What are your names?
Marc : The core members of our band are Marc Darcange (keyboard, vocals – Switzerland), Tryzdin Grubbs (vocals – USA), and Nathaniel Shelley (keyboards, guitars – UK). We are privileged to have a roster of talented collaborators, which include Angelo Bruschini (Massive Attack guitarist), Brent Paschke (N.E.R.D. and Pharrell Williams guitarist), and Robert Brian (Siouxsie, Simple Minds, and Goldfrapp drummer). We also have the pleasure of featuring Jethro “Alonestar” Sheeran, who is a relative of Ed Sheeran, adding his rap touch to tracks like “Loveghost”, “Pacific State”, and a number of upcoming releases.
What is the band’s name?
Marc: Our band’s name is “Saint Mars”.
How did you come up with the band’s name?
Marc: Our name is a bit of an odd story. The band was originally called “We Make Storm”, but we found that the name no longer matched our evolving sound. At the time, I was reading a French comic series to my daughter, written by Dominique de Saint-Mars. I liked the name, and it also worked in English, so we adopted it. Eventually, due to a design error on our first EP, “Saint-Mars” became “Saint Mars,” which we liked even better.
What is your genre of music?
Marc: Our music is an electric fusion that borrows elements from diverse styles. In our early days, our sound drew comparisons to bands like Massive Attack and Slowdive. Some listeners even said we combined the tension of Joy Division with the sunny harmonies of the Beach Boys, and noticed Baroque influences in our first EP. As we’ve evolved and collaborated with different artists, our sound has taken a turn towards synth pop and synth wave. Notable collaborations include artists like Juche, Droid Bishop, Lost Years and The Toxic Avenger who brought new dimensions to our music through remixes of our songs “Ocean Blues” and “The Last Dream Ever Made”.
Give us a little bio about you.
Marc: We are Saint Mars, a multinational, internet-era band featuring artists from various backgrounds and locations, including Switzerland, England, and the United States. Founded by me, the band quickly evolved from its heavier roots to a more intimate and emotional sound. We were fortunate enough to connect with Angelo Bruschini, guitarist from Massive Attack, and then Tryzdin Grubbs, a young singer from Ohio. Our recent work has focused on the topic of bullying, inspired by real stories and personal experiences.
What made you go into music?
Trydzin: Throughout my upbringing, my exposure to a diverse range of music was shaped by my parents’ preferences. My father’s love for R&B, Hip-Hop, and iconic pop artists like Michael Jackson, Prince, Baby Face, and Justin Timberlake, complemented my mother’s inclination towards pop ballads from musicians such as Adele, Jason Mraz, Bruno Mars, Colbie Caillat, Chris Stapleton, and Megan Trainor. Surrounded by athletes, I found myself as the sole musician in our household, facing challenges in fully pursuing my passion for music. However, my parents have been unwavering in their support, helping me relentlessly pursue my dreams. Music has served as a refuge for me, a place of escape where I can create my own reality and express myself beyond words, through chords, melodies, harmonies, and more. This profound impact has driven me to want to offer the same sense of escape to others worldwide. Throughout my life, music has been an anchor during challenging moments, connecting me with others who share similar feelings or experiences. It is undeniable that music is my calling, and for several years, I have been embracing this journey wholeheartedly, step by step, to fulfill my dream of becoming a musician.
Marc: My artistic journey began with a conviction in the transformative power of art, using it as a means of healing from personal wounds I’d experienced during my childhood. Initially expressed through painting and drawing, my artistry evolved into music around my sixteenth year. I discovered bands like The Cure, whose emotional language resonated deeply with me, and I knew then that I had found my true passion in music. However, pursuing music as a career had its complications. Despite my love for music and the direction it was pulling me, I found myself following a more conventional path, obtaining a law degree and starting a career as a lawyer. This led to a period of turmoil and introspection. It wasn’t until a conversation with a therapist who illuminated the concept of creativity as an inherent energy, a mission rather than a hobby, that things started to fall into place.
Embracing this newfound understanding, I rebuilt my life around music. I set up a new studio and started collaborating with Swiss artists. In 2016, I launched my own music project. A demo of mine reached Angelo Bruschini from Massive Attack, To my surprise, he found the music intriguing. He started to lay down his own guitars on my music. After all those years, I couldn’t’t believe it…This felt like a validation of all the struggles I’d experienced.
Who are your influences?
Marc: M83, Tame Impala, MGMT, The Cure, Kate Bush, The Beach Boys…As a personal anecdote, I recall playing Kate Bush’s music to my kids a couple of years ago without much of an impression. However, after her music featured in the recent season of Stranger Things, they’ve gained a newfound appreciation for her!
Tryzdin: among the influential musicians who have shaped my artistic journey, I draw inspiration from Michael Jackson, Billie Eilish, Justin Bieber, Michael Bublé, Ed Sheeran, and Twenty One Pilots. Each of them brings a unique voice and perspective to their music, sharing captivating stories through their songwriting.
Apart from musical influences, I must credit my parents for their unwavering support and belief in my talent. Their encouragement has been pivotal in driving me forward. Additionally, I have had the privilege of collaborating with Marc Darcange, who has been truly supportive in my musical path. At just 18 years old, working with him has been a blessing, and together, we have created music and cherished memories beyond my wildest imagination.
Are you a signed?
Marc: We currently operate as independent artists. Although we had a brief stint with the indie label Antifragile, we’ve found that our creative journey is better served outside the traditional label system. Our independent status gives us the flexibility and freedom to pursue our music in the way we envision, unrestricted by the expectations or constraints that sometimes come with label affiliations.
You released your new single ‘I Am The Sea’, tell us more about the single and the meaning behind the song.
Marc: “I Am The Sea” is an intimate track, a reflection of deeply personal experiences. As a child, I grappled with school phobia and bullying, experiences that were incredibly challenging but ultimately, shaped who I am today. This song was born out of those experiences, born from the need to articulate the profound emotions tied to feeling different and ostracized. “I Am The Sea” goes beyond just expressing personal struggles. The inspiration to write this song came when I watched a documentary about a young French boy who, like me, was enduring bullying and exclusion for simply being himself ,and who tragically took his own life as a consequence of the relentless bullying he faced. Seeing his story, I felt an overwhelming connection. It was like looking into a mirror that reflected my younger self, and I felt a strong urge to voice his, and by extension, our struggle through music. The song is an attempt to encapsulate the boy’s last afternoon, an imagined narrative of the emotions, thoughts, and turmoil he may have gone through before making that final, devastating choice. It’s an exploration of his need to escape the pain he was experiencing, and in a larger sense, it’s an appeal to understand the devastating impact that bullying can have.
When it came time to choose a vocalist for “I Am The Sea”, Tryzdin was the immediate choice. His emotive voice and ability to tap into the essence of a song made him the perfect fit. But as we worked on the track, we discovered a shared connection that went beyond music. Tryzdin too, had been a victim of bullying. This unexpected revelation added a profound layer of meaning to the song, making it not just a track but a shared narrative of our personal journeys.
“I Am The Sea” is a lament for the loss of a young life and a call to action to prevent such tragedies from repeating. By sharing this young boy’s story, as well as my own and Tryzdin’s experiences, we aim to raise awareness about the severity of bullying and the indelible scars it leaves on its victims. It’s a reminder of the urgent need for empathy, acceptance, and kindness in our societies.
Describe the track in two words.
Marc: Deeply emotional
What was the writing and recording process like?
Marc: The writing and recording process of “I Am The Sea” was a very intimate and deeply personal journey for me. The song, rooted in my own experience, flowed easily and quickly. The words and the music seemed to pour out of me almost instinctively. I was, in essence, translating raw emotions and memories into musical form.
However, even as the song began to take shape, I realized the need for a young voice to lend authenticity to the narrative. This led me to Tryzdin, whose vulnerability and power combined beautifully to breathe life into the lyrics. Tryzdin was not just a performer; he was the voice of the young boy whose story we were attempting to tell. The connection between his experiences and the song’s theme added an extra layer of emotion and genuineness to the track.
As the song evolved, we brought in Californian songwriter Britt Warner to help refine the lyrics, ensuring that the narrative remained compelling and relatable while staying true to its purpose. This was a collaborative process, with each of us contributing our individual perspectives and experiences, making the song richer and more nuanced.
Through all this, the song underwent several transformations, about ten different versions, before we found the right balance. We realized that what the song needed was not complexity but simplicity – a sparser arrangement that allowed the raw emotion of the lyrics and Tryzdin’s voice to shine through. It needed to be intimate, reflective, and heartfelt – a song that invites the listener into the young boy’s world, immerses them in his experiences, and, hopefully, opens their hearts to understanding the depths of his struggle.
Overall, the process was as much a journey of self-discovery and growth for us as artists, as it was a tribute to a lost young soul and a plea for empathy. It was a deeply emotional and cathartic experience, one that we hope comes across in the song.
Who did you work with on the single?
Marc: “I Am The Sea” came to life as a result of the combined efforts of a diverse team of talented individuals from various corners of the world. At the heart of the song is our lead singer, Tryzdin. The themes explored in the song mirror his personal experiences, which lends an authentic touch and emotional depth to the track. As for the lyrics, I worked collaboratively with our band member Nathaniel Shelley and California-based songwriter Britt Warner. Our collective inputs helped shape the narrative that truly resonates with the listener. From a production standpoint, we had the privilege of working with UK-based producer Aubrey Whitfield. Her comprehension of the song’s core themes and her commitment to preserving its emotional honesty played a vital role in setting the sonic atmosphere for the track. On the instrumental side, we had Carl-Viktor Guttormsen from Norway, who infused the track with dynamic layers of guitars and synths. Angelo Bruschini from the UK, known for his work with Massive Attack, lent his distinct guitar prowess to the song. Additionally, the evocative French words contributed by a young Swiss schoolgirl added another layer of depth to the song’s narrative. Austin Leeds from the US mixed the track, and Simon Francis from the UK mastered it, ensuring that the song would resonate with the listeners as we envisioned. The video, directed by Romain Bedouet, supplements the song with a visual narrative that further enhances the emotional impact of “I Am The Sea”.
Although deeply personal, “I Am The Sea” stands as a testament to the dedicated efforts of our team. We are extremely grateful to each individual who contributed to this project and helped bring our vision to life.
Will we see a music video for I Am The Sea’, and if so, what can we expect from the creative process?
Marc: Along with the release of ‘I Am The Sea’, we also launched a music video, directed by French filmmaker Romain Bedouet, who already directed some of our former videos (“Ocean Blues”, “Somewhere Somebody”). The video aims to represent the narrative of the song through visuals. The video traces the transformation of a schoolgirl who, battling her personal turmoil, morphs into a mythical sea creature, ultimately submerging into the ocean. This change symbolises the longing for escape and freedom, as portrayed in the song. Interestingly, the story in the video unfolds in reverse. It begins with the end and gradually peels back layers of the girl’s story, revealing her struggles through a series of flashbacks. This format underscores the notion that everyone has a backstory often marked by unseen struggles. The video is a visual exploration of the song’s core message, depicting the unseen battles one might be fighting.
Will we see an EP or Album and if so, what can we expect from the creative process.
Marc: Our upcoming album will indeed center around the tragic story of this young French boy, turning it into a concept album. The album aims to take listeners on a journey through the hardships and struggles faced by the boy, such as bullying and mental health issues. This format allows us to delve deeper into the narrative of ‘I Am The Sea’, providing a more comprehensive look at the circumstances surrounding the boy’s life and his struggles. We hope that through this album, we can foster a greater understanding of such issues and ignite conversations on mental health and the devastating impacts of bullying. We strongly believe that music has the power to illuminate dark corners, bring about empathy, and create a platform for dialogue about these critical societal issues. Through our forthcoming album, we are striving to do just that.
Describe each song in two words.
Marc: While our upcoming album’s track listing is still in the works, making it difficult to describe each song in just two words, we can certainly touch upon the central theme that threads throughout our music. Essentially, our music can be viewed as an attempt at alchemy, the ancient art of transforming base metals into gold. We take our vulnerabilities, our struggles, and our weaknesses, and transform them into something different – music, art, harmonies. It’s not so much the experiences or struggles themselves that are negative, but rather how we choose to respond and what we do with these experiences that truly matters. It’s about turning our ‘lead’ – our hardships and pain – into ‘gold’ – into art. This is the incredible power of music, and indeed, of art as a whole.
Do you have any live shows coming up?
Let us know where we can get tickets if so.
Marc: While we’re extremely excited to share our music with live audiences, it’s a bit of a challenge right now as we’re based in different countries and continents ! However, we’re optimistic about the future and are planning on setting up live shows after the album release. In the meantime, Tryzdin, is keeping the spirit alive with performances in the US. We strongly believe in the power of live music and its ability to create a unique bond between the artists and the audience, and we can’t wait to bring our songs to life on stage.
What else can we expect in late 2023?
Marc: In late 2023, you can certainly expect a lot more from us. We’re planning to release more singles, remixes, and videos to give our listeners a more complete experience of our music. We understand that our relationship with our fanbase is crucial, and to that end, we’ll be more present than ever on social platforms.
One of our main goals is to establish a deeper connection with our listeners. We genuinely appreciate each message we receive, especially on our Instagram page, and we do our best to respond to all of them. We are truly touched when fans take the time to write to us or share our music, and it reaffirms why we started making music in the first place – to connect with people. So, you can expect to see a lot more interaction from us in the near future!
Where do you see yourself now in 5 Years?
Marc: Projecting five years into the future, it’s challenging to foresee precisely what lies ahead. However, one certainty remains: my dedication to creating music. It’s more than a career or a hobby—it’s a way of life. I can’t imagine a time when I won’t be generating music. No matter how old I get, the passion for composing melodies and lyrics will remain a constant. This isn’t about chasing fame or stardom. It’s about feeling alive and channeling that vitality into music, which I then have the pleasure of sharing with others. My aim is to connect with people, to reach those who resonate with our music on a profound level. So, irrespective of what the future holds, you can be sure that I will continue creating, continue sharing, and continue connecting through music. As far Saint Mars is concerned, our hope and aim are to be fully immersed in our music careers, spending our time creating music for the band, performing live, and engaging with our listeners. Technology is evolving at an unprecedented rate, and while we don’t know exactly how this will shape our interactions with fans, we’re committed to staying at the forefront of these developments. Regardless of how the landscape shifts, we’re dedicated to finding ways to connect with our audience. That’s the one constant you can expect from us, no matter where the future takes us!
Tryzdin: In five years, I envision myself captivating diverse audiences worldwide with my performances, as I aim to expand my fan base and share my musical talents with anyone willing to listen. My aspiration is to collaborate with renowned artists within the industry, elevating my craft to new heights. Additionally, I’m excited about the possibility of sharing my life’s journey and musical inspiration through a captivating documentary, shedding light on my upbringing and the driving force behind my pursuit of music. The next five years hold immense potential, and I can’t wait to see all that I can achieve!
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
Marc: “If you walk in the crowd, you won’t leave any trace” (The Cure, “Jumping Someone Else’s Train”)…the importance of being true to yourself and not copying somebody else just because it’s trendy…I’m hearing a lot of music on Spotify with fantastic singers, fantastic songwriters and fantastic production…but it often has that “I’ve heard this before” flavour…We want to avoid that at all costs, even if it takes more time to build a fanbase…thanks Robert Smith !
Tryzdin: In my journey as a musician, there’s a personal motto that I hold close to my heart every single day: “Weird Is My Normal,” a quote of my own creation. Throughout the years, I’ve encountered numerous people labeling me as “weird” due to my unique personality and unconventional approach. However, I embrace it wholeheartedly, using my music as a means to demonstrate that being different is not only acceptable but an essential part of who I am. Through my artistry, I hope to inspire others to embrace their individuality and find comfort in their own version of “normal.”
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
Tryzdin: When it comes to a gig, there are five indispensable things that I always make sure not to forget:
1. My cherished rings – they are a part of my signature style, and I love having them with me on stage.
2. Taking care of my voice is paramount, so I never neglect its health and ensure I’m vocally prepared.
3. The meticulously planned set list, as it lays the foundation for a seamless and unforgettable performance.
4. Of course, the instruments, the backbone of my music, ensuring they are present and in top condition.
5. Lastly, breath mints are an absolute must; I never want to worry about having bad breath while giving it my all on stage.
These five essentials are always with me, making each gig a positive experience for both myself and the audience!