Rabbit Interview with Gold Coast Band SAVV Who Have Just Released 70's Synth Inspired Track 'Future Forever'
Gold Coast’s own SAVV have been busy playing shows up the NSW and QLD coast while releasing music with similarities to 70’s synth-pop. The talented group released their latest single ‘Future Forever’ on June 15th and proves to be the bands best work yet. Christian Kafritsas, got to have a chat with frontman Blair to talk about their latest single, the origins of SAVV, Blair’s love for the Spice Girls and what they have in store for the rest of 2018.
RR: Hey Blair, it’s Christian here from Rabbit Radio. How are you doing?
B: Good thanks man, how are you?
RR: I’m good man, where do we find you at the moment?
B: You’ll find me in my home/studio.
RR: Are you up to something now or did you get home from work?
B: Nah just got home from work, but you know slowly sizzling into it.
RR: That’s the way, so I obviously want to talk about the band and the single release for this Friday. You’ve just come off playing shows up the NSW and QLD coast. How did they go?
B: Yeah pretty good. First one was with Donny Love that was really fun, that one was at The Northern. It was first time actually not having a drummer.
RR: How did that go down?
B: Pretty good actually, a lot less work (laughs).
RR: It’s funny how a machine can actually keep time isn’t it (laughs)?
B: Yeah exactly (laughs).
RR: You guys managed that alright at the show?
B: Yeah it was a pretty good turn out, we tried it again at the next couple of shows and I think we’re going to stick with it. Gives the show a bit of excitement but I mean one day we’ll probably find someone to fill the big shoes.
RR: Your latest single ‘Future Forever’ is due out this Friday the 15th, I’ve had a listen and honestly I think it’s your best work yet. Are you excited for it’s release?
B: Yeah it’s been a long time coming actually, we’ve had that song on the back burner for I’d say nearly two years and it’s always stayed the same way. We just thought it was probably something we would save for a little bit later but we were like it’s good of an opportunity to pass up.
RR: ‘Future Forever’ is more laidback and feel orientated rather than the funkiness of your previous release ‘Mirror’. Is there a certain style you prefer or do you like the best of both worlds?
B: I think when we wrote ‘Mirror’ and ‘Future Forever’ they were completely different times for the band in terms of just trying figure out exactly what kind of sound we were going for. Right up until ‘Mirror’ we didn’t have a keyboard player so as soon as we started getting into the sound ‘Mirror’ is, our future evolved as well. The laidback sound is definitely something I would like to do more of but going forward will sound more upbeat and every now and then put out a few slow burners.
RR: The production of the song is fantastic. Did you record it yourselves?
B: Yeah, we actually never step foot into a studio until it comes time to mixing, so we just do everything at home ourselves. Find it a bit more lenient with time to get stuff done, we don’t have to be paying anyone and be paying by the minute to finish stuff.
RR: So you guys prefer that ‘do it yourself’ sound as well?
B: Yeah it’s definitely more comfortable and I think it shows and reflects in the sound as well.
RR: So where did the recording take place?
B: This recording happened just at my place but usually back and forth between Jack and I’s house.
RR: Was that same with ‘Mirror’ as well?
B: Yeah ‘Mirror’ was definitely more at both houses but we always end up back at mine because there’s all the equipment here.
RR: Can you talk us through the writing process of ‘Future Forever’, was it an idea brought in by someone or did come out in a jam?
B: We never really jam actually; I guess we haven’t really tried jamming before. All our songs that we play live and the songs we’ve released have all been written to be a recording and the writing process for ‘Future Forever’ was pretty much done on a laptop in a university class and I think I put lyrics to it one day. Then when we finally managed to put together a live show that was definitely one of the first songs that we had in mind.
RR: Going to back when you said you don’t necessarily jam much, do you happen to get into the same room at the same time and get your ideas out there or does everyone bring their ideas and sends it off?
B: Yeah I don’t think apart from rehearsing we’ve never really sat down and written something together, it’s always been one on one with each other. Mostly Jack and I have been working on these songs, in the future try make an effort and get together. It’s not really an ego thing, it’s just that whatever happens, happens. There’s no like specific way we have to do anything, there’s never been any rules. The jamming part though just comes to us being more comfortable as producers rather than jamming musicians I guess.
RR: That’s really surprising in saying that because obviously seeing you live, you still have that tightness of a band. Especially with ‘Mirror’ because it sounds like a song that was driven by a jam, so that’s really cool we found that out.
B: Yeah I guess the jamming, when you’re by yourself the jamming can come out just as well as doing it with other people. But again it’s not about wanting to do it yourself, it’s not about wanting to do a collaboration, it’s just whatever works or what sounds the best that’s probably our only rule as a band. Whatever sounds the best, gets to become what is the song or the sound of the song.
RR: So what stuck out in ‘Future Forever’ to be released as the next single?
B: It’s definitely one of our more unique songs and stands out from the rest of the set that we play live. We just thought it’ got a lot of different characteristics, very simple structure and not a lot of instruments going on like ‘Mirror’ did. I think that the simplicity was the main part and just went with that.
RR: It’s much more focused on vocals as well especially the chorus, how did you find for yourself?
B: To record it do you mean?
RR: Your vocals just stuck out a lot more this time rather than ‘Mirror’, is that what you were trying to go for?
B: The song is definitely more melodically driven this time around and it’s something we’ve always been fond of with Pop music. I mean we love to mess around with all different types of instruments, especially lots of synthesizers but I think we’re big fans of really cheesy pop even Top 40 songs sometimes. I guess were trying to be more accessible in the sense of being able to remember the song I guess and remember the lyrics even.
RR: I guess a question I have to ask is, if you’re into to Top 40 what’s your favourite song at the moment?
B: I wouldn’t say anything at the moment I just mean old stuff. I guess it’s not right to call Michael Jackson cheesy, but that sort of style that was really popular back then. We just find that as a band we craft ourselves so much in the recording process we try and take as much as we can from how they would craft songs back in the 70’s and stuff. We just like being able to control the song completely.
RR: Now you have two singles out, do you have more music in the works to be released?
B: Yeah we’re always recording, I wouldn’t say we record all the time intentionally to build up for a release but I think we’ve got a few contenders for the next single. But I don’t think at the moment we’re thinking about any EP’s or anything, we would like to push out as many singles as we can. If we were to release something like an EP we would want it sort of themed in a way. We find lately that a lot of artists are putting out EP’s and they’re just a collection or a mix tape of songs and not really following the traditional sense of an album or EP where it means something.
RR: So you’re saying you want to extend where you’re writing style is at the moment and see where that can get too?
B: Yeah we just want to try record as many ideas as possible and I think if we were to do an EP or album we’d have to wait until all the songs had some sort of link to one another.
RR: How many songs do you think you’ve got in the work at the moment?
B: I think there is probably about five songs that if we really tried hard to finish to take to the mixing stage, I think it’s about five we’d be able to pump in the next six months but I guess that comes down to whether or not we’re happy or comfortable with them sonically.
RR: So are you saying they’re five finished songs that you’re happy with and could take to be mixed for release within six months?
B: Yeah if you gave us a couple of weeks and we really tried hard there’s an EP worth of stuff but we’d probably just wait and put them out all separately, I think that’s how we like to roll.
RR: I’d like to talk about the sound of SAVV as well; you manage to blend the genres of classic rock, synth pop and funk to create a sound that is not often heard too much in the Australia scene. What influences inspired the sound of the band?
B: I think the influences there’s not one particular band or genre that we’re exclusively listening to all the time but I could name a few bands. At the moment really inspired by Phoenix but then again we go through phases, I cant speak for the other guys but I go through phases we’re I’m listening to Leonard Cohen and people that would sound nothing like us. I guess the sound of SAVV as like a whole is an appreciation of not really saying like “We have to have a guitar in this song or section”, like we don’t do stuff to fill out someone’s need to be able to play it live. SAVV would be like if it was an orchestra your not going to have every instrument playing at the same time, so sometimes breaks for a guitar or drums. It’s not necessary to having everything going all the time which is think is a mistake a lot of people make when they try and finish their music is that they’re adding too much.
RR: It sort of fills the component too much, is that were you’re saying?
B: Just trying to thin stuff out so the best stuff can shine through I guess.
RR: SAVV is made up of yourself, Jack, Mackenzie and Ondre. Can you tell us how guys came about playing together?
B: Well I knew Mackenzie from school, we’ve been friends for nearly ten years. I met Ondre through a music program maybe five years ago and we’ve been jamming ever since. Jack I met only a couple of years ago at a Tame Impala concert, it was the after party actually. We had some mutual friends and started talking about music and ever since then just linked up and tried to make as much music as possible. We’ve had other people in the band but I think we’ve finally found a rhythm that suits us the best and Ondre and Macca (Mackenzie) coming into it really made the sound and made everything come together. I wouldn’t say we’ve known each other for a long time because collectively it’s only been happening for a year and a half but it’s probably one of my favourite projects to work in out of all of them.
RR: Well Blair I’m glad we covered all that, but I hope you don’t mind if we get into some of the serious questions now?
RR: You’ve sold out Riverstage, the crowd is calling an encore and you’ve run out of songs and you’ll need to cover one. However it needs to be a Heavy Metal classic. What song do you think SAVV could pull off?
B: Oh Heavy Metal, what are the limitations for this?
RR: We’re talking anything, just a heavy song.
B: I don’t know if any of the other guys listen to any Heavy Metal but I’m going to speak on behalf of Mackenize. I can’t remember exactly the song but I think I’m going to have to go with ‘Run To The Hills’ by pretty sure it’s Iron Maiden, you would know.
RR: It is Iron Maiden.
B: I think ‘Run To The Hills’ would be a stinker.
RR: I was thinking ‘Smoke On The Water’ or something you guys all might know, but ‘Run To The Hills’. Ok, do it (laughs).
B: Oh actually you know what would be a more suitable answer for Mackenzie’s sake, what’s that guys name he plays the Rickenbacker bass?
RR: You’re talking about Motörhead. Lemmy.
B: Motörhead. What’s that one song they have?
RR: Ace of Spades, you ready to sing that one as well?
B: I think I’d have to give Macca the mic for that one, I think he might know all the lyrics.
RR: Who would you rather open for and why? Weird Al Yankovic or The Backstreet Boys?
B: I think it would be Weird Al Yankovic only so I could ask him and beg on my knees to sing ‘Eat It’ with him. Fucking love that song man and possibly to do his ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ parody as well, that’s a stinker of a song.
RR: Which group would you rather feature on your next single, LMFAO or Metro Station?
B: What’s that song Metro Statin put out?
RR: ‘Shake It’.
B: I’m going to have to say LMFAO purely because they would probably know how to use a synthesizer.
RR: You had a choice to revive one of the following music groups and why. The Spice Girls, One Direction or NSYNC?
B: That’s tough, I think it would have to be The Spice Girls. I think it’s because one day heard someone slow down ‘Wannabe’ and it actually sounds like an amazing remix of it if you just slow it down like five semitones. I heard it on Youtube once and was fucking blown away but I think just so I could see ‘Wannabe’ live, I’d just go for them.
RR: Thanks for getting the serious questions out of the way. Before I let you go what it’s in store for SAVV in 2018?
B: I think we’re definitely going to be recording a lot more than usual. It’s been about nine months since ‘Mirror’ came out and we don’t want that to happen again but we’ve also got some plans to do a tour and might go to Sydney or Melbourne and do Brisbane as well. I think we’re going to start to do a lot more work on actually zoning in working on a hypothetical album, not that I’m saying there would be one to be released but just to work towards it as a goal. Just so we can have a bit more of a theme in SAVV because I’d really like us to be known as a band that doesn’t just put out random songs, we’d want to be known as someone that puts out quality like has a bit continuity to it.
RR: Definitely be expecting that in the work for 2018?
B: Yeah I think 2018 is definitely, we’ve found the right set of shoes and now we just have to wear them in.
RR: Well Blair, thank you so much for your time this evening. I’m really excited to for what you guys have in store and your upcoming shows at Elsewhere, The Zoo and the rest of your plans for 2018. I’m sure we’ll see plenty more of SAVV to come this year as well.
B: Cool, thanks man!