“We love the sound of DI guitars. We don’t make our lives easier with technology – it’s a tool to be abused”: Industrial riffers Saint Agnes break all the gear rules and embrace wrong notes in the name of intensity and aggression

Saint Agnes perform live
(Image credit: Press)

There are some occasions in life when doing the wrong thing can be exactly the right thing to do, and making a rock record is one of them. The art of engineering and producing is something that can be taught in a classroom, but learning when to bend the rules, when to break them, and when to throw orthodoxy on the bonfire comes from instinct. It comes from knowing the material. 

The songs that Saint Agnes’ vocalist/guitarist Kitty A. Austen and guitarist Jon James Tufnell had put together for Bloodsuckers, their major label debut for Spinefarm and follow-up to 2019 debut Welcome To Silvertown, told them all they needed to know. This was a record made during difficult times. 

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Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to publications including Guitar World, MusicRadar and Total Guitar. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.