Interview: Young Savage

Arts & Culture Editor Eimear Hurley discusses the Cork music industry with local band, Young Savage.

2014 is set to be a good year for Cork four piece Young Savage (singer/guitarist Dan O’Connor, bassist Steve Flynn, lead guitarist Dan O’Sullivan and drummer Ross Glavin). They have have been playing together for over a year now, and have developed a sound that Ross describes as “Garage Rock n Roll with Psychedelic tendencies.”Since competing  in the UCC Live Music Society  Battle of the Bands last year, the band have performed in Whelan’s in Dublin. Cork is still home for the band, though. “Our best reception  would have to be in The Oliver Plunkett which just has the ideal stage. Of course we can’t leave out The Gateway Bar on Barrack Street, the first venue we played, it’s one of those rare places that just maintains that local live music pub environment. It’s become a rite of passage really for any young and up and coming band in cork to play.”

Songwriting is very much a group effort for Young Savage, Glavin explains: “our writing process is based usually around a guitar riff or bass line…if we like it we jam it out until we find a rough direction of where the song will go and finish it out that way. We all write our own individual parts and it works well for us.”

The band take their influences not so much from individual bands but from musical movements, like the psychedelic movement  of the 60s, 70s rock, “and the attitude [of] the madchester/brit pop era [of] the early 90’s.” Ross tells me that earning a place in the top 10 most-viewed  videos on Balcony TV Cork was the band’s highlight of 2013: “It’s always nice knowing people actually take time to listen to your music.”

For Young Savage, the biggest challenge is progressing within the Cork music scene.  “There aren’t enough people appreciating live music and gigs in Cork.” Ross says. “It’s easy here to get to a certain stage but it’s hard to progress from that for the simple fact that the scene isn’t popular enough. It’s not that the scene isn’t there and that there’s not people out there who love live music, it’s just a narrow market. The Cork scene is more of a stepping stone, but you couldn’t ask for a better stepping stone. We take a lot of pride in being from Cork and a Cork band, we hope that someday the Cork music scene will be as big as it was in the days of Sir Henrys.”

So what will 2014 hold for Young Savage?  At the top of their to-do list is to find a manager – one who’s “as ambitious as we are,” Ross adds. “We want to prove to a wider audience that there is something here in the Cork music scene and that bands here are worth looking at.”  A spot of globe-trotting is on the cards too, as the band plans to move to Nashville Tennessee this summer. They hope to cement their sound in the f(in)famous city:“it’s a drinking city with a music problem and we plan to take full  advantage of that!”

Young Savage will be recording a demo in Dublin this month, so follow them on Facebook and Twitter for updates and new tracks. @youngsavageband // www.facebook.com/youngsavageband