Music Fans Are Checking in with Saint Motel

Ashley Chang

Aluminum foil, dim lights, and a projector displaying clips of astronauts, apes, and neon lights were all too fitting to set the ambience for the Sci-Fi theme at Club Spaceland on Sept. 7.

Crowds of hipster lads dressed in flannel with untamed hair and retro-chic gals dressed to impress, packed the modest Silver Lake club and made their way toward the stage, Pabst Blue Ribbon beer in hand.

The stage was decorated with two fake potted trees and a deer’s head, and the projector behind the stage showed live shots of the patient audience, heightening the anticipation.

Just then, four young men decorated with aluminum foil shirts, hats, and arm bands strolled onto the stage, finally face-to-face with their cheering fans. A young man, accompanied with a huge smiling grin, jumped up onto the stage, microphone in hand and announced, “Introducing. Saint Motel!”

All in their mid-20s and Los Angeles locals, A/J Jackson (vocals and guitar), Aaron Sharp (lead guitar), Greg Erwin (drums), and Dak Jones (bass) wasted no time kicking off their debut EP release party for “ForPlay.”

They jammed out new tracks, such as, “Butch” and “Dear Dictator,” and performed with such energy that surely awoke those who were there all night.

Though the stage was small, Saint Motel had no problem maneuvering around, covering every inch given to them, whether it was through jumping or rolling around. Stage presence was nowhere near lacking during their Labor Day show.

It’s no wonder these young musicians know a thing or two about visual stimulation. Jackson, Sharp, Erwin, and Jones met as film students at Chapman University in Orange County, only to drop out and pursue their other passion: music.

“We all knew that if we could choose to do anything in our short lives, that it would be to play music. They didn’t seem conflicting, music and film, both just creative outlets with endless possibilities.”

In no way did Saint Motel leave their love for film behind, for their music videos play a pivotal role in the band, turning them into short movies, full of thrillers, romance, and drama.

When asked if they would rather take home a Grammy or an Oscar, Jackson replied “Grammy and Oscar. At the same time. Statue mänage a trois.”

Saint Motel’s sound is as eclectic as their talent and personalities. They describe their music as “a pretty ocean of music that will thrill and delight you before slowly dragging you out to your untimely death by its vicious undercurrents.”

A fan, Stephen Kim, 27, described Saint Motel’s sound as a mixture of The Strokes and Orange County’s Cold War Kids.

It takes more than influences of The Strokes and Cold War Kids to compile Saint Motel’s heavy drums, stellar guitars, and sharp vocals. Sprinkle in Franz Ferdinand, kick in a little of The Killers, and shower in some of The Libertines, and the formula really gets going.

Saint Motel, full of color, energy, and flavor was a fan favorite that Monday night as they continued to rip through “ForPlay,” performing “To My Enemies” and “Do Everything Now.”

Those who were unable to “check in with Saint Motel” will be given another opportunity every Monday night in September, free of charge, at Club Spaceland.