Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Old Interview with Jim Lawlor of Saso

Steven Battle – A Quick chat with Jim Lawlor of Saso, October 2006.

You Guys played a gig in Crawdaddy this month to showcase some songs from the new album, how were they received?
It’s hard to know when your on stage but I suppose from our point of view we were very happy with the performance. We showcased a couple of songs from the new album which is called The Middle Ages so that was an interesting outing for those songs, particularly the electronic based songs.
For the first time we brought the electronic compponent to our sound onto the stage so that was an interseting experiment and it payed off very well. We’re very happy with the result.

I know the band comprises of yourself and Ben Rawlins, but for the live performances do you have extra musicians on stage?
Obviously the core artistic base of Saso is myself and Ben and that’s how we produce the music in studio but when it comes to playing live we need other players so we’ve managed to put together a really good crew of musicians. I suppose it’s a tradittional set up, vocals, guitar, bass, keyboard, drums and as I said, a computer on stage playing the more electronic ambient sounds which have become the Saso trademark.

Cool, Getting back to the new album, how much time did you spend in the studio?
Well the project started about this time last year and went through, I suppose what you would call a writing phase up to the christmas period. After that we began to put together what was looking like a finished product in terms of an album. But it didn’t achieve what we though it would in terms of a listening experience so we went back and revised a couple of songs and got rid of a few. Basically shuffled the deck a bit more which added a bit more time onto the project. It ended up being finished in may/june. About a year in total I think. It’s a slow process. We started off with the best intentions to have it finished before last christmas but we werent just gonna finish it for the sake of it. We decided to postpone the release date until this side of the summer. It gave us a bit more breathing space and as a result it’s a far better album for it.

Saso have been the compared to the likes of Talk Talk, Mogwai and Sigur Ros. Is that where your influences lie?
Its very flattering to be compared to those bands and ya we were influenced by them. I suppose what we would share with them bands is their sonic approach, not necessarily trying to replicate them. Its more of an atmospheric likeness that we would share.
I think what we have taken from Talk Talk really is more their recording technique The re;ationship between Mark Hollis and Tim Friese-Greene would be very similar to the way Saso is set up. So that’s quite a big influence. Mogwai, I don’t know, originally back maybe 5-6 years ago we were compared to them but I think we have developed a more structured sound with lyrics and stuff where Mogwai have kinda stayed on a plateau with respect to their sound, especially live. They have a very distinct kida trick and that seems to be what they are selling. I think Saso have a bit more depth to the product, you know?

Any plans to play a few dates around the country to promote The Middle Ages?
Ya, if the opportunity arises we’ll cetainly take it. At the moment we’ll have no specific confirmed dates. We’re looking into it, as they say, at the moment. We’ll see what happens…

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