Welcome to The Fresh Squeeze, where every Monday and Friday, BLUNT gets down to the wire with an up-and-coming act we simply can’t get enough of.
In today’s shiny new edition, we get the juice on Adelaidian singer-songwriter Sarah Saint James, who recently teamed up with Alex Lahey to pen ‘Heather’, one of the sharpest, snarkiest and most searing hot slices of pop-punk we’ve heard in recent memory. As its title infers, the track was inspired by Michael Lehmann’s 1989 teen comedy classic (not the dogshit 2018 reboot, thankfully), spun through the narrative of James’ own experience with a group of brutally heartless bullies.
So the story goes, as per a press release, that James’ latest single “revisits a particularly vulnerable time as a teenager in 2009 when Sarah was critically ill in hospital and simultaneously abandoned by her dad. One of her ‘best friends’ spread a nasty rumour about her, resulting in losing her small group of friends and leaving her to feel completely alone and disconnected from the world. ‘The Heathers’ around Sarah set out to destroy her life out of jealousy and bitterness, however the song is written with hindsight and self-awareness.”
As James herself explained: “[‘Heather’ is] not about revenge… I actually feel sorry for her, because no matter what she did, she would never be okay within herself, and nothing she did put me six feet under.”
Who’s in your band, what do they play, and what would be your non-musical superpowers?
You mentioned a band. We’re currently building the live show, and there will be a band. It’ll be loud, energetic and powerful, but you’ll have to wait to see that. My superpower would be Infinite Bad Bitch Energy. Imagine when you get a star in Super Mario, but it allows you to be super confident and not take shit from anyone – but in, like, a nice way.
When you’re not tearing shit up on your instruments, what do you legends like to get up to?
I’m literally always writing songs, so it’s kind of hard to turn that off. But otherwise, I’m probably just sitting in a park, dramatically pondering life with an iced latte, or scrolling through TikTok.
What would your hometown’s landmark be?
The Mall’s Balls, or the Big Pigeon. Use your imagination.
What’s the usual first topic of conversation when you take a break at rehearsal?
Literally nothing is off the table here. We could be discussing anything from who makes the best chocolate milk (wanna run a poll via BLUNT?) to where we’re going for breakfast. I watch a lot of horror films, so I’m sure I’d be talking about that too.
What’s your pre-show warm-up routine?
Alright, so, there are these videos going around (I’m sure you’ve seen them) of people cutting soap or frozen paint or things like that. I find them super relaxing and almost meditative. This helps me get in the zone. I would also have some fizzy water for sure.
Tell us about your most memorable show, what made it so special?
Probably Parkway Drive’s set at Good Things 2019. It was one of the best shows I’ve seen in my life. The show was super theatrical and had heaps of pyro (you know your girl loves some pyro). The whole crowd just felt like we were in unison. Truly a magical moment of live music.
What band would you most like to share the stage with and why?
Being on a lineup with My Chemical Romance would be ridiculous. They are the most impactful artist in my life, both musically and personally. Their music really shaped me into the person I am now. I’d also like to shout out The Amity Affliction – if my music was heavier, and that lineup made any sense at all, that would be wild.
What’s the most exciting album you’ve listened to recently?
Spiritbox released their new album Eternal Blue as I was writing this. I love their mix of genres and soundscapes, as well as the storytelling. I’ve had that on repeat all day. Ice Nine Kills have a new record coming out and I’ve been obsessed with the last three songs, so I can’t wait for the rest of the album.
If you could be endorsed by one company, who would it be?
Cha Time. 100 percent, hit me up.
Why are you going to make it to the top over all the other contenders in the musical arena?
I feel that “making it to the top” is a byproduct of everything else that you do in your musical journey. I am super competitive and push myself at every step of the way, but my focus is on reaching people and connecting with fans. I hope my music can help improve as many lives as possible.
‘Heather’ is out now via Community Music. Check it out below, or click here to stream it.