Posted On 26 Apr 2018
Formed in 2017 by acclaimed guitarist/vocalist Rett Smith and drummer Daniel Sousa, SAENTS employs heavy, virtuosic grooves, blistering riffs and haunting vocals that have been featured in American Songwriter, NYLON, Gibson Guitars and NPR to name a few. Rett was discovered by Grammy Award-winning producer Joe Nicolo (Rolling Stones, Tom Petty.)
Smith, an accomplished solo artist and guitarist, launched SAENTS in hopes of unpacking heavier, more animalistic sonic curiosities. The EP was recorded in a 48-hour whirlwind at Nashville’s Smoakstack and produced by former Haste the Day singer Stephen Keech.
It chronicles self-discovery through a challenging recovery process in the Caribbean, and as a result, is one of Smith’s most raw and vulnerable bodies of work. The singer-songwriter and prodigy of legendary producer Joe Nicolo enjoyed previous success with his early releases Oscuro and Tularosa released in 2015 but embraces an unbridled and genuine style of writing, recording and producing that has always existed for the Texas native who now juggles two musical hubs as home bases, which adds to the act’s dynamic creativity. Stay tuned for upcoming SAENTS tour dates and news.
Learn more about SAENTS in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time for this All Access interview! Where does this interview you today? What is one song that you are loving right now? What is a song that you all disagree about loving right now?
Hey! I’m currently in Austin, Texas with my girlfriend running around like a crazy person. We’re in the process of moving here, so between SXSW and the move we’re happily busy!
As far as what I’m listening to right now, Ryan Bingham’s “My Diamond is Too Rough” is as good as it gets. We’re from the same place in New Mexico, and I’ve been a fan of his a long time. On the other side, the negative side, I’m going to stay away from answering that. I don’t have many guilty pleasures in what i listen to.
So first things first, what all are you most excited about for this year? Did any of you make New Year Resolutions? Care to share any of them with us?
I’m really excited for this year! I’m feeling very inspired musically and personally. I’ve had a lot of personal struggles and battles the last couple years, so to be healthy and kind to those around me is what I’m after in 2018. Everything else will hopefully then fall into place.
What did it feel like releasing your debut self-titled EP? I understand that it was recorded in just 48 hours! Why so fast? How soon do you think you will put out a full-length album of new songs?
It always feels great releasing music. There is a feeling of freedom that comes along with it. It’s as if it’s no longer yours, if that makes sense?
We recorded really quickly for a few reasons. One is that we had a really small group of people in a really amazing studio that is always set-up perfectly for an analog/live session. I believe that overthinking and time is a huge enemy to creativity. I want things to be tense, in a way. It raises everybody’s level.
I’ve been writing a lot since this EP came out, and I’m dying to record the full-length. I never felt married to the duo arrangement, so the full-length is shaping up to be quite an expansion on the foundation the EP started. It will be out in 2018 without a doubt.
What was the inspiration for your single “Blood”? How creatively involved were you two with the making of the music video for it?
“Blood” is very much a first person account of who I was up to that moment, a letter to myself, in ways that I’ve always felt but needed to hear myself say to truly acknowledge, and move past.
I was heavily involved with the making of the video. It was a pretty strenuous process but the end result I was pretty happy with. I’m looking forward to the videos we’re working on now!
Where can fans see you perform next? Are you getting a tour lined up for 2018?
It’s going to be a very busy year, so stay up to date on the website. I can’t wait to see y’all and play these tunes live for ya.
Who would you love to work with in the future? Who are some of your favorite artists right now? What would be a dream collaboration for this group?
I’ve never co-written music, it’s such a sacred and personal experience that I’m extremely careful with who I expose that process to. That being said, there are so many people who I admire it’s hard to single it down! I’m a huge fan of Warpaint, and hope to see them perform soon. If I was ever able to meet Willie Nelson I could die happy.
Where do you think you are all happiest- on stage performing, in the studio recording music or elsewhere?
I’m happiest on stage performing, that’s for certain. Performing feels almost like the reward for what I put into the writing and recording process. I go to a place when i write that I wouldn’t exactly describe as happy, but it’s also the truest, most honest version of myself. I’m extremely grateful for every aspect of being a songwriter and musician.
We are living in a crazy and at times rough world right now so I am curious how you think being in this band gives you the most joy in life today? Do you think that new music being created today is going to reflect these difficult times?
I think being an artist, even calling yourself an artist, comes with a responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly. The state of things is going to come out with honest writing whether it’s consciously or not.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs? What do you hope they take away from one of your shows?
I feel don’t necessarily get to decide what people take away from my music, I can only write the most honest songs i can in the moments they are being written. I certainly hope people make them their own, but I also hope they really dig into what’s being conveyed. The live-shows are such a gift and privilege for me. To play music for people and express whatever we’re feeling in that moment together is what keeps this train a rollin’.