St. Lucia Shares 'Dancing on Glass' BTS Video, Talks New Album & Writing With Jack Antonoff

Shervin Lainez
St. Lucia

Brookyln-based electro-pop outfit St. Lucia just dropped the official video for their massive lead single "Dancing On Glass," off their forthcoming sophomore LP, out next year on Columbia Records. In the otherworldly clip, each member of the band embodies a cleverly maufactured character -- frontman Jean Grobler as "Paper Problems," Patti Beranek (Grobler's wife) as St. Lucia fan-girl @alleyesonstlucia4eva, Dustin Kaufman as "Billie The Bronzer," Nicky Paul as "Frankie Fitness," and Ross Clark as "the Botanist."

Today, the group also shares the behind the scenes video from their Los Angeles video shoot, with director Noah Paul and producer Talia Figelman, exclusively with Billboard.

During our recent visit to Grobler and Beranek's Brooklyn home, Billboard sat down with the duo to discuss the sonic jumps of the band's upcoming release, the highlights of their globetrotting tour supporting their debut record, and Grobler's first attempt at co-writing.

So the new album is coming out early next year. I've seen that you were inspired this time by the desert?

Jean: Yes, the beginning of next year, and [the desert] is kind of the visual thing we’re attracted to right now. I definitely think it feels a little bit more organic and we’ve obviously been listening to it a lot just because we’ve had to finish it. I think only recently I’ve started to understand what it is. There is a lot more attitude in general in the singing. In the last record I was quite restrained, the vocals were very multi track, but this one was all single track vocals. More sexual content. 

Patti: There’s also kind of…you’re in a relationship for 13 years and, it’s not easy all the time.

Jean: It’s a bit darker as well. Anyone we’ve played it to hasn’t been like “This is depressing,” everyone has said it’s positive and upbeat and everything. But the lyrical content is more about, you’re in your early thirties, you’re wondering if you’re still relevant? Just all the things one would generally deal with at that point in your life. 

And Chris Zane produced the whole thing?

Jean: Yeah we did it together. I did the first one myself basically, but then Chris did a bunch of additional productions and mixing on a bunch of the tracks. And we just have a good rapport and good relationship. I knew that if I went and did it myself it would just take me years to motivate myself to be in the studio that amount of time every day.

Patti: I feel like there isn’t anything we didn’t try and we feel good about. And whether it made it on there or not it doesn’t matter. The thought that you really went out and did it. And you chose the perfect microphone or the perfect sounding whatever. 

Jean: We explored every idea. We don’t put limits on ourselves. Like every song had at least 200 audio tracks. But then everything came together in the mixing process. For like 6 months we were living in the nether world of listening back to the track and it would be like 300 things playing at the same volume at the same time. It was like “Oh my god!” we need to mix this. Then the mixing took 6 weeks. You’re just sifting through.

Did you co-write with anyone this time around?

Jean: Yeah, this was the first time I did co-writing. I did a session with Jack Antonoff from Bleachers. We’ve played a show before and I really likde his record. He’s always been really nice to us so we did a session. That ended up being one of the songs that people are like “Is that the single?” I did a writing session with Tim Pagnotta, who worked with Walk The Moon on their record. And then I worked with some friends of ours at Captain Cuts, a writing team in LA, we have a good vibe. I’m kind of a little allergic to that whole “lets go to LA and write a bunch of hits.” 

But the sessions were fruitful?

Jean: Yeah they were good. It wasn’t like writing with Dr. Luke, not that I’m against that. I’m always very cautious, because I don’t want St. Lucia to turn out like everything else. I want to have a personality and be unique in some way that maybe limits our appeal to everyone in the world, but makes us more special in some way. 

With the last record, you really conquered the live market. What’s you goal with this next project?

Jean: We’re probably not going to tour at all (laughs). We’re very fortunate that we enjoy touring. And we get to do it together. 

Patti: And we have the best team. The best guys. We get along so well. We have all these horror stories of all these people that don’t get along and they don’t want to be on the road and it’s too much. We just look at each and are like “oh my god I love being on the road!” Seeing the world, doing what we love, with the ones we love.

Jean: It’s like summer camp. 

With the last tour, was there a moment that really stuck out to you where you stopped and really took it all in? 

Jean: I mean, selling our Terminal 5 twice. The first show sold unexpectedly quick. 

Patti: You see all these people and they’re signing to your songs and you’re like this is crazy!

Jean: You can’t absorb it. You can only absorb when you look back at photos. Like when we played Coachella, and there are thousands of people in the audience and you just walk on stage.

THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.