The Great White
North Brings the Hard Rock Emotion of SAINTVICIOUS
In 2017 a group of guys got together, created a song called "No Apology" and then pulled Saskatchewan into their Hard Rock minds. Next, they won a contest for their band name in 2019, and then went on to open for Royal Tusk. Their music is unapologetic, unabashed rock, and it pulses emotion through the veins of the listener. They are a close group of friends and they also know how to have a good time. Videos of hot sauce contests and saying their band name in unison are just some of the entertainment they provide when they aren't doing their shows.
Four guys coming together, sharing the same goals as a band. This is Saintvicious. Today I had the opportunity to speak with lead vocalist, Madison Erhardt.
By Kreig Marks, February 2021
TRR: Hi Madison. Welcome to Tru Rock Revival Magazine.
ME: Thank you. Glad to be part of this.
TRR: Tell me a bit about the band. You’ve all been friends for a while and then put together the band in 2018?
ME: Yes, we all met through our local music scene while playing in other bands. Mostly all Metal bands. Ryan, Charlie, and I had played in a previous band together before this one. I also was in a band before that with our bassist, Dan. Robyn was also always in a band or two during that period. Then after those bands came to an end, after a bit of a hiatus, we decided to form Saintvicious together and take a different direction.
TRR: Who’s the one who took the lead to form the band?
ME: Ryan gets credit for that one. He had a new song idea that was a little more Hard Rock as opposed to the Metal stuff we were all used to playing. He sent it to me and Charlie to see if we would be up for a new project. I started writing lyrics for it almost instantly and that song became “No Apology”. Then Dan and Robyn heard the demo and showed some interest. With us knowing the talent both those guys have, we immediately asked them to come aboard.
TRR: Did you guys really gel right away?
ME: Once it was the 4 of us, it seemed to come together pretty quickly, especially since we all shared the same goals as a band.
TRR: Before joining Saintvicious, what were you doing?
ME: Personally, I was taking a bit of a break from music. I had been in and out of bands for the better part of 14 years, at that point, and felt like I was lacking some inspiration. Luckily, Ryan thought of me when he started putting together the first riffs for Saintvicious.
TRR: How long did it take for you to get the inspiration back once you joined the band?
ME: Pretty quickly. Once we got together and started to write and perform, that's all it took.
TRR: So, after getting the band together, you guys did about a year and a half of live shows before recording your first album, which you did independently. Were you doing covers or did you have original material at that point?
ME: We had a decent amount of the album written before we started playing live. So, we were working a lot of the songs out live at that time. We even had a few B-sides that we’d play that never made the final product. We did have a few covers in the bag though. "Show Me How to Live" by Audioslave was one we’d bring out quite frequently.
TRR: Great song. Have any labels reached out to you guys yet?
ME: Not yet. We’ve shipped a few press packs off to certain labels, but that’s a very tough way to get signed nowadays. With the current global situation and no artists being able to tour, it’s even less likely that labels are looking for new bands to sign.
TRR: Where’s your biggest fan-base, in Canada?
ME: Definitely the hometown crowd here in Saskatoon. There’s nothing better. But, I’d have to say Edmonton, Alberta and Winnipeg, Manitoba have also been very kind to us.
TRR: That's great to hear. The new single, "Sticks and Stones," great song. Everyone loves it here at Tru Rock Revival Magazine. You and Ryan co-wrote the song?
ME: Thank you so much! Yes we did, Ryan had most of the song already pieced together, then I got a hold of it and started putting the lyrics to it. After, we collectively put the final arrangement together.
TRR: “Hey, it’s OK, just obey, we’ll even tell you what to say. Run away because it’s never enough... Hey, it’s OK, just obey, we always need another slave... No way! I’ll never carry your false flag.” Those lyrics are pretty telling with what’s going on in politics these days, especially here in the US. (referring to the US Capitol riot). Tell me what those lyrics mean to you.
ME: For me, they’re saying we’ll all have a lot of opinions and ideas thrown at us and none of them are necessarily going to be the correct one. If we try to please one side or the other, we will eventually be rejected anyway because nothing is good enough. So stand up for yourself, think for yourself, be smart, and never follow anyone because you think you have to.
TRR: Good advice in those lyrics. What about your lyrics,“Don’t try to deny.. Inflate your ego with another lie... Just look me in my eyes... Find another hill for you to die.” Who is that lyric for or about?
ME: I wrote that when I was very frustrated about all of the virtue signaling I was seeing. Mostly in pop culture. It’s about the hypocrisy that comes along with virtue signaling and is basically saying, find something more constructive to do with your time instead of trying to constantly boost yourself in the moral hierarchy. Get off your soapbox and quit trying to be better than everyone. There are more important things in life. Find another hill to die on.
TRR: Pretty deep stuff.
ME: Haha or just a self-proclaimed idiot trying to sound deep.
TRR: (laughing) How did you guys go about the writing? Words or music first?
ME: Usually the music first. There’s been the odd occasion where I’ve had a Chorus melody idea with some rough lyrics first, and we’ll try to structure a song around it.
TRR: Has anyone told you you sound a bit like Chad Kroeger from Nickelback, a fellow Canadian? Now, before you get all bent, because for some reason, Nickelback gets a bad rap, and I’ve never met or interviewed them but some of the artists we’ve interviewed (Myles Kennedy, Mark Tremonti, Ben Burnley) love those guys, say they're very cool. So, what's your take on that?
ME: Haha, actually it’s not the first time I’ve heard it. I think it has a lot to do with the grit we both put into our singing voices. That style of singing goes hand in hand with Rock music. I’ll take the compliment. As much hate as they get, you don’t get to where you are without making a few fans along the way.
TRR: I'd say they have a few. Now that I’ve probably destroyed you by making a comparison to Chad Kroeger, who are some of the artists or bands you look up to or looked up to when you were just starting out?
ME: Ha. No no, it’s cool. Right now, Spencer Sotelo from Periphery is someone I very much look up to vocally. Corey Taylor from Slipknot/Stone Sour has been an influence for me most of my musical life. And Keith Buckley from Every Time I Die, as a lyricist, is one of the best out there, in my opinion.
TRR: Listening to your songs from the first album and to the new single, you guys seem to have stuck to your signature sound. Has anyone in the band wanted to try something different, as far as production or sound, or experimentation, or do you guys feel this is the band’s sound and you’re gonna keep this consistency?
ME: Yeah, we all are in agreement that we don’t want to stifle ourselves creatively. I mean, you always kind of want the “Saintvicious sound” at the root of it, but I think we all welcome any kind of experimentation.
TRR: How have you guys kept busy during the pandemic? Do you have day jobs away from the band?
ME: We’re doing our best and are continuously writing and working on new music. Yes, we all have day jobs. It’s the only way to afford this music thing (laughing) .
TRR: What about family? Married? Kids?
ME: Ryan has a son, Charlie, and he and his better half are currently expecting. No kids for the rest of us. None of us are married, but currently Ryan and Robyn are the only two single fellas. The two guitar players...go figure, ha ha.
TRR: When do you think you guys will make it to the states to do some shows?
ME: Hopefully once this pandemic subsides and we’re allowed to cross the border again. We really miss touring.
TRR: If you make it to South Florida, we’ll make sure to get out there and support you guys.
ME: That would be awesome! We’d love to get to Florida. Waaaay better weather than up here (laughing).
TRR: Anyone you’d like to thank or give a shout out to?
ME: Anybody that has ever taken the time to check us out, they deserve the biggest thank you!
For further information about Saintvicious, follow them on Facebook
Kreig Marks, Founder/Publisher, TRR
Kreig Marks is the Founder/Publisher of Tru Rock Revival Magazine.
Rock music has always been his passion, and to promote musicians. In is spare time he is an internationally recognized neuro-fitness trainer/ kinesiologist.