Jimmy talks to our band of the month, the awesome Them Savages.
It’s not every day that you find your new favourite band of the month by complete accident but to my luck, that’s exactly what I did with Them Savages.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, Bandcamp is the Bible for new musicians and it lets you sign up and sell your music in a name-your-price kind of deal. Indirectly and directly, Radiohead have certainly changed the face of music over the past half decade and whether you like In Rainbows or not, it has impacted the scene arguably much for the better.
Church Songs is, by some distance, the best album I have heard in a long time. Where Them Savages’ peers may faulter and put out a collection of dreary, harrowed songs that barely linger on the ear, the Arizona duo have tunes that will stick with you long after you reach the triumphant last few seconds.
An easy (and almost lazy) metaphor for the band is that they’re the beautiful lovechild of Frank Turner and Middle Class Rut; the yearning folk-tinged melodies of the former and the hard-edged growl of the latter. That’s a bit of a discourtesy to the two though as in an industry filled with acoustic acts, it takes something truly special to stand out amongst the crowd.
The best thing about Them Savages is how though they might be small in number, they produce the kind of sound that could fill a stadium. Whether it’s the ferocious and full vocals or the deep, oddly hollow yet replete instrumentation, they have a distinctive sound and one that should grab your attention and refuse to let go until you start bobbing your head. If you need proof of just how infectious Church Songs is, check out ‘Pretty Little Thief‘ towards the album’s rousing finale.
To our delight, Ben of Them Savages agreed to an interview after we reached out. Here’s what he had to say.
1. Hi Ben, how are you?
I’m doing this interview at work, so I’m feeling pretty happy about that.
2. Tell us a little bit about Them Savages.
We’re a two-pieced band from Flagstaff, AZ. We started writing songs together about five years ago, about a year or so after we met.
Our original intention was to start a hardcore band together, but we never really found other people to jam with, so we just started a loud, acoustic indie band.
Kind of a funny thing to end up with, I guess.
3. There’s only two of you but you have the sound of a four-man band. How do you manage that?
Like I said, we never intended on being a quiet band and the fact that we were/are broke has just caused us to be a little more inventive.
That’s just lead to doing as much as we physically can on stage in order to fill out our sound.
4. How was it making Church Songs?
A lot of fun.
We recorded it all in our old house, with a bunch of our best friends around us. We did most of the album live, aside from vocals and other little things that our friends were contributing, so it wasn’t this long, tedious process that I feel like recording can become a lot of times.
5. Were there any main sources of inspiration behind it?
All the lyrics were just random things that I think about a lot.. family, religion, dumb girls, etc. It’s probably what I’ll always write about, just because it’s always on my mind.
6. The album is available on Bandcamp, why did you take the decision to put it on there?
We didn’t want to charge people to listen to our music.
Bandcamp is just a really easy tool to use if you want to spread the word about your music.
7. Who else should we be listening to right now?
All of our friends…
The Coltranes, northamericans, Justin Moody, Bat Manors, Human Weather, Bryant Vazquez… Murdoch. Haha.
8. And finally, why should we all be buying Church Songs?
As I said before, we’re always broke.
It’s hard to travel and do all the new things that we want to without the funding to do so. We’re a DIY band that puts what we make right back into the band…
That’s why, I guess.
Check out Church Songs from Them Savages below. If you like, be sure to give them a dollar or two in return.
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