Broken Bones, Healed Heart: A Conversation with Paul Janeway of St.Paul & The Broken Bones

By Jessica Spottek

With being one of the greatest soul rock bands (being biased here, but seriously!), Alabama-natives St.Paul & The Broken Bones have been on the rise since 2014. Their latest album, “Young Sick Camellia”, has definitely tested the band with bringing blues, soul, and a little southern rock to their sound. St.Paul will also be playing at Hinterland Music Festival in St.Charles, IA next week! I had the chance to chat with Paul Janeway, the lead vocalist and frontman of the band.

First of all, I’m a huge fan! St.Paul & The Broken Bones are a super talented band, and some still haven’t discovered your music. How would you describe your music to newcomers?

“I would say it’s soft death metal with a touch of soul.”

So you guys are from Alabama, a huge state and area for country. Now, I wouldn’t describe your music as “country”, but there are definitely some influences of it in your sound. How would you say the Alabama music scene (growing up) influenced what you produce now as a band?

“Well a lot of us definitely grew up in the country in Alabama. Some of us grew up in the Muscle Shoals area so that place has an influence on our music as well. We also grew up in indie clubs in Birmingham so we come from all sorts of music.”

Iowa venues aren’t your first rodeo, especially Hinterland Music Festival. You had the opportunity to perform at Hinterland for their first year a few years ago. What was it like? What are your anticipations for your return to Hinterland?

“I remember the show being a great time. I think the show this year should be fun. We have had some good shows in Iowa.”

Your band hasn’t been around for too long, knowing that you formed back in 2012. Some of us at KURE absolutely love your first album, “Half The City”! What were some of your successes since your first album release? How has it changed your perspective on a large band and playing for bigger cities and audiences?

“I mean “Half The City” changed our lives. We have played at Bonnaroo, Coachella, and opened for The Rolling Stones all due to that first album. It’s crazy to think about sometimes!”

You guys have been on tour, and there have probably been some awesome memories made along the way! What are some of your favorite cities or venues to play at, and how have those experiences made you feel? Are there some performances that you’ve felt like were the most successful on tour?

“We usually vote on our favorite show per tour at the end of the tour. I mean, The Ryman in Nashville is pretty high on the list. The Roadhouse in London was pretty incredible. There are just so many places I love playing and visiting. I could probably name the cities I don’t like playing compared to the ones I do like playing in.”

College radio is known for the upbringing of various bands, and KURE loves the stuff your band produces! How familiar are you with the college radio scene? Do you have any fan bases in college radio around the country?

“Well I didn’t go to college until my 20s, so I wasn’t familiar with the college radio thing. We definitely have built a following due to college radio and that is always a good thing.”

Last question, and it’s one of our favorite questions that we love to our band interviewers: How much would you pay for a pair of jeans?

“My Blue Delta Jeans are essential wear for me. They are worth every penny. You can look up the price” (so I did…custom $500 jeans!)

Be sure to check out St.Paul & The Broken Bones on all music platforms! They will be playing at Hinterland on Saturday at 8:00pm, you won’t be disappointed! A huge thank you to Paul Janeway for the conversation!

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