mustaine in Megadeth said, where if the guitar can’t stand by itself then it’s not a good song. Obviously, that’s specific to heavier music, but it starts with that. The “hard rock” label is just our way of saying that we’re heavy, but we wrap it up in a lot of pop principles and formulas. It also gives us some breathing room creatively, where you can put out anything, from an acoustic jam to an epic prog cut. I always find with genre labels that you’re not allowed to step out of it, or fans will turn their back when you try something new out. Like with our latest single, “Sticks + Stones”, we threw in synthesizer for the first time as an extra texture, and the response has been great on it, and I’d attribute it to the ambiguousness of “hard rock”.

STRICTLY ROCK? DOES THE BAND HAVE ANY GUILTY PLEASURE GENRES? 

SAINTVICIOUS: I personally listen to hip-hop most of the time, lately it’s been a lot of Royce da 5’9” and Joyner Lucas. I know our guitarist, Robyn, listens to some hip-hop, as well, and 90s punk. With rock, metal, hip-hop, and punk, there’s this commonality of aggression and expressing a rawness that people either don’t get the opportunity to express in their daily lives, or don’t know how. 

WHERE DOES THE INSPIRATION COME FOR YOUR MUSIC? DO YOU COLLECTIVELY WRITE THE SONGS OR COLLABORATE WITH SONGWRITERS?

SAINTVICIOUS: This has been the most paramount question for our writing: “Does it serve the song?”. I would absolutely love to shred up a Steve Vai-esque solo section all the time, or have Madison blister out those Randy Blythe and Corey Taylor inspired screams, but if it takes away from the fluency of the song, then it meets the axe. We always keep that the focus, or else you’re going to end up falling apart. I don’t know if it’s because I think I suck at guitar and use it as an excuse, but expression is more important than technical prowess. You get those times to let the virtuosity shine, but music is art. Just like painting or film, you’re trying to convey emotion and connect with people. 

For our writing process, I’ll get music together, send a demo out to everyone and grab some ideas from the other guys, then Madison finds a cool theme or narrative that fits the vibe of the song, and finito! We have written a song or two in the rehearsal room, but it’s usually sending each other Google Drive links of mostly finished tracks from Guitar Pro or Logic sessions. 

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ALREADY EARLY IN YOUR CAREER YOU WERE ABLE TO SHARE THE STAGE WITH ROYAL TUSK AND POP EVIL. WHAT MUSICIANS DO YOU LOOK UP TO?

SAINTVICIOUS: Right now, we all look up to the Royal Tusk fellas. They’re one of the greatest rock bands out there, from their stage presence to their songwriting. We’ve kept in touch with them and are excited to see what they’re up to. I’d also like to give a shoutout to Murray Cuthbertson from Untimely Demise. I’ve been able to pick his brain on things for help with Saintv, and from when I first met him and Matt when I was in high school up to them having us play their last album’s release show, they’ve been nothing but genuine and supportive for everyone.  

ENTERING THE SCENE WITH A BANG!

RELEASING YOUR DEBUT SELF-TITLED ALBUM IN 2019 AND MAKING THE TOP TOP BEST ALBUMS IN SASKATCHEWAN IN 2020. HOW HAS THAT MOTIVATED THE BAND THROUGHOUT THE DIFFICULT 2020 YEAR?

SAINTVICIOUS: Fortunately, the album was released late 2019, so we were able to sneak in about a dozen shows last winter before everything got shut down. We kept pushing through to write new music since then. We released “Sticks + Stones” back in November, and we have another single in the works right now. Like everybody else in music, not having that stage to look forward to kills off a lot of motivation, and there’s definitely been lulls in our creativity. We try to energize each other, like one person gets amped up about a new song so we make plans to record and release it. Even without live music right now, you got to get yourself ready for when it’s show time. This will all blow over at some point and shows will be going again, so are you coming out the gate exactly where you were, or are you going to be a few steps ahead? 

Click the image to listen to “Sticks + Stones” by Saintvicious

THE LATEST SINGLE “STICKS + STONES”

WAS JUST WHAT YOUR FANS NEEDED TO GET THROUGH THE REST OF 2020. CAN WE LOOK FORWARD TO ANOTHER ALBUM IN 2021?

SAINTVICIOUS: We have another single going through post, mix and master right now, so there’s something to look forward to in a couple months from us. We do have a handful of songs that we could get together for an album, so we’ll see if it’s enough for an LP or if we’re going to stick to singles here and there. There’ll definitely be new music, just a matter of how much we can churn out. 

YOU HAVE NOT LET THE HARDSHIPS OF 2020 STOP YOU

FROM PURSUING YOUR MUSIC DREAMS, WHILE BEING A BAND AT THE EARLY STAGES IN YOUR CAREER. WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE ASPIRING ARTISTS?

SAINTVICIOUS: If you don’t love what you’re doing, then it’s not worth it. You don’t want to be lugging drum kits up a flight of stairs mid-December to play for 5 people in a shady dive-bar if you can’t get lost in those moments onstage. That’s not only for yourself, but people can tell when you’re not locked in on it, when you’re up there just strumming chords for the sake of getting through a set. Also, there’s no point in jealousy with other bands in your scene. We make sure we don’t have any vendettas or hate towards anyone else. And, unfortunately, you’ll come across other artists who have some sort of complex, so it’s best to remind yourself that everyone wants a good show, and we ain’t got time to bleed any BS like that.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SAINTVICIOUS, SEE BELOW

UPCOMING EVENTS

WHAT EVENTS WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO…

March 8th

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May 4th

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July 30th

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Nov 3rd

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LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT’S TO COME…