Working while being brothers: a talk with Saint PHNX (INTERVIEW)

Being in Glasgow for Tenement Trail, we had a small chat with Stevie, one of the two brothers from the duo Saint PHNX. After playing Reading & Leeds this summer they’re now touring in the UK. You can actually use their ‘King’ Snapchat filter launched yesterday now available for 24 hours!

UpKoming: You two are brothers, how did you end up building a musical project?

Stevie – I grew up listening to music and I started playing drums, and then guitar and then piano and Alan, my little brother, saw that and he started playing drums. He played in a couple of bands, I was playing in a band and we decided to start a band together. We did that for a couple of years and we really enjoyed it. Then we decided “that’s it, we’ll just do something the two of us, something new, something fresh” and that’s what we did. So we’ve always played in bands but we just thought we’d try something new and exciting.

If you had 3 words to describe your sound, what would it be?

S – Alan says “beck, nasty, beats”

Where does the name Saint PHNX come from?

S – We were in another band for a good 2 years and we wanted to see the Phoenix rising from his flames. The other band was a little band and Saint means in a higher place so we go to a higher place.

Why choosing to stay the both of you?

S – We just wanted to try something new. People love the relationship between brothers. The song that we make: drums, backing vocals… we just wanted to keep it 2 brothers, that was the idea.

Is it complicated to work with your brother?

S – Yes! Because we fight, we argue, we punch each other but then we’re proud of each other, we’re friends. You know it’s very hard but it makes the band special, it makes the band what it is. People like the relationship thing, the family thing, that’s what the band is. It’s good for the band but it’s hard.

So it’s your brand?

S – Yeah, yeah!

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Saint PHNX

You’ve already supported big bands such as Imagine Dragons. Do you prefer headlining smaller shows or supporting bigger acts?

S – I think that we like the two of them to be honest. We like to play with big bands because it shows us that we can play big stages, and we can get new fans. But we also like being the headlining act because people are there to see you, specifically you. The Imagine Dragons show was unbelievable but the shows of the tour were as good, they’re all good. We want to be as big as Imagine Dragons.

How does it feel to play in your hometown? Do you expect something from the fans? More fans?

S – I don’t know, it’s a festival so we hope there’s plenty people here. For me Glasgow is the best city in the world for music. The fans are different, they’re a bit crazy but it’s good so we’re looking forward to it.

You and your brother, do you listen to the same kind of music?

S – We’ve got similarities. I like sort of older music: Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, stuff like this… Alan likes hip-hop, grime. Sometimes we got stuff together.

But do you want to do the same music?

S – Yeah, Saint PHNX is me and Alan, we both want to do that kind of music, we both agree “that is the song, that’s how we want to do it.” Me and Alan have influences but when we make a song we agree on what’s happening.

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If you could go back in time to any musical period, when would it be?

S – I like the 60’s. I like the 90’s, probably the early 90’s: Oasis, Blur and all those bands that I like: so early 90’s.

Being from Glasgow, what would you recommend in term of music for someone staying for the weekend? Where do people go?

S – If you want to see a gig people usually go to the Barrowland, it’s a music venue, famous music venue. There’s also King Tut’s which is a great venue.

Could you recommend some local bands that you listen to?

S – Local bands? Well, we are friends with a band called The LaFontaines, they’re great and we’re going to work with them, will do a song together.

A featuring?

S – A featuring, like a live video. They’re amazing live, they’re brilliant.

For new bands there’s a new band called Bad Mannequins, they’re awesome, and this guy playing tonight called Kvasir, he wears a mask like Daft Punk.

The last question is something I like asking to every artist I meet: what do you think about the link between bands and Social Media?

S – I think it’s an important part of what you’re doing because it’s a great way to touch as many people as you can, for fans to know what we’re doing. I think it got good points and bad points. Before, if you wanted to see a band, all people could do was going to see them live or buy their music. Now you can download for free, you can watch the videos… Facebook, Instagram, you can see everything, which is from a band point of view quite bad because you want people to engage, come and see you. But for any band, small or big it’s the same platform, every band can put music on Instagram, Spotify… Any band can do it, that’s great for that. So it’s got good points and bad points but you just got to embrace it, and got to use all the tools you can to get as big as you can and touch as many people as you can.

Do you have a favourite Social Media?

S – I like Instagram, it’s probably my favourite. No words, just pictures.

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Interview by Léna Villari & Laurine Payet.

Saint PHNX are Stevie and Alan Jukes.

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