Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Sit-Down With Savoir Adore

Savoir Adore is not your typical pop-rock duo. Deirdre Muro and Paul Hammer came together "by accident" when they met at NYU in a songwriting group and decided one weekend, on a whim, to take a pilgrimage up to Paul's childhood home in upstate NY and record some collaborative works. Their joint musical efforts would continue to be spontaneous and exploratory for the next few years; Savoir Adore has been described as a group that writes "lyrics that border on mystical and has a sense of musical adventurousness that takes them through fairly straightforward folk, cutesy electro-pop, and some other stuff that sounds half like gypsy music and half like Joanna Newsom." In fact, their sound is about as fluorescent as their album cover. After they sent their first couple songs around to their friends as a sort of joke and started performing around the city, good feedback encouraged them to take this seriously, and Savoir Adore the "official" group was born. Deirdre and Paul are on tour for their new album, "In the Wooded Forest," and will perform at Terrace this Thursday night, March 4th, at 11:30.

Q: What makes your duo work? How do you guys have such a great collaboration going on?

Paul: We both started writing and playing music with a love of experimentation and developing a whole new genre. And we have really good chemistry as people and respect each other's interests. We each bring something different to the table.

Deirdre: We both find joy in exploring different kinds of music and are on the same page in a lot of respects.

Q: If you could describe your music in three adjectives, what would they be?

Savoir Adore: Magical, sparkly, and adventurous.

Q: How did going to NYU influence or change you as musicians?

P: We found ourselves in a very musical community – New York has so many different places to see music and perform.

D: We met at NYU in a singer-songwriter's club. People would come and play songs for each other.

Q: How did you come up with your name? What does it mean?

P: It was actually a very quick thing. We had recorded a track for fun and Deirdre had sung a couple lines in French in the middle. When we needed a name a few weeks later, we had been talking about how beautiful the French language is, so we went back to that line she sang in French.

D: It's funny; we decided to make a Myspace page for one dinky song and created a name then and there. "Savoir Adore" means "knowing love."

Q: Do you guys actually share full control, or is one of you bossier?

P: It's pretty equally shared. We also tend to compromise quickly and both trust each other musically.

D: But we do have our moments of being ridiculous. Still, if we let something get in our way, we haven't gotten anything done. What's funny is that right now, I know when the answers to these questions can end, but then Paul will jump in with something we're not always on the same page...although most of the time we are.

Q: Do you have any embarrassing performance memories?

D: Yes! (laughs) Recently, we played at a college at the end of last year where the night was kind of disorganized and a weird night overall. Paul got very drunk and was playing all kind of crazy chords and singing at the wrong time. He even melted a part of his amp by accident and broke a string. A general disaster.

P: That was definitely the most embarrassing moment for me, but the most memorable was when we drove 30 hours in a car to see a music festival. Weird things happen when you've been sitting in a car for that long.

Q: What were your childhood dreams? Did you ever anticipate being musicians?

P: I wanted to be a weatherman.

D: I always wanted to be a musician. My 5th grade yearbook says I was going to grow up to be a rock star.

Q: What's next?

P: Tours and a new album! We already have a bunch of new songs that we can't wait to record.

Q: You say Savoir Adore happened by you remember the first time you guys ever met?

D: I was a frosh and Paul was a soph. I was kind of a slacker and didn't go to the songwriters club get-togethers very many times, but I remember thinking he was so cool.

Q: Where do you usually get inspiration?

D: Actually, we often seek inspiration from own work. Our first EP ("The Adventures of Mr. Pumpernickel and the Girl with Animals In Her Throat") that we made a couple years ago is a very narrative, conceptual piece. It was the first time we had ever collaborated. We sometimes tap back into that kind of place. It fits with what we do now.

Q: How did you write this album? What was the process?

D: It revolves around a fabricated location - the forest - with characters and locations. So we really just sat and used our imaginations as much as we could to find inspiration for songs/characters/new worlds on this album.

Q: Who would you ideally want to collaborate with?

D: Jack White.

P: Jack White. Brian Adams. (They are on the same page!)

Q: What's the show on Thursday gonna be like in a couple words?

P: Loud, fun, exciting, memorable. And sparkly.


-Interview conducted, condensed, an edited by Jess Turner ‘12

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