Saintseneca are a folk band through and through, but they seem to be more influenced by things like post-punk and “indie rock” in its earliest form than any traditional kind of Americana. They are about to release a new album, Dark Arc, on April 1st. However, they’re currently on tour and will be stopping in Philadelphia next Wednesday, January 15th, upstairs at World Café Live. Saintseneca frontman and singer/songwriter Zac Little recently took a little time to chat about their latest album, how the band’s spent the past year or so, and how the plan to spend the next year or so.
Izzy Cihak: How’s Columbus? The music scene and just the area in general? I really don’t know much of anything about it.
Zac Little: I love the Columbus music scene. We have a plethora of great bands, very nurturing and inspiring vibes.
IC: This is still a relatively new project, so I’m curious what have been the biggest highlights of the band so far.
ZL: Making our new record was a highlight. Spent 10 months working with my talented friend, Glenn Davis, and then got to spend another month out in Omaha with Mike Mogis. Pretty dreamy. I like becoming really immersed in something like that.
IC: What were the album’s biggest influences and inspirations (both musical and otherwise)?
ZL: The Beatles are a huge influence, The White Album in particular. The Replacements, Bear vs. Shark, Nirvana, and The Cure, among others, were spinning around in my head a lot. Other influences include reoccurring dreams, tidal waves, sleep paralysis, mug shot newspapers, the apocalypse, and pop music.
IC: And how would you characterize the process of writing and recording it?
ZL: The songs were built up as recordings before they had live arrangements (other than just me and one instrument). We spent all those months with Glenn kind of imagining what could be there, without much regard for how we’d ever play these songs live. It was fun to challenge ourselves in that way. By the time we took the tracks to Mike Mogis we were playing some of them live and that opened up new ideas. We took it even further, sometimes filling out every last corner of the sonic spectrum, and sometimes leaving the songs spare and elemental.
IC: You’re currently on a tour that has you stopping here in Philadelphia next week and you have another batch of dates in March. What can we expect of Saintseneca live?
ZL: Doom hymns.
IC: And what do you have planned (and hoped) for the rest of the year, after the album drops?
ZL: A lot of touring!