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Five Questions with Savoir Adore’s Paul Hammer

August 10th, 2016

Savoir Adore (above, performing “Giants” for We Found New Music) play The Bowery Ballroom on Friday night, and The House List recently reached out to the band’s leader, Paul Hammer, to discuss a new lineup, a new album, The Love That Remains—which comes out on Friday—and to answer Five Questions.

Your show at The Bowery Ballroom celebrates the release of The Love That Remains. What can we expect that night? Will you play the whole album? We’ll be playing most of it, yes! It’s a strange new (good) problem to have for us—figuring out a set list with three albums is a whole new challenge. This will also be the first time we’re playing most of these songs, so it’s exciting for us on that level too. 

For some bands, touring is like a theater piece in that the set list doesn’t change too much from show to show, but everyone onstage is aware of the different nuances in each performance. But for others, every night has a totally different set list and feel. Where do you land in that spectrum? I think a little bit of both, but definitely leaning toward the theater-piece approach. We have a pretty specific flow and idea for transitions, and our sound is also very electronic and sequenced at times. That’s the tricky part about being an electronic band without the ability to hire a nine-piece traveling group. Would love to have three dedicated synth players in the future, but for now we’ll give a little bit of the work to Mr. Ableton.

How has a change in the band’s lineup changed things? It’s interesting ’cause it’s obviously different with a different group of people, but in some ways it hasn’t changed much at all. We’ve also been a band that’s sort of evolved and changed lineups over the years, so in that sense we’ve become a bit used to it. But I think the biggest change is just that I’m more in a position of being the sole leader now. It’s a pressure that was pretty overwhelming for a long while, but now that I’m used to it, it’s actually really liberating. 

As a Brooklyn band, what does it mean to do an album-release show at home in NYC? And is there any personal significance to playing The Bowery Ballroom? Big time. It means a lot. Honestly, most of my favorite shows in New York have been at The Bowery Ballroom, and I often call my happy place the upstairs bar looking out at the arched window. As soon as I started writing this record I knew I wanted to have the release show here, and this being our first time headlining makes it even more special. 

Friday’s show has ended, and at the after-party we give you a buck for the jukebox. Which three songs do you choose? Talking Heads, “Once in a Lifetime,” Tom Petty, “Don’t Come Around Here No More” and Fleetwood Mac, “Gypsy.” Then again, if this was a party of some kind, I might pick different songs. —R. Zizmor | @Hand_Dog