It’s not that the band – completed by drummer Andy Head and bassist Ben Chernitsky – deliberately wanted to be different. They didn’t ask to be on the fringes, it's just the space they consistently found themselves inhabiting and existing in – not just musically, but as people. The fact they felt like outsiders, however, quickly shaped both the direction and the aesthetic of the band. Truly, Saint Agnes is an extension of their lives, and of who they are.
“As people, we’ve never felt like we’ve fitted in,” explains Kitty, “whether that’s in our families, in school, university, the music scene, the mainstream. I never really felt a part of any of that. And when you don’t fit, you have no choice but to not fit in. And as you get older, you start to enjoy that and want to push it as far as it can go – to be a spanner in the works.”
“At the time in London, everything felt a little too cool for school,” adds Jon. “We wanted to be confrontational. Even live, we did what we did in order to piss the audience off.”
The idea of being a spanner in the works was at the core of the band when it first started – after Jon and Kitty's former groups played a show together and he, eventually, convinced her to start a project with him – and it remains firmly in place today. At first, that modus operandi manifested itself most obviously in the band’s wild live shows, but it’s also at the heart of their ferociously DIY ethic and distinctive aesthetic. The band not only produce all of their own music and release it on their own Death Or Glory Gang label, but they also make their own videos. It all combines to create their own dark and macabre world, one that’s both recognisable, but also distorted. Every Saint Agnes song is about things that happen in real life, but are then transposed into a murkier, more evil, more gothic, parallel universe.
“We take everyday narratives,” says Kitty, “and blow them up into larger-than-life fictions. But it’s still stuff that everyone can relate to. We’ve always tried to create our own world with our songs because the way we write is very visual. I can’t really write a song without also having a visual idea of what the song would look like, what the music video would look like.”
“We talk about the world it exists in more than we talk about the nuts and bolts of each song,” admits Jon, “and that world we’re picturing informs what’s going to happen.”