Venue and showcase festivals are one way of demonstrating exactly how important live performances are during the formative years of every band's reign. We've found that there is seldom a dedication to delivering energy on stage as there is when immersing yourself into a performance given by a doom metal band. During the Liveurope Festival: Live from Oslo, we met with Oslo's seasoned doom metal newcomers Sâver (correctly pronounced as "Sæ-ver") , the trio talked about their top secret and much awaited debut album, stage presence of metal bands, and where in Europe are they curious to tour to, besides having their career eventually take them on a tour to the USA.
So tell us a bit about yourselves, and specifically your name. How long have you existed in this formation and what are your experiences together so far? You're about to release your debut album? Tell all!
Our name is Sâver and we come from near Oslo. I guess we made it a little bit hard on ourselves when naming the band. Sâver means "to be asleep" in an old Norwegian dialect. Not even Norwegians know how to pronounce it. We really made it hard on ourselves.
As for knowing each other, we actually grew up together and have been playing together since we were all about 17 years old. As Sâver in this formation, we exist since about June of 2017. Prior to that, we were part of a Norwegian doom metal band "Tombstones" after which we wanted to create a new band as the three of us.
But anyway, we just finished recording our debut album and got a very comprehensive deal so we're excited about that. It will be published soon, but as of now, we still don't actually have any published music to listen to.
You've existed just over a year. So you're a very new band on the scene. What have your experiences been with touring and playing gigs so far?
We're actually really at the beginning so we haven't toured much. But with other bands in our experience, touring has been so rewarding. Starting out and not really being known, we have a feeling people are putting a lot of trust into us - hoping that we'll be good. Our first gig was this January, and once the release is ready, that's when we can hope to play even more gigs. Right now, it's really just been a word-of-mouth kind of thing. We played at the same festival as Sten Ove, the programmer at Blå, and I guess he liked what he heard because he included us in the lineup of the Liveurope Festival tonight.
Blå is a very important part of Oslo's music scene. We've heard that if you've played here, then you must be pretty good! Have you played here many times?
This is our second time at Blå. We've played here as the support to the band Crowbar earlier this year. Hopefully there'll be more! It's a nice relationship to have with the venue and with Sten Ove too.
And have you been touring anywhere else besides in Norway?
We've only played a gig in Stockholm, Sweden. Like we said, we haven't released any actual recorded music for people to listen to, which is so important to do. Definitely, it's been mostly local promotion and word of mouth, of course. But for us, recorded music is the entry point to be heard internationally and build a following.
So you feel that it's definitely live performances that are your main way of reaching an audience?
Oh definitely! It's the only way of reaching any audience at all! But regardless, live is always, always better. Even listening to records, live is better. Like, all the best albums like from the 70s and 80s are the ones recorded live. This is also why we, ourselves, record 100% live. There's a rawness, an energy, flaws, a life. The live recording, and experience during a show is something that lives on, that has a life on its own.
Do you think that with regards to the genre that you're contributing to, could performances be more important than records?
Live music is the most important thing about this. And for metal, live performances are everything. Metal shows are all about the physical aspect of seeing and feeling and hearing a show with the aggression and sound that you can feel in the body. We think it's much more so than many other genres. Metal is really so much about the physical, about the presence and energy.
In your opinion, what do bands that are just starting out, like you, with potential such as yours, need in Norway and in Europe in order to push their careers forward and reach their real potential?
Well first and foremost, we need public funds to go into promoting live music and support the bands that are literally starting out. We need to get support for touring and incentives to grow abroad. It's very difficult without public involvement. Platforms for artists like us are important. Platforms like Liveurope are what is 100% essential to what artists need right now.
So you have a long career ahead of you, especially to tour live! Where do you want to go?
Everywhere?! A lot of our friends in bands that we follow are touring more and more to Eastern Europe. There is very dedicated metal scene in those countries. So we'd love to have an opportunity to go to Slovenia, Poland, but anywhere and everywhere really where we can be appreciated for what we do. And eventually, out in the world, to the USA. That would be amazing.
What do you want to come out of your performa the Liveurope festival at Blå?
If the venue programmers like what they hear would be great! Get us on tour for next year! Isn't that the whole point of what we do? Tour, play gigs, record, and grow.
Photo Credit: ⓒAdrian Kraakefingar Vindedal