Beth Wynne & Saint Ravine
Photos & Interview by Mark Boskell
This week elements officially welcomes Beth Wynne as a new music contributor. Beth’s interviews with Tijuana Cartel and Paige Trantham have already appeared on the site. I caught up with her last week at Noah Shilkin’s Margaret River recording studio, Sonic Lolly, where Perth band, Saint Ravine, were recording their EP.
What’s your connection with Saint Ravine?
Through my Music Business studies at tafe last year, one of the projects was to find an artist to do some management work for. I knew Willem, the drummer in Saint Ravine, and asked him if he knew anyone. He told me about Saint Ravine which was a new band that he had put together. So I went and saw one of their shows, and met Chris the singer, and Michael the bass player – then there was only 3 of them. We just had a chat and it kind of went from there. I started doing some work for them, just general management things, booking shows, helping with online presence, things like that, and then continued on after tafe finished. Working with them has helped me learn a lot about the music industry. I’ve helped them out, but they really helped me too.
Tell me about this week, how did it work out that the guys were down here in Margaret River recording?
Willem knew Noah because one of his previous bands had recorded down here. Then I met Noah at a music event in Perth. Everyone checked it out and decided it would be a good place to do the first EP.
How was the experience recording at the studio?
I think it was pretty awesome. You’re not boxed up in a small room in the city. You’re out on this beautiful block of land. You can chill out in the studio while people are recording. You don’t have to be separated in a sound booth, so it’s really open. Each of the band can hear and see what everyone’s doing and they can all give their opinions and feedback and try and get the best out of it. Just having that freedom I guess, that when you’re not recording, and you just want a break, you can just chill outside, play tennis or go and sit in the cottage if you want some free time. It’s just a really relaxed environment and creative space.
For those that don’t know Saint Ravine, how would you describe the band, the sound?
It’s developed a lot in the past year with the addition of a lead guitarist. That changed the sound quite a bit. Chris’s voice is really soulful, but the band’s got that pop-rock feel. They’ve got some really catchy songs. There’s a bit of a surf vibe, like Ben Harper, but they also draw on influences like Jeff Buckley and Young the Giant. I think they’re quite diverse, but if I had to narrow it down to a genre, I’d say Soul/Pop/Rock.
What’s next for Saint Ravine?
We’ll get this EP all finished, mixed and mastered, covers printed up, do an EP release and try and play as many shows as they can. Get their name out there, play little festivals, and then probably later on, depending on how the EP goes, put together an album, either late this year or early next year.
You’ve recently moved down to Margaret River. What brought you down here?
I’ve been studying for a couple of years since I got out of school. I did two courses, and there wasn’t really anywhere else I wanted to go to study just yet, so I thought I’d have a break from doing that, just work and chill out for a bit. But I still wanted to keep that connection with music because it’s always been my passion, and I knew that the music scene was really happening down here. My brother lives here and they had a spare room in their house, so I thought about it for a while – what if I just came down here and lived for a year? Then I thought about creating a music blog, because that would keep me going with the music side, developed the idea and thought I could really make it work down here with all the arts and music and culture that goes on.
Your blog is called Songbird – The music in Margs. What can people find on there?
So far I have a review and interview with Tijuana Cartel from when they played at Settlers a few weeks ago. I’ve got another from Clancy’s in Dunsborough of a Freo band. I did a local interview with Paige Trantham, and then just recently had an interview with Tim Hart from Boy & Bear at Southbound. That’s the latest one, and I’ll probably do something on Saint Ravine in the next week or so.
How are you finding the music scene down here so far?
I think it’s pretty awesome. There’s always something going on, whether I’m going to write about it or not, it doesn’t really matter, but there’s always someone playing all the way through the week. Even if it’s not a touring artist, there’s local bands playing every week at Settlers and Knights Inn and other places, and I think it’s awesome for a community like this to have music on a regular basis.
What are your aspirations in the music world?
I’m really enjoying this experience so far, the writing and communicating with the artists. I’m finding that with my background, it’s quite easy to talk to artists and musicians. So I really enjoy doing that. I’m pretty excited to be doing some work with Noah at Sonic Lolly, it’s quite interesting the studio and recording side of things. I think 2013 for Saint Ravine is also going to be an exciting one. I think we can achieve quite a lot this year with the EP. It’s all very exciting and feels like I’m on the right track at the moment.
Stay tuned for more of Beth’s music writing here at elements.
Also check out her blog, Songbird – The music in Margs, and facebook page.
Click here to see a clip of singer Chris Ravat covering SBTRKT’s ‘Hold On’ whilst taking a break from recording during the week.