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Music First: Underground Saints

7/7/07 isn’t a bad date for a band to play its debut gig. The luck of the Underground Saints, which consist of John Smith, lead vocals and guitar; Pat Flynn, lead guitar and backup vocals; Mark Kiesinger, bass; and A.J. Jump, drums, is still going strong. The group will perform on Live Nation’s Music First stage at Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain prior to the Counting Crows, Maroon 5 and Sara Bareilles show. Jump sat down with The Weekender to dish on the band and its upcoming plans.

Weekender: All members of the band have been a part of several other bands at one time. What makes this time around different?

Jump: The chemistry of the band is just so there. We all feed off each other; we have this crazy energy together. Our shows are almost like a circus sometimes. Just last week, John fell right over the monitor in the middle of a song. If it wasn’t for me having to sit and drum, I’m sure I’d be doing the same thing.

Weekender: You seem to space your shows out. Any reason for that?

Jump: We really enjoy doing shows, but we want to be more about quality, not quantity. We love changing our setlist up constantly. We try to keep it so that we play at least 30 to 50 percent original songs. We’re also constantly learning new songs to play by bands from The Doors to Tool. We do their songs that are a little bit further left.

Weekender: No albums out yet — when can we expect one?

Jump: We’ve written two new songs thus far. There’s a whole bunch of great ideas and new tunes on the shelf that are waiting to be worked with. We just really want to take our time and make a really great record. We want to be able to look back 20 years from now and say “Wow, I’m so proud of this record that I made with my colleagues.” We have no timeframe, no pressure.

Weekender: What advice would you give to up-and-coming bands in the area?

Jump: I would say to definitely not worry about what anybody else is doing, worry about what you’re doing and work hard. Also help each other; don’t trash talk other bands in your genre, become friends with them. Respect each other. If you’re good, you’re good. If someone else is good with you, go with it. It’s for the good of music, it’s for the art.

Weekender: It’s five years down the road. Where do you see Underground Saints?

Jump: Five years from now I would like to say that we can make at least two fantastic masterpieces of records and be able to play small theaters or opening for national tours. We’re taking it as we go, we’re not banking on anything. We’re just going to make great music and that’s that.

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