Paul Janeway of St. Paul and the Broken Bones Talks About Including his Grandfather's Voice in His Music
Season 2, Episode 27: December 14, 2021
Southerners value their relationships with their families and Paul Janeway, front man of the Birmingham-based band, St. Paul and the Bones, is no exception. So it's no real surprise that on the band's 2018 album, Young Sick Camellia, the eight-man rock-meets-soul band added a member—Janeway's grandfather.
While some musicians might worry that they may not be considered cool if they feature a grandparent on their album, Janeway thought it was a good idea. That's because the album was a multi-generational meditation on family. Specifically, Janeway, his father, and his grandfather. He felt it was right to feature his grandfather's voice.
Janeway stopped by the Biscuits and Jam podcast and shared some thoughts on featuring his grandfather on his album. "He was a tough, tough, tough fella," Janeway said, about the man who worked as a mechanic. "But I did get to know him and I did get to …. maybe not appreciate. I mean, appreciate a little bit. Probably the best way to say it is, this is your DNA. You can see elements of that. And so I thought it was really interesting with that record to show that it was about that lineage and navigating that and understanding that we all come from somewhere. And having his voice on there seemed right at the time."
While Janeway happily talks about his papa, his grandfather didn't exactly go around bragging about having a star in the family. "One of the best days of his life was when I told him that I was a gofer at a mechanic shop that did paving equipment," Janeway said with a laugh. "He thought that was the greatest."
In fact, his grandfather only came to see him play one time. "He only came to one show," Janeway said, laughing. "I begged him to come to the Ryman—and he tried to sneak a gun in! They told him, obviously, you got to go put that in the car."
Visit our Podcast Primer for information on how to download and listen to a podcast.