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seemed like that expression could overlay any other process. So it never felt like I was in a band, it felt like we were encompassing any format we wanted to use to express ourselves. We went into the rehearsal room, learnt how to screen print our own t shirts and we always felt if we applied the same energy into every aspect of the band then it would all come out with that idea. Your debut album Silence Yourself came out in 2013 and raised a lot of heads. What was the concept behind the band at that point? It’s a simple thing but we just wanted to work with the idea of volume of sound and performance. When Jehnny Beth and I met we realised we’d been to all the same gigs that had inspired us without knowing each other – a couple of them we had both been on the front row, and that inspired us. Te sound came along from what we could physically do in the beginning. Walking on stage and suddenly having that level of volume and that space kind of was an instrument in itself in a way. Do you think your noise or volumes may soften or mellow over time? I don’t think so. Te progression from Silence Yourself to Adore Life was subtle..there are some more melodic elements in there, but there’s certainly a play with Jehhny Beth’s lyrics. For example on Te Answer the lyrics were originally going to be set to slower, more melodic music but it was only when it changed to having more of an abrasive, circular, rhythmic noise that it worked. We’ve always played with the contrast between lyrics and noise, so I don’t imagine we’ll change. We love the feeling of playing at volume and there’s something about a loud sound that give a chaotic feel but at the same time it wills you to control it at the same time. I guess that’s very interesting to us – we’ve always said we never want to be bored with what we’re doing, there always has to be an element of fear or challenge to it and something you have to control. Savages have been involved in some unusual projects – Words To Te Blind with Bo Ningen and also Station To Station at the Barbican. Are you asked to do a lot of these sort of audio visual events, and what do those events offer you as a band that’s wider than a normal gig? Words To Te Blind was our own creation –an idea that took about 18 months from idea to the physical performance. It’s one

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of those ideas that was never going to make money so we had to convince everyone around us that it was a great idea. It was a lot of work but so wonderful to work with a band like Bo Ningen who we love. Tey write music, play and communicate in such a different way to us so it was interesting to share rehearsal space with them and make music together. It was really exciting and fun especially as every time you do it it’s different. From doing that we got invited to do Station to Station at the Barbican which was more of a site specific piece for that space. We had some dancers with us. I love doing these kind of things – they push you individually and also as a whole group. Savages songs are about passion – both anger and love and frustration looking at the names of your singles Shut Up, Husbands, Strike, Fuckers, Adore pretty much sums that up. Style wise your looks is pretty minimalist, stripped back and asexual from what you wear to the lighting at your shows. How do you marry the two things together – the severity versus the wildness? I guess it stems from music being a kind of escape while we were all growing up, so not a solution but something that can really make a difference to what you’re doing, Music has always been a very powerful thing for all of us – going to see performances that always stay with you and inspire you – we walk on stage and form together to make music and I feel it can’t be achieved in any other way in life, it’s very unique. But you need a level of control, constraint and dedication to achieve that performance, a certain mindset. I’m not saying that’s how all musicians or groups work but for us it is. Te idea of processes and repetition need to be there to get wild on stage. It’s really

hard to describe but it’s a fine balance between the two for sure. Have you started working on new songs since the last album came out? No, we’ve got some shows this month and then we’re taking a bit of a break..we haven’t had a break in four and half years! So we’re going to go away and think about writing in our own situations and then come back to it. Tere are always ongoing ideas anyway. You’ve been out on tour for most of this year. Is it hard to get back into ‘normal life’ when you get back? Yeah sometimes it takes a while to get used to a normal domestic life again, going out shopping and doing the dishes and stuff. Sometimes it’s a drastic change and it takes one or two weeks for me to actually adjust back into it. Going on tour is amazing when everyone around you is a great crew member who feels like your family and allows us focus on the job at hand. It’s a certain kind of focus that’s very enjoyable. It’s almost that you become so attuned to that specifics job –I see it like a workman with each instrument and each thing we do, we become so connected to it. It seems absurd that with everything that goes on it the world, this is what we do. Do you have a support band organised for your UK dates? Yes but I can’t say who because we haven’t 100% confirmed it yet. It’s someone we love very very much who’s based in London, she’s very talented and she jumped in our van on our first ever UK tour because she wanted to escape from the the press. Tat’s how I first met her. Hopefully we can announce who it is very soon.

LIZZ PAGE / November 2016 / 13

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