Meet Savo 'Lass

 

Crickhollow Music recently sat down with Duidhrastir from Savo Lass and had a chance to chat about music, the band and the things that inspired them.

 

CM: It's really a pleasure meeting you, glad that we have the chance to talk.

Duidhrastir - Thanks! It's a pleasure to be here!

CM: So, let's get the old dusty questions out of the way right away.  The ones you've heard a hundred times.  The Origin of Savo Lass.  How did you all get together?  When do you consider The Beginning of the band, the conception, first practice, first performance?  And lastly, what is the meaning of the name Savo Lass, and who came up with it?  

Duidhrastir - Starting with the first question you asked, the origin of Savo 'Lass. Myself a few others from the band had known each other for years before we ever played music together - with the exception of myself and Laaleth - as we had previously played duets together. We used to attend a gathering of Elves in Imladris on Saturday evenings. It was there that the idea came to me to form a trio. It was myself, Laaleth and Beliaveil. We called ourselves Neled Lind Eledhrim or, roughly translated from Sindarin, Three Beautiful Elves.

We began playing on Saturday evenings and then at other gatherings around Middle Earth but it was short lived, for I desired a larger band with more members to produce an even richer blend of harmony and melody.

Savo 'Lass was born from that trio. The original lineup was myself, Laaleth, Beliaveil, Halgoreth and Herumacil. A short while after we had formed, Herumacil was called away to tend to his life in Gondor. We bid him farewell and found a fair replacement in our dear Celthanesta.

I believe that covers our conception. The first practice took place shortly after in my house in Falathlorn. Our very first performance happened in Imladris upon a Saturday evening.

Savo 'Lass means "Have Joy." It is so named in Sindarin because we are (mostly) Elves and we wish nothing more than to have joy for our audience and ourselves.

CM: What did you all do before becoming a band?  If you didn't play music, what would you be doing right now?

Duidhrastir - Laaleth and myself had played duets together since we first met. Of the rest of the band, Beliaveil has had some experience playing music and Halgoreth is widely known on his own as the frontrunner of his band, Skarn. He has also played as a member of several other bands. I too have played with many other bands before forming Savo 'Lass.

Had we not formed this band, Laaleth and I would still be performing duets much like we still do. I often spend my time reading books and scrolls concerning the history of the Elves and of Men.

CM: Interesting!  Tell us a little about your music now.  What do you play the most, are you known for playing a certain type of music?

Duidhrastir - We tend to play music that inspires both joy and sorrow. Our music ranges from energetic to comforting and encompasses many feelings besides. I cannot say what we are known for, however. Since we all have individual lives to focus on, Savo 'Lass only performs twice per year. Once at Shirefest and again at Winterfest.

CM: Do you have a particular song that you really enjoy playing?  Not necessarily a signature song, but one that you think is the most fun to play or the most fun for your audience?

Duidhrastir - I think the song that I enjoy playing the most would have to be "red sky." Halg and I have both sung the lyrics for that song and it describes the march of Elven soldiers into the land of Angmar and it's dark red skies. The soldiers describe how they kept marching and holding their ground against the forces of Angmar, never letting their morale fall.

I am really not sure what our audience enjoys the most, though if I had to guess it would be the song that Halg wrote called "Why is it so hard to be a lyricist?" The music fits the mood of the lyrics wonderfully and the lyrics themselves are quite humorous.

CM: Do you have any influences?  Either in-game or in RL that reflects in-game?

Duidhrastir - I personally have many influences. Among the bands in-game, bands that I draw influence from are Skarn, No Whole Bard, The Dulcet Tones and The Breakfast Club. In RL, I have drawn influence from bands such as Rainbow, Yes, Electric Light Orchestra, Jazz and big band musicians and more. Music from video games and animes are a huge part of my overall influence as well.

CM: What has been your biggest challenge as a band?  And what did you do to overcome it?

Duidhrastir - I think the biggest challenge for me is communicating with the band members to prepare for our performances. Even at just twice per year it proves to be a challenge. This is almost entirely because Savo 'Lass uses 5 musicians, each with their own comings and goings and from different locales. So far this has not been overcome and likely cannot ever be. This has no impact on us, however.

CM: What do you think has been your greatest achievement as a band so far?

Duidhrastir - As a lover of music, I truly believe that my greatest achievement was recruiting Halgoreth into the band. He is a musician I look up to and revere. As a band, our greatest achievement was making it as a fairly well known band in the music scene!

CM: Tell us about the craziest or silliest thing that's happened during a performance.

Duidhrastir - I don't think any one thing stands out but there have been plenty of silly things happening during our performances. I love the back and forth between Halgoreth and Celthanesta!

CM:  You all seem to have so much fun playing!  Has there been a time where it wasn't fun, or as much fun?  Has Savo Lass had their "Spinal Tap" moment?

Duidhrastir - Well, there was that one time when we had been scheduled to close out the night at Winterfest some years ago. I had requested an 18 foot tall model of Dol Guldur to be lowered onto the stage behind us for dramatic effect. Turns out that the special effects manager had read the instructions, which I had written on a napkin, as 18 inches. It was so small! Everyone laughed at us! I was quite upset and found it disturbing but I'm a professional and I was able to rise above it!

All joking aside though. The only bad moment we ever had was our very first performance at Winterfest. Two of our musicians had lost connection during the set. It certainly made things....interesting.

CM: What has Savo Lass been up to lately?  Do you have any future projects in mind?

Duidhrastir - Savo 'Lass stays quiet during the year. We emerge from the shadows once during the summer and once more during winter to play our songs for the free peoples of Middle Earth.

CM:  So, would you say that you've reached a good point, and are living the dream?

Duidhrastir - I think we as a band have reached a good point but I cannot lie and say that I am living the dream. If I had it my own way, we would perform at least once a month!

CM:  And lastly, do you have any advice for any new bands or anyone who wishes to start one?

Duidhrastir - The best advice I can give is to find like minded musicians who enjoy performing just as much as you and then have as much fun as you possibly can! After all, true musicians don't do it for the money, they do it for the sublime feelings involved!