“I don’t think that I’d ever not be doing music,” she affirms. “I was talking to my girlfriend about this just yesterday. Even if I weren’t with this band, I’d be with another band. Not that there’s anything wrong with this one! It’s just that sometimes, in our creative pursuits, we have no choice.”
Cash Savage and The Last Drinks specialise in a particularly dark breed of alt-country – country gone gothic. Country gone Edgar Allen Poe. Seriously. Just have a listen to Let Go, off last year’s release Hypnotiser, with lyrics like: “Dark is my mind. Dark is the hair on her head. Dark is the raven screaming.” Savage says there’s a reason for that.
“I don’t write happy songs because I don’t like happy songs,” she puts bluntly. “In Motown, there’s some great ‘let’s party’ songs, but that’s not what I do, it’s not what I write.
“Although, I, myself, was even shocked by how dark Hypnotiser is. I had a bit of an idea about how I wanted it to sound. There were two songs we left off it. One was a lot more upbeat. Without that there … well, the first time I listened to it, I was surprised, not blown over, but surprised by how dark it was. I guess that’s where I feel comfortable. I like to keep my happy times to myself.”
While it’s fair to say that many of the songs off the last release make the hairs on your arms stand up, it’s also true that there’s at least one track that will bring tears to your eyes. Just try not having your heartstrings plucked when listening to I’m In Love, from Hypnotiser. Was it written for someone in particular and was it well received?
“Yes, and very well,” Savage says, with some circumspection. She’s happier to elaborate about the importance of the song for other people. “I’ve had a lot of people, well four different couples, tell me that they’ve used it at their weddings. They’ve walked down the aisle to it. That’s a very special compliment. I recently signed some something for a guy – it was vinyl for his wife – for their first anniversary. I had another couple email me. It’s a huge compliment to be involved in the lives of strangers like that.”
The last year and what lies ahead for the band is hectic, daunting and pleasurable. “We’ve just been very much enjoying doing shows off the back of Hypnotiser. The plan is to record again early next year. It’s exciting and frightening. Last year was insane though, what with recording and everything. This year has involved going around doing a lot of music festivals. It’s been like ticking off a musician’s bucket list really.”
More immediately though, the band will be playing at The B.East’s second birthday this Friday night and they’re excited about it.
“One of the big draw cards for us was that Saint Jude were playing too,” Savage confesses. “We played with them at the Kyneton Music Festival. We’re big fans of the band and big fans of them as people. We were keen because they are on board. One hundred free burgers and Saint Jude – it’ll be great!”
BY MEG CRAWFORD