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A Savages manifesto on music


Savages Credit: Savages

Savages believes there’s more to being a band than just getting people to nod their heads or move their bodies.

The explosive British post-punk quartet wants to change the way people think. To that end, it has been releasing manifestos along with its music, including a mission statement explaining that the group wants to help people reveal and reconnect to their physical and emotional selves and experience life differently. It’s heady stuff, accompanied by a dark and powerful sound.

amNewYork spoke with singer Jehnny Beth.

Why did you start releasing band manifestos?
I started writing in a few words what we were trying to sound like, what we were trying to achieve and what the band was about. It was an exercise. It’s more interesting to set yourself a set of goals before you enter the rehearsal room. Whether you achieve it or not doesn’t matter. What matters is putting direction into your work.

Why is it important to be more than just a band people like to listen to?
I’m fine with people just listening and enjoying our music. … Entertainment is fine by itself. If from there we can get a little change into the consciousness of the lives of people, that’s what art is about. That’s why music is so powerful.

From your first show, there was a lot of buzz. Did you feel like you were onto something right away?
We felt very focused from the first rehearsal. There was a determination and a desire to concentrate and minimize the distractions and minimize the music as well — to concentrate the thoughts. We were trying to have less ideas instead of new ones. We were making sure that if we had three ideas to use the best one — to use repetition and intensity. That was the idea. What was great and magical was that from the first rehearsal, the tone was set. We all accepted it and the music was directing us in a way.

Savages are at Webster Hall Thursday night at 8:30 p.m., 125 E. 11th St., 212-353-1600, $20.

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