SAVES THE DAY focus on the proper way to Sound the Alarm…
By: Lauren Napier
Saves the Day is a band that has been together for ten years now, not as steadily as they might like, but they have consistently played a vital role within the scene. David, the guitarist, took the time to talk to me about the trials and tribulations the band has faced to put this latest album out, Sound the Alarm.
The newest album is “more snarly” and possesses more emotion and anger than previous albums. It has quite a different sound from their other material, but then again “if you’ve heard even two of our [Saves the Day] records none of them sound too similar except it’s always Chris singing.” Their sound is constantly changing; it’s a sign of true artistry and not just playing to match the current sounds blasting the airwaves. The songwriting of the album has had no distinct process: “it’s not based on discussions – it’s just what comes out.” Well what comes out is amazing and the fact that the band can share these emotions and roadblocks with their fans speaks volumes. For a band that has not consistently had the same line-up, the members are quite comfortable with each other and don’t feel the need to hide their true feelings. Chris and David and their old drummer, Brian, used to play together in middle school and through high school. They were they only ones around that actually played guitar, bass, drums, etc. Then David went off to college and he rejoined – “school buddies.”
The release of the album is a little surreal for the band, but wonderfully fulfilling. There were times when the continuation of the band was doubted, “with not having a label and then not having a bass player – a lot of demons needed tackling.” They definitely tackled the demons and came out with a heart-pounding album and new found love for music. “We really tried to forget that there was a world outside of the songs that we were playing together. We focused on the fact that we enjoyed it.” David is not particularly concerned with how people react to the album – whether negatively or positively. He simply wants people to take away something from the music for he “gets just as big a kick out of somebody saying why they don’t like our [Saves the Day] music if they can say it eloquently and have good reasons.” As we all now music is subjective and everyone has different taste, so not every fan of Saves the Day’s genre is going to like Sound the Alarm – it’s inevitable.
Other considerations go into making an album other than just the music. There is artwork and that on Sound the Alarm has meaning behind it. The artwork on Sound the Alarm is fairly subdued but powerful a contrast to the high-energy record that has been produced. The band still “adheres to the old school philosophy that people can look forward to the album coming out and buy it and hold it and put the CD in the CD-player to listen and read the liner notes.” They’re also aware that people are downloading and have the album even before its official release date – the guys are not disillusioned.
The photographs were created to “sort of thematically speak to the content of the album” and they are David’s interpretation of places that Chris might have imagined – “a confusing barren wasteland where there are signs of life but you’re not sure what it all means and the way I envision the artwork is you can look at them while you’re listening to the record and get a clearer sense…music is meant to speak for itself.”
In an industry where focus is put on money and not on paychecks it is easy to get side-tracked and want to see more zeroes on the end of the salary, but Saves the Day has not bought into this philosophy. Although David would like to be the most popular on the scene, he’s “content not to be”. He says that you can “see what happens to bands when they get popular” and it’s not the most attractive process. “People on the business end that see more zeros on their paychecks envision even more and it becomes about the money.” He understands this to be an influence of working with a major label – with which, as a band, he has not had the most rewarding experiences. But now that the band is on Vagrant Records there is a feeling of security and “the people that work there are trustworthy, they care about music.”
As a band, David hopes that there will be no more contract changes and a musical repertoire that continues to build; when asked where he envisions the band in five years he couldn’t answer. “That’s so totally up in the air. I’d love to still be doing this and I have my hopes, but I would be foolish to say that I know we’re still going to be a band. Things change all the time. Who knows? In a perfect world we’ll be putting out our second album after this one.”
The new album is amazing – devour it and immerse yourself in the cover art.