Gigslutz Unsigned: Interview with The Savage Nomads

Put together some eclectic ingredients – a few Libertines-esque jangly riffs, mixed with some ‘80s pop, and a touch of some cool, alt-rock inspired vocals – and what you’ll come up with is the enthusiastic Indie-Pop sound of The Savage Nomads. A band who, live, ooze charisma and an impressive theatrical stage presence which it is impossible not to enjoy. Having received praise from The Clash’s Mick Jones, been recommended by the likes of Artrocker magazine and having had some airplay on 6Music, the future is looking bright for The Savage Nomads.

Mari caught up with friendly frontman, Cole Salewicz, to ask a few questions about the band and what they’ve got in store for us next…

Who are The Savage Nomads, and how did you all meet?

Josh and I met when we both got on the train to nowhere after a stint in the ball pit at discovery zone. Cursing the devil’s luck as the rain hailed down on us – it’s an open top train – Josh whipped out his harmonica and wailed; as was the style at the time I pulled out my trusty mandolin and we improvised. It sounded awful but our haircuts really harmonized and the idea of a group was borne.

I understand the line up of the band has changed since The Savage Nomads first got together – how has this affected the band’s sound and image?

Well we used to play ‘Pin The Donkey’ the traditional way but we’ve cast that blindfold aside now Mari! We are looking out on the horizon and all seeing the same mountains. It’s crucial that a group is a cohesive effort: essentially you are a unit with everyone operating their own machinery that, triggered together in perfect synchronicity, results in shiny-shiny pop.

Your sound is quite eclectic – who would you say are you main musical influences? And what tends to inspire your writing?

Thanks! Well, it’s quite an evolving answer really. In the car the other night Rory and I were listening to Orange Juice and Neil Young’s After the Goldrush. We supported a band called Night Engine the other night who are superb; I’ve been blowing out my speakers on their tunes and also on Rad Stewart who not only make charming lo-fi jams but have the greatest name. That is as fresh as I can give it to you. Oh, and I woke up yesterday morning with CAN’s big hit ‘Mushroom’ in my head…

Very eclectic taste indeed!

Is it just one of you that writes all of the band’s songs, or is it more of a collaborative effort?

Well that too is changing! Our latest song has been pretty collaborative which is great as it feels a lot more organic than Josh and I sitting in front of computer software…not that there’s anything wrong with that either. Josh and I sat in my bedroom for about 9 months staring at each other and then another 9 months plugging into my Mac.

What has been your highlight of being in a band so far?

Saturday night just gone was pretty tremendous, Mari. I’m sorry you had an engagement. We played The Old Blue Last for Alcopop Records (the most creative label out there) and the room was completely ramm-a-jammed with kids just STARING at us. They danced, also…that was great fun.

I’m sorry I missed it too – I love dancing, and staring!

Your last single, ‘Jaded Edges’, was pretty great, what next for The Savage Nomads? What are your hopes for 2014?

We had a tremendous time recording at Café Studios with Cherif Hashizume in July and so we’re probably going to make another visit there early next year. Cherif is quite a wizard and we were singing from the same hymn sheet which is why I think Jaded Edges turned out to be an indie stomper. There was also the most marvellous pie and mash shop round the corner on the Roman Road. It’s called G. Kelly’s: amazing jellied eels and homemade sarsaparilla.

So, what are you listening to a lot of at the moment? Are there any new bands/singers that you like the sound of?

Some of my best friends went to see Bishop Nehru at the Forum supporting MF DOOM the other night. We were gigging but I woulda been there like the FLASH if I could have. He’s a 17 year old and he’s a hip-hop ARTIST! I’m going to see Neutral Milk Hotel at The Roundhouse next May. They made a record called ‘In the Aeroplane Over The Sea’ in the 90s that is absolutely phenomenal, not too well known over here as it is in America so I’m giving that a shout out. It’s all about Anne Frank…check it out. I might have a spare ticket for that show if anyone’s interested…

Very jealous of you going to see Neutral Milk Hotel – that album is one of my favourites. I’ve had days just spent listening to ‘King Of Carrot Flowers’ and nothing else…

So, you’re going to be playing the fantastic venues, ‘The Finsbury’ on 7th December and ‘The Cuckoo Club’ on the 12th- what can fans expect from these gigs? Any surprises up your sleeve?

We’re always gonna bring the ruckus, Mari. Better it be awful than average! I want to get some beer coasters made and hand them out…I’m figuring that out!

Sounds very exciting indeed! I hope I can make one of those dates… I’m often in need of beer mats.


And if you, too, fancy a new beer mat and having a dance to to some fantastic ‘indie stompers’ then come and check out The Savage Nomads live at one of the following dates:

20th November – Notting Hill Arts Club
21st November – Earl Of Chatham, Woolwich
7th December – The Finsbury, Manor House
12th December – The Cuckoo Club, Regent Street
17th January – The Old Blue Last, Shoreditch
30th January – The Fulll Moon Club, Cardiff
26th February – Green Door Store, Brighton.

Mari Lane

Mari Lane

Editor, London. Likes: Kathleen Hanna, 6Music, live music in the sunshine. Dislikes: Sexism, pineapples, the misuse of apostrophes.