SAVOY GRAND – Interview

Die Helden der Stille und Traurigkeit sind zurück: Diese Woche veröffentlichen Savoy Grand ihr neues Album „Accident Book“ auf Glitterhouse Records. Vier Jahre ist es her, seitdem die Band um Sänger und Songwriter Graham Langley ihr letztes Album herausbrachte. Mit dem neuen Album machen sie genau dort weiter, wo sie aufgehört haben und vertonen Traurigkeit mit viel Gefühl und Geduld – dabei darf jede Saite und jeder Schlag ausklingen. Trotzdem ziehen die Lieder mit ihrer Atmosphäre den Hörer in einen Bann. Auf Grund der langen Abwesenheit haben wir die Möglichkeit genutzt und mal nachgefragt was es Neues gibt bei Savoy Grand, wie ihr neues Album (unsere Kritik gibt es übrigens hier) entstand und was wir davon erwarten dürfen.

1.) Band facts
– Name:  Savoy  Grand
– Band members: Graham Langley, Christophe Dejous, Neil Johnson, Darren Simpson, Kieran O’Riordan
– Founding year: 1998
– Residence: Nottingham, UK
– Current album: Accident Book
2.) Questionnaire:

– How did you become a band?
I advertised in Melody Maker:  “Singer with sad songs needs help”
– How did you come up with your band name?
I was looking for something that conjured a feeling of faded glamour, or something like the atmosphere of the bar scenes in The Shining.  Then I was hanging around in Nottingham and I found myself outside the Savoy cinema. That had something to do with it.
– Your band line-up is changing ever since – what are the reasons for that and doesn’t it make it more complicated to become well attuned?
It does make it hard, it’s not really through choice. The reasons are all different in every case.  We are not a full-time band, we all have to work, and life gets in the way.  Which might be a good thing really. I don’t think we could function as a career band. I am also very difficult to work with, having a terrible & violent temper.
– How would you describe your musical style?  Sadcore.
– Which musical influences do you have? 
I have been through many stages of musical education.  Some of them are as follows: The Carpenters, Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads, REM, Husker Du, Neil Young, Scott Walker, Souled American, Pixies, American Music Club, Thin White Rope, Red House Painters.
– It has been four years since your last album, what happened since then?
Life went on,  I worked hard, moving back & forth between Nottingham and London, Kept my nose clean. Waited for the next big break.  Wrote some songs.   
– Could you tell a bit about the production process of the album – where did it take place, what were the difficulties, how long did it take? 
We recorded this album in various places in Nottingham, a lot in my home.  I tried to put a lot of work into a method of keeping the pressure off while we were recording – because we had limited time when we could all be together to play, but I wanted us to play together, rather than record part by part.  Some of that was inevitable.  So it was a lot of recording “on location”, in non-studio spaces, really fast.  I made a couple of Re-amping boxes so we could re-record sounds later.  That was a life-saver.   It took a long time overall, probably 18 months. But if we could have done it all in one go, it would have added up to about two weeks probably. 
– You also recorded the album in a self-built studio, which was shortly after having started to record been closed down – what did that mean for you?  That was quite annoying.  We spent a lot of time and some money preparing this room,  which was in an old dairy, converted in to storage units.  There was this taxi driver who was living in one of the units. You would occasionally see him sitting around in his underpants.  They closed the whole building down because of health and safety issues. We managed to record a few tracks there, but it was back to the drawing board after that.
– In one of your interviews to your last album I read from positive tendencies – now the new album begins with the lyrics “he realized hope died” – would you say it get’s even more sad? 
No.  that’s just the first line on the album.  And you know it’s positive: “he” has realized something. Now he can fix it.
– One of our favourite songs is “Last Night On Earth” – could you tell what it is about, if there’s a story behind it and how it was made?  
That was written at Christmas. Theres not a specific story. Its just a feeling put into words.
– Your songs are mostly having a sense of sadness – in which mood and which situations do you write them?   Various. Often while travelling, where you can kind of be half awake and half asleep, and alone, yet amongst a crowd.
– Your music is often working with stillness and breaks – what is the reason for that, what do you want to tell through that? I just love the sound of music dying away, It just opens up places for the listener to be a part of the music. I honestly don’t know, it just sounds better.
– What’s the reason/meaning for the pigs on the cover?
We wanted a physical presence on the cover, but not human. There are lot of pigs in the countryside to the north of Nottingham. It was there that we found our album cover.
– You’re releasing your albums on Glitterhouse Records – what would you say is special for this label, how did you get in contact with them at first?  We have worked with Glitterhouse for a long time now. They are laid back folks. I’m not very good at selling myself, they make it a bit easier.
– What are you as a band/musician doing at the moment?  Preparing for a film shoot, and a tour.
– With which person would you like to work together and why? Manfred Eicher, ECM Records. I love the sound of many of those records. But I fear he may find us too frustrating.
– 3 top albums 2009? Why?
Bill Callahan:  Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle.
Vic Chesnutt – At The Cut
Dinosaur Jr – Farm.

Why not?
– What did you learn 2009?
Follow your instincts.
– Your best personal experience in 2009?  To be confirmed.
– Your plans for 2010?  Tour, self-employment, make more music.
– What’s on your rider? Soya Milk, fine wines.
– What do you associate with Bedroomdisco?  I’m sorry I don’t associate anything with Bedroomdisco, except this interview.
– Who did fill out this questionnaire? Graham Langley

Thanks a lot Graham for filling out our questionaire – we wish you and the others from Savoy Grand all the luck!


Bedroomdisco-Gründer, Redaktions-Chef, Hans in allen Gassen, Golden Leaves Festival Booker, Sammler, Fanboy, Exil-Darmstädter Wahl-Hamburger & happy kid, stuck with the heart of a sad punk - spreading love for great music since '08!

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