Saves The Day are riding high on the back of their latest album ‘Daybreak‘ which they unleashed late last year. Currently out solo on the ‘Where’s The Band?‘ tour in the US, singer Chris Conley who’ll be back with the band for their appearance on Soundwave Festival later this month spoke to Deborah Konopnicki about the latest album and the upcoming tour which will see Saves The Day also doubling up to unleash a little Weezer on the crowds as well as featuring on Thursday’s last ever shows. Expand this post to check out the chat.
Hi Chris. How are you.
Hi! I’m good! How are you doing?
I’m pretty good thanks, mate! I’ve been looking forward to this chat all morning.
Oh thank you! Thank you so much.
No worries. What are you guys up to at the moment?
At the moment I’m driving from Pittsburgh to Rhode Island, which is a 10 hour drive. I’m on tour by myself doing some acoustic shows. I’ve been driving myself around with a sedan from one city to another.
A ten-hour drive is pretty ambitious!
It’s pretty long huh?
Well an even longer trip is the plane ride over to Australia which you’ll be taking not too long from now! How are you feeling about coming back down here?
I can’t wait! It’s so much fun to play Australia. When we played Soundwave 2009 it was definitely one of the best touring experiences for us. I’ve been hoping to come back ever since. We were stoked to come back for ‘Revolution’ but then when it got cancelled we weren’t able to make it back for the re-do. We’re so thrilled to play for the Australian fans because they’re really genuinely excited that you’re there and you can just feel the warmth and it’s a lot of fun.
Yeah, that 2009 line-up was pretty incredible. There were some amazing bands down here for that tour. Any personal highlights for you?
You know, it was a lot of fun because it was like all of our friends were over there at the same time so we got to see our friends and our fans. We got to walk around and see all the acts like Nine Inch Nails – it was just a great experience. We made good friends and we had a lot of fun outside every day… the weather was so great! I can’t wait to come back for this one. First and foremost I’m just excited about being part of the Soundwave Festival again because it’s one of my favourite festivals to play. Other than that, I’m really looking forward to sharing the stage with Circa Survive and Thursday; our old friends. We haven’t played with them in a long time so it’s going to be great. We’re even doing the sideshows with them so I’m looking forward to that.
I’m planning on being at the Melbourne version of that sideshow and I really can’t wait. It’s billed as being Thursday’s last ever shows so it’s got this eerie kind of intensity building in my mind. How are you feeling about the sidewaves in particular? They’re going to be pretty special.
Yeah! I’m sad that Thursday is calling it quits but I know that they’ve been working hard and they’re such an honest band that I feel that their legacy will stand the test of time. To be a part of their last shows is an honour. I think it’ll be mixed with sadness and a sense of accomplishment for what they’ve done. It’ll be a celebration for honest music and I’m really excited to be a part of their last shows.
Now when Soundwave was announced Weezer’s name was mentioned here and there prompting the promoter AJ to say that there was going to be some sort of Weezer incarnation. Your name was then thrown around as being a part of something that might happen but nothing was confirmed. Are you able to talk about that at all and shed some light on what that might be?
You know, I’m not sure if I’m able to say much on this, but I will say that we did a cover set of “Pinkerton” at a festival in the states in 2010 and after we played it we thought “Wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to do this every single night?” That’s almost as much as I can say for now but another thing that I can tell you is that at Warped tour 2006 we played two sets every single day an after that tour we also though “wouldn’t that be fun to do two sets at every show?” I’ll try to keep it vague like that! I’m sure that you can catch the gist.
I think that I might have to read between the lines for that one…
Well “Pinkerton” aside, you’ll be bringing down your brand new album from last year “Daybreak” for the first time. After what seemed like a bit of a slog in getting the record out there how did it feel to finally have it released?
It’s great. I feel like our fans have been waiting for so long and I’ve been waiting too. I’ve wanted this to come to life for a long time now. When I finally found the right guys to help me bring it to life after we had a couple of line-up changes I was like “You know, this is going to work. We’ve finally finished it!” I felt a real sense of accomplishment for the trilogy as a whole; all 37 songs flowing together. Going on this journey from the darkest depths of our minds to the peaks of learning to live, we put it out there without fighting against it. I couldn’t be more proud of it. I think that our fans are really excited about “Daybreak” because it’s the first time that they’ve heard me singing lyrics that are full of acceptance and optimism as opposed to me reflecting on the more difficult aspects of life.
Do you think that because this is quite a positive album that the delay in releasing and the constant set-backs played a massive toll on you? Or from the same perspective, did the new outlook help you through the process?
Yeah, it was hard waiting actually. The line-up changes are one thing – I’ve grown quite accustomed to that, we had to wait for the next person to come along! When we were almost ready to record the album in 2009 and we had to put it out when our rhythm section went back to their previous bands, that was really tough. I felt pretty dejected at that point but I knew to keep the faith and we knew that a rhythm section was going to come along at some point and they’d be able to bring it to life with us. We really believed in those songs. I demoed the entire album in the spring of 2009 and we were driving around and listening to those demos and we thought “We have something really special”. When it fell apart in the last summer of 2009 it was disappointing but we knew that we had these great songs so we knew that we had to be patient.
Well the album – as you’ve mentioned – is a lot about acceptance and more positive messages and after such vulnerable songs in the past it could be seen as somewhat of a departure. While you were in the midst of the writing process, what was going through your mind? Were you thinking about how the outcome might be received?
Oh yeah. All of the albums we make are personal. I’ve never once thought “What are people going to think of this?” Each album sounds totally different from the one before which I think is evidence of that. If I were self-conscious about what people were going to think, I would not be brave enough to make such bold changes to the music. I’m writing for my own enjoyment. Really, it’s a miracle that I’ve been able to have such a long career because I’ m not writing to please anyone but myself. It’s a miracle for me that people latch onto that music and find significance in their own lives through the lyrics that I write for my own sanity. These lyrics are helping me get myself through a certain difficult chapter of my life. That’s just a really special thing for me, that people love this music. With the trilogy I was never subconscious about it because it was my own private therapy. I just wanted to get better. I just wanted to be at peace. I didn’t feel like I wanted to tear myself apart. I just wanted to live in the world and not have to fight it. That’s what the intention was and that’s what drove me through the whole process. Even in the music as well. I think that the best example is the song “E”. It’s a different kind of song for Saves The Day. With the drums we took the original recorded drum track and we chopped it up so it sounds like a drum machine. That’s something that we’ve never done before. We’ve never messed with the drums to make them sound intentionally like they’re digital drums so that was fun. I really enjoyed the evolution of the song – where it started and where it ended up. I love the bass line that Rodrigo wrote. I really love the guitar in the verses. It sounds like an ethereal choir in the background and a little like a keyboard but it’s actually all done on guitar. To me, that’s really an interesting trick that he does. That fascinates me as a music fan. I like the melody a lot and the lyrics and I think that it’s interesting in the chorus. We do some drum overdubs and it just gave it an interesting vibe. When the bridge slams in it’s like this Black Sabbath bridge from hell! I think all-together it makes for a very strange song. That’s’ the kind of music that I like. I like things to be a little quirky and catchy.
Now that the trilogy is complete is there another multi-album project that you’re thinking of starting?
I think that the theme is tied up for sure but I’ve been writing constantly over the years, even while writing the trilogy a song would pop into my head. If it didn’t fit in with the trilogy I would put it aside and work on it later. So now that the trilogy is done the first step will be sifting through the hundreds of ideas that have been surfacing over the past few years and will continue to surface. Lyrically, I keep a journal of lyrics and the sort of direction lyrically seems like it might be looking more out into the world rather than looking in. The entire trilogy is about this inner-investigation. I’ve done it now. I feel like I reached the route of every thought and complication. I might begin to start observing the world in a closer way.
‘Daybreak‘ – Instores Now via 3Wise / Sony Music
Order your copy online now [Here] with free postage.
Catch Saves The Day playing Soundwave Festival nationally
25th – RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane [AA] SOLD OUT
26th – Showgrounds, Sydney [AA] SOLD OUT
2nd – Showgrounds, Melbourne [AA] SOLD OUT
3rd – Bonython Park, Adelaide [AA]
5th – Claremont Showgrounds, Perth [AA]
—> Full details at www.soundwavefestival.com
Also supporting Thursday on their headline shows
27th – The Metro, Sydney [Lic/AA]
29th – Billboard The Venue, Melbourne [Lic/AA]