Q&A with Chicago’s Self Described “Dark Doo-Wop Rock n’ Rollers” – SANTAH
Posted On 16 Oct 2015
Tag: All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, allaccessmusicnicole, Appleton, Awwh Man 7”, Bernie Sanders, Bowling Green, Buffalo Rodeo, CHICAGO, Chico, Chico LP, Culture Collide, Eurydice, Foo Fighters, Fred Pelzer, How You Been Tour, Illinois, Impose, Kentucky, Michael Jackson, Mike Winegardner, Mile of Music Fest, Moeller Monday, MTV, mythology, Nashville, Nevermind, Nirvana, Orpheus, Paste, Rock Island, Rolling Stone, Santah, Stanton McConnell, Steve Plock, Subterranean Media, Sunkeeper, The Ballad of Davy Crockett, The Wild Honey Pie, Tommy Trafton, Veronica Pulcini, Vivian McConnell, White Noise Bed, White Noise Bed LP, Yes Club Records, You're Still A Lover, You're Still A Lover EP
Chicago’s dream-pop quintet, SANTAH just announced the release of their second full length LP, Chico , out November 6th on Yes Club Records. The self described, “blurry-eyed dark doo-wop rock n’rollers,” explore themes of duality with a cryptic self-inventory on Chico, showcasing their growth and maturity since the 2010 release of their debut LP, White Noise Bed, the acclaimed You’re Still A Lover EP (2012) and Awwh Man 7” (2014).
Lauded by Rolling Stone, Impose, MTV and Paste, Santah is led by brother/sister duo, Stanton and Vivian McConnell, and includes Steve Plock on drums, Mike Winegardner on bass and Tommy Trafton on keys/synths.
Self-examination is a hallmark of Chico and takes shape on the LP’s eleven tracks, highlighting the band’s signature lush arrangements, warm synths and the sweet vocal harmonies of the McConnell siblings.
Santah have spent the better part of 2015 laying the groundwork for Chico, releasing the first offering from the record in February with the shimmering track, “Sunkeeper.” The accompanying video below, shot by Fred Pelzer and set in Chicago’s wintery beaches, combines images of Eurydice & Orpheus mythology to explore the track’s theme of lost love.
With a steady run of shows throughout the Spring, Santah reintroduced themselves to fans on the “How You Been Tour” and have Daytrotter noting, “they added some serious doses of punch and fire to an already powerful sound, giving them the ability to swarm and destroy with their harmonies and blistering wall of sound.”
Enjoy below as All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa catches up with lead singer, Stanton McConnell between gigs.
Hey Stan! How are you today? What’s on the agenda today besides our interview?
Hey there Nicole! I’m feeling bright like a peacock feather right now. The band just woke up in beautiful Bowling Green, Kentucky. We’re eating some delicious sandwiches and coffee. We’re heading to Nashville in a bit. It feels really good to be on the road in the middle of October.
How did you guys all meet and what was the catalyst for you to start a band with one another?
I’ve known my sister Vivian since she was born. I grew up with Steve–we had a band in high school together. The rest of the band came together when we went to college.
What was the inspiration for your new single, “Here Are My Shells” off your new LP, Chico? Did you also help come up with the treatment for the video?
This song is about living forever via your children. It’s about the mystery and wonder that I’m assuming you feel. It’s about giving your youth to another. About giving everything. None of us have kids, but one day it will be a wild adventure.
What have you learned from previous bands, collaborations and playing live that you felt you wanted to infuse into your own music?
Oh man. Let’s hang out sometime. No one could or should be able to answer this question in a neatly packaged paragraph.
Do you have any hidden talents you would like to share with our readers?
We’re from Chicago, so we all do improv comedy. We’re also good at fermenting.
If you could hang out with a legend, living or dead (musician, artist, actor, etc.) who would it be? Where would you go and what would you do?
We’d love to look at some model trains and talk shop with Bernie Sanders, our next President.
Nowadays everything is so instant…you press a button and it’s yours ala Spotify, Soundcloud, iTunes etc. What was the first album, that you can remember purchasing for yourself?
My first record was the Foo Fighters self-titled record, followed by Nirvana’s Nevermind and Michael Jackson’s History. The MJ record was a double record, so I remember bartering with my parents–forgoing future allowances, etc.– to grab that one.
What was the first song you fell in love with and why?
“The Ballad of Davy Crockett.”This song is about living forever via your children. It’s about the mystery and wonder.
Who is in your current playlist at the moment? Anyone we would be surprised to find in there?
We’re on tour with Buffalo Rodeo so we listen to them every night. We feel like twin bands.
What’s on tap next for SANTAH? What are you most excited about for this year?
We can’t wait to share our new record, Chico, with the world. It comes out on November 6th. We’ll be playing a lot of shows this Fall and will be celebrating the record with a release party on November 20th at Lincoln Hall in Chicago. We’re excited for it all. Really happy to be here. 🙂
To keep up to date with SANTAH , visit them HERE