With our love for their single Happy Alone and newest album Dark Arc, it was an absolute pleasure chatting with Columbus folk group Saintseneca. Comprised of Zac Little, Maryn Jones, Steve Ciolek, and Jon Maedor, the quartet will soon play Toronto’s The Drake Underground on June 11th (tickets). Read our entire interview below as Zac and AMBY discuss artists from Columbus, hacky sack, and how they are all “cool”.
AMBY: Hello Saintseneca, welcome to AMBY and congrats on the release of Dark Arc! Tell us a little about the album – what was the experience like recording it?
Saintseneca: Recording Dark Arc happened in two parts. We spent about 10 months working with my friend Glenn Davis in his attic. That gave us a lot of time to experiment. Later we took that 10 months of work and went to Omaha Nebraska with and spent a month pushing the songs further with Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes. The final record is a hybrid of those two worlds.
AMBY: When it comes to the title, what’s the significance behind Dark Arc?
Saintseneca: Dark Arc emerged from a time when a lot of things were ending. The original band line-up, living situations, relationships, jobs, and so on. With all of those transitions I began to reflect on how that cycle of ending plays out over an over again in different contexts. It’s like the same narrative arc – that beginning to end. I think of Dark Arc as a meditation on doom, but it’s more about finding joy and transcendence than just brooding.
AMBY: Which songs off the record are your personal favourites?
Saintseneca: They are all my favorites.
AMBY: What’s the story behind the album’s first single, Happy Alone?
Saintseneca: Happy Alone was one of the first songs I found on bass. I had this old bass that barely survived an apartment fire. I plugged it into this old scratchy practice amp with a reverb tank and there it was, just waiting to be found. It was a pivot in how I was approaching writing and making sense of our sound. In terms of content I liked the juxtaposition of a love pop song, and dwelling on isolation and loneliness.
AMBY: Which other artists from Columbus should we keep our eyes on?
Saintseneca: Way Yes (It’s Glenn Davis’ band, who we recorded with) Tin Armor, The Sidekicks, All Dogs, Andrew Graham and Swarming Branch. I could go all day…
AMBY: How would you describe each member of the band in one word?
Saintseneca: ohhh…. cool, cool, cool, cool, cool.
AMBY: When not making music, what does the band do for fun?
Saintseneca: Play hacky sack.
AMBY: Has there ever been a song you wish you wrote? And if so, which song?
Saintseneca: Too many of them, but I wish I wrote Crying by Roy Orbison
AMBY: What has you most excited for the rest of 2014?
Saintseneca: I’m excited to share the record with people.
AMBY: Lastly, what’s something about Saintseneca that nobody knows yet?
Saintseneca: That’s a secret.
Thank you Saintseneca, for giving us your answers!
Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout