Toward the end of our interview, Eric Sargent, songwriter and lead singer of veteran St. Louis band the Dive Poets, has to take a quick break to tend to his six-month-old daughter. Along with teaching high school English, being a father is his main gig. It's not that making music isn't important; it's just that life is bigger and more demanding than being in a rock & roll band.
Married to Your Ghost is the Dive Poets' second release, an album filled with songs that shuttle between ragged but tuneful rock & roll and ruminative ballads with lush country flourishes. The songs negotiate regret and relationships, personal ghosts and the shared spirits of pure, collaborative music making. It was principally recorded with Jason McEntire at Sawhorse Studios in fits and starts over the span of three years, at time of marriages and kids and growing up, even when one thinks there's no more growing to do. The band -- Karl Eggers on guitars and vocals, Anna Drexelius on viola and vocals, Jeff York on bass, Renato Durante on drums and Christian Schaeffer (a long-time Riverfront Times contributor) on keyboards -- sounds as tight and intuitive as any band in town. And despite the long slog towards completion, the album never sounds labored or over thought. Though they've all been playing these songs for years now and are eager to move on to the next project -- apparently largely written -- the Dive Poets work together like playing rock and country and folk as well as you can still means something, because it does.
I sat down with Sargent over coffee in Maplewood to talk about his band, which is set to release Married to Your Ghost with a party at The Demo on August 10.
Roy Kasten: How do you think the record would have been different if you'd been able to finish it sooner? Three years isn't that long, but some bands might just give up on the recording, if not on being in the band altogether.
Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.