Hanni El Khatib
Hanni El Khatib’s first idea for his Savage Times project was to do something he’d never done before. Instead, he ended up doing … well, everything he’d never done before. He’d be playing new instruments, writing in unfamiliar new ways, opening himself up to an unrelenting stream of ideas and dedicating himself totally to pure musical instinct—and then releasing songs instantly to the public
El Khatib started Savage Times last December, after the Bataclan attacks forced the cancellation of a planned Paris Festival performance. With unexpected time on his hands—and unexpected ideas on his mind—he’d scheduled open-ended studio time at Crystal Antlers frontman-turned-producer Jonny Bell’s Jazzcats studio. Each day, he’d take the hour-long drive through L.A.’s industrial corridor to Long Beach, sketching out riffs and lyrics as he drove.
And the result? 19 best-of-the-session songs that only happen when you quit looking around and start looking ahead. Originally, he’d hoped to explode the lingering idea that he was simply a blues-rock guitar player, but that’s why Savage Times touches everything from garage rock to punk to disco, hip-hop and even some unexpected solo-guitar self-portraiture. But on the way, he also exploded his own idea of what he could do—even maybe who he was, or would be.
Savage Times was an experiment, but an experience, too that touches on some of the most personal, political & social songs to date.