Born and raised in Texas, Andrew Savage, better known as A. Savage, studied art at the University of North Texas. A few years later, he started Parquet Courts and moved to New York. To date, the band has released seven albums, and his second solo album has just come out on Rough Trade. Alongside his music, Andrew still works as an artist and has exhibited around the world.


Hi Andrew, how’s things? Hope all is well.
Things are good, thanks. I’m on tour, and it’s been extremely fun. We have a great band who are all fabulous players and outrageously sweet people.

You’ve just been in the UK. What were you here for?
I was doing a press tour for my new album, Several Songs about Fire. That included playing a few in-store performances and doing loads of interviews.

You recently signed to Rough Trade as a solo artist. How did that come about?
Well, my band, Parquet Courts, has been signed to Rough Trade for the past decade or so. I think they are the best record label in the world, and I have a personal relationship with everybody who works there. I work closely with them on each album release. There’s, like, a family vibe at the label. It always confuses me when people don’t really get on with their record label, so I feel really lucky in that respect. But besides the label being operated by exceedingly decent people, it helps that there is this wonderful history of them working with bands I love, such as the Fall, the Smiths, the Sundays, the Strokes – a lot of bands that begin with the. Wow, now I feel really lucky.

And you just released your first solo single with them.
Yes. Thanksgiving Prayer is sort of about the Thanksgiving holiday in America, which I would fully endorse you all adopting. It’s essentially a Sunday roast on steroids but, in my opinion, the food is slightly better. But really, the core of the holiday is about gratitude, which I think is an important part of having a quality human lifestyle. So, every year on Thanksgiving, I like to write a little poem about gratitude, and I always call it Thanksgiving Prayer, plus the year. So, this was Thanksgiving Prayer 2023. I’ve never used one of them as a song before.

Tell us a bit about the new album.
I can tell you it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done, maybe the best thing I’ve done lyrically. It features members of bands like Modern Nature, White Fence, Kamikaze Palm Tree, Caroline and the one and only Cate Le Bon. And it was produced by John Parish, whose legendary status is well-earned. I fully recommend it to readers of the YMC journal, as it is the product of imagination and hard work and not doing things the easy way. It was recorded entirely on tape, mostly live. We released it in the autumn on purpose, so I’d recommend people have a listen as soon as possible.

What inspired you to make another solo album? And how does that differ from working in a band?
I had a lot of encouragement from people after Thawing Dawn, including Modern Nature’s Jack Cooper and Cate Le Bon, who both said they wanted to play on the next one I did. I’m extremely proud of what I do in Parquet Courts, but it’s not all that I do. And I also think it’s important for people in bands to do other things because it sort of helps one define what the other thing is. Like doing solo records helps me figure out exactly what Parquet Courts is, as that’s a project that is constantly evolving.

You’re originally from Texas, and you studied Fine Art at university there. What was it like growing up there?
I made a pact to myself at quite a young age that I would leave one day. Every day, I hear a distant thank you from a former life. I’m happy to be from there, but also quite happy I don’t live there.

You’ve lived in New York for many years, but is it true you have recently moved to Paris?
Yes, that’s true, I have been living in Paris. I’m not sure if I’m trying to make Paris home, but I am definitely trying to leave the US. I’ve been doing a lot of interviews where I talk about all the reasons why, so in the interest of not repeating myself, I’ll direct readers to one of the other many press pieces I’ve done. But I’m sure my reasons for leaving would be easy to assume for even the most casual observer of American life. It was and continues to be an emotional decision. I’m currently living somewhat nomadically as I’m on tour, so the notion of a home is an abstract one right now. I am searching for my next home.

And touring means schedules and, as you said, disconnected from home. How do you relax on tour?
Well, there’s been no relaxing yet, but there will be. I’m also the tour manager, so I’m doing all the logistics. I’m also selling my merch, loading in and out at each venue and all the accounting. It’s a 24-7 job really, but I’m somewhat of a control freak, so there’s a part of me who finds a sort of masochistic gratification in being so busy. But we do have some days off. And on those days, I really love to cook. So right now, as I don’t have my own kitchen, I like getting a nice B&B and cooking a big meal for the crew. That’ll come in a few days.

You still work as an artist even though you are perhaps more known as a musician. How do you juggle the two disciplines, and how do they inspire and feed into each other?
Juggling isn’t quite the right term; it’s more like volleying. Both sort of require a unique type of focus. These days, I’m painting most of the time, and when I’m not painting, I’m either recording or on tour. It’s a different language, a different set of tools. Listening to a song is quite different from observing a painting. It’s another way for me to articulate my experience, intellect and emotion. The process is very different. I think a lot of people might be familiar with the album design and things I do for Parquet Courts, but that doesn’t always include painting. So it’s true I’m much less known as a painter, but given how busy I am, I think I’m just well-known enough.

Tell us a bit about your personal style. How would you describe it?
I think I really shine in colder weather because I love to layer. I like texture; I like patterns and solids. I like clothes that can be combined in various ways for different contexts but don’t give too much away. I hate giving too much away. That’s why I don’t have any tattoos, or I don’t really wear band shirts or any print T-shirts that give away too much about my identity. Really, I sort of want to dress like the most interesting background character in a movie – someone who only catches the eye of those who are really paying attention. I wouldn’t describe myself as an attention-seeking person, but rather, I’m always prepared to be noticed.

Tell us about your connection to YMC.
I first discovered YMC when I was in Dublin, and I had this thought in my mind of what if I found the perfect sweater today. And I walked into a shop in Dublin and found their olive green Suedehead sweater. And it became my favourite piece of clothing and something I wore all the time. In fact, I wore it so hard that it now has a hole in one of the sleeves. And I have such a connection to it that I want to see how I could repair it. But from there, I just got really into the way YMC uses very high-quality material that has a really nice texture to it.

Finally, we ask all of our Journal interviewees to complete the following phrase:

You Must Create.. your own reality by any means necessary.