Saves The Day

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It is undeniable that emo-punk legacy Save The Day have had a few rough spots over the past few years but since I'€™ve been able to talk to the band dating back to February of 2010 the band is at the point where they are about to release the much anticipated third record to the trilogy that has been the last two records Sound The Alarm and Under The Boards with Daybreak.

Through my time with the band they have been at work on the record as a quartet with Chris on vocals, Arun, Rodrigo and Claudio who is the most recent addition on drums. Unfortunately, in the middle of recording Daybreak their old drummer announced his departure and Claudio stepped into make the record the band one hundred percent wanted to make. It'€™s a record where we'€™re back to happy lyrics and songs which is something that unfortunately has been missing for a long while for the band and will definitely be a treat for fans. Our most recent interview just went down with lead vocalist Chris Conley last night in Providence during their time co headlining with The Get Up Kids and we talked in full about how he tied the lyrics of the previous two records together on Daybreak to their signing with Razor and Tie and what is to come in the future for the band this year!

It'€™s always a pleasure to sit down with this incredibly talented group of musicians and you'€™ll be hearing about them a whole lot this year so definitely check them out!

Last time we talked was during the tour with Say Anything and you said you had been writing like '€œhappy'€ songs or with happier themes so how was that? Like how did that feel after having some rough years?
Yeah it'€™s so good. It feels so good like I finally feel alive again and not just at war with myself and angry at the world and I think it was something I really had to do. Especially when I became a father. I realized that I didn'€™t want to have an unhealthy relationship with the world because then my daughter would just look at me as an example and I noticed that there is so much anger in the world and confusion and pain and I didn'€™t want to lend a hand in that. I want to lend a hand in helping the world get better. So I think the best thing that I could have done was try to resurrect my heart and writing the music for Daybreak was such a joy because I was starting to thaw. I really was just feeling okay with who I am. I'€™m much more at peace with how the world is. Even though it is a painful place and it is sad. You know I was able to dig myself out of a hole and come back to life so it was an important journey for me as a person and it was fun to reflect back in songs. Usually the music that I write is coming out of my internal experiences and so where that music sounded sort of raw and desperate in the past, it'€™s because I was feeling raw and desperate inside and so I think it will be nice for our fans to hear this music that'€™s a sigh of relief. So I'€™m really proud of it.

That'€™s what I was going to ask actually. I know it'€™s coming out in September and it'€™s coming out on a label. Everything'€™s coming together finally so maybe like what are you most looking forward to with having this record finally good to go and being the trilogy finale?
I think I'€™m most excited about sharing that experience of coming back to life with our fans because they'€™ve connected with my lyrics over the years. Because of the cathartic nature of the words, where I don'€™t hold back and I talk about exactly what'€™s going on inside and I think so many of them also have felt neglected and rejected by the world. So I feel excited to share my thoughts in a way and I'€™m also quite excited about taking the album on tour because the new songs are really fun to play and some of them are really emotional. I mean I teared up on stage the other night playing the last song '€œUndress Me'€ and I feel lucky that I have these guys in the band that are my friends. They'€™re supportive and they encourage me and it doesn'€™t feel like a struggle within the band. It feels like we'€™re all doing it together and we'€™re sort of united for the first time and that'€™s a gift to me because I'€™ve had to weather the storms with in the band as well as the storms within my heart. I think that'€™s because I never wanted to be a commercial artist. I just like writing music and so I think that'€™s been hard for the guys in the band as we go through the lean years. You know where they'€™re counting on me to write music that will make the band some sort of an income so that they can live and where as I'€™m telling them '€™You know what guys? I'€™m not doing it for that'€™ and if I have to go and get a job eventually, that'€™s okay with me. I finally have a band that feels the same way. They'€™d rather make music that they want to make and music that is inspiring to them instead of trying to make a paycheck. So I'€™m really thrilled about taking the album out on the road with these guys and I feel like this is the best the band has ever been. I think it'€™s easily the last line up that the band will ever have to go through. I love playing with them.
Is it still Rodrigo and Claudio and Arun?
Yes.
Oh yeah!
I just love them.
I'€™m glad it'€™s going well and still have these guys with you.
Thank you!

And then obviously, you'€™re probably constantly writing, but are you already writing like songs that aren'€™t on Daybreak?
Yeah I am always writing. Whether it'€™s just a melody that pops into my head and I'€™m walking down the street and I notice that it'€™s there, I sing it into my phone and then put it away for later or if I just happen to be playing the guitar and my hands do something that'€™s kind of neat that I'€™ve never noticed before '€™Oh wow that'€™s cool'€™ well I'€™ll record that and just put it away but I was so focused on Daybreak that I knew the songs that needed to be on Daybreak and so any time a song would come up I just put it away. So there'€™s hundreds of songs kicking around. When I go home, I'€™ll continue coming up with new songs. Just because it'€™s what I do. It'€™s just fun! Like playing with toys as a kid and so when it comes time to make another album, there will be a million songs for us to sort through and try to find ones that we'€™re most excited about.

Perfect and then every time I'€™ve talked to you in the past, it'€™s been while you'€™ve been playing as support for some one else. First it was New Found Glory then Say Anything. Now that you'€™re co headlining and you'€™re playing huge rooms and they'€™re selling out, how does that feel to be finally back in a headlining position again?
Oh it'€™s awesome! It feels so good to have the fans right there with us supporting us and having a great time every night. It was hard supporting only because we had to play for forty five minutes a night and we have a hundred plus songs and it'€™s really a hard time selecting the songs to play every night because I want to play everything. If it were up to me, we'€™d play like fifty songs a night. That'€™s how I would prefer it. You know play for two hours every night. Give everybody every song they want to hear. So now that we get to headline, it'€™s thrilling to get to play for an hour and a half so we get to do nearly thirty songs every night and that is so much fun. To see the fans getting into all the songs that we'€™re playing that we haven'€™t done in a while is great.
It makes me happy you guys seem to be in a really great spot.
It'€™s a really good time for Saves The Day. It'€™s a good time for me as a person. I do feel like I'€™m back to life.
Aw good things!
Yeah it'€™s really good things.

Perfect and then obviously there are two records before Daybreak in the trilogy. I know you initially went into it doing a three part series. Are you happy with how the story went?
Yeah! It was a challenge to make the themes come together on Daybreak and it was a bit like working on a screenplay because I had to take different sort of emotional expressions that occurred on these albums and make them make sense on Daybreak so it was an intellectual project as well. What was fun about it was the actual process. What I did was I put all the lyrics from the first two albums on a chart and I highlighted the important parts that I wanted to address in Daybreak and I made lines or connections between different sections from Sound the Alarm and Under The Boards and would write in the margins '€™Okay this needs to resolve itself'€™ and '€™this emotion that was expressed up here needs to become fully realized on Daybreak'€™ and understand more fully where as on Sound The Alarm, it was really just me expressing anger and confusion. On Daybreak, I needed to consciously understand why I felt so angry and to analyze that was sort of therapeutic. So as I was highlighting things and writing the important lyrics, I was keeping a journal full of the ideas for Daybreak and anytime I just made a connection I would jot it down in my journal. So when I was working on the lyrics for Daybreak it was like putting the puzzle together and that was fun. That never worked so conceptually. I mean a three album arc is quite a undertaking and I mean it took five years so it was a big piece to work on and I'€™m thrilled with how it tied all up the loose ends. I feel like I did a great job making it make sense and the fans that have heard it so far have said that Sound the Alarm and Under The Boards to them seem more clear now. They understand why it was such a desperate release and they'€™re excited that it feels like coming home on Daybreak. It'€™s cool, it'€™s fun!

I wanted to ask you, obviously a few songs have come out, and my favorite so far is '€œLiving Without Love'€.
Oooh thank you!
Welcome! I wanted to ask you how that song came about. I know you said you were tying together lyrics.
Lyrically or just the composition? Both?
The whole entity.
That song was one of the melodies that just showed up in my head one day and we were on tour with Alkaline Trio. I woke up and it was just kind of tumbling around in my head. So I went out to the van and we were snowed in some where and I went out to the van with the guitar and just started working on it in the van and developing the melody more. So it started out just as a echo of a song in my mind and then I got the guitar and I sort of figured out what chords complement the melody and the song just took shape really quickly. Just sitting there in the van it sort of all just fell out of me so to speak. Poured out and then I had the song and at first it was a much slower song and I expected it to be sort of a piano ballad and then as Arun and I were recording demo'€™s for Daybreak in 2009 we noticed that we had a lot of mid tempo songs and we thought it would be kind of fun to speed one of these songs up and make it like a Motown song and '€™Living Without Love'€™ seemed like the perfect song to speed up and sure enough when we played it much faster it just came to life and the lyrics came later. For me the lyrics of the whole trilogy start to come together on '€™Living Without Love'€™. That'€™s the song that illustrates the turning point where I start to accept things as they are and there'€™s a realization that I don'€™t want to be this negative person with wounds in my heart and now it'€™s not all a waste of time. It'€™s not something that like experienced all the pain. It'€™s not something that'€™s not supposed to be. It'€™s okay the way it is and I'€™m going to learn how to live with it and the line living with out love refers to living with a heart that'€™s full of anger. So saying living with out love is not the life that I need and I say no more tomorrow which just means no more thinking about the future or worrying about the future. No morning it'€™s a mourning with a u so it'€™s no more thinking about things that have happened that are out of my control and now it'€™s all up to me. To me, that'€™s the realization that the entire trilogy was leading towards was recognizing that my life is in this moment and it'€™s not somewhere in the future and it'€™s not somewhere in the past and it'€™s up to me to make that a reality. So I'€™m glad you like that one.

Then you as it is known signed to Razor & Tie for the new record. How did that signing come about?
Well we were just playing the album for a lot of labels and the people at Razor & Tie just seemed so passionate about working with Saves The Day and there are a lot of Saves The Day fans there and they seem like giddy to get the opportunity to work with a band that they love so much and so that was exciting. Then we met them and it seemed like not only were we peers, we'€™re sort of the same age. They'€™re a younger label but they also have this enthusiasm and they believe in the history of the band and they believe in our future so they easily felt like the right place because of their passion. We felt really good about making that choice ever since because they have been working so hard and they really care about the band.
Everything seems to be really shaping up. I'€˜m excited for you guys.
Yeah I'€™m jazzed! Totally jazzed!

Like ready to roll! This past year obviously you'€™ve really reimmersed yourself in national touring. I know this tour is like the East coast and kind of mid west but I mean you did the Say Anything tour, the New Found Glory tour, you'€™ve been constantly touring. What'€™s maybe the biggest thing that you'€™ve learned in that time? I know you'€™ve had Claudio recently but you'€™ve been with Arun and Rodrigo for a really long time now.
Right, exactly. The biggest thing I learned is that I'€™m so lucky to have such a loyal fan base because in all of that time we didn'€™t have any new material that was released and typically these days, for a band to even consider going on the road and spending money to go on the road it'€™s a lot of work to get a band to get on the road and it costs a lot for a band to even consider it. You would have to have mostly a new release that you'€™re promoting and trying to sell something and I realized that we kept getting offers to come out on tour just based on our legacy. Based on being a band that writes good songs and works hard and a band that cares about their fans and so I just felt so lucky. Any time we got offered a tour I realized that it was rare to get offered a tour when you don'€™t have a new album out. Sort of the marketing craze of the record industry now it'€™s all about pushing new units, moving units and selling product so I realized that we are one of the luckiest bands right now because it'€™s just the quality of our music and not the product. So I feel blessed.

Well good! Then obviously you have the record out in September but do you think you'€™re going to take a little break from the road, keep on pushing the record?
We have this tour then we'€™re doing a couple one offs here and there and then we'€™re going to go out in the fall for six weeks.
Oh yeah I'€™ve heard some rumors but I know you don'€™t want to say.
Yeah they told us not to tell but I can say we'€™re going to be on tour for a long time and then we'€™re going overseas in late fall so we'€™re going to do a month in Europe and then when that'€™s done we'€™ll probably have maybe the holidays off and then do a headlining tour hopefully in the spring and then see what happens next summer then it will be time to make some new music.
Like start writing some new stuff.
Yeah now I have a band that'€™s solid and they'€™re not going anywhere so I can say with confidence that we will not have a break like we did for this in the near future.
Going to keep on going.
Yeah.

Obviously maybe this is a sour point but I know that Spencer was in our first interview. How long has Claudio been in the band?
Claudio joined while we were finishing Daybreak. When we were making Daybreak, about a month after we tracked drums Spencer told us he was leaving for Black Cards.
Sorry but that was a terrible decision on his part.
Well I realized that he thought that it was a good decision for his career. The longevity of his career. It'€™s pretty fair when you think that Fall Out Boy sold millions of records. Millions worldwide and Saves The Day has sold like maybe four or five hundred thousand total over six albums so far. Nothing compared to their mega stardom and I don'€™t think it matters to him that Fall Out Boy originated as two separate Saves The Day cover bands.
Is that really how it started?
Yeah it started in Chicago with two different Saves The Day cover bands. They auditioned Patrick Stump to get into the band. He was in the other group and they wanted him to be their singer so they auditioned him to get into their band by making him play and sing '€˜Through Being Cool'€™ in its'€™ entirety in front of them. So that'€™s how Fall Out Boy started. I don'€™t think it mattered to Spencer. Just mattered that they had a lot of success and I totally understand from his point of view that that was the right move and so he quit in the middle of that album. We realized okay what are we going to do. Well we'€™re making this record. This is the album we want to make and there'€™s no going back. We were fortunate enough to know Claudio and we asked him to come to the studio and we played together and we clicked. Immediately as musicians and we asked him to track all the percussions on the album because we wanted to see what it would be like working with him in a creative environment and we wanted to see what his attitude would be like in the studio. Because of working in a pressurized work space and if you'€™re not the right kind of personality, it can be tense and Claudio was so great in the studio. Really, really professional. He'€™s got an incredible, intuitive sense of rhythm and he was really fun to have around. Come June or July, that would be a year so now that this our second tour together and we'€™ve had an opportunity to be together in the studio we know that he'€™s the right guy. We love him to death. He'€™s a really smart person so we can have good conversations too.
So this record is all four of you on the record?
Well Spencer played the drums. The full kit and then Claudio did all the percussion and the extra toms, shakers, tambourines and anything else that we asked him to do and he did it all flawlessly. So I couldn'€™t be happier. He'€™s my kind of drummer. He plays in a simple way and he doesn'€™t crowd the song and he doesn'€™t try to prove himself because he already knows that he'€™s great and that'€™s a mature musician and rare to find. A lot of musicians want to show you how good they are but Claudio knows that it'€™s about the song and it'€™s about the vocals and the words for most people and he doesn'€™t want to get in the way and he'€™s a team player. So, that'€™s great!

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