Ant savage – Bedford, UK

Fresh Independence caught up with Ant savage. Come along with us and travel to Bedford UK, the home of this singer, songwriter & sweet soul. Discover some lovely music.

1. Tell us who is Ant savage, where he comes from & hold old he is.

I was born February 28th 1981, making me 32 years old. Wow that seems crazy I feel both old and young all at the same time. I’ve never really given much thought to my age to be honest, I suppose I should be married with a mortgage and children by now, unfortunately I became a musician.

I grew up in a small town called Flitwick in Bedfordshire in the UK on a council estate, something I’m strangely proud of. Its Around 50 miles north of London. It seemed to be the capital of the world when I was little, there was a certain community spirit about the place and I felt like I knew everybody, it helped that I was from a large family. It was nice, surrounded by fields where me and my mates would go fishing, sit around fires all night drinking and just messing about.

For the past 6 years i’ve lived in Bedford with my girlfriend Hannah. It’s not far from Flitwick but it’s a much bigger town. The town itself has a huge amount of history, used to have its own castle and everything. These days its a tapestry of beautiful Victorian town houses that have sadly been defaced by late 20th century concrete high rises and grey concrete multi storey car parks, the town is massively multi cultural which really adds to the character of the place, its a bit like a dystopian nightmare created by William Burroughs or J.G Ballard. But i love it.   

 2. How do you define your musical style?

I suppose id define my music as 21st century folk, well in essence it always begins that way, barebones, acoustic guitar and vocals, its really cliche but folk music is one of the purist forms of music, it never fails to amaze me, hearing peoples stories set to just a single instrument, there’s something quite special in that. Pinpointing my exact style is a bit of a tough one to answer. Many of my songs are written in alternate tunings influenced by the likes of Nick drake and pre war blues guitarists. This works brilliantly when writing and recording songs but its a real pain in the arse when you do them live. I’d say my earlier songs were definitively English but they’re probably more Americanized now, at least musically.   

3. When did music find you?

I cant honestly remember a time without music in my life. I think it’s something that I’ve always been drawn to. As a child my Dad had a Sony Walkman and I would have to listen to it to get to sleep, in my teens i had my first stereo, it was on a cabinet beside my bed and I’d plug my headphones into it every night to help me sleep.  As an adult I lay in bed composing my own songs in my head to sleep, it’s almost an infliction. 

4. Are you first a singer or a songwriter?

I’d have to say a songwriter, A day doesn’t go by without a new song being written in my head, 99% of them are forgotten before the day is out but i’m never short of ideas. I’ve never considered myself a singer, to this day I still suffer with stage fright at the thought of singing in front of an audience, I’m fine once the first few lines have been delivered. I think its the build up to a gig that freaks me out.  I think its the fact that a lot of the lyrics in my songs are quite often autobiographical that worries me. It is a very British thing to keep tight lipped and not talk about emotions or personal subjects so the idea of singing that stuff to people can be daunting.

5. What lyrics are closest to your heart & why?

If you’re referring to my own work then I’d probably have to say “Factory Floor” when I left school you could walk into a factory ask for a job and start the next day. A couple of friends and i would get a job in the same factory, Half heartedly work there for the bulk of the year then quit without as much as a goodbye and live off the money we had saved for the whole summer. At the end of the summer we would repeat this in another factory, We did this from the age of 16 to 20. In hindsight it was a very selfish thing to do, but we were young, It was also a time when a job could be obtained that easily.

The song i wrote about this is almost a plea to not let me end up doing that for the rest of my adult life. In many ways its a song about giving up your precious time just to make ends meet. It is in no way a put down to people that work in factories because we all do what we must to live, to pay the rent, in many cases to feed a family, all of these things are in the narrative of this song. I suppose the point I was trying to make with it was that its sad to let your talents and aspirations get crushed by something as trivial as a monotonous job, because I’ve seen it happen to people. I suppose the songs are a reminder to myself to keep going.   

6. Tell us about your musical hopes, dreams & aspirations.

My only aspiration is to make an honest living by playing my music. The idea that a song I’ve written can resonate within somebody else makes me really happy. A lot of people might answer this by saying “I want to be rich and famous.”  I couldn’t care less about fame, fames a false commodity now. In the past people were famous because their work was influential, inspiring or worthy of praise, in this day and age people are famous because they’re nan died in a bus crash or they got through to the next round of the singing contest.  This cultural standardization is rapidly devaluing one of our greatest forms of art and its a shame, Theodore Adorno saw it coming back in the 40’s.   

 7. If you could do a duet with anyone in the industry, who would it be?

I have no idea how this would work out but I’d have to say Bob Dylan. I’m a true fan of Dylan his artistic output alone is second to none and I truly admire the man. A lot of people give him shit these days because of his voice but I love it. Dylan can make your brain go into overdrive with a single lyrical couplet. He really is a genius and I cant think of anybody else who has written that many AMAZING songs. I wouldn’t be surprised if I found out he had written “Happy Birthday!” 

 8. What makes you smile?

My Girlfriend, my family, my nephews, strangers on busses and inappropriate social incidents.  

9. What is your favourite music at the moment?

At the moment I’m listening to Damien Jurado, and Robert Johnson, both are very new to me and equally as fascinating. I  love how simplistic Jurado’s songs are yet they haunt me some how. The same goes for Robert Johnson yet his songs are mechanically intricate and technically dumbfounding.

 10. What is the last movie you saw?

The last movie i saw was HEADHUNTERS. It is a Norwegian movie by Jo Nesbo’s and I  highly recommend it. 

11. Name the 3 people that have had the greatest impact on your life.

My younger sister Sophie. I was 12 when she was born. Up to that point I was a careless rebellious kid, I didn’t really care about anything in particular. I remember going to the hospital to visit my Mum and my Dad handed her to me…. I was instantly overwhelmed, I somehow grew up that very second. My Mum and Dad (lets count them as 1) and my Girlfriend Hannah for putting up with me rolling in at all hours from gigs. 

12. What do you like to do on a lazy Sunday?

Usually some songwriting, dinner, a walk with Hannah, and watching evening TV from a den built from a duvet in the front room.

13. Where would you like to travel on holiday?

Im really not fussy when it comes to travel I’m happy to go anywhere.

 14. What is something your fans would be surprised to learn about you?

I think they would be surprised to hear me refer to them as my fans firstly. LOL Maybe that I’ve never had a guitar lesson in my entire life and I’m also left handed but play guitar in the right handed position.  

15. Where are you writing this?

At home in my front room its 3:45 in the morning, Bedford town UK, for the record there’s a police helicopter circling outside, well it is the weekend!

16. What is your pet peeve?

I hate ignorance and bad manners. Okay now I sound like an old man but it really drives me mental. A great example is when you’re playing a set of intricate acoustic songs and whilst in the process you can here some guy in the audience talking about how pissed he was the night before. Go home !

 17. Define true love…

Wow if I could answer that I would bottle it and sell it and the world would be a much better place. I don’t know, true love can be anything to anybody, I suppose its that thing you know that you couldn’t live without, that could be a person, a passion (music for example) you’ve got me there !!! 


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