Interview with Saves The Day: Black Sheep Among Sinners

—by , October 31, 2007

Saves The Day (Jake Lowry)Saves The Day is a band comprised of legend and lore. Any teen growing up in the scene today is aware of the impact that the band has made on the music community. For ten years, they’ve continued to fascinate fans of all ages with their heartfelt song lyrics and full-blown rock appeal. Influencing the likes of most start-up and garage bands, the members of STD have become an all genres inspiration for kids looking to spill their heart out on their sleeve or an acoustic guitar or beat up the kid next to them in a mosh pit. Although the band released seven albums throughout their career, they have yet to show signs of slowing down anytime soon. Finishing up an acoustic tour across the US, the band is ready to take it up a notch with their latest album, Under The Boards. The second chapter, described as a “journey of self-discovery,” showcases the band’s sound in a more mature and melodic state than ever before. At Saints And Sinners this year, the band will grant fans a double dose of their emotional songs with a main stage performance as well as an intimate acoustic set through a special offer from Alternative Press magazine.

In an interview with Chris Conley, the idolized lead singer opens up about his favorite songs to play onstage, the making of the new album and his unconditional love for Jersey. In the words of Conley, “Saves The Day loves you.”

How does playing acoustic shows compare to playing electrically?

It’s just different. We like playing any way you slice the pie. It’s pretty sweet. Playing acoustic is more intimate and the atmosphere is more laid back. It feels more like sitting around a campfire singing folk songs, which is really fun. We really feel like we can reflect with the fans in a different way. When we play electric we have a blast; that’s what we started doing originally. It’s just in our nature to rock out.

What’s your favorite song to play acoustic?

I like playing ‘What Went Wrong’ from In Reverie. I also like playing ‘Don’t Know Why’ from Sound the Alarm. It’s a tie between the two.

Why do you feel your music appeals to such a wide variety of people?

We’re being honest. Whatever you are into, there is still that common human experience under the surface dealing with life, loss, pain and love. That’s what we’re singing about. We’re not making shit up. We’re just being as honest as we can be, and that resonates with people.

The new album, Under The Boards, is out now. Are you excited?

Yeah, we worked really hard on it. It’s part of a trilogy that we are working on. It’s the middle chapter. We are really excited to be giving people more of the arc of the story so they can start to see how things are evolving.

What direction did you take with this record when you went into the studio?

We had all the lyrics and songs already written and demoed. At this point now, we are just going by the seat of our pants, making music that is exciting and fun. We never set out to accomplish anything except record the songs we have already written. This album deals with a transition out of the darkness of denial and ignorance into the light of self-awareness and acceptance. This is the very difficult middle chapter which deals with making realizations about what you are, what you don’t like, what you do like, where you have destroyed relationships based on actions, and where you have the power to make amends in the future. It is an exciting chapter in the story of self-discovery, which is what the story is about.

As a band for ten years now, how do you continue finding ways to reinvent yourselves and your music?

We’re not trying, we’re just writing songs that are fun for us. We don’t ever sit down and go, ‘Gee, how are we gonna change on this album?’ The music changes on its own as we evolve as people and as we grow from experiences in life, and as we face greater challenges, our depth of experience grows. There’s more to sing about and there is more for us to relate. We are just speaking from our hearts. As we change as people, the music changes with us.

Playing among the generally hardcore lineup of Saints And Sinners, do you feel Saves The Day are the black sheep on the bill?

Yeah, I guess we are a little different from the heavy gust of bands, but we are gonna bring the rock.

Growing up as a band in the suburbs, how have you noticed the scene evolve from the late ’90s until now?

When we came up, there were a lot of tiny little shows at Elks lodges and VFW halls. It was a very small, tightly knit community. Over the years, shows have gotten bigger and there are more kids aware of this kind of music. It’s certainly different now. We’re older and we all have our own lives. We are less a part of an underground community. We used to appreciate playing to hardcore fans in Jersey.

Since Saves The Day are from Jersey, do you feel like you have a special relationship with your fans from the state?

We love playing Jersey. There is a certain quality of character in Jersey that is very interesting. I think because Jersey is between two cities, Philadelphia and New York, so that breeds a little bit of desperation because there is not much going on in the heartland of Jersey. There is a lot of boredom and kids need something to identify with. That’s where we came from, the kids that didn’t exactly belong. We would go to these awesome hardcore shows on the weekend, and you felt you had a community of kids from all different schools, all different areas, all feeling the same thing. They just wanted to fit in somewhere. Because we grew up in that, we have an affinity for the heart of Jersey.

Saves The Day will be played the first day of the Saints And Sinners Festival on Sat., Nov. 3 in Asbury Park, NJ. Their lastest album, Under The Boards, is in stores now. For more visit savestheday.com.

Photo Credit: Jake Lowry


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