Washed Up Emo Podcast Artwork Image
Washed Up Emo
#25 - Chris Conley (Saves the Day)
October 25, 2013 Tom Mullen
Saves the Day, at it since 1997, has had their share of ups and downs but through it all they struck a chord with fans and still do to this day. I had the pleasure of having Saves the Day be my one and only band I ever booked. Sold out pizza restaurant in the middle of North Carolina after only booking one boysetsfire show. Take that Facebook Events. Also, vivid memories of worn out cassette tapes of "Can't Slow Down" and "Through Being Cool" that are still so near and dear to my heart. Chris was gracious enough to sit down with WashedUpEmo.com prior to their latest headlining tour in support of the new self-titled album. We spoke about Saves the Day's first show, the term "Emo Rock Stars," meanings behind the song "Shoulder to The Wheel," who designed one of their classic album covers and Chris' favorite Sean McGrath memory. Listening back, it's great to see how happy Chris is at this point in his life and how much he is enjoying the ride. I couldn't be happier, I hope you are too after listening to this one. Enjoy.

Episode Transcript

Speaker 1:0:57Welcome. To London today.

Speaker 2:1:01We say yes I can hear the screaming from your iPod and iPhone back on DVR. Chris thank you for taking the time. Thank you so much for having me. Cool. So I want to start obviously from the beginning. This is typical. What was that band what was that person that got you into music and you said this is this is it. This is what I want to do.

Speaker 3:1:26Good question. I started off playing cello when I was six years old and I played in orchestra. And so I was just working the traveling school band and we'd go and do concerts at other schools and stuff. And I was strictly playing classical music and I played for seven years. So by the time I was 13 I had you know started to listen to Led Zeppelin and other classic rock like that and the classical music and feel that that fun. And I didn't want to practice my cello anymore. And so I remember the specific moment where the light switch went on. I was listening to Stairway to Heaven on Earth Pete just over and over and over as on a road trip with my dad and sitting next to him in the car and I just had this epiphany oh my gosh I want to play drums. And the moments in the song that made me feel that is when John Bonham entered it's very simple feel how he enters the song is almost unspectacular but to me it was magic and it just inspired me. And I just wanted to play drums.

Speaker 4:2:41I didn't even know where that was coming from. I've never had a moment where I thought to myself gee I want to be a rock star. You're really cool but I do really like music. And so I was just flipping out on led zeppelin and following the inner urge. But so my dad said you know let me think about it and then later on thought about it and he said drums might be a little loud. We live in a pretty remote area and the neighbors would have heard it like three miles away. So he compromised and got me a classical guitar and taught myself Stairway to Heaven and just started living with that guitar every moment with that guitar and that's where it all began.

Speaker 2:3:27That's awesome. I mean such an iconic song where my memories of Stairway is holding some girl's hips you know and getting yours. Yeah yours is this is this is it. That's great. Was it was it classic rock first. Did it. Did it turn into I want to start playing you know was it like Jawbreaker like what kind of when did you move from classical to the journey. Yeah yeah. You know what I think led Zeppelin was the band that really sparked my own like her need to play music because.

Speaker 3:4:01Like when in the classical sense I'm playing other people's music but I think I wanted to make my own. Listening to Led Zeppelin because they were using a lot of those classical chords and modes that my brain and my subconscious was just familiar with and it wasn't like I was listening to other classic rock bands like Leonard Gaymard or something like that stuff. I just don't like it just doesn't do anything for me. The two classic rock bands that really really blew my mind when I was a kid was Led Zeppelin and Ericksen ineffectually that 70s records of Aerosmith are phenomenal and what I noticed from them now is that all that classical music.

Speaker 3:4:50Those records. I mean Steven Tyler grew up underneath his dad's piano listening to these incredible compositions. So that pulled me into rock and then once I was into rock music then I started listening to other bands with loud guitars and I really didn't like anything. There was very little that grabs me but I remember feeling at this point in my life like why isn't there more cool guitar music. And I felt like it months and six months later Nirvana came on the scene and Nirvana at some point in my life. Nirvana like twanged everything. And that was the moment where I became more interested in this music that was under the radar because Nirvana came out and no one else sounded like it. So of course I'm trying to find more stuff it sounds like it but the stuff that I can find is at my local record store where somebody saying hey check out shudder to think you know our heads check out our trees are trees a loaf or Dropbox. So I started getting the rock are a really heavy indie music through Nirvana and then I got into that show 120 minutes which was just a miracle that existed at that time and I was up one night night before school and as a plague watching these videos and the video for 7 by Saturday real estate came on and oh my gosh I have goosebumps right now.

Speaker 5:6:28That was a game changer. The very next day I lived across the street from this mall where they had a Sam Goody. And I walked over there and bought diary. And that was the beginning of a big musical journey into the heart of indie music. You know Nirvana and that kind of stuff was the mainstream Smashing Pumpkins you know. Stone Temple Pilots all that stuff was so so good. But Sonny they was my my willing to the underground you know the real currents onto the surface through sunny day I started you know finding other friends that liked that kind of music and then they'd say hey have you heard this band Jawbreaker you know or have you heard of this Worley's you know stuff like that.

Speaker 3:7:16And I just kind of went on the journey and I just follow my ears really I just get really excited and just follow them never thinking oh this is going to. This is a cool record. This is what people like. I just like my own stuff. So. So that was how I got eventually into punk rock roots and then get into a jawbreaker and then once I found job it was over.

Speaker 2:7:40It totally makes sense because it's like even hearing your records you know all of a sudden it's like you can hear the sunny day you can hear the indie but you can hear the heaviness. Yeah you're those are all like yeah you can just hear the you live seeing all those bands it's like that makes total sense.

Speaker 6:7:57And what I've connected to you I still feel in my songs today I still feel it still Jeremy Enoch and I feel Glick's Schwartz and Bach all over it and it's yeah it's it's nice to still feel connected to that music that was so inspiring when I was younger. Mean I literally wore out diary the CD was just completely scratched and I carried the booklet around with me at school you know like I would read the lyrics in intense grief and we had to do a book report of poetry and I chose the lyrics for 24 hour revenge therapy and it works.

Speaker 7:8:42My teacher is like this is really great stuff. Good report Chris.

Speaker 8:8:47I love that. That was interesting.

Speaker 2:8:50I mean did you get involved with the scene in New Jersey or were you more sort of playing records and listening to bands kind of on your own watching TV or was it did you start getting involved like the local scene as well.

Speaker 3:9:05Yeah you know it's funny like I feel like I'm pretty oblivious some sort of in my own world and I don't notice a lot of stuff that's going on outside so it's a miracle that I got anywhere. Honestly I should still be in a basement somewhere listening to records. But how this all happened was that one of my friends from school that also liked the sort of underground music was Brian Newman who was the original drummer forces the day O'Bryant was pretty and vicious and he really like hardcore music. So in 7th grade this was before I even played guitar I was still in orchestra. Brian joined a hardcore band in Trenton New Jersey called Nation in-transit and he would come back the next day after practice and have all these stories about how they are playing you know all these songs and rehearsing these songs to make a tape you know and it was so cool to hear about that but I didn't play guitar yet so the next year I was I had started playing guitar and Brian said Hey why don't you come over and play with me.

Speaker 3:10:17Because over the summer his band broke up. So he's looking for something else to do. So Brian was the one that asked me to come play. When he found out I was playing guitar I went over there we had a blast. We put like a blank tape in a cassette player and just recorded the entire like jam and it sounded like Rage Against The Machine like Riff and halftime and stuff and and it was just so much fun and it was just like my best friends were there waiting for me. And that's how it all started. And then I would write songs because I've always really loved just kind of messing around and like finding little cool chord changes or putting little ideas together you know on a recent. I just love doing it.

Speaker 5:11:08And so Brian and a few other people just sort of gravitated around that and noticed that I was writing these kind of cool songs and they said you know we should you know get a singer and a bass player and we should play shows these are cool we should make a tape we should go and record something I never ever in a million years would have thought to even ask someone to be in a band. I really it wouldn't have happened. So this is all Brian Newman. And then once Brian got us interested we you know we took time out of the radio and we made a tape and this is in ninth grade we made a tape and it was just so much fun. And ever since then I just continued to write songs.

Speaker 4:11:53Looking forward to eventually recording them as a group of songs and then so we made a tape the ninth grade. We started playing people's backyards or their basements. Somebody would have a party and we'd say Hey can we play. So we started all over. You know just friends from school or some other school in town. And then two years went by we made a seven inch in our sophomore year of school and then by junior year we had gone through a few changes gone through a few band names and we were about to record another demo tape and we just felt like it was time to have a name change and our buddy came to the studio when we were going to record a bunch of songs and he was just going to hang out for the day and this is Sean McGrath who at the time was in a band called hands tied and we got Shawn through going to see mouthpiece at the Princeton Arts Council. When we were kids he came along and he was listening to us play and we thought hey this is actually pretty cool. Seriously you guys could play these hardcore shows that are going on in New Brunswick. I mean it's it's good stuff. But you know I think it's cool a cool name for your group would be saved the day we were sitting in a studio tracks East South River in New Jersey. This is April 17th 1997. You went and spent one day making me a demo.

Speaker 9:13:26And that day we went home we decided that we liked the name save the day and he told us it came from his favorite Farside song which was called Hero the so-called punk band Farside. I guess there's a lyric that says I wanna be the one to save the day and it stuck. We loved the name. We made the tapes we started playing these hardcore shows the first show we ever played it safe today. This is hilarious. We played Rutgers University opening for MC Lyte. Yes we have Shawn had a friend that was like putting on the day's music. As we played in the indoor facility with like bounce houses and it was like fair fair basically so but anyway Shawn was really cool. He had all these friends you know put on shows. So later that day it was like an afternoon show. Later that day like hey my friends and ignite are playing a show in New Brunswick. We should go down and to see if we can hop on their equipment and play a few of these songs. I didn't know anything. You know so we go down there and it is a packed show. I mean ignite was just so so awesome and put on incredible shows and people were all about it at the time. And they're the nicest thing ever. Like just too nice to you ever. So sure enough they let us get on their red and we played like 5 songs from on down.

Speaker 10:14:58The guitars are horribly out of tune.

Speaker 7:15:00Everyone's like looking at us strangely and that was the first day of his days a live performing History.

Speaker 8:15:08That's great. I wanted to bring that up too is that that time that was like normal like you had a hardcore show but you had it was okay to kind of have an emo band on. I mean you could see this later but you snout case with dashboard it was five chord with that.

Speaker 11:15:27Yeah it totally works. Yeah I mean we were we had just me through being cool and the first tour we did.

Speaker 8:15:35Was with snap case and buried alive and think about that now like with all the package tours like everything needs to sound the same it's like I still look out there and I see kids and I go they like like your fans might like Taylor Swift. They might like a metal band and they like you. It's just that whole like label mentality like we're gonna put the same bands all together.

Speaker 6:16:01Yeah you know that's really interesting. You know I got goosebumps when you were talking about sex.

Speaker 12:16:07Welcome to the podcast. Welcome. Yes.

Speaker 8:16:12Well it's nice but it is it's that it's that time where you went to the show and it was OK I'm going to see a hardcore band. OK I'm going to see the emo band all right. This kind of more maybe metal but like had to sing it just. But it wasn't it wasn't weird and I think you know it definitely in the mid 2000s it was like these package tours and you watch the shows and it's like what's the difference in any of the bands. And I think I don't know if you felt that. I mean I know we're kind of jumping ahead a little bit in the years but just even that thought like did you notice that change where it was almost like why does every band we're playing with you know pop punk or something. No

Speaker 6:16:53I definitely noticed it.

Speaker 4:16:55I don't think I ever was able to articulate it as clearly as you just put it but I think that's that is the difference. There used to be just an openness and an authenticity and everybody is just putting on their show and playing their songs. And it was everybody was there for each other and then it became sort of a marketing sort of mix who had the same kind of haircuts put them on the same top you know it's kind of kind of interesting. And I definitely noticed it as the years have gone gone by. We took a break after 2003 for about a year and a half. I was just kind of at home and gone through a lot of stuff like for myself. And growing. And when we came back I was kind of fascinated. And I think the thing that I noticed was exactly what you're saying.

Speaker 4:17:46There was this new wave of commercial underground music that had nothing to do with the sincerity of where it all was coming from before. And I chalked it up to my space at the time because people could just put up a really cool looking photo and they got their haircuts and their shirts and stuff. And then you get a hundred thousand mindspace fans and they put out the debut record and it goes like gold. And all of a sudden there are no stars. So I started using the term stars back then because there is something I can feel that there were rock now in a world of this look at what had been authentic underground music and it was startling at first I was angry at first. You know I'm on the other side now or I'm just sort of I'm just appreciative of the whole journey and perfect just more curious about how and how things are and why they are the way they are but I'm not like ticked off as much I guess maybe I'm closer to being sad about it sometimes but I have also an incredible undying optimism that I believe in sincerity.

Speaker 4:18:57You know I believe in that experience the true experience and your heart. And I think that's what people connect with.

Speaker 8:19:03Well that also brings up the thing that you know nowadays this is really even current to what you just said emo as a word you know was something it got sort of run through the mud. You know you guys were kind of in the beginning middle and end of this. I called the hair. I call the hair farmer era and then it's like it's now these newer bands these younger labels like top shelf count your lucky stars. They have these bands and they're referencing the old school. They're referencing American Idol they're referencing you know minerals sunny day and all this stuff and now they're being written up in pitchfork and they're being in there on a billboard. Now it's like I feel so good at it it's people aren't saying oh emo is my chem no offense to them but like again I would hope that they would think about Sunny Day Thursday. You know like dakka and now it is. And so it's almost like you've been through the whole thing where you've been the whole you've been through the whole full circle of beginning no one cared. The big no MTV MySpace boom it's over. No one cares about it and then it just re Kindles itself.

Speaker 4:20:19Right. Yeah. Because I mean it's there's truth in it. And the songs are decent. I mean there are so many good bands in this world of music that write incredible songs really incredible songs. And that's that's something that is special. And you listen to the radio and those songs are put together by communities by 10 people.

Speaker 10:20:39Exactly. And so there's no heart and there's no soul. But you know I mean laughs but I'm thankful that it's still here. You know I think that's the reason it's here is because of the heart.

Speaker 8:20:55So yeah I always believed like this is gonna get through the hair farmer era like it isn't just be about the clothes in the hair like music will come through again and it it is it seems to be. People are referencing that and you know there's people that you know send me links to their stuff like check this out. I'm really influenced by you know Jawbreaker and you know I love you know all this stuff on deep old records and it's like that's great.

Speaker 11:21:25That's great man I hate it.

Speaker 9:21:28I really do things that are true. You know as long as it's not crappy news it was partially what helps you know a lot of great songwriters.

Speaker 2:21:39When did you first hear the word.

Speaker 9:21:41You know we're going hardcore shows the first emo band I ever saw was this band from Canada. Man I can't recall their name but they were absolutely amazing people literally sat down while they were playing and the ban was actually wearing backpacks.

Speaker 13:22:01It's amazing what label and the artist they were doing it all by themselves.

Speaker 4:22:07I mean this is like the 1996. And this singer was actually crying on stage actually and wait there wasn't the stage. Even if you stand there just standing there in front of you. And it was the most moving thing I bought their tape and I listened to it all the time and he said a backpack with discman and you know a tape player whatever you call the Walkman. And I had their demo tape you know and have diarrhea and whatever office and you know local bands that came through. But that's when I remember emo happening one sunny day came out. I don't remember thinking of them as emo and I think that was like a few years later I started to hear that word creeping in to me when it first was when it was first used it was about music that was emotional you know like but the singer was actually crying on stage like wow that cat you know and it was just inspirational people or people were into that not turned turned off but I was the whole world to me that came from a generation that was alienated. You know if you look at the world of grunge I mean listen to those lyrics. Those people are so disconnected from the world they're living in the very next generation that comes along. They're even more.

Speaker 6:23:32So e-mail comes out now out of that inner alienation sense of just now belonging was it was it you know you guys got roped into that.

Speaker 2:23:43You know I think with with you know can't can't slow down and you definitely it was punk but it was you got roped into it was it something at the time you were like Whatever. It doesn't matter.

Speaker 3:23:55Oh yeah I didn't. No way. I still I never mind. I've never minded that term ever because I think partially because when I became familiar of it it was it was a good it had a good location. There's a good term positive. So I've always been proud proud to be one of those like e-mail like.

Speaker 2:24:16Well I mean you guys are mentioned in an article or a you know referenced if it's Spotify you know if you like this like this you guys are there right. And I think that's something great I wanted to go back. What was the story with Evvy are getting your demo tape all men who smoke cool.

Speaker 3:24:37This is all shown to and Graff because he was in an actual hardcore band that had toward the whole country you know new people and his next band after mouth piece was hands tied and hands tied. Put out a seven inch DVR. So we knew Steve Krushchev. And at first he was incredibly hesitant. He told Shawn Look man I'm not going to sign any of your guys. Y'all side projects because I don't want to have anything to do with that. You know let's just stick with hands tied. But Shawn said look these songs are really cool. It's cool. Just trust me you got to hear it. And Steve I think Steve resisted for quite a while. I mean eventually you know he came down to a show in Pennsylvania after he had heard other people start to talk about this band with his cool sounds like Steve those people.

Speaker 11:25:37Yeah people are talking about save the day I guess that will come out.

Speaker 6:25:40And you know it goes down to this show in Pennsylvania we played with Jarod's fight you know.

Speaker 8:25:46And I think it's everyone writing down these Bandhan because you're going to have everyone listen to floor punch inside and tanyard fight right now.

Speaker 11:25:55Turn off the podcast. Seriously it's not important anymore.

Speaker 3:26:02And it was incredible. We were just these kids you know everybody except to each other like you said it would be a different time. It didn't matter that we weren't playing it's like you know youth group music it just didn't matter. Everybody liked each other and Steve saw us and he saw that we were really honest kids and he met us and Steve is such an upstanding guy you know. His values are truth you know. And he cared about us as people. You know he thought hey these are good kids and then you know he's he he called us about a week later we were in rehearsal and he called us on a landline. And you know luckily we were in between songs like tuning we hear the phone ring we run over. Shawn ran over and was on the phone for about 10 minutes and the rest mostly like in the other room like chewing or Intel and he comes back things like he says you will do record and we just started chopping up and down. I mean that was I have goosebumps.

Speaker 12:26:57But I mean I'm of them.

Speaker 14:27:02And that was that was it. And Steve took us out to dinner we went to vegetarian paradise to love you in the city and we had an incredible dinner with them and we we all headed off.

Speaker 4:27:15And you know I think for him it was almost like just kind of this thing like from here I'm going to go give it a shot and the kids from New Jersey this could be interesting to see what happens. You know we spent like that the album cost like four thousand dollars to make. You know my mom paid for it and Steve paid them back after me.

Speaker 13:27:38Steve paid her back after weeks.

Speaker 2:27:41And that was crazy. I mean obviously that record for me is you know I remember getting it from Dan who works at the label and was like oh my god this is amazing. You know and I think too it's like that early backlash of lifetime was so short was so short to me.

Speaker 13:28:06It really was. It hurt for me for a long time. Yeah but that was important.

Speaker 4:28:11It was really important you know. I mean obviously I was trying to sound like life time and grow biscuits and diagnostic tools from the guitar parts it's all synthesized out of lifetime Gorilla Biscuits and Dagg nasty and that's all I was doing because I was obsessed and it wasn't anything. It was purely innocent. I was just a little kid all excited you know like the first riffs I wrote sounded like Led Zeppelin because that's where I was coming from. It was a strange thing just going through my little face. And now I look back on it and I'm almost like I'm so proud that I just like with that so openly you know I was it was just that I was unaware what people would say but thankfully I've always been like that I think that was an initial pass for me. You know how am I going to deal with people's voices their criticism and that was an early early trial but I very quickly knew that I loved music so much that I was a maniac for putting myself through all the tears but I'm not going to.

Speaker 8:29:18And I think too it's like you get these people that say things in this and that and it's like but then you go to a show and it's kind of like when you go to Absolute Punk comments it's like what always rises to the top. It's people that are negative not positive. There's probably 500 kids that read that article and was like Oh hell yeah. New saves the day done and it's that kind of thing that you look toward that negative. Yeah.

Speaker 4:29:45Absolutely. Yeah I mean it's like I mean it's like I could be having a great day. But you know like if my foot personally bothered me not I mean it's maybe it's just human nature that that awareness that thorn in your side is going to be more of a nuisance. I mean. It just calls your attention. So I'd certainly like you have a sore in your mouth and keep trying.

Speaker 2:30:10You know yards like that I think to me you mentioned Shawn earlier and I think such a big part of you guys was him and what was what was probably your favorite memory.

Speaker 4:30:23I know from that era like the can't slow down sort of that's a good question. I think my my favorite memory from the case blowdown era would have to be opening for lifetime at their final show at the melody bar in New Brunswick I mean that just sticks out to me as just. A moment you know for me I mean I still listen to life. I still read Parys lyrics and I learn from them. You know I mean I was like beneath them full disclosure I was a complete maniac superfan. I would I would leave school every day and drive to New Brunswick which is about 20 minutes down the road 27 and I would put the art classes record shop that worked at and I just some through records and like thank god it's a really nice car.

Speaker 9:31:31It's really really nice he was cool really cool like the nicest guy ever would show on the records. He listened to our demo tape. He had you know he asked me if I could give him a ride somewhere. I even went over to their house times and then he asked us to play there. They're going a ratio not half because I have to be completely honest about this part of the reason they asked us to play. Was there about a month before the show they sold us their base cabinet because they didn't think they were going to be playing them anymore shows do they need needed their base cabinet for the gig. So again let's just say they played the show you can use their base.

Speaker 13:32:23I like that. Needless to say I still have the cabinet. And I also have.

Speaker 9:32:29A bass head that we bought from shelter we bought it from Franklin from Shelter a long time ago and that was like my pride and joy like down in my basement where I used to record I had like a lifetime bass cabinet and I hope their head you know Ampeg head.

Speaker 2:32:46And that was cool you made it. I mean at that point you've made it really really no where else to go.

Speaker 4:32:53I still think back on those times and just realize that I was so lucky from the get go.

Speaker 8:32:59It's it's a lot of the it's the music it was the time. And I think about I mean I would love to tell everyone out there I mean before iPhone's before you know any of this and you were doing it it was such a personal thing you were in front of somebody saying something it wasn't an e-mail.

Speaker 2:33:16No it wasn't a text it wasn't a Facebook message it was like you saw you know Shawn was helping you out or you saw Ari at the record store it was like this connection where it was probably easier for them to ask you. What about sort of those early hours really kind of stuck out. Well like you probably made your best friends then versus you know now I'm sure you have great tours and meet the bands but after losing yours you're sort of stuck in that. But yeah you're sort of stuck in your phone or you've got you've got to check stuff and update you know Facebook Exactly.

Speaker 9:33:52Yeah. Oh man when we first started touring golly I mean there were no cell phones. There was hardly anything. I don't remember the internet back then it was fairly or it must've been around. You know Al Gore like at some point like that and we used to have to stop the papers. I know that every day we'd be looking for pay pay phone. That was a regular part of our day. Stopped at a pay phone call home you know for five seconds because you can't afford that much you know. And then you get in the van and then go play somebody you know basement show and then go to sleep on their friends floor. You know it was all was all about everybody was just together and I just think about that time.

Speaker 2:34:44To me what other what other scene or what other time frame. I mean yes there's probably a bunch. But definitely for the punk and indie hardcore kind of scene that was sort of that last time where that happened I mean we were talking earlier I booked that pizza place show for you guys. I hope you showed up.

Speaker 7:35:02You know I didn't like and play and you just put out flyers another show. Yeah. No like Internet blasting.

Speaker 8:35:09No it was one boy sets fire show and I hope you guys. I think I said hey the show starts today. You know and you showed up at 7 for like it was that exact thing. Now like I would probably be checking my phone a thousand times like oh my god did you text me back. I don't know if he wrote me in the last four minutes. Does that mean he got a life.

Speaker 11:35:29We'd be having anxiety the traffic records and stuff.

Speaker 6:35:35It's a whole different ballgame. I'm so glad that I grew up in that time. Because when I toured now and just Bill just kind of out there to enjoy it yeah I mean just by the seat of my pants I wear the day hey yeah that's great.

Speaker 2:35:49I like that. I know a lot of people were asking some questions online stuff. And one of them was talk about three miles down about that song and that's still such a fan favorite. I feel whenever that thing comes in.

Speaker 4:36:04Yeah. Oh that's I love that. Actually this is interesting we've been recently going over that can slow down those who are going to play it for a live stream coming up. Nice. Yeah. And so all these memories have been flooding back and so when I listen to three mile down it all comes back to me. We were making the record we did not plan for that song and one day Brian said to me a lot of the early ideas came from Brian and we would just say hey what if you did this and then I go off for a while and see if I can do that thing and come back with you cool. So what you said we were in the studio we made that record in six days and we had two days to mix so must of been before. He said you know what if we had an acoustic song on this album it would be so cool because you know none of the other bands really do that and to be kind of weird in the middle of this you know melodic hardcore record and that that are cool and that went home that night and just sat in the basement and wrote lyrics and lyrics and lyrics and I wrote about a four minute song I come into the studio the next day and you're like alright let's you know set up and do this acoustic track and I go in there and play it and it's just going on and on and on.

Speaker 4:37:26And Brian does it after on the top that he's like yeah that's way too long.

Speaker 12:37:33I was like OK.

Speaker 4:37:34Like let me think for a second and thought for a second I was like or did he do like this whole like the first cycle. You know this first complete cycle before I start to repeat things too much. And so I would hold it down and it turned out so much better that way. And I walked inside and they all had this look of joy on their faces like loud that thinned out better than we thought. It's cool listening to it now I almost can't believe that. Not that I was able to do that as as a 17 year old kid because the lyrics feel really honest. I mean the whole record was really honest. So I'm really proud of it. The cool cool little composition.

Speaker 8:38:25That's great. It's just you know it's that whole thing of like we only had six days and we were learning it.

Speaker 2:38:32I just that it just seems you know you guys were so green. But then also you were ripe for it. I mean it was like This is what you wanted to do.

Speaker 4:38:42Totally. And to me it's a miracle that it all happened so early. Because here I am 33 years old and you know I've been doing this for a long long long time now. And so it's I can't believe I got started so young and I was able to learn so much. I feel like now I'm just enjoying it so much. You know I've gone through so many of the ups and downs. I really understand what it's about and I'm just really thankful you know to still do it.

Speaker 2:39:14That's awesome. That's such a good feeling to be in. I want to talk about through being cool. Obviously the next record. This is definitely my if there was like that moment where you're like OK this band's amazing they can do no wrong. I love this record. I wore this tape out. Thank you. I think I had lost them. I think I had the demo. I don't know if Dan had sent me stuff and it was just like the first time I heard sort of the wheel I was like why isn't this band on the radio. In Austin. What was the one who wrote the riff and what did you guys do when that was played and you were like OK.

Speaker 4:39:56Well I mean I've always come up with the majority of the music so I'm really just kind of playing stuff but I think it's cool. And the people in the band will say wow I really like that lets you know can we do this as a band. And that was one of those ones that was still please. You know I played it for Brian and he just immediately thought OK that's that's going to be single or whatever that means. You know you can't talk like that. And then we made it we made an early recording of that actually in New York City for some long island compilation and we could just tell that this was like a fresh new thing. I mean it sounds so different from can't slow down. And it had so much energy and even now it wasn't really fast punk be you know it still was just absolute urgent.

Speaker 8:41:00But it also was it still sounds good like those a lot of records from that time. You put it on now and you're like whoa. Maybe you know an extra pass at the mastering desk. But you play you play this loud and it still cuts through. And I think that's the thing that I love about it it just it sounds like you could put that out tomorrow and it would be fine.

Speaker 10:41:26That's cool. I like hearing.

Speaker 2:41:28And of course I mean the cover to such an iconic cover in the you know the idea behind it was the thought about that because I'm now you know there's a band that kind of mocked not mock the cover but they sort of copy the cover for their record.

Speaker 4:41:43I think there was a band that actually did an entire layout that was joking about being cool and at the end there was something quite surprising that they were trying to find the party. And I won't get into that.

Speaker 2:41:55Oh I remember that. Yes. Everyone can figure that out on their own. Yes.

Speaker 4:41:59Moving from Brian Brian Williams. He's he's got a thousand ideas and he's also a photographer and so he thought you know what if we did this really kitschy photo shoot that was like it was obviously sort of a staged glossy you know sort of Los Angeles style shoot. You know that's at a party and there are you know bright flashing lights. So everybody's all lit up and stuff and he thought it be really cool to tell the story. And for Brian it was all tongue in cheek. You know the name of the record through being cool would be cool for like at this party and we don't really give a shit about being there.

Speaker 9:42:50So that was where it all came from. And it was 100 percent tongue in cheek. We sent it to DVR. You know we got a call from the next day like Hey guys I don't know this is a great idea because you guys look like you think you're the cool shit in the world and we're like no no no way it's the opposite.

Speaker 4:43:09It's like totally totally and completely opposite. We don't have anything to do with that. So they trusted us. And sure enough people gave us a lot of shit at the time but it's iconic and I think it's cool as hell yeah.

Speaker 2:43:23I mean it's not I mean AP listed you know one of the top records from that year from 99. I mean it's just really neat.

Speaker 8:43:31It's just such a cool thing to have that still bubble up and the thing that I loved was the video for shoulder to the wheel because now with that because it was at that time it was OK emo was really serious like punk were going to be you know one has fun and it was like you guys kind of turned it was like were laughing joking for something. And of course you know a lot of people took lyrics in that time so seriously and what does it mean. And you guys were having fun with it. I loved it.

Speaker 4:44:03That's interesting you find that that's funny and even in the lyrics you know when I listen to the lyrics and through being cool. It's written by just listening to the second kid. But the songs are so fun. And there was only a sense of excitement and optimism in the air. You know I still feel like that that kind of thing is my favorite kind of music sometimes you know like the Smiths where you get these happy funk writing songs and then a guy singing about it is he's in a good mood talking about his blues. You know he happy talking about it like a fucking shitty night.

Speaker 13:44:48And that's why I feel so cool. Yeah we're even though we're just raw to the world.

Speaker 2:44:55And the course. I mean shooting the video. I mean you must. I mean I'm sure the budget was crazy. You saw all the like. I mean you see how many if anyone knows anyone that works DVR you can see everyone working like you can see all the co-workers there. But it was I mean that was I think everyone was kind of figuring it out then because you never want to time be like oh shit we've got something here. We've got to do a video I think. Yeah.

Speaker 6:45:24Right. Yeah.

Speaker 9:45:26Because I mean that was right around the current Blink 182 was kind of coming up you know because the director had just done the Blink 182 video for whatever their like breakout song once. I didn't know that.

Speaker 4:45:39Yeah. Yes. So that's why we were kind of looking into it because they were one of those bands from our more like our world of musicians underground sort of like punk music and they were breaking out you know so we get that guy. I remember the day pulled up and it was snowing like there's ice all over.

Speaker 14:45:59And they came in with it's like for a person we just it every single person we went to that house and we put on a party laugh.

Speaker 2:46:09Yeah it is. I love watching that video because that's what I love to kind of reminiscing or something like. I put that on because it's the clothing it's the it's the time no one has a phone in their hand like all that stuff.

Speaker 13:46:23There were no so I don't remember cell phone till they wake you.

Speaker 2:46:28Yeah I prefer my red as well as they are the last of the non cell phone era. Yeah I mean that you bring up stay stay where you are. The move to vagrant. I think that was a pretty big you know talked about in the scene leaving. You know it's obviously tough to go between labels. What was sort of the you know thought them because at that time I mean emo was breaking pretty big. I mean there was Yosses there was big tours huge songs big producers.

Speaker 9:47:07What was the first band that ever sort of started to show signs of success. The Get Up Kids and they would come through and it was like a Midwestern invasion and people lose their mind. I had never seen anything like it to this day the way people would respond to the Get Up Kids. And so we were all just massive fans. You know we were we thought they were the coolest and they signed to vagrant and that was maybe it was nineteen ninety nine. Maybe maybe right after making it with 2000. They signed a vagrant and you know I think it's normal when you're you know doing some sort of business venture to look at like other things that are successful. We saw the Get Up Kids go to a vagrant because you know that could be a cool label. And again a lot of this is Brian because Ryan and I don't it's not like Tom and I'm giving him credit because I wouldn't have ever thought to expand in his ways that he did.

Speaker 9:48:18But Brian to get the kids starting to sort of low up and he thought you know maybe we should talk to other labels. And I think we didn't really even have to wait because I got a I got a phone call at my mom's house that day Serbian school came out which was November 2nd 1999 and it was Kevin sap who was an agent at the time and he said Hey love your new album we can't believe how much you guys have evolved since the first album. We'd love to have you guys come out to L.A. to talk about maybe doing a deal. And so it was just kind of exciting. You know they're just labels calling calling us in the day after it's out.

Speaker 8:49:11Yeah.

Speaker 5:49:12And oddly enough all these other labels started calling.

Speaker 9:49:16I mean the big labels you know and Dempsey and Atlantic and all these guys were you know putting their favorite artists. I hate when you call the cops who say they encounter with a great team over here.

Speaker 8:49:30WARNER Oh my god. Yeah.

Speaker 9:49:34You know just get some call out of the blue guys. That sounds cool. They have 10000 employees. That's really cool. Where are the little kids. I personally I really loved. At the time I couldn't have imagined anything else. I mean it was a miracle to even have a label that wanted to put out there a lot. You know I have to go back in time on that point right there. Specifically when we made our demo always we'd in every single label that existed at the time. And the indie labels had back to us. But you know Jade tree and victory they all turned us down. They also did the same with lifetime but equal vision gave us a shot anyway. You know perhaps Woolward I am a very loyal person so my heart was with BBR and it was a tough tough move. And also you know thinking back on it the momentum was right and it was sort of an inevitability. You know the dam was going to burst it and it did and I think we're lucky that we wound up vagrant because they were indeed they weren't these big labels having their yes man call and no pitch their marketing scheme and stuff they're just a bunch of guys like that for a T-shirt and like the records. So it felt like the West Coast ETR you know that had like a slightly bigger know for further reach now.

Speaker 8:51:07No I mean that that sounds perfect. I mean that's exactly what it is. I mean it really was. It was a little bigger had a little different connections it was in Los Angeles it wasn't upstate. It was a little differences to it. I think yeah I think too. I mean that time too. Like a lot of like Vegas was definitely getting the right bands and things were hitting hot rod circuit the kids all that jazz trio dashboard.

Speaker 11:51:34Yeah. And so Mercedes Yeah. Those were all all hitting at once in a totally makes sense I think to that record.

Speaker 8:51:46You know everyone's like oh well you know I only like you know through being cool and it was just like funny to hear that because I was like You're not listening. You know you're not listening to you know your funeral is a great song. Yes it's not you know high tempo and you know breaks down like but it's there everything's in it. And it I think it fit with all the other sort of vigor bands that were happening. You were all different sound I mean the anniversary was different then.

Speaker 2:52:17Hey Mercedes than you guys but it was I think all those bands and this has me thinking out loud thinking this is what you guys were conscious of this but it's like you guys all brought your game at the same time and the same label everybody is on fire.

Speaker 8:52:33Yeah I mean vagrant across America Tour was fucking huge.

Speaker 9:52:37That was absolutely nuts. That was the crazy crazy tour that was burning him in his last tour.

Speaker 8:52:44The band I remember I remember that tour because we were outside of Irving and I don't think he like I don't know got me in or we hung out for a second you know from emailing back in the day and stuff and it was just like it was just a sea of people on Irving Place and I was like there's four buses here.

Speaker 11:53:01Is my god. Yeah. Absolutely.

Speaker 2:53:06And were you guys just kind of like enclave. What was the what were sort of the Oh it was incredible.

Speaker 9:53:13I mean it's incredible. You know it's this miracle existence where people give a shit. You know and even you know I know from doing that so long as it goes and it goes in waves. So I know that that was a crash and it was an incredible Keeks. I mean now is unbelievable.

Speaker 2:53:36And TV shows.

Speaker 9:53:38Oh that's the show's Yeah. CONAN kill Bourne born at the time Craig Kilborn. You know Jimmy Kimmel all that stuff it was slick while because you know a couple of years before we were still sleeping on keeping those in need. And we're still those little kids you know. I mean I was 21 years old when we made it what you are as a teeny little guy it's bizarre.

Speaker 2:54:11And I think to mean that timeframe you know leading into that sort of DreamWorks stuff with revery. What was the you know being sort of in the music industry but not really you know being a fan was what was sort of the you know changed to be like all right now I do want you know a thousand people working with me was it so yeah.

Speaker 3:54:34So all this stuff thankfully happened so organically it was great.

Speaker 9:54:38Looking back on it so we vagrant you know there does great big grant gives us a nice budget. We go to make the next album Follow up and they're like you know spend a bunch of time to spend three months or two two months making the things and we're in we're in this big studio and at the end of it the record sounded really fucking cool like we could not believe what we had done. And so Rob Schnapp the producer was talking to us was like This is no this is a different level of music and you guys know you probably could talk to no major labels. And you know I have a bunch of our friends that I could have just come and listen so he and our manager Rich at the time just had a bunch of people come in and listen just to see what the mood was and everybody flipped out.

Speaker 9:55:34You know it's funny thinking back because the album wasn't commercially successful but everyone flipped out. Sounds like the Beatles. Know you're selling the young McCartney. We have heard songs song like this in 20 years. And so we all get really excited. And of course yeah this feels right. And you know we don't want to sign to one of those massive you know more commercially driven labels. Dreamworks is perfect because they're like a glorified indie its all its own billionaires. There are no investors. The other difference with other label might have investors that want to see returns every quarter and stuff. But DreamWorks seems perfect Fevrier they were a label that was started to help artists get all this stuff which is right in line with the spirit of the day. And just all happened perfectly. And so we wound up. So we made the album for vagrant when we signed to DreamWorks and they license the CD and digital vagrant kept them. So sort of a code release and then a month after the album came out they sold the label to Interscope. And so most of the bands were dropped us and a handful of other bands from DreamWorks were just kind of shuffled over to Interscope and for us. We had just put out an album you know like we're we're about ready to make really start promoting this thing.

Speaker 5:57:09And we got switched to another and our set up an imprint management over there and nobody really knew that we had put out an album even because they had their own records they were working on you know they've been ready to put out the new Mariah Carey for six months or whatever at that point.

Speaker 2:57:31And now there's this fuckin band that works.

Speaker 5:57:34Yeah it already put out a record and it like. You know but like they don't have the time for it. The music doesn't really fit the format of radio at the time. And we asked them to drop us. And so they were extremely gracious and they dropped us and we built the studio and that's pretty much. That was the beginning of like the next era for save the day.

Speaker 8:58:01And this was before we were going it was back to Viga from that.

Speaker 4:58:05Yeah it was back to vagrant and DreamWorks vagrant put out an revery together for us. You know vagrants paid for and Revery was made for vagrants and for us it just felt like OK that was kind of awkward. But let's go back home.

Speaker 5:58:25And so we just were you know for the last however many years has just been quietly doing or enjoying it.

Speaker 7:58:33Love it.

Speaker 2:58:35Yeah I think it's just one song on in revery that for me kind of hits home is definitely anywhere with you. Just think just the riff just the you know the time I think. I think there's I don't know. There's always the big the the big riff song on all your records seems to always connect with me.

Speaker 9:58:56Yeah you know I always it's funny to them. I like the I like songs in the group I really like the album format and there comes the turn like when I'm almost like putting the songs together or each record where I realized wait a second there's no lock with Yeah I tell this song on DAYBREAK was written because they're going to end it like this.

Speaker 14:59:21So I started jamming.

Speaker 8:59:23Nice.

Speaker 2:59:24I was gonna say the a lot of times and this is you know me being in the moment hearing people talk about you guys in the records and they talk about the trilogy you know the sound the alarm under the boards and daybreak and yeah you had mentioned you know sound the alarm was discontent under the boards reflection and Daybreak's acceptance. I think that's a really big thing too as a band to be able to take that much time and kind of run through those themes and listening back.

Speaker 8:59:57I mean there's just there's some great you know hooks in these things and I think there's I'm speaking to the older people that are my age like I really think you look back at these other records and listen to radio or listen to head for the hills.

Speaker 2:60:12And I think I don't know I just went back in 1984.

Speaker 13:60:18Yeah a lot of good.

Speaker 9:60:20I'm really proud of it because if you take it as a whole which it said it is intended as the thirty seven song.

Speaker 14:60:28There's kind of a cool shit crowd and the neat thing was like I just had to do that on my own.

Speaker 9:60:35I had to get to the root of why I was alienated to begin with. So for me it was just like it was a personal journey that happened. So I find that the people that really connect with the trilogy of people going through that same transition.

Speaker 8:60:55Well a lot of your lyrics are definitely. I mean there's that to me they seem like you're going through a lot and you're it's almost like it's it's nothing can be fixed. I'm damaged forever but I'm still going.

Speaker 9:61:09Does that make sense or accepting it's accepting what is going on outside. You know you the walk through you know a Rose Garden. It would be crazy not to admit to yourself. Hurts to get cut by the horns like you'd being seen to go ologist Snelson nightshirt like I could just like jump on that Bush. That's insane. So to me it's like I just noticed the pain as a way to be saying literally to accept the truth my actual existence to not turn away from that is for me. That is survival. And I mean that that is triumphant to me. I mean to be completely like hyperbolic about this and that is winning.

Speaker 13:61:57Yeah definitely. I'm looking at it and writing it down. Not backing down itself.

Speaker 2:62:06I want to talk about the future too in a couple of things. The new record. Yeah connecting again with Mr. Bemis his imprint on Iyar and I mean you guys were together as two tongues. How does it feel back to be in familiar waters not only with you know Maxon but equal vision as well.

Speaker 4:62:27Oh man it's so exciting. Max is just one of my favorite people. He's one of my friends in the world let alone making music. You know I play that song at his wedding on the first dance for maximum Feri and we have a very special connection. And for me and I could almost cry thinking about how thankful I am for Max and Dan for bringing us under you know the roof of such a supporting household you know like we're just a family member there and they care and. And we can say you know they're not going to kick us out on our butt. And and it feels at the beginning of the rest of the day. To me you know there was a 15 year journey however long it started in 1997. So long your journey back here and now we get to embark on this next part of it. And I couldn't be happier to be doing this with Max and Dan Equal Vision. Like I said they were the first label that ever believed in the music when literally every other label we sent to two rejected us. And that's I mean I could fall down in out of gratitude you know to be on my hand.

Speaker 3:63:54Thank you so much forever. Equal Vision.

Speaker 13:64:00You know just out of Yeah I know incredibly fortunate.

Speaker 2:64:05That's it. What about the album.

Speaker 9:64:08I'll tell you what. Yeah this is cool because like I said all of his music was about me kind of like get to the root of why I felt so uncomfortable. You know I didn't feel just a piece. So I went through the process of the trilogy to get to the bottom of it. And this is the first album I'm writing on the other side just fine. I feel great and I'm alive and in love with my life. That is awesome.

Speaker 4:64:39Thanks Bob. And happy and so the songs always come from this inner place. That's why I sometimes feel sort of urgent sometimes they feel sad and angry you know. But this one feels good. You know and I listen to that we played a bunch of the last rehearsal and we all talked about how exciting it's not to play the songs live together. I mean they have energy on their own. And I think that energy is coming from my inner place of you know contentedness and I noticed that as I sat down to write the album I almost couldn't believe it at first. I felt weird and how happy everything sounded because when I'm sitting down to work on music I'm just letting my ears do everything. My mind has to be shut off if my mind gets involved. It's it sounds like it was put together.

Speaker 9:65:36You know consciously or not and it sounds like it was forced so I just let it all come out. And as the songs were coming out I felt at first almost sure. And then they kept coming out I just realized that this is what's happening right now. It's the music that's coming into my heart and I'm just going to let it happen as I always have. But I was startled by its poignancy and optimism and really invigorated by it at the same time I had so much fun writing this record.

Speaker 8:66:13This is the most fun record to write or there's been in reverie for me because it was you felt happy.

Speaker 7:66:20Yeah exactly.

Speaker 6:66:22I was just on cloud 9 writing revery I mean and every I was in a different sort of surreal to replace.

Speaker 4:66:31But there were still a lot of pain under the surface that I had not yet turned my attention to. But that was waiting for the trilogy. So now it's just pierce sun.

Speaker 8:66:40This feels like the second crest.

Speaker 9:66:43It is it feels like that for me at least. I'm back.

Speaker 8:66:47Yeah. That's great. I'd love to kind of know what stuff outside of the band you know that you do that that you love.

Speaker 2:66:56Is there a reading of things or is there things you're interested in learning about like what kind of stuff outside of you inspires you with the band.

Speaker 9:67:05Well well with the band I was going to say you know my favorite thing to do in life is to be with my family. I like it when my daughter comes home from school my wife gets home from work and we're all together and you know making dinner and stuff that's my favorite time of day for mornings when we get up and everybody is getting ready for their day and stuff. But as an artist I love movies. Absolutely. And I'm sext with movies and I have to have them on all the time and the CD interesting literally literally all the time. The first thing I do after I unlock the door in the studio is I turn on a movie. It doesn't even matter what it is. I prefer movies in other languages so that I just sort of him getting these strange visual and hearing these weird sort of poetic noises in the background of the house.

Speaker 9:68:00And I just like that environment that makes sense. Neil inspired you know I get a lot of ideas just listening to the score of a movie. I don't know why it is put an image in my brain. I'll write it down. I read a ton. I love reading and you know the most important thing that I do is read Joseph Campbell. I mean for me as a as a person the most important thing that I do is read this guy Joseph Campbell who was professor of comparative religion mythology at Sarah Lawrence College. Like about 40 years.

Speaker 4:68:41But bendingly he was also an author and he wrote about you know the sort of underlying truth of all mythology religion. And to me this is this is bizarre but I think people that know me and know the bill like Essence's said they understand. I mean my whole life is about wondering about this strange mystery need to really hear it in the lyrics. But Joseph Campbell's what. What helps me as a person and that helps me evolve and grow and understand myself and what I'm going through. So that is that's very important because that's reflected in the lyrics but artistically speaking strictly I love fiction as well. I like all things James Joyce Faulkner I'm reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance for the first time right now oddly enough. I'm loving that. My plan for this upcoming tour is to read The Divine Comedy. And people say I'm not just my old friend Ted Alexander is telling me that it's the most inspirational book ever read. He used the guitar player Through Being Cool and still you are and those things are what really get my mind going. You know authors that are thinking about big things. You know music is a huge part of my day. Q I just I will walk inside and I'll have a movie going sometimes you know you might put the music on mute and then put a record on.

Speaker 4:70:17And I'd just like to have that sound and vibration and vision around me and puts me in a good place. And that's like that's how I access my knowledge.

Speaker 2:70:28I love that. Last question. X couple the I know a lot of people talk about the member changes and I thought about it a lot and I was thinking you know I did.

Speaker 8:70:41I did I really thought about it. I said I said I think things change. Nothing's constant and yes they can have a band and be together and have the same people but I like that a band morphs and changes and there's different input and there's different energies.

Speaker 2:71:00And I think you know it still saves the day to me it's still you hear it and it's not that there are no names and no faces but each person kind of. I mean you've mentioned different band members along the way that have all played the part. Exactly.

Speaker 9:71:17And they all do. I mean that's part of why I love being in a band. I'm not solo artist. Yes I write all the songs but I don't play everything on the record. I want to hear what somebody else can contribute you know. And for me that's the first thing I'm looking for when I want to have somebody new come to the band. Are you going to surprise me or are you going to come up with something that I could not have come up with I would not have sought to do. And I love that and so that over the years each record has like as you say the different sort of influences and characters and colors and. And I find that fascinating. I really enjoy it I find that it enhances the eclectic nature of the catalog. You know the record is so different and then it's cool that it was almost every single record is a different grouping of people.

Speaker 8:72:16Yeah it just hearing you know Brian's drum fills or listening to Dave's riffs like you know it's just air. EVANS Yeah exactly. Are you kidding me. Like there's like not.

Speaker 2:72:33Mania. So yeah I'm I really you know I think it isn't just because you're on the phone you're like I really thought about that and think it is interesting that if what if it was the same members like would you have made in revery or would it have been under the sun. I don't know.

Speaker 9:72:50Yeah I'll I'll tell you what we probably wouldn't have gotten that far. I mean we would have just quit because so much of it is just inner turmoil within the band. You know you can't get along on tour and when somebody says I don't do the same. So that is so much of it. And so I think a lot of bands play burn out really quickly. But for me like I'm not going to stop. So I want to make sure that I enjoy my experience so that's why there's a lot of turnover. Things will feel good to one another. Yeah. That's just kind of how how it has to be.

Speaker 8:73:29Yeah. No but I see it as a good thing. I think it's cool. We get to go yeah.

Speaker 13:73:37So much for wanting to talk here. Crowd.

Speaker 15:74:29Getting flung.

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