Volume 93, Issue 42
Friday, November 12, 1999
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Les Savy Fav keep on the up and up
©Photo by Pat Graham
ALL THESE GUYS CARE ABOUT IS CHASING PUSSY. Feline fanciers Les Savy Fav bring all their fetishes to Call the Office this Sunday.
By Michael Murphy
While the rigours of a relentless touring schedule can dull any group's edge, the Brooklyn-based band Les Savy Fav don't have any trouble keeping their musical spirits high.
"We're always sort of performing for ourselves. If a show's got a lot of people there and they're very excited about us, we feed off that, but if it's a small show in the middle nowhere, it's usually the same, except we're playing for four or five people instead of 300. We always end up laughing at ourselves, because we'll go all out for 10 people," explains the band's lead vocalist Tim Harrington.
According to the singer, going all out is something the band does every time it takes the stage and he wishes more rock groups would do the same. "There's sort of this weird situation right now where most bands are very stoic when they perform," he remarks. "We try to pass on the excitement of the music we listened to when we were younger, when everyone went crazy and jumped around we also add into that some humour."
All in their mid 20s, the five band members met up and formed Les Savy Fav while attending the Rhode Island School of Design. Incidentally, this arts school is the very same that spawned David Byrne's '80s art rock project, The Talking Heads.
"That's where we all formed," Harrington confirms. "We've got two filmmakers and painters, a printmaker and an illustrator. Our old drummer used to sculpt toys for Hasbro he made Star Wars figures."
While the remaining members haven't broken into the toy industry yet, they make good use of their artistic training in band-related endeavours. "We try to think about everything aesthetically, from what kind of fabric we're going to put on the band bench to what our cover art is going to look like," Harrington laughed.
After producing a pair of two track recordings and one full length CD, the band released last month what they feel is their best record yet. The Cat and the Cobra was recorded on their bassist's, (Syd Butler), independent label, French Kiss Records. In Harrington's opinion, it is a major improvement over the band's previous studio efforts.
"We're very satisfied with the new record," he acknowledges. "The last one was incredibly low budget and we didn't even master it. We thought we'd just play in front of some mics and there it would be. On this one we were much more conscientious about translating our live music to record, rather than just sort of taping it."
While Harrington said recording The Cat and the Cobra was an extremely positive experience and one the band enjoyed thoroughly, he also declared that playing music live is the band's first love.
Even faced with receptive, enthusiastic crowds, he explains, the band can often outstrip the spectators in exuberance. "Sometimes we seem way more excited than the audience."
Copyright © The Gazette 1999