Priest On Their Name Change, Self-Titled Debut LP And Superpowers: Idolator Q&A

Mike Wass | May 1, 2015 12:13 pm
Priest's '80s Synth-Pop Gem "Strong Hearts": Listen
Priest (formerly X priest X) need to be on your pop radar. Listen to "Strong Hearts."

Florida synth-pop practitioners Priest (formerly X priest X) have been making waves in the underground pop world for the last couple of years with their dreamy, ’80s-inspired anthems. Vocalist Madeline Priest and producer Dave Kazyk are now ready to take things to the next level with the release of their self-titled debut LP (due May 5). Boasting shimmery, layered electro-bops like “Broken” and “Strong Hearts,” the album seems destined to expand their audience considerably.

Being nosy, I had a few questions about the duo’s name change and new album. Madeline kindly explained the impracticalities of their previous moniker and listed her favorite songs from Priest. She also talked about her ’80s influences (Pat Benatar, Kate Bush, Tears For Fears and many more) and the current acts she follows (Chvrches and Phantogram, for starters). Find out more about the rising stars below.

Why did you change the band’s name from X Priest X to Priest?
It was always meant to be pronounced simply as “Priest,” but the Xs served to differentiate us. It ended up causing more confusion, so with this new release we decided to drop the Xs. It just makes more sense.

“Strong Hearts” is more upbeat than a lot of your older tracks. Is that reflective of the album?
I think it’s more reflective of our evolving sound than the album as a whole, but it’s one of the more “happy go lucky” songs on the record. But of course there are similar elements in each of the songs, making it a little more cohesive than our EP.

Why are you so inspired by the ’80s? Who are your reference points?
Synths are fun! I don’t know, I listened to more of my parents music growing up so I’ve always loved Pat Benatar, and Stevie Nicks (and Fleetwood Mac duh), and Kate Bush. The Cure, Tears for Fears, Depeche Mode, Duran Duran. I’m sure I’m leaving some out but I’m kind of all over the place.

Which current acts influence you?
I love Phantogram, Metric, Chvrches, Purity Ring and Washed Out — and so many more.

I heard that your favorite song on the album is track nine. Why?
When did i say that? Haha but it actually is one of my favorites! there’s three or four that I go back and forth between — two of those are “Broken” and “Staring At The Walls,” which you may have heard. But track nine is called “Waiting For The End To Come,” and basically it’s a jam. Just in time for summer. The other one I really like, and it’s Dave’s favorite, is “White Nights.”

Do you have any live shows planned?
We’re playing the Mighty Oak Music Festival in Jacksonville, Florida on May 29 and 30. We’re not playing quite as much as I’d like to but it can be difficult setting these things up. Hit us up!

Will we ever get a music video?
Haha we are trying, I promise! Let’s just say we’ve had some great learning experiences. It’s in the works, we just want whatever we do to be perfect.

You tweeted about superpowers recently. Which one would you like to have?
Mmm can I just be a Jedi?

Priest’s self-titled debut LP arrives May 5. Buy your copy here and check out album highlight “Strong Hearts” below.

Have you fallen in love with Priest yet? Let us know in the comments below.

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