It was a treat to ask Cash Savage a bunch of questions – almost as much of a treat as it is to see her performing with her musical posse, The Last Drinks. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of witnessing the band live, now’s your chance: Cash Savage and The Last Drinks are touring the east coast this May – hurrah! Scroll down to have a squiz at our interview and their tour dates. Oh, and if you feel the gig gods are smiling upon you, shoot through your details; we’ve got two double passes for each city to give away.
Who was the first person to encourage you to pursue music? Both my parents are musos; I don’t know who got in there first. They got me my first guitar when I was seven, but I didn’t start playing till I was 11. When I was about 13, my brother and I smashed that guitar on the woodpile for fun. I have no regrets about it, but I guess it would be nice to still have it.
What do you listen to when you’re feeling down? Depends on the kind of down and whether I want to stay down. If I’m looking to wallow, I’ll generally stick to country, maybe Townes Van Zandt or Merle Haggard. If I want to feel good again, recently I’ve been turning to Hall & Oates for a pick me up.
If you had us around for dinner, what would you cook for us? Cooking is one of my favourite procrastination activities. I love my BBQ/smoker, so I would probably do something with that. If you were meat-eaters then some kind of smoked pork or beef, and if not, I’d do a smoky roast vegetable salad.
Where do you feel most at home? Wherever my wife and family are.
Describe your songwriting process, please. There are no hard and fast rules for me. I find the most helpful thing to do is to change rooms and instruments regularly. When I was writing One of Us I would lock myself in a studio each week with a different guitar; I found it very productive.
What’s something you wish more people knew about you? That my real name is Cash Savage. People usually don’t believe me. A couple have people have asked to see my licence. Savage is a not uncommon last name; I guess Cash is a little unusual. Sometimes I wonder what the fuck people think I’m trying to say by making up “Cash Savage” as a name. The words together don’t make any sense.
What’s your best non-musical skill? I’m pretty good at fixing a lot of things: cars, computers, household items. When I was a teenager, I would pull everything I had apart and put it back together. I pulled my electric guitar to bits when I was 14. I’ll never forget taking the scratch plate off and all the little springs that keep the pickups in the right place flying everywhere. My heart stopped for a minute. I ended up finding all six and putting the guitar back together.
Do you have any superstitions? I do, but I don’t want to honour them by writing about them because I’m trying to let them go. I used to be more superstitious as a kid, knocking on wood and whatnot. The rational side of me tells me that it’s all nonsense. The problem I have with superstitions is that if you have a routine and for whatever reason you have to change it, you’re left wondering if that’s going to affect the gig. It’s not.
All-time favourite movie? Probably the first Predator. I love stupid action films, and of that genre, Predator is the best (only just pipping Die Hard at the post). Also, fun fact: two of the actors in Predator went on to become American governors.
How do you know when you’ve played a killer show? The crowd lets me know, usually in the first couple of songs. The Last Drinks and I really feed off the crowd, so if the crowd is with us from the first couple of songs, it’s gonna be a good one.
Of all your accomplishments, both in music and in life, what are you proudest of? Lately I’ve been thinking about what an amazing group of friends I have. I’m pretty lucky to have a lot of really wonderful people that call me a friend here in Australia and all over the world.
Where will we find you ten years from now? Exactly here, but maybe with a new pair of shoes on.
Saturday May 6th – Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Friday May 19th – The Zoo, Brisbane
Saturday May 20the – Blues at Broadbeach, Gold Coast
Friday May 26th – Factory Floor, Sydney
Sweet snap by Lisa Sorgini.