I had the chance to ask St. Lucia a few questions

Arts & Entertainment

Jeriann Tripodi, Staff

Header image: riffmagazine.com

St. Lucia is a worldwide famous electropop band that consists of Jean-Philip Grobler (lead vocals and guitar), his wife Patty Beranek (keyboard, backup vocals and percussion), Nick Paul (keyboard and synthesizers), Ross Clark (bass guitar) and Dustin Kaufman (drums). Founded by Grobler, St. Lucia originated in New York in 2013. Soon after, their debut studio album, “When the Night,” was released. Some fan-favorite songs off this album are “All Eyes on You,” “Elevate” and “September.” “When the Night” was a success on the Billboard charts and resulted in media praise from magazines such as Rolling Stone, PAPER and LADYGUNN. St. Lucia also made television appearances on the late shows “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Late Night with Seth Myers” where they performed as the musical guest.            

St. Lucia will kick off their US Utopia Tour one day (Oct. 6) before the release of their much-anticipated LP “Utopia,” which will be released on Oct. 7 via Nettwerk. St. Lucia took the time off from their busy schedule to answer a few questions. Let’s get to know their frontman a little better. I hope you enjoy our Q&A session.

Q (JERIANN): What should fans expect when they see you live?

A (ST. LUCIA): We go out of our way to make our show the best thing you’ll probably see in venues that are the size we’re playing. They’re fun, super high energy, pretty much all our music is danceable and so it’s like a free workout and you will see us sweat our asses off. We also don’t cut any corners when it comes to the quality of the experience, from using loads of analog synths, real guitar amps, live drums, etc. We could probably save a lot of money by not doing things the way we do it, but we believe that quality on all levels makes a big difference to the overall experience. Oh, and our stage and lighting production is cool.

Q (JERIANN): Do you have a personal favorite song that is on your “Utopia” album?

A (ST. LUCIA/JEAN-PHILIP): I keep flipping between them all. It’s like they’re all my prodigal children. I think my current fave is “Gimme The Night,” but tomorrow it’ll probably be “Another Lifetime” or “Separate World.” We’re having a real hard time picking our setlist for this tour because all the songs on “Utopia” feel so good to play live, we just wanna do the whole record every night. 

Q (JERIANN): Growing up, which artists did you listen to that inspired you musically? 

A (ST. LUCIA/JEAN-PHILIP): I’m a child of the 80’s, but then I was a teenager in the late 90’s, and so I was deeply influenced by both those decades which is sort of like using a combo shampoo and conditioner; they were such different decades. I love so much music from the 80’s, and I’m hugely inspired by the desire of many of those artists to connect with people on a very broad level but also to do something artistically satisfying. Artists like U2, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Prince, and Michael Jackson did this amazingly well. I also have a soft spot for kind of novelty pop one-hit wonders that you really shouldn’t like but do. But then what’s funny is my musical personality is also juxtaposed with those artists from the 90’s, like Radiohead or Nirvana, who seemed to be doing everything in their power to get people to not like them and yet people kept coming back. So that’s kind of a crash course in my completely contradictory musical personality. 

Q (JERIANN): What advice would you give to aspiring young musicians?

A (ST. LUCIA/JEAN-PHILIP): If you really love music, and you really think this thing is for you, then really, really go for it. People are going to tell you all sorts of BS. They’re going to promise you if you go with them, you will get such and such thing and sometimes it will work out, but more likely than not, most of the time it won’t. But the trick is to just keep doing it, and to trust your gut. If you have really quick success, you might get convinced that it’s always going to be that way, but it won’t. At some point you’re not going to be that fresh face anymore and then you’re going to have to fight for your existence as an artist. There is no easy road in the long run, but if you truly love music and preserve your own enjoyment of the process and don’t let people get into your head with “this is the right way and this is the wrong way of doing things,” that will be your refuge in all the noise. So, I suppose my biggest advice would be to safeguard and cultivate your own way and your own inner voice, because that is what will keep you sane and will keep you loving music despite all the inevitable ups and downs. 

You can see St. Lucia live in concert in Philadelphia on Oct. 8 at Theatre of Living Arts (TLA). St. Lucia will also be appearing at other US venues up until Nov. 16.

Tour dates and other music information can be found on the St. Lucia official website.

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