It’s no secret we’ve been huge fans of Shane Smith and the Saints since coming across their debut record “Coast” early last year. We’ve been impressed watching them become one of the fastest-rising acts in the Texas music scene this year, and we’re expecting the release of their upcoming album Geronimo, to put them in to the next tier of artists!
If you’ve never been to a Shane Smith and the Saints show, you are missing out on one of the best performances on the scene today. Their 4-piece harmonies, appreciation for showmanship, and energy they bring to everyone of their shows, make them absolutely electric! Smith has one of the most unique voices out there, and his poetic, yet candid, songwriting make it no wonder while their fanbase seems to be doubling by the month.
We had the opportunity to chat with front-man Shane Smith about the group’s music, life on the road, and their new album. Here’s what he had to say:
Shane Smith: We are a folk-rock band based in Austin Texas, have the coolest & most loyal fans that a band could ask for, and we are about to release our sophomore album “Geronimo”.
TMP: The band has such an original and diverse sound, but if you guys had to narrow it down to just a few musical influences, who would they be?
SS: Honestly, it’s tough to narrow it down but I’d say… Our primary influences stretch from delta blues singers like Skip James, old Irish folk songs… to bands like Shovels & Rope, old crow medicine show, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Eagles, Mumford & Sons, First Aid Kit and The Allman Brothers… and Songwriters like Guy Clark, Adam Carroll, Gregory Alan Isakov, Chris Stapleton, John Moreland & Townes Van Zandt. Haha is that enough?
TMP: How would you describe your style of music?
SS: Roots/Folk/Rock probably. I like to think of roots music as a branch from country that actually brings you to your roots. Makes you stomp your feet. Makes you want to sing along. Makes you feel home in a group of strangers. The kind of music that sings about a real & honest way of life found outside of a major city. There’s a lot of country music today that I believe has no relation whatsoever to the people I know from the country. So that’s why I say roots instead.
TMP: You guys experienced a lot of fan base growth in 2014, and have really created a lot of buzz so far this year; can you tell us what the last 18 months have been like?
SS: Absolutely insane. From May through October will will have played 14 states… Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Wyoming, Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma & of course…Texas haha. It has been an incredible year for us. We also managed to play nearly every festival on our goal list for 2015; Chilifest, Steamboat Music Fest, Larry Joe Taylor, Texas Mardi Gras, Lone Star Jam, Calfry in Stillwater OK, SXSW in Austin and Medicine Stone coming this September.
We seriously cannot thank these festival buyers enough for giving us the opportunities they have. All we want is a shot and they’ve given us that. Each of those festivals were incredible and we really hope to play them again this year.
TMP: What are the plans for the next radio release?
SS: About to start pushing our first one from the new record but haven’t announced the title yet.
TMP: Tell us about the upcoming album, “Geronimo” .
SS: Geronimo, in my opinion, is a mix of the current sound we are aiming for; Big four part harmonies, some high energy roots/folk tunes about things like Appalachian coal mines and going to war, some low down songs of the road and even a few waltzes about oil towns, love and the battle of the Alamo.
We are very excited to get it out!
TMP: What do you guys have lined up for the album release tour?
SS: We will be hitting all of our current markets surrounding TX, OK, KS, etc while also branching out to several new markets like Mississippi, Illinois and Tennessee.
TMP: So far, what has been the highlight of the group’s career?
SS: I think one of our proudest moments was finally getting our chance to play Steamboat MusicFest 2015 and bringing a completely seated venue to their feet by the 5th song of the set. Having a capacity room react like that in a state we’d never played a full band show before, was an amazing feeling. It was one of the first legitimate feelings of… “It’s all worth it”..
“all the sweat, all the blowouts, all the 4-hour 6th st Monday night residential shows.. all the effort. it’s all worth it” that we’ve ever had. Haha sorry. I’m not the best at explaining things.
TMP: What is y’alls favorite thing to eat while out on the road?
SS: Taquerias. Period. Next question.
TMP: Can you share a funny story with us about something that has happened while out on the road or performing?
SS: We had to break into a friends ranch for a songwriting and rehearsal session we went on in MasonTX. Couldn’t get the gate code to work, so he gave us permission to shoot the lock off. Three shots to a padlock with a .38 doesn’t do what westerns movies will tell you… so we had to pull this massive gate off its hinges. So heavy we couldn’t hold it up so it fell. Broke out bassist, Chase’s foot. Finally got it all back up and fixed then made our way deep into the ranch looking for the cabin….
..only to realize we were on the wrong ranch… and were trespassing, driving through and technically vandalizing someone else’s property.
That was a panic attack if I know one.
TMP: What is on the horizon for Shane Smith and the Saints?
SS: We aren’t sure, but if it’s anything similar to the last 9 months we are in for a ride ha!
TMP: Is there anything else you’d like your fans to know?
SS: We love them to death and can’t thank them enough for being so loyal, loud, awesomely intense and especially patient with us. We can’t do this without them and there’s no other way to put it. Thank you, and we hope to see you all soon.
After playing music throughout his adolescence, Smith decided to take the leap in 2010 and devote his life to music. Though never easy, Smith looks at the opportunity with nothing but humility and wide-eyed enthusiasm. “When I listen to songs from artists like Guy Clark, Hayes Carll, and Adam Carroll, I’m reminded of how powerful music can be and the ways it can move people. I look at music as a never ending opportunity to truly impact a listener.” It is this unyielding passion and love of the open road that have provided Smith and The Saints with a deep seeded relentlessness to perform on as many stages as possible. “Music’s ability get through a day of work, relieve a tough time or even causing a person to dance for the first time in years, I think that is my favorite part about doing this… seeing a reaction from the song.”
Almost all of the miles traveled have been spent with the passenger seat occupied by fiddle player and long-time friend, Bennett Brown. Accompanying Smith and Brown are Tim Allen on lead guitar, Bryan McGrath on drums and Chase Satterwhite on bass. The past few years of travel and camaraderie have helped the band develop the weathered grit sound of old roots rock and traditional country. Many different audiences have been able to kick up their heels to Smith and are now looking forward to hearing the band on the air.
The new album “Geronimo” is set to release at the end of the Summer, but if you can’t wait that long to get your hands on it, the band is having a Pre-Release Show at the Parish in Austin, TX on 8/15!
The Kenney Store
San Angelo, TX
“GERONIMO” Official Pre-Release Show
w/ Folk Family Revival
95.9 The Ranch Music Series
Fort Worth, TX
Music addict, a sucker for heartbreak songs, and avid Houston sports fan! I’am also the Editor-in-Chief of Texas Music Pickers.