WL//WH Interview: One Hundred Waves – An Interview with André Savetier

The Wave of Things André Savetier Interview 

Artwork by Marina Mundo @m2_glitch

WL//WH team is very pleased to celebrate the iconic achievement 100th episode of The Wave of Things, a talk show about music (and a few other things). With a broad array of interests ranging from eerie Architecture, adventurous Travels, dark Music (Deus Faust, Tenebris Obortis, WaveNoir collective) and History to a keen knack for talking with people to collect their stories, André Savetier is a Modern Day Renaissance Man who uses his introverted charm to draw you in and take you each time into the narrative with a distinctive and genuine old fashioned Mitteleuropean flair. We collectively asked some questions to our Man, check them out!

  • Hello André, and welcome to WL//WH! The Wave Of Things episode #100 (Sept. 22) is a celebration with so many artists that you have reached and talked with until now. A 100 episodes is a real achievement, can you tell us please how it all started, and why?

Hello and thank you for the invitation to this little talk! Yes, a hundred episodes, it was a long way till here. It all started at the end of February 2018. Until then I did basically the same as in The Wave of Things, just in written form. The idea for a video channel was there already for quite some time, I just needed to start it at one point. And I didn’t know anything similar, so I thought, why not do it myself?

The first episode was a talk with Jack Duckworth of Soft Riot. I am very thankful to Jack for having started this whole thing together with me, and for this episode, I got quite some good feedback and a first humble number of subscribers, so I had a good motivation to go on.

When I watch some of the first episodes, I see that I was much less confident and more shy speaking in front of a camera, this is nowadays much easier. You know, I am a shy guy, even though it doesn’t always look like it. It was a personal challenge to go online with videos, but I am quite sure the show helped me to gain more self-confidence in my everyday life as well. So the show and I grew together somehow.

  • From Paradox Obscur to Ash Code, from Velvet Kills to Then Comes Silence, and from Nao Katafuchi to Soft Riot, mentioning only but a few artists that you have interviewed, the idea is all about quality conversations on their new releases and on all things dark alternative music. What standards did you set on The Wave Of Things YouTube-channel, and what are the things that you are looking for in an interview with them all?

When I started the show, I had actually no real plan where to go. The main idea was having talks with people (not only from the music scene) and present new music that I like. But after time I became more relaxed, more playful, I tried different formats, included my other interests like history, geography, literature, languages, or travelling. I also wanted to show the viewers interesting or spooky places I’ve visited all over Europe, like the castles of Elizabeth Bathory or Vlad Tepes, or I talk about different European countries and their (dark alternative) music.

The talks are a constant of the show, and I really enjoy that part. I hardly ever call them “interviews”, I much prefer the term “talk”, as I try to avoid the usual FAQ-style interview and rather let the guests say what is on their mind. Usually, I speak with the guests for a while prior to the official part, to break the ice and to take away their (and also my) nervousness.

  • How do you choose your guests? What criteria do you use?

It depends, sometimes I ask artists to come on the show, sometimes musicians approach me. I am generally happy about anyone who’d like to come on the show because I think everyone has good stories to tell. And that’s basically what I do: collecting stories.

  • Is there any artist that refused to participate?

Well, yes, there were several artists who didn’t want to do a video interview. As you know, there are a good couple of introverts in our music culture, and talking freely in front of a camera isn’t for everyone. I understand that very well. But some give it a try, even though they were afraid at first, and it usually turns out very well!

Nobody needs to be afraid of me, I am a benign talking buddy, I lead the guest(s) through the talk, and when there are some uncomfortable moments, I cut them out.

  • Your voice is very welcoming and puts people at ease. Is there an interviewer and shows that you admire or model yourself after?

Thank you very much! You know, as a teenager I hated my voice, had you told me back then that one day I’d be a moderator and a singer, I would have just laughed. There are a lot of interviewers and presenters that I appreciate but their style is very different from mine. So I think “my style” is rather unique, it’s the only way I know. I was a university lecturer as well, and many of my students called me their favourite teacher. My teaching style is basically the same as what you see on the show, so you can imagine whether you would have liked to visit my lectures, or not 😉

  • Is there an episode that you did not expect to turn out well but, surprisingly, it was fantastic?

This would be definitely the talk I had with the Turkish darkwave duo Dark Lake Whispers. Two guys in creepy masks, cool dudes, but very shy. We had a nice talk before the official part, so they could relax a bit. Val talks very slowly choose his words wisely. I quite enjoyed the talk, but I doubted that people would like the pace of this episode. Surprisingly, it turned out to be a very successful episode!

  • Explain the process of The Wave of Things from conceptualization to product, please.

Hah, you got me there! Like with my talks, I mostly don’t plan an episode from A to Z. It mostly forms while I am already working on it, and more than once I was surprised about the outcome. I am a spontaneous guy when an idea hits me, I immediately put it into practice (if my time schedule allows it). But it can also happen that I have no ideas for weeks. But during such a long absence from the show, I am not idling, usually, I work on one of my other projects or on my music.

  • About the technical side and the post-production of The Wave of Things: How do you record, produce and edit your episodes?

As a dedicated GNU Linux nerd I am using free/open-source software whenever possible. For graphics, I use The GIMP and Inkscape, for video editing I used to work with OpenShot but later I switched to Kdenlive because it is more versatile. The audio is equalized and de-noised with Audacity. For the talks we mostly use Skype, through OBS Studio I record it with split-screen and split audio. As cam and webcam, I am using my Nikon DSRL.

As you can see, there are a whole lot of tools and apps involved, the post-production takes usually much longer than recording the episode. I am still working on improving the quality of the episodes, visually and content-wise, and I am still trying to figure out a “best practice” formula to get things done more efficiently.

  • What are the episodes you are most fond of?

Since the initiation of The Wave of Things, my perception of times has changed. I remember the production process of every episode, so when I browse through the episode list, I recall a lot of nice moments. Therefore, it is hard to decide which one’s my favourite. Some that come to mind are the episodes about Belarus and Slovenia, the talk with Bruce Courtney of The Stave Church (the most relaxed talk I’ve had on the show), and of course the100th episode where so many nice people are showing their appreciation for the show!

  • How do you find the time for all your projects? The Wave of Things, Deus Faust, and the Gothicat Festival?

Sometimes I am wondering that myself! I am a guy who always has to work on something. I am hardly ever bored. And I still always find the time to sit down for a good cup of coffee. I think this is something very Austrian: Getting things done with an eye for aesthetics, without forgetting how to live, and without stressing yourself to death. There is always a tomorrow, and if there’s not, then it doesn’t matter anyway (Austrian humor).

For the Gothicat Festival, it is a bit harder, as there are several people involved in the process of its creation. The Gothicats are planning, promoting, and organising the event, after that my part as a presenter has to be done on the schedule before our video editor Elio de Filippo (Studio Nubes) can compile the festival. It is quite demanding at times but the outcome is definitely worth it.

  • Any anecdotes you would like to share with us?

Certainly! In March 2018 when the Italian post-punk band Caron Dimonio came to visit me in Slovakia, suddenly the weather went crazy. Perhaps you remember it, they call it the “polar cold” or something. From plus 5°C it suddenly turned to minus 10°C, it started to snow heavily. You can imagine how cold this is for an Italian, as partly documented in episode #06, but the worst was that the Italians had no winter tires on their car because in Bologna you would hardly ever need them. After a concert in the neighbour city Prešov we weren’t able to move the car one bit! Gladly the drummer of the band, Lorenzo, is a professional driver, without his skills we would have been lost! In the very last scene of episode #06, we are applauding him after he had brought us safely back to Košice. That was an adventure!

  • Give us the news, André, what else can we expect to watch until the end of the year?

There will be definitely something for Halloween (also we hope to create another Halloween song with Deus Faust). Another music profile for a country… Some more talks definitely! Let’s see what I will come up with 😉

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