"I fell in love with it when I saw Nico’s videos of “Desertshore” I think it’s unknowingly the first dark wave record in history."

Posted: June 19, 2024
I used to compose with guitar because my main instrument for some time now, but also with piano when I find one.
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Photo provided by Saint Mary Candy

Saint Mary Candy is an Italian band born in Palermo on the threshold of 2020 under the leadership of Marco Barcellona (vocals and guitar), Laura Caviglia (keyboards and guitar), Camilla Acyole,Belmonte (percussion), Davide Di Giovanni (bass) and Andrea Chentrens (drums). It is the Shoegaze atmospheres of the '90s and the Psychedelic Rock of the '60s that shape the sound of the "Saints", capable of ranging from dense and dreamy moments to saturated and acid colors, bringing an intense sound experience back to the stage, daughters of its reference genres.

Saint Mary Candy have many concerts under their belt, as well as high-level openings for bands also known on the international scene, like New Candys and Be Forest. For Roberto Cammarata's FAT Sounds, Saint Mary Candy released the first two singles "Don't Turn Off The Light" and "Get A Ride", songs contained on their self-titled debut album out on May 30, 2024.

Manuel: Hello Marco, it’s a pleasure to meet you, I’ve watched your gig last night and it was awesome, and the stage lighting was impressive. How much do you think is important a good quality light work in your music genre?

Marco: Hi Manuel, the pleasure is mine. Yes, I became aware of massive enlightenment when out of the blue I went through a state of confusion very near to epilepsy. Couldn’t see the fretboard of my guitar anymore. But I really loved it, I think that kind of atmosphere fits well into the mood of our sound. I’m pretty sure that the light man had also so much fun.

Manuel: I’m not very familiar with “shoegaze”, how would you describe it?

Marco: Shoegaze is a genre born in the first half of the 80’s which contains the combination of nostalgic and emotional melodies with more driven and energy rich sounds, made by long reverbs sounds, delay and fuzz.

The term was coined by the press, noticing the bands playing with very low guitars, making solos while keeping their eyes starred on the shoes, same for those who attended the shows with girls who put their bags on the floor and danced with their eyes glued on shoes.

Manuel: That’s interesting Is there some band that has provided you inspiration?

Marco: First of all Slowdive, from which I took inspiration for the sound of the reverbed guitars, then Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine, Ride, also Jesus and Mary Chain, Blonde Redhead, Sonic Youth, The Brian Jonestown Massacre and many more.

Manuel: Tricky question, your band is almost 50% boys and girls, we all know the stories behind bands such like ABBA, Fleetwood Mac, etc. How is to deal with it?

Marco: I think there’s not much difference between boys and girls, they are good musicians.

The only difference that makes the band aesthetically more beautiful.

Manuel: Do you write songs all together?

Marco: I write the songs and the lyrics, then we arrange them all together.

Manuel: Your latest album is finally out; how long did it take to produce it?

Marco: We came in the studio long time ago with a different line up, Laura wasn’t yet part of the project and the drummer was different. We stopped due to an internal crisis for a while after recording bass and drum tracks. Later covid played its part.

When the sun came out again, I went back to the studio and finally closed the album with Roberto Cammarata and the help of my mates. After a long ordeal we done it.

Manuel: What these songs are about? Does the album have some hidden meaning?

Marco: I used to write if I feel a sort of visceral inspiration, the real, the pain of a lack, peace, love and death. The album is just a beautiful album.

Manuel: Have you used some strange, weird, unusual instrument in the record?

Marco: Yes, I recorded the Indian harmonium in the middle part of “I Don’t Mind”.

I fell in love with it when I saw Nico’s videos of Velvet Underground played it. “Desertshore” her solo album is an example. I think it’s unknowingly the first dark wave record in history. It’s a mantric and spiritual instrument.

Manuel: Which instrument is your favorite to play and why?

Marco: I used to compose with guitar because my main instrument for some time now, but also with piano when I find one. I can even compose with my mind while driving, recording melodies on my iPhone

Manuel: Camilla is the most enigmatic band’s character; in the beginning it could seems unnecessary but suddenly you realized that she gave more than just simple percussions and it would not the same without her.

Have you thought about this figure of band member when you were looking to fix the band or it has been a lucky coincidence?

Marco: One day she came to see the rehearsals as the drummer’s girlfriend, and we decided to play “Anemone” by The Brian Jonestown Massacre. When the piece started, the groove had a very nice and rhythmic feel, we liked the idea so much that we also tried it on our only two songs we had. It worked so well that we decided to get her into the band. About the tambourine…during the 60’s together with maracas was also very characteristic in live performances. I can mention so many bands like the Rolling Stones, the Byrds, Beach Boys.

Then came back into the 90’s with bands like Oasis, but above all the Brian Jonestown Massacre, where the enigmatic figure of Joel Gion gives to tambourine a lot of space. Let’s consider Camilla our enigmatic Gion but much more beautiful.

Manuel: Are you planning a tour to promote the album?

Marco: We have some other shows and other coming. Planned to start a tour in September.

Manuel: Where would you like to tour? And where do you think is the best country for your music?

Marco: Like everyone goal, we’d like to go in USA, personally I would love California. The California dreaming for our music.

Manuel: Not long ago you opened to “New Candys” I remember well (I was playing guitar with you on stage), how was to meet them?

Marco: I loved playing with you and your beautiful boots 🙂 it was so cool. Nice moment with New Candys… I remember that in the beginning both bands were very quiet in the dressing room. Then Fernando, who had noticed my pedal board, broke the silence asking me information about one of my pedals, so I asked him if he wanted to try it. Shyly said OK and once there we spent the time testing our instrument with satisfaction. Their live was great as ours.

Manuel: Quick question though, just out of curiosity … is there a little something between this music genre and candy? It seems a very weird coincidence.

Marco: The candy opens the doors to the new perception, even in making music.

Manuel: What next for Saint Mary Candy?

Marco: We can’t wait to eat European stages at first, then go back in the studio for the second album.

Manuel: Where can we listen to your music and keep an eye on your work?

Marco: Currently on all digital platforms, soon you will also be able to buy our vinyl on our band camp.

Manuel: Thanks a lot Marco, it’s been a pleasure to chat with you. Can’t wait to share the stage again.

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