The Late-Night Birth of Know Your Saints

What started as simply a 2 a.m. conversation between two buddies about music quickly morphed into one of the most exciting DIY punk bands to come out of the Northwest in years.

The result of that early morning talk is the band Know Your Saints, a straight-forward punk rock band stripped of all pretention and pose. Comprised of Lucas Andrews (vocals and guitar), Connor Koreski (drums) and James Martin (bass), the band plays punk rock with no agenda of fitting into a specific camp, drawing just as much from The Clash as they do from a band like The Thermals.

Innocent Words caught up with Know Your Saints to dig into their backstory and agenda.

Innocent Words: So, how did the band first get together and when?

Lucas Andrews: Know Your Saints was actually conceptualized in September 2009, around 2 a.m. one night as a project/different musical outlet by Connor and I. We were just hanging out late after a show, and we were talking about wanting to be busier playing music and starting something new in addition to what we were doing at the time [Anchor Down, The Damage Done]. It wasn’t until later [January/February] that we followed through with writing songs, practicing and being a band. It was crazy because it instantly was a “real” band and not just a project or idea anymore. Things have been going great and we just keep staying busy and inspired.

Connor Koreski: Our buddy Chase helped us out on bass, and we recorded an EP at Two Sticks Audio by way of Mr. Jackson Justice Long. Unfortunately, Chase had to return to Salt Lake City to take care of personal business at home, and our friend Austin has taken up bass duties full time. Everything has really come together quickly in the past few months, and we’re all really excited about how things are going!

IW: So, what can you tell me about the songs on Escape Artists?

Andrews: Escape Artists, thematically, is about self-observation/ideology/evaluation of those ideas/introspection/failure and its relationship to a person’s changes and growth, as well as its influences in our day to day goings-ons. The title was meant to display this concept as well, as point out the fact that sometimes the only way we survive these heavy things and life experiences is through artistic escapism and turning our darker thoughts and experiences into a positive creative outlet. Lyrically, I like to leave my lyrics up to translation from the eyes and ears of the listener, so I usually just write thematically or in moods and pull from my own experiences/surroundings and sprinkle them throughout the songs without forcing the listener to see things exactly the way I do/have. I want our songs, art, and music to be smart and challenging much like some of my favorite novels…and really I just want to stimulate a feeling and a mood connection between all of us…as well as build visuals of characters/roles in this one act we call life.

Koreski: I don’t feel I can add anything intelligent to Lucas’s answer. We had a really good time writing these songs as it was our first experience creating music together. Itís always an enlightening ordeal to learn the ins and outs of each other’s techniques and quirks, and I can honestly say that the three of us have a cool chemistry when it comes to musical creativity.

IW: What was behind the decision to move the band to Oakland from Seattle?

Andrews: Well, my father has a terminal illness, and it has been weighing very heavy on me mentally, not being near the family to be of assistance and to spend some quality time with him. That is the main motivating factor in me moving back to Oakland.

Also, a great job opportunity came up that helped move this decision along and made it a possibility. That’s not to say there aren’t other reasons that factor into this decision to move such as better weather, old friends, old haunts, and a larger musical community all of which have been things I always enjoyed about living in the Bay Area. I am now living back in Oakland and Connor and his girlfriend are planning on moving here in the next few months… Seattle was really great, and we love our friends and community there, but situations being what they are have forced a change of location. Seattle was a great place to be but Oakland is my home.

Koreski: The opportunity arose to change the scenery around me and thoroughly experience a new part of this fine coast we call home. Lucas pitched the move when he was offered a job a little after we got back from tour in September, and after giving it some consideration, I decided the move was a good idea, for myself personally as well as the band. We have a strong community of friends in the Bay Area already, and I feel like we will be supported in the same way we were supported in Seattle.

IW: Your former bass player, Austin, stayed behind when you guys left Seattle for Oakland. Have you found a new bass player yet?

Andrews: We have actually…We have a good friend named James from San Francisco who is now the new bass player for our band. James contributed towards the writing and recording of the bass on the song and “Oh, The Way We Make It Count!” We know that James will be a great addition to Know Your Saints and comes in fresh full of energy and is already contributing some really solid ideas towards the new record.

Koreski: We’re really excited to have James in the fold. James sold merch for us on our West Coast tour in September, so it feels very natural for him to become a permanent fixture.

IW: Has this addition of James affected the upcoming full-length release at all or are you continuing to write?

Andrews: The move sets things back a bit, but the full length, The Grey Estate is going really awesome! I am so excited about this record and am really excited to share it with everyone who is expressing interest. It is epic gloom rock! There are so many ideas floating in and out of the songs and really cool things we are working into this record. Having a new player involved is also helping bring some really cool parts and songs. We are planning to record early 2011 for a spring release and East Coast/Midwest tour.

Koreski: As I’m unable to make the move to the Bay immediately, things are slightly slowed down…but we are still making headway. Lucas and James are working on writing the new material, and I’ll play catch-up when I arrive in a couple of months. We have a pretty solid musical chemistry, so we’re all very confident in our ability to make this record happen in early 2011.

IW: Anything else you want to add?

Andrews: Yeah…I just wanna stress these points, support the bands you love by going to their shows, share their music with others, buy merch/records from the bands directly on tour, and if someone is passing around a hat for donations for touring band,s pay it forward and throw a few bucks in. Start more venues/zines/bands/community radio shows/distros. Be the change you want to see in the world. Be conscious of who it is you are making rich off of your support. Always be good to each other. Love more often! See you soon friends!

Koreski: Be sure to inform the bands, artists and friends that are dear to your hearts of the impact they have made on your lives make the connection. Itís the greatest gift one can give! Don’t believe the hype!