28 March, 2007
By: Marc Emsley
soulsavers - it’s not how you far you fall, it’s the way you land

there are perks to running a crappily designed review website you know.
every now and then the postman brings me music i really, really, want to hear.
one such band in this manner is the dark night soundtrackers, soulsavers.
so, when the new album dropped on the mat yesterday my heart skipped a beat.
it seems such a long long time ago that rich from the band told me that he had been over in the usa working with mark lanegan that i virtually expected the results to never surface.
rich was somewhat cagey as to whether the collaboration was to be released under the soulsavers brand, or via some other route. thankfully, the story has come to it’s natural conclusion, and with the help of v2 records, you will all be able to hear the results soon.
for anyone who heard the previous album, tough guys don’t dance, and spin off ep, then you know what to expect, down tempo music that evokes emotion. only last time around the band worked predominantly with a different post-grunge vocalist, josh haden, (ex-spain vocalist) whose broken love style gave the music a more romantic noir edge as opposed to marks religious tar ravaged growl.
proper review tba, but let’s just say, that i reckon this is easily going to be one of my favourite albums of the year.

tracklisting :
ghosts of you and me
paper money
ask the dust
kindoms of rain
through my sails
arizona bay
jesus of nothing
no expectations

credits :
tracks 1,2,3,6 &9 - soulsavers with mark lanegan
track 4, 8, & 11 - soulsavers
track 5 - josh haden
track 7 - neil young
track 10 - jaggers/richards

I Really Love Music,
ireallylovemusic vs soulsavers - THE 2007 EDITION
By: Marc Emsley

soulsavers happen to be one of those groups whose releases ireallylovemusic is always keen to hear.
the newly released album, it's not how far you fall, its the way you land, manages to mix in hip hop beats, gospel, country and the darker corners of your dreams, making the album a unique sounding record in 2007. so when band member rich (there are two proper members, the other going by the name ian) offered up some time to answer some nice and easy questions i jumped at the chance.
a few basic down to earth easy q's rich. the album title is a bugger for us with keyboards sir, so i have to ask, what was the inspiration behind the title ?
i just liked the sentiment of it.
i liked the fact that everyone said it was way too long & difficult to remember, and then made the effort afterwards, to get in touch to say that i should use it.
when the band started, soulsavers released some excellent mixtapes that seemed to imply the name was a reference to saving good old fashioned 60s soul music.
however, with this new album, the bands name seems to have taken on a new heavier more direct meaning. was this an intentional shift, or just a chance of fate with your choice of moniker ?
nothing pre-planned there, just a natural shift in sound.
while the mixtapes were predominantly uptempo party music, recent playlists on your myspace hangout have shown a very definite shift away from the happy groove, and a more personal, introspective mood has descended on soulsavers hq. simply a case of getting older and wiser, or something more serious behind this ?
i have always loved all different types of music, the other night we were back at my place having a very late session & i remember the cd's switching from terry callier, stooges, dusty springfield, led zep, two gallants. one of the aims of this project was to allow me to indulge all the different styles of music i'm into. also the music on the mix tapes is always just whatever i'm feeling at the time, with little thought thrown into it. but the music we make in the studio has always had a darker edge to it. we spend a lot of time working on it too.
the feel is definitely still the same as the first album, i've just drawn on more influences this time round.
you have often thanked crate digger dj format for his help in sourcing the gold and was obviously a digger yourself.
do you still dig, or have you filled you house with enough vinyl and decided its time to slow down ?
nah, i still dig. nowhere near the level i used too, or would even like too. i just don't have the time anymore, well not the time to take 10 days out and do nothing more than travel & dig.
if i get somewhere once a month now, a grab the chance.
will the mix that you did with psychopab ever get released ? the artwork by daniel was once online and was bloody brilliant.
yet the mix has yet to see the day of light, am i wishing on a prayer, or will this mix ever get a release ?
to be honest i doubt it. i think those things are of their time.
we had a ton of fun making it, but i think we've both moved on from where we were at that point. sometimes you spend to long working on something that you miss the moment.
i guess it was our axl rose moment.
but you know, my manager keeps complaining that the masters are still under his desk, so maybe offer to spring clean his office & liberate it.
you recently told me that you have a dj residency over in barcelona. tell us more about that. what sort of sets do you play, and just how did this all come about ?
my friends own a club out there, and to be honest it's just a really good excuse to spend some time with them over there and get paid for it. i got a little disillusioned with dj'ing, the whole scene is just dead. but i love barcelona & the people. i just do my thing and hope that people don't get angry.
do you have a hardcore following over there that soak up the soulsavers groove ?
i doubt it. i don't think people follow dj's anymore. and they shouldn't, after all most are just playing other people records & as a rule are not nice people.
masters of their craft such as weatherall & carl craig are few and far between now.
in fact, they are the only two i can think of you get me out of my house to see nowadays.
of course, for many people this album could be the first connection to your music, probably due to the presence of mark lanegan on vocals.
so, just how did a duo known for studio crafted cinematic downtempo music team up with the man of the gruff vocals ?
well i'd been a fan forever. it turned out we had a mutual friend, who had passed on our first record to him. he was into that, so i got him to set up a time we could catch up & see if we thought we could work together. i played him a few ideas, and we went on from there. we kept chipping away & it developed into a whole record over the years. it got hard for many reasons, primarily because we were funding the whole thing ourselves & things got a little more ambitious than planned, and i refused to cut corners and do shit half-assed just to save cash. so it took a while, but that's where working with someone like mark was great. in addition to what he brought to the table creatively, he never asked for a penny from me to do this. there are very few people in his situation who would have been the same. we did it because we believed in what we were doing, and i think it's a pretty rare situation nowadays.
your choice in vocals are so far away from the usual use of a breathy, sultry female chanteusse. instead you have gone for 2 post grunge anti-heroes that have little normal involvement with the world of downtempo hip hop styled music. first with josh haden from spain, and now mark. what promoted this type of choice to front your music ?
i was just a big fan of both. that always has to be a starting point, then it's looking at who works with the sound of the record were working on. i'm privileged that i have a project that allows me to make records with people that i'm a fan of.
it's a rare situation.
people have compared your music to that of the darker elements of the instrumental hip hop such as massive attack and goth-electro droners, death in veath
how does this constant referencing to these bands make you feel ?
well, that's just lazy journalism. when someone lacks the journalistic skill to create a picture with there own words, they resort to simple bullet point notes. sounds like...
people still feel the need to pigeon hole what you do.
we do make dark records, & massive attack have been a huge influence, but i don't think we sound anything like them. but it doesn't offend me, it's just an opinion.
is the music you create all computer generated or, are you and ian proper full on multi-instrumentalists that have far too much talent in the studio ?
hardly any of it was done on the computer this time round.
i think all the drums were programmed, and a few of the bass lines, but we wanted it to sound as natural as possible this time.
sonically this album is deep. i love the way that the instrumentals are all delicate and gorgeous to start, and then you step in with a very angry evil sounding guitar.
a strange contradiction to the rest of the music behind. again, am i being too analytical and the guitar was just plugged in and added to the mix, or was the actual style of sound carefully chosen ?
the music on this record was done & redone many times over.
we actually did spend 3yrs making it. we spent a very long time getting it to work in our own minds.
you went over to la to record marks vocals. as a band who released an ep with a somewhat unsubtle image of george w, and those infamous "f*ck bush/soulsavers" stickers, how did you actually find the american experience ?
r- it's always good. some of my best friends live in la, over the last 10yrs i've spent a long time there.
i might hate the politics, but that's no different than here.
bush/blair, different country same scum.
did you ever get any kick back about those stickers, or, am i one of very few to have a stack hidden away in the archives ?
i'm sure i have somewhere, but people kept swiping them when they came over.
i haven't seen any knocking around for a while.
tell us your plans to help promote this album - have you the resources to tour this, and if so, will the vocals be live, or dropped in via digital sources ?
yep, were going on the road in july.
having the resources is debatable, but we'll figure it out somehow. we always do.
mark will be joining us on the road.
wouldn't do it without, i've seen bands do that with the vocals on dat. it's always shit.
i've seen a list showing mark as appearing at glasto. will this be alongside soulsavers - or otherwise ?
neither of us know anything about it if we are. as far as i know the first show is 5th july.