Nashville Rocks Artist Showcase: Of Saints and Sailors
The Nashville Rocks Artist Showcase is intended to shine the light on independent artists in and around Nashville and the Mid-South. The First Nashville Rocks Artist Showcase is none other than Of Saints and Sailors. They are a brand new band and looking to hit the ground running.
I recently got the opportunity to sit down with this new, eclectic, quirky, fun duo by the name: Of Saints and Sailors. Sitting across the table from Patrick Berhow and Joe Dionne I clearly got the vibe that they are serious about their music and style and love to have fun on stage. I asked who they were and what part in the band they played. Patrick is the lead vocalist and plays banjo and Joe Dionne plays guitar and provides backup vocals. They are Of Saints And Sailors.
Check out their newest raw tune, Skylar
(above), while you find out more about them.
Following is what I found out about this new band ready to play live for you:
NR: How did you guys find each other?
OSAS-Patrick: Actually it’s kind of a cool story, I was actually coming to buy the banjo that I use in the band at Jonathan Fletchers Music down the road here and Joe works there. I was just coming to get it and get out and I met Joe and he ended up showing up at my church maybe a week later. Really nothing came of it, but I had another guitarist at the time…
OSAS-Joe: Yeah and the guitar player was my best friend from childhood.
OSAS-Pat: Yeah they played baseball together. It’s a really weird cool hometown story. The cool thing is we went to opposite schools, like rival schools here. I went to Lavergne and he went to Smyrna. I pretty sure they are playing tonight.He ended up selling me that banjo. Jeremy my original guitarist left and I texted Joe and asked if he’d be interested in trying out for something and since then we’ve been working together. I guess since December/January
OSAS-Joe: Probably like mid January.
NR: How old are you guys?
OSAS-Joe: I turn 20 in a month
NR: If you had to describe the style of music you are writing right now, how would you describe it?
OSAS-Pat: We like to call it “Punk-Grass.”
OSAS-Joe: Like punk rock mixed with old time roots music.
OSAS-Pat: We also don’t really restrict ourselves to playing a certain thing. We don’t like to limit ourselves.
NR: You’ve already been playing out a bunch?
OSAS: Yeah yeah, we have. We try to play as many gigs as we can.
OSAS-Joe: We’ve also played in Nashville at Douglas Corner Cafe. That was actually our first gig.
OSAS-Pat: Yeah we had a bassist then, now we don’t.
NR: So now it’s just a duo?
OSAS-Pat: Yeah it’s hard to keep people for the long run.
NR: What do you say to people who may say, “well it’s just another Bluegrass band?”
OSAS-Pat: Listen to us…number one, but if I had to say something without the music, I’d honestly just say listen to the rhythm and the style it’s just not the same. We don’t like to keep that same Ricka ticka ya know. We like to mix up the tempo every song.
OSAS-Joe: Every song has a different pace. We have some songs that start out slow and they get fast and some are fast and get slow ya know.
NR: I thought Skylar was kind of a quirky tune…It has some spirit and dynamic, but it’s fun. Was that tune named for a girl?
OSAS-Pat: Yes, but we can’t use real names obviously so…
OSAS-Joe: Just like another song we have called Anna Taylor…
NR: So you’re making up names to protect the innocent?
OSAS-Pat: We’ll say it like that. Ya never know what happens…
NR: So Skylar is the first tune you have as a full studio recording right?
OSAS-Pat: Yes, this is the first one. We have to get it mixed and mastered.
NR: What kind of places are you looking to play?
OSAS-Pat: Anywhere, bars, festivals anywhere…we really don’t wanna limit ourselves, but just nothing creepy like someones house or something.
OSAS-Joe: Or an alleyway [laughs]
NR: When it comes to songwriting, how do you guys share the load there?
OSAS-Pat: At first it was really me doing the brunt of the work and then when I got with him we just kinda have these moments where…
OSAS-Joe: You know cause we both have completely different writing styles and he did used to do most of it, but over time we started meshing a little bit. I write a lot more chord progressions. I don’t really write much on the lyrics side. He writes most of that kind of stuff and I write most of the guitar stuff. I’m also a drummer so when I hear a song I can put percussion in on recordings like on Skylar.
OSAS-Pat: We used to butt heads actually pretty hard…
OSAS-Joe: oh gosh…
OSAS-Pat: Until we figured it out, but I mean ever since then we literally wrote Skylar in like a day.
NR: The best ones just fall right out.
OSAS-Pat: Yeah sometimes, sometimes.
NR: How did you both get into music in the first place?
OSAS-Joe: When I was young I always thought being able to play an instrument would be cool and my mother signed me up for guitar lessons you know to see if I would stick with it or just move on and quit, but I took lessons until I was about 14 or 15 and I’ve been playing since I was 7 or 8 so that’s about 12 years and I still love to play. I also even work at the music store where I originally took lessons. I also taught myself how to play other instruments on the way.
OSAS-Pat: I had to teach myself. I started playing about three years ago.
NR: You play the banjo right? That’s a unique instrument to pick up…How does a suburban boy pick up the banjo?
OSAS-Pat: Well, I was actually engaged at the time and my fiancé had a banjo that she never touched and she was really good at guitar, like really really good at guitar and I was just like I ned to connect somehow that way and I couldn’t get the guitar so I was like I’m just gonna pick the hardest instrument there is to play. Actually it flowed and went well and I played it for about 3 or 4 months and I ended up stopping and trying guitar again and got really good at guitar and then didn’t pick up a banjo again until I went and bought the one at the store. Just from there I translated everything I learned from guitar to banjo and picked up a few more things and that’s pretty much how I did it.
NR: Is your plan to record more tunes in the studio?
OSAS-Pat: Yeah we want to eventually get an EP or LP out there.
OSAS-Joe: Try to play enough gigs to get money for our recordings.
OSAS-Pat: Yeah we want to expand our fan base too.
NR: That a great music business catch 22. It’s hard to get gigs without recordings and hard to get recordings without gigs…
OSAS-Pat: Yeah I know. It’s like anyone I’ve been able to get Skylar to has said yes come play for us, but it’s hard to get that out there without a CD so…
NR: Are you seeing good response to your social and your music?
OSAS-Pat: yeah, at every show we’ve had a few people just pop up and…
OSAS-Joe: We end up getting at least 15 to 17 new fans after every gig so…
OSAS-Pat: Noone has really hit us on Twitter, but a lot of music businesses have. Facebook is going crazy and Reverb Nation is awesome. So far it has done nothing, but grow.
NR: If you could pick an artist to open for who would it be?
OSAS-Pat: Dead or alive?
OSAS-Pat: Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimmi Hendrix, but we’d get blown away so there’s no point in that. So who would I like to open for? Probably someone like Foo Fighters or you know one of those old grungy bands.
NR: Does your music really gel with that?
OSAS-Pat: Actually it really does.
NR: No worries there. I once went to a Four Non Blondes and Aerosmith concert…you wanna talk about a mixed crowd, my goodness.
OSAS-Joe: Living would be the Avett Bros. because they’ve really influenced my style ever since the beginning and dead probably Led Zeppelin. No doubt.
NR: Ok so I’m a nobody that has never heard your music before. How do you sell yourselves and invite people to shows?
OSAS-Pat: Energy, just straight up you are going to have a fun time. We want you to clap along, jump up and down and scream and yell with us.
OSAS-Joe: It’s gonna be a fun time no matter what.
OSAS-Pat: I sweat everytime.
NR: Even in the winter…
OSAS-Pat: You should too, you should be jumping with us and having fun with lots of enthusiasm. We like to rub off on people.
NR: Besides Skylar, is there anything yu are promoting right now?
OSAS-Pat: Yes we have one coming up at Daisy Dukes on August 30th. It’s actually a little rock show we are opening up for.
OSAS-Joe: A lot of bands are playing. It’s kind of a southern rock thing.
OSAS-Pat: I don’t think they know what to expect from us…I think we may rock harder than they will.
NR: So be honest, are you in it for the girls?
OSAS-Pat: I am not personally.
OSAS-Joe: I’m not either.
OSAS-Pat: We’re cool with girls supporting us and we will talk and smile…
OSAS-Joe: It’s a nice benefit.
OSAS-Pat: Actually I am in it really for the music. I really really am. You here that all the time, but I’m really passionate about it and really I’m passionate about the performance and being able to get in front of people and connect with them. We really want to tell a story about ourselves with our music.
OSAS-Joe: We really wanna connect with the crowd. Not like you know how you go to a concert and all they talk about is party party beer and that kind of stuff, but we really want the crowd to connect to us. And we genuinely love playing. I’ve loved playing music since I was a little kid.
Do you want to be the next artist in the Nashville Rocks Artist Showcase? Then use the contact page or send an email to info at nashville rocks dot com with the subject line: Artist Showcase Request and I’ll be in touch to schedule an interview.