Sunday, January 30, 2011

The I.D.ea of Saint Mort

Since the Saint Mort Show came out, I've been asked by many of my guests (both future and past) about whether Saint Mort is a character. This has been a really difficult question for me to answer. I've never see Saint Mort as a character as much as a mask. Under the guise of Saint Mort I would express feelings that I'd normally not state in normal times. I'd eventually become my ID that I'd use in everything.

The story goes back to 11th grade. I had a band all of 10th grade that broke up over the summer. I started writing more comedically driven songs but had no band to back me up. Instead I taught myself guitar. By the time of my first show I only knew 4 chords... but had 10 songs and a handful of covers. This turned into the joke of the show... I played the same 4 chords in the same progression for all 10 songs.. just at different tempos. At this time I was simply called "Matt Kelly".

It was in 12th grade when I was in my english class and due to my poor handwriting my teacher thought my name was Mort not Matt. Mort became the new name for my music project. A few months later a friend of mine who was in seminary told me that the definition of Saint is basically someone who "stands out" in a crowd. Since I was a self proclaimed "acoustic punk star" playing shows will all hardcore bands I figured I stood out and the name Saint Mort was created.

Soon Saint Mort became my everything forum names, screen name, email address and even a nickname amongst my friends. It was around this time I started to write slightly more political comedy songs (in the sense of scene politics) I wrote songs like "They're coming to get you Barbara" about music elitists (it contained the lyrics "when will all the madness end/You're not a punk unless you're just like them") as well as "Handbook to being Scene (Step One Rip off Green Day)" which explained how to be a true punk scenester (This contained one of my favorite verses I ever wrote which was "When you buy your shirts, get them 3 sizes too small//Scream everything, no need to sing at all/When you wear your pants you gotta show a plumbers crack/and most of all don't forget to buy your trucker hat")

Saint Mort never was a huge musical movement like I wanted it to be. I'd play shows every few months and people would seem to enjoy the performance but I'd go without playing shows for month on end (averaging about 3 shows a year). I'd occasionally write and record stuff including my Randy Newman/Billy Joel influenced song "Hit Single" which was about my opinion of music ("The formula is simple and easy to repeat/Find a catchy chorus and lyrics at are kinda unique/Then you tour up and down the USA/Find Yourself an Agent and then Get Radio Play/Have a single and tour around the globe/Packing arenas and the media wants to know/your inspiration, why's the single so hot/but when you can't write a follow-up you know that you're gonna get dropped"). But no one noticed... Hit Single never became a Hit Single. My friend informed me that he was doing a talk show on Blog Talk Radio so I decided to do a talk show as well and named it the Saint Mort Show.

Under the Saint Mort Show -call in radio show I desperately wanted to be Kidd Chris. I wanted to be a shock jock radio DJ and was forcing it quite unentertainingly meanwhile my friend Graham's natural offensiveness was the true star of the show (the 12 episode run is available on iTunes). Last Spring I was bit by the Podcasting bug again. I started putting together and my plan was to honest multiple podcasts including The Saint Mort Show. In my new version it was basically a mixture of the Pod F Thompkast, The Nerdist and WTF with Marc Maron. If you listen to the episodes you can slightly hear this influence but when I was watching Conan I got the idea to get 3 guests instead of one and do it like a talk show, I knew I had something interested and was able to convince Jonathan London to give me a shot.

So is Saint Mort a character? I honestly don't know anymore. I think it's just my own personality amped up, but who knows. Thank you for your support so far reading my blog, following my twitter account and listening to my show. I love hearing feedback on the show (even bad feedback if it's tactful and helpful). Do to advice sent to me after episode 1 I think Episode 2 (coming this Saturday) is a tighter and far superior show and it wouldn't have been possible without my awesome listeners and they're openness to give me feedback!

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