Savages Pitchfork Interview: Where the Explosive Energy Comes From

Two members of the British quartet talk about artistic inspiration and their time at Pitchfork in Chicago.

Photo: Clayton Houck

London-based quartet Savages treated fest goers to one of the tightest, most electrifying sets of day two. I caught up with singer Jehnny Beth and drummer Fay Milton after the set.

You put on an incredible show. How are you feeling?

FM: We really enjoyed it. It was super hot on stage. It was sort of like climbing a mountain. But when you climb a mountain and get on the other side you feel good, yeah? So it feels good.

How did the show at Lincoln Hall Friday night go?

JB: It went great.

Did you know ahead of time that Bjork was DJing?

JB: Oh yeah, yeah. She played some good music.

You’ve been compared to so many iconic British post-punk bands. How do you feel about that?

JB: I really don’t see us as a post-punk band. Post-punk is from an era that is gone now. There are probably some influences there, but there are loads of other influences we draw from. We don’t all listen to the same kind of music. And, you know, we can be influenced by something different than music as well. It doesn’t have to be music influenced by music. I hear a bunch of different sounds on the record—some metal, some hardcore, some punk, obviously.

Can you tell me a little bit about what inspires your lyrics?

JB: A lot of different things. It could be a life experience. It could be a book. It could be a film. It could be something we experience in the band as well. Also the people around me, or something I hear in the street. It’s like a patchwork of things that I put together at some point.

I’ve read that your band name was inspired by books. Is that true?

JB: Yeah, [guitarist] Gemma [Thompson] came up with it. There was actually a band name before there was any music. She had been reading a lot of science fiction like J.G. Ballard and Phillip K. Dick and stuff like that. She wanted to have a sonic representation of these ideas of the humankind in its modern time—to see the present time with as much perspective as you see the past and have this kind of distance with things.

Are you enjoying your time in Chicago?

FM: Oh yeah. We’ve played a couple of shows. And, you know, you feel like an ant in Chicago because it’s so big. But the festival is cool. We’ve been at the festival all day and it’s good how it’s all about the music. The sound is great. It’s really refreshing to be at a festival that’s really set out for people to really listen to and enjoy the music.

Share

Advertisement

Submit your comment