SAVOY is a Brooklyn, NY based band and will be playing Wakarusa 2015. They recently discussed SAVOY’s beginnings, creative process and love of Wakarusa.
Did you come from a musical family? Were your parents musical?
Our parents weren’t musicians but we they were all pretty passionate about music. They grew up in the the golden age of rock, so the three of us share that musical backbone.
How did SAVOY first come together?
The three of us met in the dorms at college in Boulder. We used to play together acoustically in hallways and lawns. The next year we had a shed behind Ben and Gray’s house which became the place where the Savoy sound really started to take shape.
Did you start DJing or producing first?
Its a tricky question, but producing came first. We started as a rock band and gradually added synth bass and other electronic layers to really make our stuff sound big on the dance floor. Over time the music evolved to be electronic music dance music that was based around sequencers and computers. We then added instrumentation back into our productions and live performances to maintain the live, raw, feel that we love about rock music.
You put on an amazing live performance. How has your live show evolved since you first started out?
The answer above touched on this a little, but now our live shows are now a complete hybrid of a rock band and dance music. We have huge builds and bass heavy drops but we also have the energy of distorted guitars and huge rock drums. We have been touring with singers as well. Our lighting setup is also a hybrid of the two genres. We fuse powerful lasers with epic ACDC style lighting. The energy level of the new live show keeps getting crazier and more dimensional.
How do you approach creating tracks in the studio?
Our influences and musical styles are varied and this shows in our productions. I think our appreciation for the old school really influences how we make a modern sound. If we are working on a house or drumstep track, we will ask ourselves, “What would Zeppelin do here?” But we wouldn’t pull up a Skrillex song and use that as a reference.
You are a past winner of Waka Winter Classic. What did winning the Waka Winter Classic mean to you?
It was a big turning point for us. It was one of the first big festivals we ever played. It was a time in college when a lot of people were studying abroad or going on spring break trips but we decided to take advantage of opportunities like Waka and make music our priority.
What advice would you give to the artists competing this year?
Well aside from playing your best and preparing you really have to bring a crowd. That’s what all music festivals want in a band, but our strategy was a little more unconventional. We rented a school bus and filled it with kegs. The “party bus” took a bunch of our fans and friends from Boulder to Denver which is about 30 mins away. Needless to say, the show was nuts and we got a bunch of votes and won the Waka Winer Classic. But it is worth pointing out that the band before us was really talented and despite them loosing the vote they still got to play Waka. So either way you just have to throw down.
You are playing Wakarusa 2015. What do you enjoy most about playing Wakarusa?
Yeah, we are always pumped to come back! Wakarusa is great because their lineup is pretty eclectic. We love playing festivals that aren’t based around one genre. Some of the electronic music festivals are crazy but three days of a similar sound could be a little intense. But at Waka we are able to stand out and provide something different. When it gets later in the night and kids want to take it to the next level, we drop the bass and lasers on them and its always insanity.
What are some of your favorite memories from playing Wakarusa?
There have been many but for me it was the first year we played a late night slot in the tent. The band before us was great, but pretty mellow. We went up there with lasers blaring and the tent quickly turned into an all out rave. The tent was packed and everyone went nuts and really connected with what we were doing. We had a lot of fans in the first half of the crowd, but you could tell a lot of people were caught off guard and seeing us for the first time. The best music festival experiences are always based around the unexpected. It was cool to see that happening.
Interview By: McClain Johnson