On the Rise: Far From Saints is the supergroup bringing genre diversity to the world of rock
HUNGER catches up with the band following the release of their debut single, ‘Let’s Turn This Back Around.’
Kelly Jones of Stereophonics and The Wind and The Wave’s Patty Lynn and Dwight Baker have come together to form a new group ready to take over the rock landscape. The newly formed band, named Far From Saints, first began playing together on Jones’ solo UK tour in 2019 – which saw Baker and Lynn act as the openers. After performing a cover version of Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty’s ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,’ their chemistry was clear for all to see. With an eclectic range of influences and musical styles, Far From Saints are a musical melting pot, evoking sonics from country, rock, folk and more – yet even with this diverse range, they still somehow manage to pull it all together with ease. Now, in 2023, they’re gearing up for the release of the group’s debut album – which was incredibly put together in just nine days – as well as a string of live shows later on in the year.
Despite the record coming together in a remarkably hasty fashion, the pandemic, sadly, meant the project had to take a back seat. However, Far From Saints are now introducing themselves to the world with their debut single and the album’s title track, ‘Let’s Turn This Back Around.’ The track, written and produced entirely by the band, with mixing by Grammy-nominated Al Clay, sees the group provide a touching country-tinged ballad – with Patty and Kelly’s ethereal vocals taking centre stage. Lyrically, the cut explores the heartbreak of leaving loved ones behind and sees both Patty and Kelly trade verses on the topic from opposing sides. But with a dramatic crescendo coming into play as the track closes, they both reflect on how the strength of togetherness far outweighs any individual needs in a partnership – resulting in a hair-raising finish. Here, HUNGER sits down with Far From Saints to discuss their debut track, upcoming album and the story behind the band’s formation.
What was the inspiration behind your debut single, ‘Let’s Turn This Back Around?’
Kelly: The main verses of the song Dwight and Patty sent to me over the phone. I was sat in my car and thinking up choruses. I sent a few over, but they didn’t work. But I had a good idea for the break in the middle for a dramatic shift. I wanted a big change – thinking about live gigs, so I added that, and we pieced it together on tour in a room in a Cornwall hotel. The lyrics began with Patty and her feelings on long-distance relationships and my lyrics kinda answered hers in my story. Then we knitted it all together to tell a story. Production-wise, the swells and waves at the end are something I love doing with drums, guitars and slide guitars. I think Patty added the ‘tinder for your lawn bonfire’ section, which gave the song an even bigger ending when we all sang on it. Fiona did a great string arrangement that helped glue it together.
Did you feel nervous about putting that single out, considering this is a new group for all of you?
Patty: I wasn’t nervous at all. I have been very much looking forward to this release, as it’s been a long time coming. I see it as one step closer to realising the project. I’m really excited to come over for in-person rehearsals and to play shows!
How did the idea to form Far From Saints come about?
Patty: As I remember, it all happened rather naturally. I feel like Kelly mentioned he wanted to “do something together.” So we started doing stuff, writing together backstage pre-show, liking what was coming out of those sessions, and then he decided to book some time in the studio. I think the idea to form Far From Saints came about in the studio…we realised we might have something worth sharing with others!
How would you describe your sound?
Dwight: I would describe it as classic. Little Stones, little Fleetwood Mac, little Eagles, little Tom Petty and our own thing all thrown in a pot and stirred around.
What can we expect from your upcoming album?
Kelly: The album is a collective of songs we all wrote on the solo tour. It covers a lot of ground. It was beautiful to collaborate and sing the songs live together and build the production on top of the vocals. That was done on a time concern, but it worked amazingly. I listen to the record as a fan and it’s like I forget I’m on it. It’s 10 great songs of many feelings and moods.
What advice would you give to a band trying to make it in today’s industry?
Dwight: Tough answer. There is no one way to make it or one gatekeeper anymore. I will just say this. Make songs and music that YOU love, and let the chips fall where they may. You can have a nice niche career these days just by following your own path.
What’s the best thing about being in a band as opposed to a solo artist?
Kelly: I’ve never really been a solo artist entirely. I mean I write the songs in Stereophonics, but I like being in a band of brothers. We enjoy spending time together. I’ve got a solo album I’m going to start in April. But those projects have to come through me like an antenna, not forced.
What song do you wish you had written?
Dwight: There are like 1000 songs I wish I had written. This week it’s ‘To Find a Friend’ by [Tom] Petty
What’s been in your playlists recently?
Patty: Right this minute? Rihanna and Bryson Tiller’s ‘Wild Thoughts’ is on repeat. Anything by Rayland Baxter or Bruno Major. Angel White’s debut stuff is the shit. Missio, always. A local rapper called Deezie Brown. Marcus Mumford’s new album (self-titled). Everything by Harry Styles. A little Lizzo and ‘Big Energy’ by Latto to get me pumped.
What’s the goal for Far From Saints?
Patty: I think the goal for me is to have fun. It’d be great to experience some success, yes, of course. It’d be lovely to play for large crowds. It’d be cool to experience late-night television performing because I have never done that. I’d like to have fun and, with any luck, put a little money in the bank for my son’s future. It feels like I’m not supposed to say that, to mention success or money, but I’m not 18 anymore. I have bills to pay and someone very special to take care of. It’s not all about me anymore.