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‘My Name Comes From The Saint In The Bible Who Was Always Asking Jesus To Turn Fish Into Sand’: 5 Questions With St. Vincent

Since releasing her debut album in 2007, Annie Clark, better known as the one-of-a-kind musician St. Vincent, has become one of the most original and undeniable voices in music. We sat down with the Grammy-winning rock star to talk about her life and career.

1. What inspired you to get into music?

When I was a kid, I bore witness to a most majestic sight: I saw a large pig fall down a flight of stairs. The pig’s grunts as it toppled down stair after stair were so resonant, and its squeals were so melodic. Yet every time its fat pig ass hit the stair below it, it created this beautiful rhythmic quality—so incredibly effortless, and yet, so heartbreakingly beautiful. I’ve been striving to reach that level of musical perfection ever since.

2. You were recently in a high-profile relationship with actress Cara Delevingne. What’s it like to be in a relationship that attracts so much media attention?

We were just a regular couple like everyone else. We went on dates. We cried at the moon. We laughed at the open closet in our house with nothing but black emptiness inside. We supported each other’s butter sculptures with our hands, even when it got hot in the room. But ultimately, it’s the little things that kill a relationship, and if she is not going to put the toilet back in the bathroom after she’s done peeing, eventually we had no choice but to go our separate ways.

3. What’s your most memorable live show experience?

After a long day on the road, I once fell asleep while crowd surfing. When I woke up, at least eight or nine hours had passed and it was morning, but the band was still playing and the crowd was still there, passing me around, going absolutely nuts. I eventually got back on stage and finished up the concert, then took a quick crowd-surfing nap before hitting the road again!

4. What inspired your stage name?

It comes from my favorite figure from the Bible, Saint Vincent, the disciple who would always beg Jesus to turn fish into sand. But when Jesus turned Vincent’s favorite fish into sand, it taught him a big lesson about how having too much of a good thing is sometimes not a good thing. It’s a story that has always resonated with me, and I like to think it’s inspired my music, too.

5. You’ve already accomplished so much in your career, but is there any rock-and-roll dream you’re still chasing?

I would like to play the guitar so loud that the blast of sound from the amplifier blows me backwards and I go shooting through the wall. I saw something like that happen in Back To The Future, and it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. If I knew how to get my amplifier to rocket me through the wall at an incredible speed, I would do it every single day. Sadly, I still haven’t been able to get enough power to pull that move off. I’ll never consider myself a successful musician until I do this.