“Believe Us” by Saint Nefarious
Tell us about yourself and your music
I’m Lattney B. and I’m from rural southeast Arizona. I make music in my living room and incorporate any style that works for the song. I like to think the resulting sound isn’t confined too tightly to a single genre.
Talk to us more about your latest release
I wrote and recorded “Believe Us” as Saint Nefarious. Its entire focus is mental illness and the need for mental health issues to be widely addressed and destigmatized. All revenue from “Believe Us” goes to NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (nami.org).
What inspired you to write this release?
Mental illness, to varying degrees, runs through both sides of my family. When I was a child, we didn’t talk about it. Any show of anxiety or panic wasn’t only seen as a show of weakness, it was something that none of the adults could handle because they experienced it, as well—and nobody knew how to deal with it or would even admit to having it themselves.
Describe the writing and recording process
I record through a few DAWs on my PC. I have mostly cheap or low-end equipment, but the quality of the tools has never held me back or kept me from getting the sounds I want.
For me, a song can be built from anything: a bassline, a chord progression, a verbal phrase, a melody from a dream, or even a sound I hear in the house. I tend to throw everything but the house into arrangements but have learned to scale back judiciously.
Any plans to hit the road?
I haven’t played live in several years and the midst of a pandemic isn’t the time to start. Every onstage experience was both a thrill and a terror episode, and it would be exciting to experience all of that again.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
Aside from a few hand-drawn or handmade sleeve covers, I don’t know how to brand. I think I’m able to stand out somewhat under my voice. I’m not trained and I sometimes struggle to hit the right notes, but I think the rawness and emotion are there.
Who have you been listening to lately?
I’m a fan of Bandcamp and have enjoyed discovering artists on that platform. I’m affiliated with the Ball of Wax (ballofwax.org) extended family of artists, most of whom are based in Seattle, and the breadth and variety of talent and styles there is stunning.
Who are your biggest influences?
I grew up listening primarily to The Beatles but cut my pre-teen teeth on New Order, Depeche Mode, and The Cure. Bauhaus, Joy Division, and Echo & the Bunnymen rounded out my darker inclinations. The Fall, The Mekons, and Pavement made me realized that great music can be sloppy and lo-fi, and The Brian Jonestown Massacre impressed that an artist need not stick to any genre.
Tell us about your passions
My dad ran theaters throughout my lifetime, so I love movies, though I’ve transitioned from big-budget Hollywood fluff to loving independent and foreign cinema. I’m a sound junkie, which means a film with thoughtful sound design hits the sweet spot.
I read a lot of Faulkner and Barthelme and I’m not immune to classics. I like to write both technically and creatively. My last job involved a great deal of writing policies and procedures and I loved it.
I never made it art school, but I also like to draw. I did the artwork for a few releases by one of my side projects.
What else is happening next in your world?
Grumpy Bear, my main musical project with Tyler Blake, my bestie and brother-in-arms, just put out an EP, Soledad, to coincide with the release of a friend’s art journal of the same name. We’re also polishing up to ten tracks for the next full release from Grumpy Bear.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Saint Nefarious