Los Angeles-based quartet Saint Motel is hitting the road in January, with singer A.J. Jackson promising a show you won’t soon forget.
The band, which is touring in support of the first part of its trilogy, “The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Part 1,” will bring an immersive concert experience to Phoenix in January.
Jackson wouldn’t tip his hand when asked what that experience will entail but did give a few hints as to what might be up their collective sleeves.
“Our new album is coming out in three parts,” Jackson says. “We’ve put out part one; part two’s going to come out kind of when the tour starts, and we wanted this first tour to kind of take that concept and drive it home.”
Jackson promises their newest tour will be a spectacle that enthralls everyone in attendance, regardless of whether they’ve attended one of their shows in the past.
It’s rather apropos that Jackson, who founded Saint Motel as a film school student in 2007, is putting so much energy and effort toward the cinematic aspects of the act’s live performance.
The driving question for Jackson and fellow bandmates, Aaron Sharp, Dak Lerdamornpong and Greg Erwin was how they could continue to reinvent the live act, so as to give fans a reason to keep coming out when Saint Motel comes to town.
“The question we posed to ourselves was, ‘how do you feel like you’re inside of a movie?’” Jackson says. “And that’s what we’ve been exploring. Because we don’t want people to sit back and watch visuals, we want them to be an active part of the whole experience.”
Saint Motel will tour through the Van Buren in Phoenix on Sunday, January 26.
Jackson and his bandmates have found tricks that allow them to dazzle fans, without breaking the bank.
He believes the collective’s ability to present a one-of-a-kind concertgoing experience is what sets them apart, explaining the band’s meteoric rise since its debut album, “ForPlay” came out in 2009.
“There’s going to be a lot of kind of classical, tiny kind of theater tricks that you can do like that,” Jackson says. “But there’s a lot of really cool high-end visuals we’re doing and some cool productions. There’s a big element to the show that kind of, once you get there, you’ll kind of right-off-the-bat understand how it works. But I can’t really say too much about it now.”
It’s that abundance of energy and creativity that allowed Saint Motel to thrust its way near the top of the U.S. Adult Album Alternative, as well as Alternative rock and Rock charts in 2014, with the release of “My Type.”
The horn-driven song catapulted Jackson and company into the forefront of the alternative rock scene.
Jackson wasn’t complacent, however, as Saint Motel went back to the drawing board to continue its ascent.
That effort paid off in full, with 2016 release “saintmotelevision” reaching the 62nd spot in the U.S. charts, with the lead single, “Move” topping out at the third spot in the U.S. AAA chart, the band’s best finish.
Jackson attributes much of the success of “My Type” and “saintmotelevision” to the band’s decision to self-produce its albums.
That decision allowed the act to have complete control over its sound, which gave Jackson and his bandmates the ability to experiment in ways that were previously impossible.
Jackson recounted the struggles that came from having to find a producer and a label when “ForPlay” was released a decade ago.
He and his bandmates decided to form their own label after their debut work. That creative freedom extended to Saint Motel’s live shows, with the band finding ways to broaden its audience, through one-of-a-kind live music experiences.
Jackson says the quartet’s mission is to do whatever it takes to make sure that everyone in attendance has a great time, from the opening song of its set to the encore.
“We go the extra mile to try to take it to the next level,” Jackson says. “It’s never the same show, and we’re always trying to make it the most experiential, crazy thing that we can. So, if you’ve never seen a Saint Motel show and you just like the music, you’re going to be in for a treat.
“And if you’ve seen a Saint Motel show and you want to come back, same kind of deal, because we don’t kind of do the same thing. We’re always trying to push the boundaries.”
The Van Buren, 401 W. Van Buren Street, thevanburenphx.com, 8 p.m. Sunday, January 26, $26-$88.88.