'The Heart of Rock Still Beats'
Southern California quintet Saosin are one of the fastest-growing headliners in rock – earning mainstage slots on the Vans Warped Tour, selling out clubs in a flash, going out with heavyweights like AFI, Avenged Sevenfold, My Chemical Romance and Taking Back Sunday and garnering an ocean of fans who’ve downloaded their songs from MySpace over five million times – all before they’ve released a full-length album.
That has all changed now with the Capitol Records release of their self-titled debut. As your average Saosin fan (and there are legions) will be quick to point out, the wait was a considerable one. “We were waiting until the songs were right,” says frontman Cove Reber with some understatement.
It’s been three years since word of the band’s full-length debut first surfaced, and in that time a lot has changed within the music scene from which they originally emerged and within the band itself.
Seemingly overnight, stylized bands playing strains of melodic post-hardcore have sailed up the pop charts. But for Saosin -- Reber, bassist Chris Sorenson, drummer Alex Rodriguez, and guitarists Beau Burchell and Justin Shekoski -- things have played out a bit differently. During the scene’s ascension, the band’s members have all but shunned the idea of a genre tag or an “image” -- unless, of course, you count the jeans and t-shirts they soak in sweat every night onstage -- and have instead focused their energies on making an album that will live or die strictly on musical merits.
It seems that throughout your press you are being labeled as the 'fastest-growing headliners in rock.' But, is there a danger in obtaining stardom sooner rather than later, perhaps? Cove Reber - "I don’t think we are necessarily obtaining stardom. I am happy with being known as five dudes who play music for the love of it. I don't think there is a danger in that mentality. We don’t have rockstar" mentalities. I think if kids go on to our message board and read our interviews and come see us play, they will gain a better knowledge of who we are as people and what we are all about. I don't really care if we get labeled as rockstars."
With you debut self-titled album now out, why was there such a wait to get it into the hands of your fans? "It was a mixture of a ton of things. We had so many great touring opportunities that we just couldn’t pass up. That is the number one thing. Our second biggest issue was the fact that every single one of us says "that sucks" to every idea that each one of us throws out."
"That really delays the writing process, but we feel that if we can get it to where all of us can agree that every single 36th note of every song is good, then we will be happy. Those two "problems" delayed the record. I’m sorry if you are bummed about it. But hey, it's out now! Go buy it!!"
And why the self-title? Was there a reason behind it as opposed to actually entitling it something cool or weird?! "The reason for the self titled is the exact same reason for the delay of the record. All the ideas that were thrown out to one another were most always instantly shot down with a "No, That Sucks"."
For those out there that wish to buy your debut CD but have not heard of you, how would you yourselves describe your sound? "Our songs are really well structured songs and extremely melodic. Our songs are all really riff driven and yet the vocals are really strong and powerful even when you would imagine the guitars to just outshine everything. Our music is pretty dark sounding, but the vocals and the melodies give a sense of hope to the listener."
Tell me about your craziest touring experience to date thus far! "The craziest touring experience. Well.... To me there hasn’t been a ton of "crazy" times, but I guess if there was someone who had never been on tour or seen the back stage they would probably find us crazy.
There has been some funny moments and things that have happened this tour. Beau and Timmy from UNDEROATH shared the same show shirt for a week or so, and that was just disgusting. Chris has been eating anything and everything that he hasn’t tried. He’s eaten some of the most fowl catering I have ever seen. I think everything tastes like chicken to him. hahahaha."
OK, just where does the name Saosin originate from anyway?! "Saosin is a Chinese proverb that means love with caution cause nothing lasts forever. The literal translation is be careful."
Chris Sorenson has been quoted as saying, 'This record is going to take us places,' but which places was he referring to?! "I think that is something he would have to answer for you. But I think that this record has really unified our band in a lot of ways. We feel much stronger and tighter as a unit instead of it being a situation like four musicians and a singer. We definitely feel like the world is at our fingertips and we are ready to take it on."
"Shoot! I'm doing this interview in Berlin. Our goal as a band is definitely to tour and tour and tour and tour. We want to share our music with as many people as we can, not only in the USA but around the globe."
Aside from incoming and outgoing band members, how would you say the band has grown or changed since 2003? "The band has become a much stronger and we are much more confident in walking down new roads and trying new things not only as a band, but as writers and as people."
If you could cover, in your own style, any (cheesy) '80s pop song which would it be ... and why?! "'Dont Stop Believin' by Journey ... HANDS DOWN! That song would be it!"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
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