Saves The Day will always be one of those bands that we will hold close to our hearts. Formed in 1994, the band has grown up with us and has never ceased to craft quality records. Whether it is their pop-punk opus Through Being Cool or the more recent In Reverie and Sound The Alarm. To the pleasure of their fans, Saves The Day plans to release the hotly anticipated Daybreak in 2011. In our interview with the band, we discuss with the band more details about Daybreak as well as when we can expect it to drop. Take it away Mark.
Mark@RRR: First off, thank you for taking the time to answer a few of our questions. Could you please give your name and role in the band Saves The Day.
Arun Bali: My name is Arun, I play guitar.
Chris Conley: I’m Chris I sing and play guitar.
Rodrigo Palma: My name is Rodrigo and my role is to play the bass.
Claudio Rivera: I’m Claudio I play drums.
Mark@RRR: You’re currently touring alongside Say Anything and Motion City Soundtrack. How has the tour been thus far?
Arun Bali: It’s a lot of fun touring with people that we hang out with when we’re not touring and they’re old friends so it’s been great.
Mark@RRR: Obviously the band has seen a fair share of members come and go throughout the years. How, if at all, do you feel these changes in the lineup has affected the overall sound of Saves The Day?
Chris Conley: It [has] always been changing since day one. Its just one of those questions we get asked every time. I’ve always been the guy that writes the songs. The reasons the songs evolve, is because I find new music that inspires me. I hadn’t heard The Beatles when we first started the band, so that’s why is sounded like hardcore music because that’s all I was listening to, and so as I discover new music like a sponge it gets squeezed out. The people that play in the band, without a doubt influence the overall color of the music. This is the best line up in my opinion because I get to sit back and just be surprised by what these guys come up with, instead of having to dictate music. Right now anyway, as opposed to the past, the sound of the band, sometimes is something I never could have imagined before. Arun will play guitar parts and ideas that really knock me out in a great way, and the way Rodrigo was helping everything come together in the studio was really exciting for me, because I'm just the song writer guy. So the songs always change and evolve but everybody’s different talents become part of how the songs are presented.
Mark@RRR: How do you feel about these member changes? Do you ever find them discouraging?
Chris Conley: Like I said it [has] been [since] day one and I'm just happy that I get to keep playing music, so I feel lucky that I get to keep playing with these guys.
Mark@RRR: What’s it like being the only original member of Saves The Day? With all these member changes, have you ever though of calling it a day and moving on to other projects?
Chris Conley: I’ve been the only original member since 2001 when Brian Newman left the band, so I don’t know why people didn’t start asking the questions then. I feel lucky to get to keep playing music, and I'm blessed to get to play with such talented musicians.
Arun Bali: It feels like a band. We all contribute and we all vibe off each other. Saves The Day has always been song’s that come out of Chris’s head. When I joined it was cool to be part of something that was the present and the future of the band but then get to tip my hat to the legacy of the band and the past of it.
Chris Conley: If I were to call it a different thing and go on tour I would play Saves The Day songs because like Arun said they are songs that came from my heart. I love them and they were always just little snap shots of what was going on inside so I would never want to stop playing the songs. So if I started the Chris Conley band it would be Chris Conley covering Saves The Day and that just doesn’t make any sense to me. It’s always been a revolving door, since day one. Saves The Day has always been like that, this is the first time where the band starts to gel.
Mark@RRR: It seems to happen with every band.
Chris Conley: With us, it’s definitely over the top. It’s like Spinal Tap
Arun Bali: There’s a lot of bigger bands too like Queens of the Stone Age.
Rodrigo Palma: I don’t know if it’s because we’re in the interview seat but there seems to be a lot of focus on that. If we thought about it for five minutes where it’s one dudes songs, Saves The Day has been Chris’s songs, and the people he surrounded himself with have been the interpreters and the people that help deliver the songs.
Arun Bali: People just evolve differently and people want to do different things at different times, that’s just how humans are I guess. Fortunately when we all came together we were all on this very similar path musically, and personally, and creatively, so that’s why this feels really good and this works, and that’s why this feels like a band now.
Mark@RRR: It has been almost 4 years since the release of Under The Boards. Have you ever been discouraged by the delayed release of Daybreak?
Chris Conley: No I think it was always just logistical, we were trying to make it 2008 and then David [Soloway] departed the group and we couldn’t make it because we didn’t have a full band. And then in ‘09 when we joined with Arun we went in to record the album and wound up being discouraged because Manny [Carrero] and Durijah [Lang] had departed for GlassJaw and we scrapped that to record it with people that were actually going to be a part of a group, so we just had to wait until we had the right members. It just took time because it was just the fate of everybody coming.
Arun Bali: Shit happens.
Chris Conley: I always kept the faith because I think it’s a great record.
Mark@RRR: Daybreak is set for a 2011 release. Any idea when exactly?
Chris Conley: No, we’re talking to labels now.
Arun Bali: It’s done.
Chris Conley: Yeah the album is done. So now we're passing the baton to see what happens on the next part of the journey.
Mark@RRR: Guide us through the writing and recording process of Daybreak. How, if at all, did the process compare to that of your previous work?
Chris Conley: I guess it’s relatively similar to the way we’ve always done it. I come up with these songs, sometimes just sitting there playing guitar, sometimes trying to fall asleep at night and something starts churning in my brain, and ill sing it into my little recorder and then get out the guitar and work on it. That’s how the songs have always written, it starts in these moments of creative spontaneity. Once I have the bones of the song, I'd show it to the guys in the band and say “what do you think about this and would you do with it”. Working on this album was really exciting for me, as soon as Arun joined it seem like we had this chemistry, and I could show him a song, and instead of him scratching his head he always seemed to have the right idea to take the song to the next level, or make it what the song wanted to be, bring out the best qualities in the song. He’d have great ideas about slowing this down or dropping something out here and there. It was such a thrill for me because that’s usually one of the harder parts, you get a song that comes out, you write it relatively easily, and then trying to make it a fully fleshed song it can be the tough part, the details, what each guitar is gonna do what the bass is going to do and what the drums should do. It was really fun. All of a sudden it felt like I had a partner in the song department, where I could show him the bones and he could go it just need this kind of meet. And then when Rodrigo joined and we were working on the album, there was another moment for me where I was like, “This is amazing. Rod has these talents that are totally unlike my talents.”
Arun Bali: I refer to it as tightening the screws and making things really solid. Those subtle details that often get overlooked. He’s really good at hearing those things and making things pop. [He] and I worked on music for along time so I knew that’s what he was going to bring to it, aside from just his snazzy fashion sense.
Chris Conley: It’s exciting for me because a lot of times in the past I would be pulling my hair out trying to figure out what everybody needed to do if I weren’t pleased with what they were already doing. And suddenly these two guys just did it all, already, by themselves and the ideas they were throwing out excited me and I was like “yeah that’s exactly what the song needs, it needs that sort of pattern with the drums.” In a way it helps me just focus on what I'm really good [at] and I get to trust that the rest of its going to just gel. It’s fun.
Mark@RRR: In a past interview, you stated that Daybreak is about acceptance. Can you give us more insight to the album’s lyrical content?
Chris Conley: The whole trilogy was just a bit of a therapeutic experiment. I felt like all twisted up and broken inside and just angry and confused and depressed and sad and I couldn’t really deal with the world or myself. So I was just like this has got to end, I have to at least try and get a grip on the world and on myself. So I dove into the depths of my mind and brought out what I was finding, so the first album was filled with all the anger, the surface pain, and all the paranoid delusional thoughts that were there. The second album Under The Boards dealt with how all of that was making my life unbearable, and I realized I had to change so that album was the transitional part, starting to transition out of that dark place, because you realize how its effecting your life. So Daybreak is coming to terms with everything and trying to understand why I actually got that way and learning to accept it by exploring what it is and why it was there and simultaneously trying to grow through it and be a better person, not purely full of anger.
Mark@RRR: On this tour, you have been selling the digital EP 1984, which features a few new songs that will appear on Daybreak. How do they compare to the rest of the songs on Daybreak, stylistically speaking?
Chris Conley: Actually all the songs are pretty different
Arun Bali: On the EP?
Chris Conley: On Daybreak all the songs are pretty different. The song “1984” that’s on the EP is just a rock song. There might be one or two other songs like that.
Rodrigo Palma: There’s other songs that have rock moments like that, “Deranged And Desperate” has that big chorus, but then it’s also weirder. There’s threads.
Chris Conley: Yeah, it all makes sense together, but each song is very different. Some of them are more like In Reverie but some are more like bits and pieces of Under The Boards, and then some of them are just strictly from the future.
Rodrigo Palma: That’s true.
Mark@RRR: When can we expect to hear more songs from Daybreak?
Chris Conley: I don’t know actually, I'm sure it’ll get leaked at some point.
Arun Bali: We’ve been playing three new songs live every night on this tour.
Rodrigo Palma: Some YouTube clips already of those.
Arun Bali: As far as album track I don’t know if there will be another bumper to the album. I'm pretty sure the next thing will be the album.
Rodrigo Palma: That’ll be the next thing that we do. Whether it leaks and you hear us screaming in the distance…
Mark@RRR: Touring alongside Say Anything provides the means to perform songs from the Two Tongues catalog. How has it been being able to play these songs every night?
Chris Conley: That’s really been fun. We decided as soon as we knew the tour was gonna happen, we decided we were gonna do that. It’s been a blast, we've never been able to play the song live, any of the Two Tongues stuff. So Arun and I go out every night to do “Crawl” with Say Anything and it’s so much fun.
Arun Bali: The fan reaction is awesome every night.
Chris Conley: Yeah people are very excited to get to hear it. Its fun to get to preform it because they’ve just been on record for so long. We’re gonna try and do another album and then try and do a whole Two Tongues tour.
Mark@RRR: At the moment, are their any plans to take Two Tongues, as a single entity, on the road?
Chris Conley: Yeah once there’s another album there’ll be enough material to have a live set.
Arun Bali: Both bands are so busy. It’s just a logistical and time thing.
Mark@RRR: Any idea when we would hear new material?
Chris Conley: No, I'm not sure. We’ll definitely do that though.
Mark@RRR: Max Bemis has been quoted with saying that Saves The Day is his favorite band. How does it feel to not only tour with such a huge fan, but be able to collaborate with him in Two Tongues?
Chris Conley: It’s so much fun, I really like Max’s music so it’s exciting to get to work with somebody I admire, and its exciting to get to listen to them every night. Sometimes I wind up getting tired of the same old kinds of music other there and Max writes really different stuff.
Arun Bali: It’s really very interesting.
Chris Conley: It’s pretty eclectic, and working with him in the studio was a lot of fun, we both learned a lot from each other, and we wrote really really well together, it happened very quickly.
Mark@RRR: Do you feel that Two Tongues will remain a staple in your career as a musician in the coming year, or with the approaching release of Daybreak, will your priorities shift for the time being?
Chris Conley: Saves The Day is always the priority for me and Say Anything is always the priority for Max, but Two Tongues is always the next best thing, I don’t think we would ever shut it down. We’ll always try to keep doing that.
Mark@RRR: Having been with the band since it’s inception in 1997, how do you feel the music industry has changed since then? How have these changes affected the band as a whole?
Chris Conley: The music industry is widely different now we used to make cassette tapes, that’s one of the strange difference, and we used to put fliers on telephone poles in town.
Arun Bali: Go to record stores, remember those?
Chris Conley: Yeah go to record stores and pin up your fliers.
Rodrigo Palma: I remember using pay phones to call promoters.
Chris Conley: Touring…
Arun Bali: Touring with calling cards
Chris Conley: Before cellphones, before the internet, you’d driving around the country with Rand McNally atlases, and you’d have to find pay phones to call home and you’d hopefully have a calling card.
Mark@RRR: So it’s much better now then?
Chris Conley: Touring is much better, much easier. Post Myspace I think what happened is bands started to realize that they could get popular if they looked right, if they had the right hair and clothes and stuff. So then the image started to become more important than the music, it’s like the music was an after thought, and I think we’re in the death throes of that right now. Rod and I were talking about it this morning, it sort of feels like fans are a little bit tired of that image oriented music. There’s not much to it, you could listen to an album for what six months before it wears out? What are you going to listen to it again in a year? It’s probably lost its meaning.
Arun Bali: I think a lot of fans are drawn to that kind of thing eventually grow up.
Chris Conley: That music just doesn’t connect.
Arun Bali: It doesn’t stand the test of time.
Chris Conley: If it’s not coming from a real place inside and it’s just trying to be popular music, there’s not much there.
Mark@RRR: I don’t understand how they have whole albums about getting drunk.
Chris Conley: Bacardi dude. Party and Bacardi dude.
Mark@RRR: I don’t know if you could subject yourself to BrokenCyde but…
Chris Conley: I haven’t heard much of them. I hear they say the N word in their music…
Mark@RRR: Yeah some songs.
Chris Conley: Fuck that. That band deserves to die. [To BrokenCyde] You’re the worst band in the entire world. Maybe not the worst. There’s another band I could think of that I'm not allowed to mention because we can hopefully go on tour with them some day.
Arun Bali: We will never tour with BrokenCyde.
Chris Conley: Never touring with BrokenCyde. [To BrokenCyde] You guys suck. I’m going to hang you guys upside down some day.
Rodrigo Palma: I would love to play the same venue, just so I could set their trailer or what ever it is on fire.
Chris Conley: Yeah I’d like to set their hair on fire. I will just strangle them until I hear bones crunching.
Arun Bali: I’d go to Rikers for 4 or 5 years just to prove my point.
Rodrigo Palma: I think back to the thing of all the sort of image based bands being in the death throes, I think a lot of that stuff because it’s so easy to get albums for free, it’s become more essential for bands to tour and become a good touring bands. When you have the BrokenCyde’s and a lot of the blonde pretty boy ding dong bands.
Rodrigo Palma: That just play to tracks. I think some kids might be like ‘oh wow they sound super great and that guy is strumming his bass’, but I think 50% of the crowd is like this is lame. I think there is a value, not a money value, but a heart value in watching a live band play, and having that connection of ‘we’re doing this right now’ and trying to vibe together.
Arun Bali: Some people like a party band, but it doesn’t stick around.
Chris Conley: its not the music you’re gonna put on after some you love passes away
Arun Bali: I think for us we just like doing this from a more honest or real perspective. We’re a little bit older so we’re a little bit more old school. We come from a different generation of music and ideals. What works for us might not work for other people. I don’t think I could sleep at night doing something that wasn’t like what we do.
Mark@RRR: I think kids can tell too.
Chris Conley: They totally can.
Arun Bali: We have fans that come up to us every night that are like your band changed my life. For us, that’s incredible.
Mark@RRR: Ultimately, what do you want people to take away from listening to Saves The Day?
Arun Bali: Partying!
Chris Conley: I’ve always been really proud that the music is honest. The lyrics have always been my way of getting through certain challenging times, and I write it for myself, and because its this honest, therapeutic, cathartic thing, I think when people listen to it they can feel the truth, and hopefully it can help them feel like they’re not alone when they’re going through things like that and somebody in their favorite band felt those same things its okay, they’re still alive. I think its such a powerful thing in music, it’s like all of our hearts are resonating at the same frequency, its neato.
Mark@RRR: Thanks again for taking the time to answer a few of our questions
Chris Conley: Thank you for wanting to come chat.