Q&A: Saint Mesa


Photo by Talia Azadian.
Interview by Caitlin Ison.

Describe your first vivid memory of music growing up.

My first really vivid memory of music was driving to the beach with my dad and brothers when I was probably 7-8, sharing a tall Arizona, and listening to stuff like Tears for Fears and Depeche Mode.

Since you started making music at a young age, what role has songwriting played throughout your life?

I actually didn't start writing songs until I was about 17. I hadn't found my voice yet. I will say that the past couple years of writing have taught me so much about myself.

What inspired you to write music in the indie/alternative genre?

I think going back to the first question, the music my dad played for us definitely helped inspire my genre choice. He was into all the 80's pop/alternative stuff like Phil Collins, Duran Duran, Talk Talk, etc. I love it, and ended up listening to stuff like MGMT, Foster the People, Coldplay, etc.

What was it like writing your latest EP? Was there a certain memorable moment that comes to mind?

It was amazing. There's so many memorable moments. One that comes to mind was when we recorded vocals for the songs; we made an iso booth/tent with a ton of blankets and tapestries I had with me, and that was basically my home for a week.

You traveled around California to write your EP. Since you grew up in California, was there anything different that you noticed about it that you hadn't noticed before?

It just amazes me as to how different the landscape can get if you drive two hours in basically any direction. I’ve got giant rolling red dunes a few hours southeast of me, snowy mountains a couple hours north, and west 10 minutes are some of the most beautiful beaches I've ever been to. 

In terms of your EP artwork, what do you think the correlation between the aesthetic of the blank sand dunes and the music is?

I really liked how the single “Jungle” synced up with the visuals of the dunes. I always felt like the song started out with a really dry, worn down sounding drum, that, to me at least, always sounded like a really slow, tired walking pace- like you've been walking for a while. So the idea was that “Jungle,” a normally really vibrant ecosystem, had been worn down to the point of desolation, hence the lonely dunes.

How do you think overcoming illness has shaped your writing, if it has at all?

Overcoming illness not only changed my writing, but it actually changed my perspective on everything. Life looks differently when you realize your life and well-being isn't in your control. Music sounds differently when all you've heard was hospital beeps and intercom voices for months. It's shifted my whole worldview, and I'm honestly very grateful for it. Getting sick for those three years was the worst and best thing to ever happen to me.

If you could collaborate with anyone in the music industry right now, who would you choose and why?

I'm a really big fan of Lorde and all she's been up to. Was a huge fan of hers when she first came out because she was on the radio and was my age, so I felt like I really needed to step it up, ha ha. Her writing style is so aesthetically pleasing, and her visual choices are always amazing.

Are you currently working on an album for the future?

Yes I'm currently (actually at this very moment) writing new music for an album. And I'm incredibly excited to show you all.

We noticed that you're playing at Bottle Rock and Sasquatch Festival. How are you preparing for these live performances coming up? 

Lots of sleep, because I’m definitely not gonna sleep on all those long drives. I'm just really excited at the opportunity to play those festivals. Lots of practice, lots of practice.

Follow Saint Mesa: Instagram / Twitter / Facebook 

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