Contrary to popular belief, not everyone from New Jersey has an orange spray tan and big hair. Christian Peslak and Steve Marion, who together make up Saint Rich, grew up in Upstate New Jersey, otherwise known as “the part that doesn’t have a reality show.” They’ve spent the last few years touring under the name Delicate Steve, but after a weekend together and seven new songs, they decided to try something new, and thus, Saint Rich was born. Since releasing an album in September, they’ve been touring the US with Dr. Dog, with whom they recently released a joint EP.
We got the chance to have coffee and a conversation with Saint Rich before their show in Santa Cruz in late February. Keep reading to get a deeper look at the band.
Your album ‘Beyond the Drone’ came out nearly six months ago. How was the process leading up to the release?
Steve: You mean after we made it? After we made it, before it came out, right?
Yes, the publicizing.
Steve: Get the band together, make some videos, and scheme about press photo — typical creating a record thing. Figure out our touring schedule.
In a lot of articles, Saint Rich has been described as a spinoff from your former band, Delicate Steve. Do you view it that way too?
Steve: It’s a spinoff of just our entire New Jersey music scene.
Christian: In a way, Delicate Steve is a spinoff band too.
How has being on tour with Dr. Dog been? Where you friends with the band before the tour?
Steve: We knew the guys before the tour, they’re from Philly and we’re from North New Jersey. They knew Delicate Steve and we’ve played some shows as Delicate Steve together before. The tour has been so much fun. Their fans are so much fun to play for and audiences have been really receptive.
How do you guys pass time while traveling from city to city?
Christian: I do a lot of drawing in the van.
Oh yeah, you do the graphics for the merch, right?
Christian: Yeah! I actually drew that in the van.
Steve: I like Instagram.
Yeah? Do you take a lot of pictures?
Steve: I do.
Nice, and do you filter them all?
Steve: Of course.
Do you only use the Instagram filters or do you have special apps that you use?
Steve: Yeah, I have a couple secret apps that I use. But I can’t tell. They’re too good.
So you guys and Dr. Dog released a joint EP called ‘Casual Freefall.’ What inspired you both to make this decision?
Steve: We are not famous enough and they are famous enough and we said how can we get more famous and we thought, “Huh, joint EP,” and we like their band a lot, and apparently they like our band and it was really fun to pick a song—
You guys covered each other’s songs right?
Steve: Yeah, it was a blast. That’s kind of how it came about. We decided that we needed more fans, so joint EP.
Like I was telling Christian earlier, this is the first show at The Catalyst that I’ve seen to be sold out, so to go on tour with them was definitely a great idea.
What’s your favorite song to perform live?
Steve: It would probably have to be “You Ain’t Worth the Night.”
Christian: Yeah, definitely.
Your song “Officer” really reminded me of my hometown where there was nothing better for the cops to do than observe the teenagers, watching their every move to see where they slip. Is that how you felt when writing the song?
Steve: Pretty much.
Were you guys from a small town?
Steve: Yeah, really small town. An officer picked on Chris too, so that’s how the song came about.
If you could have written any song in the world, what song would it be?
Steve: “Lean on Me” by Bill Withers made a lot of money. Nah, I’m kidding. I like Sting songs. He makes a lot of money. Pretty much any song that makes a lot of money.
Really, I feel like what whatever is in the top 40 makes the most money.
Steve: Yeah, but if you make one that lasts forever on the radio… You know Sting makes $8,000 a day on average for just royalties from radios and stuff, so he just wakes up everyday with $8,000 in his pocket.
Steve: Yeah, that’s the song I want.
You guys have toured all over the US over the past two months. What’s been your favorite city?
Steve: Austin’s cool. We played outdoors there. That was cool.
How did you come up with the name Saint Rich?
Steve: We thought our band was very… Catholic, so we wanted to make it sound more Catholic.
What are your plans for after this tour? New music?
Steve: We’re going to go craft another record in the studio.
Pick up Saint Rich’s debut album, Beyond the Drone.
For the band’s upcoming tour dates, check out their Facebook page.