Paper Saints is a Dallas, TX based band who produce synth-laden, post-punk tunes. I, unfortunately, have been neglecting the transcription of this interview and I apologize to both the band and the readers. I sat down with the band on March 14th and then got incredibly ill, setting back a lot of work. Ok, enough of excuses. I was honored to interview the band as they were one of the bands that played at the Moon Sounds Records gig along with Mercury Rocket, Bloody Knives, Dead Leaf Echo, and Nightmare Air. The band talked to me about their origins, how they go about writing music, their hopes to record their first album, and much more.
Hello Paper Saints, can you all introduce yourselves to the readers and say what you do in the band?
“I’m Tiffany (Byrd) and I play guitar” – says Lysandra since Tiffany isn’t present.
Hello, I’m Kevin (Trevino) and I play drums.
Hello, I’m Lysandra (Chapman) and I sing and play the tracks, loops, and keyboards.
I’m Brandie (Dawson) and I play Bass and some vocals.
I’m Kevin (Chapman), I play guitar.
How did you all start making music? Have you all been in prior bands or are you in other bands currently?
Kevin T.: I’ve been doing this since I was in second grade. I started playing guitar in private school and just kind of went from there. I started playing drums in Jr. high.
Lysandra: Did musicals in New York.
Kevin T: Yeah, I did a lot of touring musicals. Did some crazy stuff with my last band and then joined these folks and we got together a couple of years ago.
Kevin C.: I was in a band in high school and then I took like a 35 year hiatus and carried around other people in band’s equipment. I realized I was just a groupie and thought I would take a stab at music.
Lysandra: We, the three girls in this band, we have a fourth but she’s not here, were in a different band called Chloes. That started about seven years ago and when that dissolved we had another band with Kevin called Funeral Shoes and it kind of spun off into this. I think we realized we wanted to go in a more synth/post-punk direction than the other band was going.
Yeah, that was another one of my questions. Have you all been in other bands?
Kevin T.: I was in a band called the Capsules.
How did Paper Saints form?
Lysandra: I think we were all friends that had different bands at the time. Really, when we started this, we were all in another band. His [Kevin T.] stopped playing so much out. They had had some success and had been doing it for fifteen or so years. Funeral Shoes has broken up. It was just a side project [Paper Saints] we started with three of us [Kevin, Kevin, and Lysandra] and it grew as the other bands dissolved. We were first called Klik.
Can you talk about how you are all going about writing and recording songs? Have you worked out a process yet, being such a young band?
Kevin C.: There’s actually two distinct ways. Often Lysandra will write most or the entire melody for a song. She will bring that and we will add our own parts with it. Or we will jam and I’ll play my stupid little guitar lines. They will be like… well, this can be a song but you will have to let us embellish it.
Lysandra: Yeah, I will usually start with Garage Band, putting drums and a bass line in which usually gets changed. Sometimes I’ll write a melody line or a full song that I’ve recorded and bring in.
I’m curious how you feel about the band’s sound and direction at this point. Are you still feeling it out or do you feel you have purpose and direction already in that regard?
Lysandra: Yes [we are finding our sound]
Kevin C: I think more and more we are finding out groove. Especially for the new song that we are playing tonight, it’s definitely the direction that we want to go. There’s a lot of keys and there’s a lot of the feel that we grew up with.
Lysandra: I think it’s evolving and I hope it always does. I think we started a lot more synth heavy. I think we’ve found ways to integrate guitars with that and that’s organically happening. So I hope we continue to evolve.
Have you signed to a label yet and should we expect an album soon?
Lysandra: We have not signed to a label. We’ve recorded some demos and we are feeling out where we want to record. We know our sound’s kind of different and we did those demos. We are going to get them recorded and have a great guy mix it. That’s the plan unless a label comes along and says they want to put out the album. Then we will sell out instantly and take that opportunity.
I like to pick a song or two to ask bands about so they can talk a bit more specifically about their writing process. Can you talk a bit about Sleeperkill?
Lysandra: I remember that Kevin [C.] came up with the riff. This was one of the jammy things we did.
Kevin T.: Yeah, it started off with Kevin’s riff and I was inspired by like Go! Team, oddly enough. That style of beat but with a darker feel. There’s also an extra drum part in the mix with the band member who isn’t here [Tiffany].
Lysandra: Yeah, so there’s two drummers on it. And lyric-wise, when I wrote those, I was referring to the Odd Fellows, which is a fraternal society that allows women. It’s partially about secret societies and wanting to belong. Overall, though, the song is a bit obtuse. It’s about maybe being in a music scene or trying to fit in and then the wind changes and the trendy genre goes the other way and you are left out in the cold. “Sleeperkill”, I don’t know, Brandie came up with the name. So, we don’t even know why that name but it’s a killer name.
Brandie: It’s one of those songs that is not about something really specific.
What sort of equipment do you use live and while recording?
Kevin T.: I use a C&C Drum Kit and Istanbul cymbals.
Kevin C: I use a Fender Mustang Special and a Vox AC30.
Lysandra: I play a Juno Di keyboard and run everything off an ipad. We are using new in-ear monitors so we can hear loops.
Braindie: I have a Fender Rascal Bass and a Novation Bass Station keyboard. I also have a GK bass amp.
Thanks. Anything else for the readers?
Lysandra: I’m hoping we have a release like in June.