Interview: Barrence Whitfield & The Savages

Garage soul legends Barrence Whitfield & The Savages are back with a new album Under The Savage Sky, their tenth by our since their inception back in 1984, and they’re currently blazing a path through the UK on a 10 date tour of these shores.  Frontman Barrence took a few moments out to answer our questions.

Your new album ‘Under A Savage Sky’ came out in the UK last month – how would you describe it to someone who’s not heard your music before?

It’s a high energy rock and roll LP that pays homage to the music we love:  50s R&B, 60s soul, rockabilly, and garage rock & roll.   When we get done with it…it sounds like us.

Are there any common themes running through the tracks on the album?

This album looks at the world from age and experience and of course cynicism. We are growing older but not giving in!

You’ve been making records for more than 30 years now – how has the process changed in that time?  Have the changes been for the better?

Everything is less now.  It’s easier to make a record technology wise.  Its easier to make a record and we have more control over the process and the results.  But it needs to be done cheaper due to a constantly shrinking music world.

There’s always a new generation of bands making garage punk and rock & roll music, many of the current batch will have listened to your music and taken influence from it – who are some of your current favourites?

We like Howling Wolf, The MC5 and Jack McDuff.  What else is there?

You’ll be touring the UK in October – do you find the crowds any different over here than in the US?

It seems like the UK may have a slightly larger percentage of highly knowledgable music fans than in the USA.  This makes sense as it also has the majority of the quality press/publications that is focus on vintage music and rock and roll.

What are your favourite places to play?

Smallish bars and pubs without heavy metal barriers like the Railway Hotel in Southend and The Cluny in Newcastle.

What can fans expect from the live shows?

A roller coaster ride of energy and thrills!

Under The Savage Sky
Under The Savage Sky is out now.  Barrence Whitfield & The Savages play the following dates around the UK:

08/10/15    Guildford    Boiler Room    United Kingdom
09/10/15    London    Blues Kitchen Brixton    United Kingdom
10/10/15    Exeter    Phoenix    United Kingdom
11/10/15    Bristol    The Tunnels    United Kingdom

Interview by Paul Maps
Photograph by Drew Reynolds

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