Music World: The Savage Eye

Savages are one of the most innovative rock bands to come out of the UK in recent years. They discuss their tumultuous second album and standing out from the crowd. WORDS Paul Nolan

At a time when British guitar music is in crisis, Savages are one of the few bright hopes of UK alternative rock. Though only released in January, their second album, Adore Life – another masterful collection of squalling art-rock and atmospheric indie – is comfortably one of the year’s best albums.

“I’ve not heard all of the albums this year, so it’s hard to comment on that,” laughs Savages’ bassist Ayse Hassan, who’s a good deal warmer and friendlier than one might expect from the band’s austere music. “It’s wonderful to hear people say that and we’ve had some great feedback on the record, which is great, because we worked very hard on it. So it is nice when it’s well-received, because you never think of that when you’re writing.”

Interestingly, during the making of the album, Savages played several gigs in New York to finesse the material – and indeed Ayse is returning to the city the day after our interview for a series of meetings. She credits the gigs the band performed there in the middle of recording Adore Life as being key in the album’s development.

“It was wonderful,” enthuses Ayse. “The whole idea of going to New York was to give us a chance to play the songs onstage before we put them out. Removing ourselves from where we live was a great way to stay focused, because there are no distractions. And our fans in New York are brilliant – they have this great appreciation of music and they’re very giving in terms of energy and excitement. We felt that’s what we needed, because writing in a sterile studio can be very different from playing live.

“Our view was that the material needed that extra vitality you get from doing gigs. Also, it informed the writing – because we would make edits and change endings and so on from gig to gig – and it was great for our audience to observe is in that creative process.”

Savages’ singer, Jehnny Beth, was among those who participated in the enormously popular exhibition David Bowie Is…, although Ayse chuckles when she realises she doesn’t know the precise nature of Beth’s contribution. Nonetheless, she acknowledges that the late icon was a big influence on her musical development.

“My parents had all his records,” Ayse reflects. “Growing up, I always listened to his music. I’m very happy I was alive while he was alive, because he was an incredible person and musician.”

Just before Xmas, Beth actually popped over to Dublin to make an appearance at the National Concert Hall, where she was among the performers in an evening dedicated to the soundtracks of cult director David Lynch. Savages also performed a show at Silencio, the Paris club designed by Lynch and based on the bar from his renowned film Mulholland Drive.

“It was bizarre,” laughs Ayse. “I am a massive fan of David Lynch, so it was an honour to play at his club. It was just a really strange moment, very Twin Peaks. We’ve been meaning to go back there, because it’s a really nice place. I would recommend going there – depending on what you’re into of course!”

Savages’ all-female line-up affords them the opportunity to play with rock archetypes, something they’ve gleefully done – naming a track ‘Husbands’ being but one example. Would Ayse agree there is something inherently subversive about the group?

“It’s not something necessarily intentional,” she muses. “I suppose it can come across that way. There wasn’t anything contrived about the band – the four of us got together and we had a good chemistry, and that was it. People have picked up some of those most obvious things you can comment on. I suppose when a band have attention, there are those who want to categorise them or compare them to what’s gone before.

“In many ways, we’ve tried to respect some of the similarities people have attached to us. In particular, we’ve got comparisons to some acts from the ’80s. Personally, I don’t see it, but I can understand where it’s coming from. I think we’ve gone past the moment in time when you can do something completely original, if you know what I mean.”

At this point, Ayse cracks up laughing: “I’ve not really explained that very well, have I?!”

We assure her she’s done just fine and move on to her recently launched side project, Kite Base,

an experimental outfit she’s formed with

Kendra Frost.

“We both play bass in the project,” explains Ayse. “Also, we used an analogue drum machine and Kendra sings. I do backing vocals which is quite interesting! I’ve always been of the belief that you have to try new stuff. This project satisfies my need to learn new instruments and software, and it also forces me to play the bass a bit differently. Kite Base is really about combining our love of early industrial music with our love of pop. It’s been a fun experience and we’re going to continue it later this year.”

 

Related Articles

Album Review: Beck, Colors

An underwhelming outing for the Art-Rock maverick.

Read More

Robert Webb discusses his brilliantly funny new memoir and his comedy heroes

Read More

Live Report: LCD Soundsystem triumph at the Olympia

Paul Nolan was on-hand as the dance-punk crew played a barnstorming first night in Dublin

Read More

LIVE REPORT: LCD Soundsystem Triumph at The Olympia Theatre

Paul Nolan was on-hand as the dance-punk crew played a barnstorming first night in Dublin

Read More

Hot Press Gets A Sneak Peak At Newbridge Silverware’s Kurt Cobain Exhibition

Paul Nolan reports on the Kildare company’s fascinating exhibition on the grunge legend

Read More

The Horrors: On Working with Nine Inch Nails, The Gorillaz, and their new record

Art-rock mavericks The Horrors on their album of the year contender V, touring with Nine Inch Nails and collaborating with Gorillaz.

Read More

COUNTDOWN TO ELECTRIC PICNIC: The Enduring Legacy of A Tribe Called Quest

One of the most influential hip hop groups of all time, A Tribe Called Quest are sure to produce a barnstorming performance.

Read More

Book Review: Mail Men: The Unauthorised Story of The Daily Mail, Adrian Addison

Read More

Rock/rap supergroup Prophets of Rage talk about their incendiary debut album

The debut album from rock-hip hop supergroup Prophets Of Rage is an incendiary state of the nation address.

Read More

Album Review: Prophets of Rage, Prophets of Rage

Alternative state of the union address from rock/hip-hop supergroup.

Read More

Game Of Thrones: A Song of Revolutionary Television and Global Success

With Games Of Thrones’ seventh season having just debuted to massive viewing figures and rapturous critical acclaim, uber-fan Paul Nolan drags himself away from the sofa long enough to salute the series’ unique mix of political intrigue, radical characterisation and atmospheric storytelling – whilst not forgetting the steamy sex and ultra-violence, of course.

Read More

Album Review: Shabazz Palaces: Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star / Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines

Cult US hip-hop act produce two stunning new albums

Read More

Album Review: Broken Social Scene, Hug Of Thunder

Canadian art-rock troupe make impressive return.

Read More

Live Report: The Avalanches Rock Dublin

The Australian dance outfit made a long awaited return to Ireland, playing a stunning set of material from the classic Since I Left You and last year’s Wildflower

Read More

Live Report: Radiohead Triumph In Dublin

Paul Nolan was on-hand as Thom Yorke and co. celebrated the 20th anniversary of OK Computer and threw several unexpected classics into the set

Read More

Exclusive: Cult Author Jeffrey Eugenides Speaks To Hot Press Ahead Of His Borris House Appearance This Weekend

Set to be interviewed by Florence Welch at Borris House this weekend, the writer’s Cork roots, his love of Joyce, Sofia Coppola’s classic adaptation of The Virgin Suicides, and his views on Trump-era America are all on the agenda as he talks to Paul Nolan

Read More

Book Review: Nevertheless: a Memoir by Alec Baldwin

Read More

FORBIDDEN FRUIT 2017: Brought to Booka- Interview with Booka Shade

German techno heroes Booka Shade discuss collaborating with Irish singer Craig Walker on their new album, DJing in world-renowned Berlin club Berghain, and playing huge support slots with Depeche Mode. Interview: Paul Nolan

Read More

Risky Business: Maximo Park make their return

The state of British politics, Warp Records parties and the Chicago Cubs’ World Series win are all on the agenda as Maximo Park frontman Paul Smith discusses the band’s new album, Risk To Exist.

Read More

Watching the Detective: Interview with Mindhorn's Sean Foley and Simon Farnaby

Starring The Mighty Boosh's Julian Barratt as a down and out actor called on to reprise his most famous role as a TV detective, Mindhorn is arguably the comedy of the year. Director Sean Foley and co-writer Simon Farnaby- who also starred in the Boosh- talk about paying homage to their favourite '80s shows and getting Steve Coogan onboard.

Read More

Thundercat talks Kendrick collaborations and new album Drunk in exclusive interview

Read More

Trangressing To Impress: Reflections on Art, Sex and Music with Cosey Fanni Tutti

Throbbing Gristle’s Cosey Fanni Tutti discusses her superb memoir Art Sex Music, which reflects on an incredible career that once saw the group branded as “wreckers of civilisation”.

Read More

Album Review: Kendrick Lamar, DAMN.

Hip-hop superstar delivers second consecutive masterpiece.

Read More

Album Review: Gorillaz, Humanz

Cracking return from animated quartet

Read More

Album Review: Robyn Hitchcock, Robyn Hitchcock

Stellar effort from cult English art-rocker

Read More

The Chain Event: Jesus and Mary Chain make their comeback

Onstage bust-ups, classic records and performing live with Scarlett Johansson are all on the agenda as the iconic Jesus and Mary Chain discuss their brilliant comeback album, Damage and Joy.

Read More

Book Review: John Connolly, A Game of Ghosts

Read More

Album Review: The Jesus and Mary Chain, Damage And Joy

Excellent comeback from pioneering alt.rockers.

Read More

Album Review: Booka Shade, Movements 10

Classic album from German electronica duo gets the reissue treatment

Read More

Marty Speilin': When Martin Scorsese came to Dublin

In February, one of cinema’s greatest ever directors, Hollywood legend Martin Scorsese, arrived in Dublin to receive Trinity College’s prestigious gold medal award. Paul Nolan was on-hand for Scorsese’s public interview, during which studio battles, the future of cinema, Taxi Driver, Leonardo Di Caprio, the Rolling Stones, and the director’s eagerly awaited upcoming reunion with Robert De Niro, The Irishman, were all on the conversational agenda.

Read More

Exclusive: The Full Lowdown on Martin Scorsese's Trinity College Appearance

Paul Nolan reports on the legendary filmmaker's Phil Soc encounter, during which Leonardo DiCaprio, the Rolling Stones, Taxi Driver and his upcoming reunion with Robert DeNiro, The Irishman, were all on the conversational agenda

Read More

Album Review: Hang , Foxygen

Underwhelming effort from US indie-pop duo

Read More

White Lies talk new album and rocking Wembley with Muse

Hot Press caught up with White Lies following the release of their fourth album Friends.

Read More

Austra - Future Politics

Canadian singer delivers quality electro grooves

Read More

Album Review: Alive!, Mik Artistik's Ego Trip

UK art rocker struts his stuff.

Read More

Album Review: Run the Jewels, Run the Jewels 3

Superlative effort from US hip hop duo

Read More

Artistik Streak: Hot Press sits down with Mik Artistik

Art-rock maverick Mik Artistik on unlikely adventures in Longford, being friends with leatherclad legend Zodiac Mindwarp, and acting as guest frontman for pioneering Krautrockers Faust.

Read More

Album Review: Blue & Lonesome, The Rolling Stones

Read our verdict on the Rolling Stones' hotly anticipated comeback album.

Read More

Book Review: Paul Howard, I Read the News Today Oh Boy

(Picador)

Read More

Pulpit It Up - An Interview with author Robert Harris

Best-selling author Robert Harris discusses his new Vatican-set thriller Conclave, his friendships with Roman Polanski and Tony Blair, and his dismay after Brexit.

Read More

Film Review: The Flag

Pat Shortt excels in Rising-themed comedy.

Read More

Raising Standards: Declan Recks Discusses The Flag

Director Declan Recks discusses his excellent new film, The Flag, which takes a comedic look at the 1916 commemorations.

Read More

Raising Standards

Director Declan Recks discusses his excellent new film, The Flag, which takes a comedic look at the 1916 commemorations.

Read More

Kate Expectations: An Interview With Kate Tempest

Musician and poet Kate Tempest discusses drugs, depression and creating one of the year’s best albums, Let Them Eat Chaos.

Read More

Album Review: Kaiser Chiefs, Stay Together

Indie veterans deliver Bona Fide Dud

Read More

Album Review: Aim

Excellent effort from hip-hop star

Read More

Book Review: The Schooldays of Jesus

By JM Coetzee (Harvill Secker)

Read More

Book Review: James Andrew Miller, Power House

Read More

Album Review: Warpaint, Heads Up

Impressive third album from la art rockers.

Read More

Album Review: Various Artists, The Man Who Fell To Earth

Cult soundtrack finally gets official release.

Read More

Shooting the breeze with Fantastic Negrito

US artist Fantastic Negrito has been earning serious kudos of late for his album The Last Days Of Oakland, a bewitching mix of blues, soul and funk. The album title refers to the home town of the singer – whose real name is Xavier Dphrepaulezz – and several of the songs critique the city’s ongoing gentrification.

Read More

PICNIC IS HERE: Paul Nolan selects the pick of Saturday's Electric Picnic action

We're up bright and early to begin Day 2 of the Stradbally spectacular – and already, a plan of attack is beginning to take shape, with Noel Gallagher, Joey Badass and the sensational LCD Soundsystem leading the way

Read More

Savage Banter

The Electric Picnic-bound Savages on why they’re inspired by world music, playing with LCD Soundsystem at Red Rocks, and getting the thumbs-up from Lars Ulrich and Trent Reznor.

Read More

Film Review: War Dogs

Jonah Hill excels in remarkable real life tale

Read More

Book Review: Seinfeldia

Seinfeldia, by Jennifer Keishin Armstrong (Simon & Schuster)

Read More

Shoot To Thrill: An interview with Todd Phillips about his new film War Dogs

Based on an extraordinary true life tale, Todd Phillips' latest film War Dogs is a black comedy about the international arms trade. He talks about truth being stronger than fiction, the rise of Donald Trump and hanging with Bono and Tom Cruise.

Read More

Declan Lynch talks about The Ponzi Man his first new book in a decade

Best known as a columnist with the Sunday Independent, ex-Hot Press contributor Declan Lynch is also an acclaimed author. He has just published his first novel in nearly 10 years, The Ponzi Man, which tells the story of titular fraudster John Devlin.

Read More

Book Review: The Life of Simon Rich

Simon Rich (SERPENT’S TAIL)

Read More

Book Review: The Mandibles

Paul Nolan reviews Lionel Shriver's The Mandibles

Read More

The Awaited Return of Trainspotting's Irvine Walsh

Irvine Welsh has returned to one of his most iconic characters, Trainspotting nutter Francis Begbie. He talks about peeling back the layers of the notorious sociopath, class divisions in the UK and the recent Hillsborough verdict.

Read More

Album Review: Pantha du Prince – The Triad

BRILLIANT AMBIENT ELECTRO FROM GERMAN PRODUCER

Read More

BOOK REVIEW: THE PONZI MAN

Read More

Sigur Rós: "We're all changing instruments and doing all kinds of weird things."

Epic post-rockers Sigur Rós talk about hanging out with porn stars, appearing on Game of Thrones and the darker direction of their new music.

Read More

Album review: Digitalism Mirage

Disappointing effort from German electro duo

Read More

Radiohead Are Back With A Superb Record

It may not be up there with their very best albums, but – with hints of Ariel Pink, Boards of Canada and Vangelis on display – Thom Yorke and the boys have once again produced something very special with their highly anticipated new album, A Moon Shaped Pool

Read More

Book Review: A Time Of Torment

Read More

Music World: Underworld On Bowie And Eno

As they gear up for their Forbidden Fruit headliner; Underworld's Karl Hyde talks to Paul Nolan about the trainspotting sequel and why Bowie & Eno mean so much to them.

Read More

Roche's Stories

His father Stephen Roche won the Tour de France. But while he hasn't quite achieved that eminence in cycling, Irishman Nicolas Roche has been up there among the top professionals in the sport for almost a decade now. In a fascinating interview, he talks about drugs, Paul Kimmage, Maria Sharapova – and lots more besides...


Read More

Album Review: Rusangano Family-Let The Dead Bury The Dead

Excellent debut from Irish hip-hop crew

Read More

Savages Open Up About Being Controversial in the New Issue of Hot Press

Savages are one of the most innovative rock bands to come out of the UK in recent years. They discuss their tumultuous second album and standing out from the crowd.

Read More

Legendary comic Garry Shandling passes away aged 66

A one-of-a-kind talent, the creator of The Larry Sanders Show is mourned by fans and friends all over the globe

Read More

Those '80s Shows- The Best TV Shows of the '80s

From the A-Team to knight Rider via Top Of The Pops and Max Headroom, the '80s truly was a decade of highs, lows and inbetweens

Read More

Album Review: Unloved- Guilty Of Love

David Holmes & Friends indulge their love of classic soundtracks & '60s girl groups

Read More

Little Hours look forward to the next Bow St. Session on March 16

Donegal folk-pop duo Little Hours have just joined Kodaline and Walking On Cars as part of the stellar line-up for the next Jameson Bow St. Sessions gig. Singer John Doherty takes TIME OUT from working on the band’s debut album to tell Paul Nolan why he’s hugely excited about the show.

Read More

The Making of Kendrick Lamar

At just 28 years of age, Compton-born rapper Kendrick Lamar has been hailed as one of the most important cultural figures of the modern era. But where did he come from? Who inspired him musically? And what is the creative background to the Hot Press Album of the Year 2015, To Pimp A Butterfly? As we prepare to welcome him to Ireland for Longitude this summer, Paul Nolan explains the global importance of this extraordinary phenomenon...

Read More

Book Review: This Is The Ritual by Rob Doyle

Thirty three year-old Rob Doyle caused a considerable splash 18 months ago with his debut novel, Here Are The Young Men, an uber-dark account of Dublin teens coming of age in the Celtic Tiger era.

Read More

Colm Williamson Interview

Online satirical phenomenon Waterford Whispers have just put out a book compiling their best material from 2015. Founder Colm Williamson talks about his plans to venture into live performance next year.

Read More

Alex Ferguson & Michael Moritz - Leading

Read More

El Vy - Return To The Moon

Impressive collaboration between National frontman and US alt. rock scenester

Read More

METROPOLIS: Questlove Interview

Metropolis-bound with his group - and Jimmy Fallon's house band - The Roots, Questlove discusses his upbringing in Philadelphia, the current state of hip hop and his friendship with Jay Z and Prince.

Read More

Sexwitch - Sexwitch

UK indie supergroup get their psych groove on

Read More

Deerhunter - Fading Frontier

Quality psychedelia from US alt. rock stars

Read More

Brian Boyd - U2 Experience

Read More

Lili Anolik - Dark Rooms

Read More

Foals - What Went Down

More stylish punk-funk from Yannis and the boys

Read More

Bryce Dessner Interview

The National’s Bryce Dessner on his unique collaboration with Cork Opera House WORDS Paul Nolan

Read More

The Watchmaker Of Filigree Street - Natasha Pulley

Read More

The Chemical Brothers - Born In The Echoes

Darkly mesmeric offering from veteran dance duo

Read More

Slaves Interview

Skinhead outsiders Slaves talk anger, iPhones and approving tweets from Robbie Williams.

Read More

LIVE REPORT: Chic in Dublin

A pop extravaganza in Iveagh Gardens.

Read More

Leftfield - Alternative Light Source

Stunning comeback from celebrated dance act

Read More

FFS - FFS

Franz Ferdinand hook-up with Sparks – archness not exactly in short supply

Read More

Of Monsters And Men Interview

They captured the hearts of Irish music lovers with their spirited debut album. With their second LP on the way Hot Press travels to Iceland to speak exclusively to chart-topping folk rockers Of Monsters and Men.

Read More

Matador Interview

Electronica up-and-comer Matador talks about his move from Berlin to Dublin and why sometimes you have to give it your all in order to engage an audience.

Read More

Shamir - Ratchet

Stunning debut from Las Vegas dance wunderkind

Read More
 

Advertise With Us


For information including benefits, key facts, figures and rates for advertising with Hot Press, click below

Advertise

Find us elsewhere