Savoir Adore is adept at putting out catchy synthpop songs that one can easily take from the gym to the dance floor, and they’re exactly what you need right now. As they gear up for a busy festival season, put them on your radar — their stage show is not to be missed.
I caught up with Paul Hammer and Lauren Zettler of the Brooklyn-based Savoir Adore backstage at Webster Hall ahead of their NYC set opening for Shiny Toy Guns. Below, we talked about gigs past and present, when we can expect the next album, and Lauren’s backup career if, you know, the band thing doesn’t work out.
Record Store Day is April 22, and I just read that you guys will be riding around in a bus performing.
Paul: We didn’t even really fully know about that, to be honest!
Paul: Our record label was like, are you interested in this? I wrote back and said, “Yes, let’s talk about it, can I get some more info?” Two weeks later, we’re confirmed. Then Lauren’s like, “What is this?”
Lauren: Paul said, “I asked you to do this, right?” I said, “Yeah, but I didn’t know it was on a bus!”
Paul: We’re going to go from record store to store, which will be fun.
Then you’re on the Firefly lineup this June.
Paul: Firefly’s going to be awesome. A lot of people on the East Coast go because it’s become the major festival outside of the city.
Do you change your show at all when you take it from an indoor venue to a festival setting?
Paul: It depends. Most of the festival stuff we’ve done has been shorter sets. It’s usually an audience that doesn’t know your music; we cater more to high-energy. You have to pull as many people in as possible!
Lauren: You have a mixture of people going to festivals for fun, and super legit music fans. Those fans are very open-minded and forgiving!
Paul, you used Kickstarter to self-release an album a while back. What was that like?
Paul: We self-released it, and that’s what got us a record deal. It changed everything. Kickstarter got us enough awareness and we were signed because of that. The record was re-released by the label.
That’s so cool. How do you stay creatively inspired after so many years in the game?
Paul: It’s hard. You have to focus on what you have control over and what you care about.
Lauren: You definitely have to focus on what’s important and not get caught up in the bullsh*t. You focus on the longevity factor. You have to trust.
Paul: At the end of the day, you’re doing it because you love making music.
When you write, do you have to sit down, or does it come while you’re doing laundry or whatever?
Paul: I have to sit down and focus.
Lauren: That song I sent you [Paul] the other day, I wrote the first line of it while we were driving home.
Paul: Oh, you just did that? I didn’t realize that! I thought it was something you had. You crushed it.
Lauren: It just came.
When Deidre Muro left after seven years, how did you proceed, Paul?
Paul: It wasn’t easy at first. Then I took a few months off. Lauren and I had already met and talked about music years before that. It was one of those things that I feel like happened in a nice, organic way. We were just finally able to write together. That was a huge part of continuing the project.
Once we finished songs and the collaboration was lovely, that was it. Once that worked, it was a new chapter. I’m so happy with how everything has gone.
Lauren, what’s your history?
Lauren: I was a singer-songwriter myself, and I started my own project, and I played keyboard in another band. When that was done, that’s exactly when Paul — it was great timing.
Did you know about Savoir Adore before you joined?
Lauren: A litte bit–
Paul: –I would say it was the reverse. I would go to her shows! Our guitar player and old drummer played with her. I probably saw her play 5 or 6 times. I was more of a fan. I remember drunkenly at South by Southwest being like [slurs] we should write together!
I read that your wife knew of the band, too, Paul. So you married a fan?
Paul: [quickly] NO!
Paul: She would hate if you said that! She had no idea who we were. She was friends with the band that played before us at this festival…now she’s a fan.
And I read that she inspired the record?
Paul: She inspired one of the ideas of the album, that when you miss someone, there’s this love that remains. She inspired that phrase. Then the phrase inspired other things. But she’s made it very clear: “I was not a fan! I didn’t know who you were!”
Okay, I take it back. Moving on, which song is your favorite to perform live right now?
That’s my favorite one. “Uhhh.”
Paul: It’s a B-side. Deep cut.
Lauren: [Laughs] I like “Giants.” It’s the big hurrah.
Paul: It’s fun to play a song that feels that big. Thankfully, I’m not sick of it yet! There are songs you get sick of, but this feels good, it feels like “us.”
What’s the weirdest or most unique venue you’ve played? Too bad the bus thing hasn’t happened yet!
Paul: That’s going to be it. The answer in a week will be that.
Lauren: We did that hockey game at Barclays Center.
Paul: That was weird. It wasn’t the actual venue, it was the Billboard Lounge. It was a dope space, but the show was…not good.
If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
Lauren: I do production design, prop styling stuff. I’d be doing that full time. My wife is a producer and I really like decorating my apartment, and I’m good at it, so she hired me to help with some of the projects! I started doing it with other people and now I have a portfolio.
That’s a great backup, if you get bored of Paul.
Lauren: [Laughs] Yeah, be careful.
What have you been listening to lately? And I’ll remind you that you already used “Giants” as an answer.
Paul: “Savages,” or “Dreamers.” “Savages” is my favorite song.
Finally, you put out a new single, “Too Late,” in January. Can we expect more new music or another album soon?
Paul: There’s more coming! We’re about to shift back into working on music. I mentally can’t write on tour, so we have to shift back to recording. Hopefully by the fall…we want to go back to Europe, and release a new record.