Listeners of Savant will tell you a couple of things about his productions – they’re wild, they’re wacky, and they’re never, ever the same.
Protos, what seems like Savant’s umpteenth release (actually his tenth), is something that music fans all over can appreciate. There’s something deeply transcendent about a work that strives so hard to break boundaries and molds. Oh, and a hint — if you’re looking for EDM on this album, you’re out of luck. “There’s no EDM on this album. This is the closest thing to EDM there is. Come on, don’t be such a pussy.” (in reference to his track Rise Up)
‘Spaceship’ is probably the epitome of cheesy electro pop and yet it works so well. It’s funky and melodic, and there’s actual song structure too. But in the end, all you’re getting is just a taste of the overall theme of Protos. Listen to the whole thing and you’ll be instantly hooked.
What if you could be a hero? This is what Savant wants you to be when you listen to Protos, his 10th album and a return to his childhood dream of living in a world where heroes did anything and everything to save the day. This ambitious electro-pop space opera contains 18 tracks inspired by saturday morning cartoons and his favorite music all written and vocalized by Savant himself.
Interview with Savant
It’s been 8 months since Orakel. Have you been working on Protos this whole time?
No. I only decided on going the Protos direction after working on dozens of demos for another album. It was about April while I was in Chicago for a few months. I posted the best WIPs from the previous project on my Soundcloud as Unfinished Business. Just really wanted to change it up and I had a couple of rock like demo’s that really started to connect with me.
You’ve been touring, as well. Do you like to try out new material on the road to see how it goes down?
Always. I have tracks that I would only play live and not release and VIPs of the tracks I am tired of playing so that fans that come back to see me get something different every time.
Have you considered making an animated film to go with Protos, similar to “Interstella 5555” by Daft Punk?
I have an idea for an animated album. This one is not it. We have talked a lot about doing a Laser Sharks comic book and who knows what else. I think it would be cool to make some of these characters we created here a real thing.
This album is being said to be a throwback to your Vinter In Hollywood days. Is there any truth to that, or do you just like making good music?
I think people need to find a foothold for change and the unexpected, if it’s Vinter In Hollywood then fine. I have learned a lot as Savant over the years and I have poured that and my love for the things that inspired Protos into the songs. This is the music I feel the most connected to right now and it’s opened up an entire new dimension for me. Let’s see where this goes from here.
How was it doing all of the vocals for the album? Did you have to learn Japanese or did you already know it? Do you sing live at shows?
I have been in a few bands so I have sang live before. Looking forward to doing it again. Every once in a while now I will pick up the mic during a chorus. Making all of these voices for Protos was a lot of work. I spent two weeks in a professional studio doing hundreds and hundreds of takes to get the feelings I have on the album. The Japanese bit was a lot of fun, I did a ton of research to make sure I had it right so yeah, I learned Japanese just for Laser Sharks.
Was the concept for the album figured out quickly or did it take a long time to nail down just what you wanted to do?
These are songs I have been wanting to do for a VERY long time now so figuring it out was simple. Making the decision to take this to my fans was a very introspective process but I could not be happier with the result and know it will evoke all sorts of feelings.
Does it get hot in the mask when performing?
Most of the time yeah. I get sweat in my eyes, the mask cuts my face. It’s a nightmare but totally worth it. I am rocking a new mask that Kean Diedrich did for me and I have a big surprise mask wise coming soon for my fans.
What do you think the mask adds to the performance? Other producers doing it include Funtcase, Zardonic, Cazzette, and of course Bear Grillz.
For me it is a barrier that I need between me and the audience. I didn’t even think to make my own mask first, I just rocked the Guy Fawkes because I like what it represented and it connected with me. A lot has changed since then. I show my face every now and then.
There are a lot of remakes on the album, like “Cry For Love,” “Super Sheriff,” “Spaceship,” and “Rise Up.” Why did you want to redo those tracks, and are you happy with the outcomes?
I would say in all of these cases, these are the Original versions. The other tracks where just a piece of where I wanted to take these songs.
You’ve never been short on tracks for any album. As far as the creative process goes, do you focus on one track at a time or do you go from one to another a little at a time?
Usually I make dozens of demos for an album theme. I have had up to 40-50 demos to work from and cut things out as I get closer.
One of my favorites on the album is “Quest,” which is essentially a 7-minute collection of video game samples. What video games were you absolutely addicted to when you were younger? How about now?
It is a journey from Super Nintendo games forward, my own version of some of the amazing feelings those games gave me. I played a lot and still play a lot of video games.
Have you already started on the next album?
Two albums actually. Working on my own thing, you can guess the release date and producing another artist that we will announce soon.