Interview: We talk to Cash Savage about her new album ‘So This Is Love’ which just debuted in the ARIA album charts

Cash Savage and the Last Drinks

Cash Savage and the Last Drinks have recently released their new album ‘So This Is Love’. out via Mistletone/Inertia. Cash Savage has spent the past decade making tough and tender rock’n’roll with her formidable band, The Last Drinks: Joe White (guitar), Rene Mancuso (drums), Kat Mear (violin), Nick Finch (bass), Roshan Khozouei (keyboards), Dougal Shaw (guitar) and Ed Fraser (guitar). The Last Drinks have toured internationally and are currently on a tour of Australia with gigs in Europe and the UK to follow later this year.

The new album was co-produced by Cash Savage, Nao Anzai and Nick Finch. ‘So This Is Love’ is a profoundly moving collection of songs that addresses universal issues such as love, financial stressors, mental health and yet manages to be deeply personal at the same time.

Unsurprisingly, the album has made it into the ARIA Top Twenty Albums Charts for the week of 8 May 2023.

Backseat Mafia was very lucky to speak to Cash just before she and the Last Drinks kicked off a national tour.

How does it feel to be releasing an album of new music after nearly 5 years? Are you nervous?

It doesn’t really feel like 5 years. There were a couple of years there where something happened – I don’t know what it was – I kind of lost those years. So it kinda feels like 3 years. In fact, when people ask me about this five-year situation, I find it jarring and confronting. Having said that, it feels all the emotions to be releasing this.

At the moment, the fact that so many people are enjoying it, feels like a bit of a relief, to be honest. I was unsure whether anyone wanted such an emotional record, and I don’t sit very well with being so vulnerable, so it took a lot to put it out.

The record company has said that your new album ‘So This Is Love’ has a theme of fragility – mental, environmental, economic and personal relationships. How do you deal with revealing personal issues such as these to an audience?

I’m not really thinking about the audience when I’m writing music. The audience doesn’t really come into it until I’m putting it together with the band but during the writing process, it’s just me together with my thoughts.

I made a decision early in the process with this album that I was going to be vulnerable. That’s been quite tricky, but I knew with this album that that’s where I’d have to go.

I had to learn how to be vulnerable during lockdown, because I wasn’t coping and I needed to learn how to move through the unexpected downturn in my mental health. I’ve learnt that it’s OK to be sad.

How do you go about writing your songs, what comes first, the music or the lyrics? At what stage does the band get involved?

There’s no hard and fast rule, I can write lyrics anywhere so sometimes the music comes first, sometimes the lyrics come first.
I found it particularly hard to write during lockdown, because I like to write out of chaos, and as chaotic as the pandemic was, it wasn’t the right kind of chaos for me. I need people around me, and I need to live experiences, so I don’t really know how I write songs but I know that I feed off other people, and I need to be around them.

As for the band, sometimes I take fully formed ideas to them, sometimes I take just general gists of a song, maybe a chorus or a section of it. Again there’s no hard and fast rule about how any of this happens.

I love the humans in the Last Drinks and I love what they do.

Your uncle, Conway Savage played in the Bad Seeds. What were the major musical influences for you when you were growing up?

Of course, having an uncle in the Bad Seeds was a pretty major influence on me. I remember going to see him play when I was a kid and being completely blown away by the energy and intensity of the show.

My parents are also musicians, and also the greatest front-people I’ve ever witnessed. They are two of my biggest influences.

I have heard that you are doing some DJing these days, how did that come about?

I first met Carlson when I was coaching the Old Bar Unicorns, the greatest football team ever, and over the years we’ve become really close. Through lockdown, his friendship was incredibly important to me and I love him. I also love what he’s doing, and when he first showed me his music I thought it was incredible. I stood in as his DJ a couple of times, and somehow I’m now his main guy. We have the best time. The crowd doesn’t give me enough ketamine but apart from that it’s a great side hustle.

Do you think that the toxic masculinity in the music industry that you wrote about in ‘Pack Animals’ has dissipated at all?

Absolutely not. It’s still the same bullshit situation it was when I started. I have a better booking agent now which helps, but I still have to explain pronouns to way too many men, way too often.

Are you looking forward to heading out on tour again?

A lot of people ask me what I like about touring. And I think they probably expect an answer around the travelling, or the people, but honestly I love playing music. I thrive off being in front of crowds. I’m a better person if I get to do it.

So I am very much looking forward to going out on tour. I’m also really looking forward to performing these songs in particular. Some of them are a bit different for us and it’s fun to throw something new in there. We played a bunch of these songs on the weekend in Fremantle, at our first tour show, and already people are singing along so it feels pretty special, and I will never take it for granted.

Thanks so much for taking time out to speak with us Cash!

Buy ‘So This Is Love’ HERE.

Photo Credit: Anne Marzeliere

Cash Savage And The Last Drinks With special Guests Blake Scott (WA) & Gut Health (VIC) ‘So This Is Love’ Australian Tour Dates
Tix on sale now HERE.

Sat May 6 Mojo’s Bar Fremantle WA
With special guest Blake Scott

Sat May 13 Meeniyan Town Hall Meeniyan VIC
With special guests Gut Health

Fri 19 May Minerva Ballarat VIC
With special guests Gut Health

Sat 20 May Torquay Hotel Torquay VIC
With special guests Gut Health

Thu 1 June Brisbane Powerhouse Brisbane QLD
With special guest ENOLA

Fri 2 June The Eltham Hotel Eltham NSW
With special guests ENOLA

Sat 3 June City Recital Hall Sydney NSW
With special guest June Jones

Fri 23 June The Corner Hotel Melbourne VIC
With special guests Gut Health

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