maandag 5 november 2012

Savages in Ekko op 4 november 2012

Savages trad op 4 november op in Ekko. Ongelovelijk concert van een formatie met veel toekomst. Onderstaand nadere informatie. A post-punk act from London that thrives off of violence and twisted desire. By Laura Snapes May 22, 2012 Savages: "Husbands" (via SoundCloud) Walking into Savages singer Jehnny Beth's north London living room, you're struck with a sense of the romantic promise and luster bands are supposed to have. There's nothing unassuming or reticent about the black mantelpiece stacked with vases of red roses and a replica of the clock from Dali's The Persistence of Memory; anthologies of 1970s porn magazines on the bookshelves, the enormous vintage wooden speakers in front of the tiled fireplace, and Thelonious Monk LPs propped by the record player. On a tour of the handsome house, Jehnny (real name Camille Berthomier) points out the French doors in her bedroom where she often wakes to see foxes peering in, before leading the way down to the tiny basement where Savages have been recording their debut single, "Flying to Berlin" b/w "Husbands", the second half of which you can hear above. It's a rumbling and explosive post-punk shriek about faceless grooms that will most definitely not be played at your cousin's wedding. (The single is due May 28 digitally and on 7" in June.) After forming last October, Savages played an impromptu first show supporting British Sea Power in Brighton this January, and their excoriating live performances soon became the talk of the town. And though the band hasn't released any official recordings until today, word spread around the internet based on an expertly shot, monochrome live video from a show at east London's Shacklewell Arms, as part of a night put on by the label Pop Noire, which Jehnny runs with her partner John (they continue to record as Jehn and John), and on which Savages will release their single. The live clip of "City's Full" (below) aptly demonstrates why there's been such huge anticipation around the band: bassist Ayse Hassan, guitarist Gemma Thompson, drummer Faye Milton, and Beth evoke Birthday Party-era Nick Cave, the Pop Group circa Y, the ragged speed of Killing Joke, Mission of Burma's way with distortion, and the Slits' predilection for dub. Meeting on a cold April evening, Gemma Thompson and Jehnny Beth are forthcoming as they describe the influence of Black Sabbath and French writer Céline, and talk about how they plan to give people something they're currently missing. Pitchfork: Why the name? Gemma Thompson: A lot of it comes from books I read when I was growing up-- Lord of the Flies, Catcher in the Rye, Bukowski. There's a point where you think everyone knows what's going on, how it all makes sense. Then you realize that everyone's just pretending. I remember sitting on a train and realizing that if it was suddenly the end of the world, we'd take on animal instincts again-- I had an apocalyptic vision of everyone tearing each other apart.
 Pitchfork: How did Savages originally come together? 

Jehnny Beth: Gemma had been speaking about the band to me for almost a year before we started, and I was really into it because I had a lot of lyrics that I knew would be perfect for a band called Savages. 

 Pitchfork: In what way?

 JB: I didn't want to write love songs; I wanted to write songs that were more violent. For example, I listened a lot to Black Sabbath, and I really liked how strong it is. I had been reading a lot of poetry about the Second World War from the perspective of the English in occupied France. From where they were standing, it was half romantic, half war poetry. I thought the link between the two was really interesting, but I needed a project to be able to write about this stuff. 
Pitchfork: What tenets do you hold as a band? 
JB: For me, direction and determination are important. 

 GT: You could play one note, but as long as you've got the intent there, you could floor what you needed to, basically. I really believe it's all about feel. I'm obsessed by it. 
JB: And it's about getting rid of anything unnecessary. The French writer Céline always used that technique: He would write a whole chapter, and if he wanted to alter a part of it, he would write the whole chapter again with that new idea included. That's the way I see the right composition-- you have to go through the entire thing to know if it works. 

Pitchfork: You've been playing live for a while without releasing any recorded material. Why? 
GT: We knew from the first rehearsals that we wanted the live performance to be integral, and that everything would come together because of the physical impact. We felt like nothing was finished until our first show. Even if the songs were kind of finished in a sense, they weren't finished until they were performed. Pitchfork: The first time I saw you play, it felt as though there was a sense of narrative to your setlist-- it seemed to be breaking out more and more as the show progressed.

 GT: I get obsessed by setlists. It haunts my dreams. I try to have a live story, in a way, for the sound to grow and become something else. The whole order of it is really important. 

JB: I like her to write the story and then I perform it; it's like she gives me a script two minutes before I perform a scene. 
Pitchfork: Your sound is quite aggressive and austere, and you wear a lot of black on stage, which might make people think what you're doing is masculine. But in one interview, you talked about how being four women really benefits you-- a gender-based difference that's not usually worth commenting on. 

GT: The last thing I want is for this to be about us being a band of four women. [In that interview,] I was thinking to myself about the use of softness and subtlety that we get the through distortion and vocals, because we are women. Also, I thought that's going to be one of the first things asked, and I want to get it out of the way. 
JB: I'm very proud to be surrounded by women. I think it's quite thrilling. I really like their company, their sensuality. I think they're particularly different and more adventurous, too. A band that I've been listening to a lot recently is HTRK, and they've got that primal thing as well, which I like, and I really like the way [frontwoman] Jonnine Standish is very sexual, very feminine, but not very sensual. It doesn't come across as a girl singing. It is active, but in a way that most people are not used to anymore. And that's what I want to come across with Savages. It's going to give something that people are not used to receiving anymore. Pitchfork: Jehn, you previously said something about how being in a group with women means you can sing about more violent things, which perhaps comes out in the song "Hit Me" that you've been performing.

 JB: It's not about domestic violence at all. It came from a documentary about a porn star. In it, she was crying, not because she had been raped, but because the scene she had just done was so emotionally intense, she was feeling full. And the documentary turned it into something very evil, like she had been a victim. And I hate when women are turned into victims like that. I was thinking, "She's not a victim, she knows exactly what she's doing." She's actually, I thought, really impressive. There's a line in the song which is exactly what she said: "I took a beating today, and that was the best thing I ever had." It was interesting to think that desire was coming from awkward places and not necessarily from the twee, obvious things that we think are feminine, but aren't. I like twisted, original desires. To twist that thing is very important, because it's the existence of life. 

 Artists: Savages

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