Savoy, one of the brighter stars to emerge from the Boulder scene in a while, moved to New York a few months ago. The band's sound, which pairs a live drummer with tightly-knit electronica, found a devout audience here, and by the time the group left, it was regularly selling out shows. This weekend, Savoy will be back in Colorado for the first time since leaving, playing a sold-out show at the Fox Theatre in Boulder on Friday, followed by a show at the Ogden on Saturday. Co-producer Gray Smith talked to us from his new home about why the act moved, trying to make it in New York and how the sound is evolving.
Westword: Are you looking forward to coming back?
Gray Smith: Yeah, definitely. I fuckin' love Colorado. It's going to be good to get back.
Why did you guys go to New York?
Basically for a change of pace. We lived in Boulder for a while, went to school there and were kind of ready for something new. And as far as music goes, it was either L.A. or New York, pretty much. That's what we narrowed it down to, and then just kind of picked New York. It's a really cool city; there's a lot going on here. There are so many artists here, it's ridiculous. Just a lot of inspiration. And a lot of cities nearby to play shows. All those reasons, pretty much.
Has New York been what you imagined it to be?
New York's great. I wouldn't say I've fully gotten a chance to experience the city in its entirety yet. Pretty much haven't left my studio in the last week. I've been spending a lot of time not really leaving the studio. It's been fun so far, though.
Do you think your sound has changed at all?
Yeah -- I mean, I wouldn't necessarily say it's because of New York, because we've all been here such a short time. But, yeah, right now I'm definitely doing more of a clubbier vibe but still keeping that harder electro edge to it.
Was the clubbier direction a conscious decision?
For the most part, it was just that music tastes change over time. Just what we're listening to is influencing what we're making.
What are you listening to?
All sorts of electronic music. Lately I've been listening to DJ Chuckie a lot. And Skrillex just came out with that new EP. It's pretty awesome. It changes week to week.
Have you guys played any shows out east yet?
Right when we moved here, we played Electric Zoo, which was a great way to start in New York, because it's a huge festival, and we played to a great crowd. It was awesome. And then we played in the Southeast a little bit. Not too much in the Northeast yet. We have another show coming up at Brooklyn Bowl on December 17th. So that will be our next show in New York.
How's the reception been in the East?
It's been great so far. It's amazing to see kids in the Southeast listening to electronic music, I gotta say. But, yeah, the reception at Electric Zoo in New York was amazing. One of the most fun shows we played all summer, I would say.
Has there been any "industry" attention?
Mainly they've been hitting up our manager, so we kind of get all that information through him.
Are you actively trying to get signed to a label or get a record deal?
It depends. It depends on the record deal. Having a record label, as you know, isn't quite as important as it used to be. Until now, we've been doing all free releases, and we'll continue to do that. But we're also going to be releasing some stuff on Beatport and stuff like that.
Are you glad you moved to New York?
Yeah, definitely. It's a fun change of pace. I definitely miss the mountains, and I miss the Colorado people and everything like that, but New York has been fun so far.
Does it feel different to be playing a show as a return from New York as opposed to when you were living here?
A little bit. It's not like it's going to be a one-time thing, but it definitely feels like I'm going to be back home for a few days.
Is music the sole focus of your life at this point, or did you have other goals when you moved to New York?
Music is full-time for me, so I'm basically trying to pursue that. What's great about New York is there's a hustle and bustle about the place. Everyone's working so hard that it inspires you to work really hard.
What do you think it is that you're doing that sets you apart?
In terms of the music, I think we're really just pushing the envelope of electro-house. And just kind of combining it with the more popular progressive and house movements.
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Also in sound design, too. We're working really hard on sound design to make stuff that's never been done before. And as far as the show goes, we're pretty much the only people out here that play legitimate, meticulously produced electronic music but with a live drummer.
Because when you go watch a DJ, all you're doing is watching him stand there and mix the records and whatever. And that's obviously a lot more complicated these days. But the fact that you can come watch someone actually play something live while listening to music that's really been produced to the T -- I think it's the combination of those two.