Rett Smith never wanted to be a solo artist but became one anway. He was too protective of his music to write with anyone else. With SAENTS, he’s found a way to collaborate.
He says it’s a fresh beginning, not only musically but emotionally.
“It’s a band, because that’s how I feel about it, it’s open to more contribution than ever before—when I was playing under my own name and having a solo project I was crazy about who I let be involved,” he tells BTRtoday. “SAENTS was kind of a way to open it up musically, but without losing the fact that I’m writing the songs and it’s still personal.”
Smith thinks of songwriting as a form of therapy. “It’s up to me to let my emotions go and portray them honestly in front of people,” he says. “For me, I had been dealing with things for a long time and not dealing with it well—inner struggles.”
In November, SAENTS released their self-titled EP, five tracks of bluesy rock ‘n’ roll where Smith really lets everything out. Smith calls it “heavy in every sense of the word.” The tracks include guitar solos that are dark and fuzzy, with lyrics that really put all the emotions out there.
Mostly growing up New Mexico, he’s also lived in NYC, Nashville, L.A. and is now based in Austin, TX. Bouncing around these country music hubs has also given a sort of cowboy edge to his sound on top of the heavy blues.
“The bluesy-ness just comes from the guitar side, but the songwriting is heavily influenced by Texas songwriters,” he says.
Smith says his favorite track on the EP is “Lay Me Down.” He describes it as the song that reveals his inner demons the most. “It sounds like I’m speaking about someone, but really it’s a conversation more with myself, “ he says. “[Like] turning a new page.” A slower tune than the rest of the hard rock ‘n’ roll tracks, “Lay Me Down” is a dreary, yet delicate melody that catapults you into some series introspection.
Smith has been busy with SAENTS the past several months with touring, writing more music and releasing multiple videos, including a music video for “Blood” and live sets with Jam In The Van and Paste Studio. He’s bursting to record more music.
SAENTS – “Blood”
“To have other musicians contribute is really exciting and that’s something new for me,” he says. “I want to be on the road, that’s where my heart lies. That’s kind of the point for me, the writing is the personal side, but the performing is the joyous part and the sharing—I love it, it’s such a gift and a privilege to be able to do that.”
Listen to SAENTS’ EP and the entire interview with the mastermind himself, Rett Smith on this week’s The Music Meetup.