St. Vincent is Still Plotting to Make a Metal Record
Singer/songwriter/guitarist/pop star St. Vincent often calls on her metal past, stressing the importance of Pantera and Mayhem in her musical upbringing and releasing not one, but two Tool covers. More recently, she’s even expressed her to desire to make a full-on metal album, a goal she’s now doubled down on in a new interview.
Back in March, she said that while she’d originally intended for the follow-up to Masseduction (2017) to be that heavy album, she got side-tracked with what eventually ended up being Daddy’s Home (2021). But she promised fans holding out hope for something heavier, “we’ll get there, don’t worry!”
And now, speaking to NME, she admits she’s back on that bullshit, as the kids say. The exchange started with a question about her cover of Metallica’s “Sad But True” from the latter’s 30th anniversary Black Album celebration, and evolved to her love of Nine Inch Nails and the future direction of her own original material:
Your upcoming Record Store release features covers of ‘Sad But True’ by Metallica and ‘Piggy’ by Nine Inch Nails. What can you tell us about your relationship to those songs?
“Metallica to me are a bit more of a nostalgic love. I played bass in a metal band when I was 13 and always wanted to be the guitar player! Bass was the only position that no one wanted. They have a very specific personality type. If you need a friend, then a bass player is always solid. You can’t really fuck around with drummers and lead guitars, but it’s in a bassist’s personality type to be deeply supportive and bring everyone together. Anyway, we played those songs at junior high talent shows. It was fun to get under the hood. You think you know a song, then you really play it and it’s so interesting. I really found that with ‘Piggy’.”
It’s a pretty out-there song…
“That’s one of the things that people forget about Nails. They’re not just culling from industrial beats – it’s a deep understanding of all kinds of rhythm filtered through that lens. ‘Piggy’ is like reggae.”
It makes a lot of sense that you’re a Nine Inch Nails fan
“Look, if you’re talking about great songs, epic production and perfect fucking shows – there are only a few names and Trent Reznor is always in there! You will never go to a Nails show and be disappointed. I was playing Roskilde a few years ago, got changed out of my latex stage gear and into more sensible festival clothing, went out and watched Nine Inch Nails from the crowd. This really sweet kid came up and told me he was a fan and we had a nice talk, then ‘March Of The Pigs’ came on and me this kid just started really raging and going for it! It’s inescapable, you can’t not be physically moved by Nine Inch Nails. Trent’s a genius and how many of those do we get?”
The heavier sound of these songs feels so natural to you. Does that make you want to make a full on metal album?
“Yeah, it does – because I’m angry again! I want to make that record. There’s a season for all of it. There’s a season for warmth and then there’s a season for ‘fuck you’!”
As a fan of St. Vincent independent of the fact that she has anything to do with metal — but intrigued by the latter nonetheless — I would love to hear what a heavy St. Vincent record sounds like! Here’s to hoping she doesn’t get side-tracked this time.
Have a listen to St. Vincent’s older tune “Bring Me Your Loves” below, the main riff of which she readily admits was lifted from “Cowboys From Hell.”
You can read the rest of the NME interview here.