It’s not everyday that an invitation is extended to hang out with Savoir Adore before their show at DC9 on Sept. 24, so The Eagle took this exclusive opportunity without hesitation. Behind closed doors, Paul Hammer and Deidre Muro sat back, relaxed and opened up about their most recent release “Our Nature”and the origins of their band.
Sydney Gore: Let’s start from the beginning- how did you guys become a band?
Paul Hammer: Well, we basically met at NYU where we were both studying. We actually met at a songwriting club, probably the second week of school, and ended up playing a lot of shows together as solo artists. Eventually, we really just kind of ended up doing that so much- open mic nights, singer-songwriter nights- and then we just became really close friends. We loved electronic music, ambient music and we shared a lot of the same interests in other stuff, and we were like ‘well, what if we both wanted to sort of break out of the restrictions of singer-songwriter world?’ Not that we didn’t enjoyed it, we wanted to expand on it. So we came up with the idea to sort of record together one weekend where we would basically go up to my parents’ house- my dad has a studio, he is a musician as well- and we were like ‘we’re going to record for two days. The only rule is, no acoustic guitars. And whatever we end up with, that’ll be the record or the EP or the songs or whatever.’ And really from there, we created this EP called “The Adventures of Mr. Pumpernickel and The Girl With Animals In Her Throat.” From there, we ended up passing it around to friends and it got into the hands of a record label that encouraged us to keep writing.
SG: And what year was that?
PH: That was probably 2006.
Deidre Muro: We recorded it in November 2006, but didn’t play live until 2007.
SG: So how did you guys come up with your band name?
DM: The first time we recorded together it was like this little run-off piece, I did some singing in French and it was at the time when Myspace was like really big for bands. So we’re like ‘oh, we’ll just make a fake Myspace band page so we can show it to people.’ So we would need a band name to make those and we kind of just made one up in French that we’re very aware is not grammatically correct.
PH: It’s got a ring to it, and it means a lot. That’s just funny because we named the band so quickly and it came to mean more over time…even though it doesn’t mean anything grammatically!
SG: How do you describe your sound?
DM: It’s really hard. That’s a really good question and we get it all the time obviously. I don’t know… We often say fantasy pop.
PH: It’s like adventure synth pop. Fantasy adventure synth pop.
DM: There’s a lot of rock to it as well.
SG: What was your vision behind “Our Nature”? I felt like it was very different from your previous album “In The Wooded Forest.” What kind of influences went into that?
PH: A big part of that was with “In The Wooded Forest,” we still had this grand exploration of this world we’d created in the EP. It was all very fantasy based, different characters, different little worlds, a lot of supernatural stuff. With “Our Nature,” we sort of wanted to find a fun way to bridge all of that fantasy, nature stuff with a little bit more of an emotional edge to it. We kind of felt like zooming in on a relationship in a way, and it ended up being a relationship between a monster and a girl.
DM: And it takes place in the wooded forest.
PH: It’s zoomed in on this one specific relationship within this fantasy world that we’ve created. It sort of builds off of “Loveliest Creature,” which is the second track. That was the clicking point. And that was one of the first songs that we finished from the record. From there, we were like “This is a really strong idea, let’s build on this.” And then “Dreamers” became the introduction to it all. “Dreamers” is sort of like a fun, ‘give in to your imagination, don’t worry about it, we’re going to take you on a journey.’ And then “Loveliest Creature” is the beginning of the story and lays out a metaphor for a very dangerous sort of love.
DM: We consciously tried to make every song stand alone on this one so you wouldn’t have to listen to it in an exact order, but what you’re taking away from it, we also take away from it.
SG: What would you say is your favorite song on the record?
DM: I feel like it shifts around all the time. A constant favorite is the song “At the Same Time,” which we don’t play live very often.
PH: “Sea of Gold” is my favorite song, but “At the Same Time” is probably my second or third.
SG: What’s your favorite song to perform live?
DM: Maybe “Loveliest Creature.”
PH: “Loveliest Creature” is so much fun to play live. And also “Dreamers” has become really fun to play live because people have reacted so much to it. It’s pretty amazing to see people sing along which is a new thing for us in the last year. Whenever we play “Dreamers,” I’m like ‘yay!’ It’s just very exciting.
SG: This is kind of silly, but do you guys have a favorite fairy tale or fantasy novel?
DM: I don’t have a fairytale, but I’m currently very into Lord of The Rings. Not fairytale, but I will throw it in that category…I love it.
PH: Lord of The Rings and Star Wars. Sci-fi stuff. There’s also a lot of video games. Growing up, I played Final Fantasy and stuff. Also, Greek myths. I have this book, The Aleks Myths, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen those. They’re these illustrated Greek myths for kids, but it was a series of books. I remember loving them. Mount Olympus, pretty cool.
Savoir Adore will be returning to D.C. for a show at U Street Music Hall on Nov. 6.