Producer Grey Smith, guitarist Ben Eberdt, and drummer Mike Kelly make up SAVOY, an Electronic Rock trio and DJ group from Boulder, Colorado. Their style is a fusion of techno, dance, and bass music that is also known as “ERM” or Electronic Rock Music. Their latest single “How U Like Me Now” featuring Roniit is currently impacting Dance Radio.
Interview with Grey from Savoy
Ron: You were born in the suburbs of Chicago, you live in Denver, but the group is from Brooklyn, how did that happen?
Savoy: Yeah, so I’m from Chicago and then I moved out to Boulder to go to CU and that’s where I met the other two guys in Savoy, we met in the dorms in Boulder and we started Savoy there. Savoy is from Boulder originally, so and then the three of us moved out to Brooklyn and then I moved back to Denver and the other two homies in Savoy still lived in Brooklyn, so that’s the deal with that.
Ron: I watched the making of the “Contemplate” song, are you the one with the guitar, the drummer, the keyboarder, or the singer?
Savoy: I’m the one playing the keyboard and the bass.
Ron: One thing I’ve got to say is every picture I see of you guys- you have the most amazing hair. Do you travel with a hairstylist?
Savoy: (laughs) No, I don’t, but it’s funny that you say that, I appreciate that because everyone thinks that Mike our drummer has the most amazing hair, which is pretty legendary. It’s getting pretty out of control. He lets it down at the shows, it’s just the rock vibe that we go for.
Ron: So you’re a live band who does rock music or work but now you’re doing dance music, how did the transition happen?
Savoy: We have always liked dance music, one of our first remixes ever was a remix of “Money for Nothing” by Dire Straits, so we’ve always kind of tried to marry the rock vibe and the dance vibe. Even with our production and our stuff on the computers- we still try to make that kind of have that rock-edge a little bit and then our shows like we want that vibe like an arena Rock Band energy but with hard-hitting synths of modern electronic music.
Ron: Your live shows are kind of epic and you tour all the time. So I’ve got to ask, what’s your favorite part about being on the road and your least favorite thing about being on the road?
Savoy: I guess my favorite thing about being on the road is just being with all of our homies, it’s kind of like being at camp something, you’re just kicking it with all your boys the whole time and just chilling during the whole day, my least favorite thing is probably sound check because it always takes forever and something always goes wrong, but you’ve got to get it right for the show, so that’s probably my least favorite part.
Ron: Why you take such a long break from doing remixes?
Savoy: I think we just wanted to focus on defining our own style and writing our own tunes rather than remixing other people’s tunes. I don’t know, we’re kind of picky about remixes like that, we only like to remix songs that we really like and we just really dug the vocal on “Love Is Alive,” so we were stoked to do that one.
Ron: If you could remix any Bruno Mars song, which one would it be?
Savoy: Oh boy, probably…what’s the Cadillac one? “That’s what I like” — I’d probably do that one.
Ron: One of my favorite mixes you all did, was the song you all did with Heather Bright “We Are The Sun” are you still doing stuff like that or you totally moved away from that?
Savoy: Yeah, we’ll probably do more uptempo stuff like that in the future. You never really know what you’re gonna get with us because we jump around a little bit, we like to keep our fans on their toes a little bit. I wouldn’t rule anything out.
Ron: What is one thing that you learned by working with Heather (Bright)?
Savoy: Mainly just work ethic, her work ethic is insane. She works harder than anyone I know. It definitely rubbed off on us a little bit.
Ron: Your song “How U Like Me Now,” I’m loving it, how’d that song come about?
Savoy: I wrote the instrumental first. I wrote the main melody and the Bassline and then and then I used my own vocal on it – I’m not really a singer but it wasn’t bad, so we played my demo version on our last tour and it was called “always” at the time. People began going crazy over this demo version and so then it became something we needed to get someone to sing on and release.
I had seen that Roniit was on top of “splice” at the time with her sample pack, so I downloaded her sample pack and really liked it. Our manager Ian was like “oh yeah, I know her,” so he got her on the track and as soon as I heard her demo I knew it was perfect. She came out to Denver … we got some tacos at Illegal Pete’s … and wrapped up the track.
Ron: Was it challenging going from a live band to DJ’ing live?
Savoy: They’re both fun in their own right. When we’re playing live we get to play all of our own music it’s very rewarding. We also get to play our own instruments and that’s super fun. But DJ’ing is fun too because we get to play all the other music that we love. Putting together a DJ set is an art form in its own right as well.
Ron: Who does your artwork?
Savoy: Gabe from “Runaway Clothing,” he’s based in Durham, North Carolina. He’s got a store down downtown and his work is sick, he’s done all of our EP covers.
Ron: If you could choose any merch for Savoy, what would it be?
Savoy: Probably a golf shirt, so that I can play golf in it.
Ron: If you were a furry, which animal would you be?
Savoy: We are from Colorado so probably a mountain lion.
Ron: If you could go back to any decade, which decade would it be and why?
Savoy: Probably the 60’s because of all the sweet music and all the crazy stuff going on.
Ron: What is the strangest thing you’ve ever been sent on snapchat?
Savoy: People doing things you wouldn’t want your parents to see- things that don’t involve any clothes.
Ron: Finally, what is your favorite alcoholic beverage?
Savoy: My favorite alcoholic beverage right now is probably a Hendricks “Negroni.”