What’s soon to be a new wave to sweep over the Gold Coast, Jimmy the Saint and the Sinners are beating everyone to the punch. Murder ballads with a south of the border feel might hint at some choice Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds records, but what this crew are achieving for the Gold Coast music scene is far more curious than any Jangling Jack mystery. Jake Wilton sat down with three fifths of the group to talk about vinyl possession and the creative writing process for their new EP.
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If there’s anything to learn from murder ballads it’s that the genre is in an unfortunate lull in recent days, and never trust the song by its title. Thankfully, Jimmy the Saint and the Sinners turn their collective backs on both those rules. The band’s latest EP release, Boozehounds & Bad Men, holds some pretty special song names and all retain their desired meaning – see Re-animator and quite possibly the greatest song title in recent memory Clint Vicious (Vs the Vicious Clit). The band’s fearless leader and songwriter Jimmy the Saint himself, born James Turner, takes it upon himself to craft these malevolent stories.
Interestingly enough, Turner found inspiration for the majority of Boozehounds & Bad Men’s content reading horror fiction. Re-animator, for example, takes significant persuasion from the infamous author H.P. Lovecraft who found fame posthumously in his work of horror novels.
He told me Re-animator is based upon a short story from Lovecraft called Herbert West-Reanimator.
“Basically, it’s about a guy who’s girlfriend is so interested in breaking up with him that she kills him. He then comes back from the grave to try and win her over and let her know that he forgives her,” Turner said.
Self-described as “voodoo blues”, Jimmy the Saint and the Sinners can be counted on for many types of music. Yet whatever genre they may be placed in, the powerful lyric content still lingers through their songs. Boozehounds & Bad Men takes an objective view on human experiences and on Turner himself.
Turner speaks passionately about these stories he’s formed and while on the surface they may seem like disheartening tales of murder, they actually touch on some pretty hefty subject matter.
“What I like to do when I write a song is, one: I like to tell a story; and two: I like to always try and write from the perspective of somebody that I wouldn’t want to know,” he tells me.
In saying that, Turner continues to press on the EP’s subject matter that he seems most proud of observing in his lyrics, although acknowledges their being truly negative.
“Misogyny, violence, murder, obviously. It’s somewhat healthy to feel those things within yourself and try to think about what other perspectives are like. I feel like it’s a growing experience to write about them.”
In another valiant move for the band, Boozehounds & Bad Men is only available on vinyl format – until posted on Bandcamp for full consumer consumption. Along with Turner’s daring lyrical messages, Jimmy the Saint and the Sinners knock over another accomplishment through the art of vinyl. All present members from the band are avid collectors of the music format, so to add their very own wax to their collection was a big moment.
“For me, it’s just really cool that I can listen to my own music in the format that I love; that’s especially thrilling. I suppose it’s a life goal for me,” boasted Turner.
Boozehounds & Bad Men is available right now at Atlantis Music in Southport and at all Jimmy the Saint and the Sinners shows.