Saints Down is a Canadian rock band from Southern Ontario. The band's core lineup consists of Benjamin Doncom, Rob Palombo and Walter Riggi. They are complimented by a number of other musician friends. Started as a lockdown project, Saints Down became a serious creative endeavour when the songs started “coming together”, as Rob explains. “During the covid lockdown everything started to dry up, musically speaking, so instead of working on other peoples music I decided to start working on my own music”. Rob reached out to friend and long time collaborator, Walter Riggi and friend and singer/songwriter Benjamin Doncom to see if they were interested in joining the project. Both did not hesitate and Saints Down was born. After writing 30 songs, the first single, Emotional High, was chosen, recorded and set for release in November. “We all love creating and performing”, states Benjamin. “And we really like working together”. The three had worked together previously on Benjamin's debut EP and Walt and Rob have worked together, on and off, for over 20 years.
Benjamin Doncom From an early age Benjamin was exposed to music through his father who listened to the Beatles, the Hollies, Queen as well as some other incredible artists from the 50s, 60s and 70s including Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons, Sam Cooke, Frank Sinatra, The Temptations and Stevie Wonder. These artists fueled an interest in Benjamin to start singing. When he was 9 Benjamin joined the church choir and soon after he auditioned for and got a part in the local production of a Christmas Carol. Musicals were also a huge influence on Benjamin, “we grew up watching musical films like Singing in the Rain, White Christmas, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. I developed a varied taste in music and a love for theatrics and music combined. Which is why I love Queen”. This combined love of music and theatrics led Benjamin to enroll at Sheridan College where he received an Honors Degree in Musical Theatre Performance. After earning his degree Benjamin kept busy by acting in Productions of Les Miserables, West Side Story, Phantom of The Opera and has performed at the World famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In 2018, Benjamin decided to give the music side of his life more attention. He auditioned for Raise Your Voice Singing Competition and ended up becoming the Season 3 winner. Work on a 4 song EP began with the songwriting and production team of Rob Palombo and Walter Riggi. As Ben explained, “we attempted to make the EP have a bit of soul with a touch of pop and rock all mixed in with a modern sound”. The EP was released in March 2019 and the first single, Chasing Ghosts received airplay around the World and reached Top 10 on Indie radio UK (Variety Indie Music UK Chasing Ghosts Benjamin Doncom Top 10 2019).
Rob Palombo Rob has been in the Music Business since he was 16 years old. His first band, Legion, was signed to an independent label and when he was 19 the band recorded their first album, "Evening Dance". The first single, Rachel, climbed to # 7 on the RPM CanCon Charts and # 20 on RPM Canadian Charts. That same year they were signed by Embryo Arts (Belgium) and released and Distributed in Europe. Their second single, “Evening Dance”, soon received radio play in Luxembourg , Belgium and Netherlands. Their music was also played on stations throughout Europe, Israel and Russia. After Legion broke up, Rob began honing his songwriting and producing skills through the bands he was a part of or other artists he worked with. Rob has worked with Joao Carvalho (Joao Carvalho Mastering), Brian Danter (Teaze), Billy Szawlowski (Luba, April Wine, Aldo Nova, Ventura Digital Audio), Mike Sleath (Shawn Mendes, Conor Maynard, Francesco Yates), Nathan Whitney (Autumn Hill, Banners) and Chris Keaton (Reba / Brooks and Dunn, LML Music) to name a few. His collaboration with longtime writing and production partner, Walter Riggi, produced a single by Joel Liberty that has over 1 million views (You Tube - 2013). His songs have been played on radio stations around the world and have topped the charts in Canada, parts of Europe, South Africa (Top 20 - Zone Radio - Bethany Rose - 2018) and independent stations in the UK (Variety Indie Music UK - Kelsey Deland Top 10 (2017), Bethany Rose Top 10 with 3 different songs( 2018) and Benjamin Doncom Top 10 (2019).
Walter Riggi Walt has been in the Music Business since he was a teenager. He’s played in various bands and out of a need to record them and keep the cost down he started a recording studio in his parents basement. At this same time he also began helping his Dad with his video company, filming wedding videos. When Walter Riggi was 22 he was signed to indie label, JLT Records, and began Production on his first record. That album was never completed and Walter Riggi moved on and started Riggi Media Int.. This company combined both of his passions, recording and video production. Through Riggi Media Int. Walter Riggi has worked with Jennifer Hudson (Remix for “It's Your World”, 2014), Celine Dion (Remix for “Back to Life”, 2013), Jackie Green (Black Crows) to name a few. He has worked on cable TV series such as, “House to Home” (1 season), “Culinary Chat” (4 seasons), “Profiles of the Powerful (4 seasons) all 3 series on Cogeco, “Open House Market Place” (1 season) on A Channel (now known as CTV), “Networth TV” starring Terry Bradshaw (2012, 3 episodes), “The Art of Living” with Marilu Henner (2012, 2 episodes). In 2010 he worked on the pilot episode of “Fear of Frying” starring Brian George (Babu from Seinfeld). He has also won 2 Aegis awards for his reality series ``Reality Wedding Video``(2010), ``Fashion Video Production`` (2010) and has received two Idyllwild Film Festival nominations for Best Cinematography and Best Short Film (2016) for “Terminii” which was produced and filmed by Walter..
Saints Down When the three friends decided to dive into this project, they needed a band name. They settled on Saints Down as a tribute to friends who have recently passed away. “Part of the name came about from a band I was in with two of my closest friends”, Rob explains. “When I was younger I was in a band with Joao Carvalho and Paul Lawton called The Picture Saints. Some years after that band broke up Paul passed away in a tragic accident. Recently, Ben, Walt and myself have also lost close friends. The thing that all of these guys had in common was that they were all great human beings, the best of us. So Saints Down, the name, is a combination of the band I shared with Paul, The Picture Saints, and our fallen friends who were, to us, Saints on earth”. With their first single, Emotional High, and second single, Broken Love, now released, the three are working hard creating new material and are planning on releasing an original song every 2 months. You can also catch a new weekly cover video and other videos they produce on their YouTube channel. As Benjamin states, “one of the only good things that came out of the lock down for us was this band and we are taking full advantage of it...and having a lot of fun doing it”.