Christian Saville of Slowdive

Interview with Christian Saville of Slowdive

Signed to Creation in 1990, Slowdive had no problems gaining success after supporting Ride on their Autumn tour later that year. The band captured the very essence of what was considered the Creation sound of the day. Here we asked Christian, Slowdive’s guitarist about his memories of the label.

Was it important to sign to Creation over all of the other independents/majors of the time?

I’m not sure that many other labels were interested in signing us, but given the choice Creation would have been our first choice at that time regardless of others.

Tell us about the first time you met Alan and the first time you visited the infamous Creation offices.

The Creation thing came about very suddenly. We had played a gig in Reading with Five Thirty and this strange guy approached me after the gig saying he really liked our show and asked if we had a tape. I didn’t know who he was but a member of Five Thirty told me that he was Steve Walters head of A+R at EMI and we should get him a tape immediately. Rachel went home and got him a demo from home. Steve was also good friends with Alan McGee and he played him the tape.

Then a little while later Neil called me up to say we were meeting Alan McGee in a hotel in Reading and he wants to sign us up.  I couldn’t even begin to believe it.  When we turned up and saw him at the bar of the hotel in his sunglasses, it was amazing. We had a short meeting and he told us that he wanted to sign us but we should go home and think about it then come up to the offices in the week and decide. Then he left and we celebrated, there was no decision to think about.

The first time we went to the Offices was weird also as it was above a sweat shop but I remember feeling pretty amazed by the whole thing, but a bit out of place.

Who were your favourite Creation artists?

My Bloody Valentine….by a long way.

After signing to Creation you became renowned as being Ride’s favourite band and regularly supported them. In hindsight due think this was beneficial to Slowdive.

I think we were like their little brother or something. We loved to support Ride, and I think it was beneficial to us. Ride were hugely popular at the time and I think some of their audience got into us by seeing us on the Ride tours both here and in the US.

Slough festival, any particular memories?

We were rubbish and there were a lot of Thousand Yard Stare T-Shirts there. It was quite distressing.

How did your relationship with Creation end?

Things got quite difficult with Creation after we took so long doing our second album and their financial situation was a bit dodgy, which I don’t think we quite understood at the time. Once we started doing the third album the band was starting to fall apart, and sales were falling. They dropped us after they released the third album.

Do you think the huge success of Oasis was to blame for end for Creation or do you have any other theories?

I don’t know to be honest. I think Oasis put Creation onto a totally different level. Perhaps they lost some of their mystique with Oasis becoming so successful. I wouldn’t think it is fair to blame Oasis though. Maybe it was that Alan was always talking about finding some massive band that would have a real impact on music like the Pistols or The Beatles and he always thought he had one on his hands that never worked out…until Oasis. When that happened perhaps that fulfilled that particular ambition for Creation and he wanted a new challenge. I don’t know, I’m speculating wildly.

Are you pleased Creation has ended or would you have liked it to continue?

I am quite glad it has finished. Its left its mark and will be remebered for its maverick attitude. I think they were a label that was impulsive and as a result Alan would get out of it and end up signing some hopeless bands and sometimes some great bands. At the same time I think you had really important people like Dick making Alan’s crazy ideas actually work.

Have you played in any bands since Slowdive?

I haven’t really but coincidentally an EP has just been released by a small label in Florida. Its not a big deal we are called ‘Monster Movie’ and it is just a bit of a sideline really.

What do you do for a living now?

I work for a software company and also run a Finnish football website. (I have some Finnish parentage)

Finally, do all the members of Slowdive still stay in touch?

I haven’t seen Neil and Rachel in ages. I don’t think there is any animosity, I couldnt say though,..I haven’t seen them in such a long time. There certainly isn’t any on my part. I see Nick almost everyday as we work in the same place, and his wife is my boss.