Saves the Day deals with new popularity, keeps musical autonomy

Interview with David Soloway

The Digital Collegian

[ Friday, Feb. 8, 2002 ]

Saves the Day deals with new popularity, keeps musical autonomy

By Caralyn Green

Collegian Staff Writer

Just about everything is up in the air for David Soloway.

Instead of complaining, he's thrilled.

"All plans are tentative, because there's the chance that something amazing could happen," said Soloway, a guitarist for Saves the Day, one of the bands opening for Tuesday's concert at The Bryce Jordan Center, which Weezer is headlining.

With three albums and an EP released in the past five years, a hit single, and a growing fan base, their upcoming tour with Weezer isn't the only amazing experience for Saves the Day, a group of five guys under 23 who some are calling the leaders of the "emo revolution."

Soloway dislikes the emo categorization though, which refers to a style of personal and intimate lyrics set to punk tunes.

"It means nothing to me," he proclaimed. "(Our music) is 'music.' We didn't decide to be an emo punk band. We just wanted to be a band and play music. Labels are to market and sell and explain."

Soloway casually mentioned that the band shared this sentiment with MTV during a recent interview. He played cool, but Soloway was definitely delighted to be able to discuss the MTV interview so nonchalantly. Although Saves the Day is embarking upon an arena tour and "At Your Funeral," from their 2001 release Stay What You Are, is an MTV2 staple, Soloway insisted that the band has not and will not ever sell out.

"Selling out is when you compromise your integrity. We made the decision not to do that. We want to be proud of the decisions we made."

In "keeping (their) wits," as Soloway said, Saves the Day turned down an interview with Teen People magazine, a publicity opportunity that most bands would enjoy. The magazine goes against Saves the Day's beliefs, propagating ideas that the band doesn't support, said Soloway.

Soloway associated selling out with "let(ting) someone else write your first single so you can get as big as you can as fast as you can."

Saves the Day refused to follow that easy road to success.

Chris Conley writes the lyrics and the other four band members work on musical arrangements. While Conley performs vocals, Soloway and Ted Alexander back him on guitar, Eben D'Amico provides the bass, and Bryan Newman supplies the drumbeat.

"Being young is a double-edged sword," said Soloway of the band's average age of 21. "People think you're naive. We are more naive than other bands, but not as naive as we were."

After just three years of being with Saves the Day, Soloway can see himself in the music business forever. However, he said, "I try not to have too many expectations. That's how you get let down."

Since the band's formation as New Jersey high school students, Saves the Day has developed an increasing fan-base.

"All fans expect and get different things out of our music," said Soloway.

He then referred to the "die-hard fans" ?? "(They) have been with us since the beginning and get upset when they find out that we play in arenas and see our video on MTV. They want us to be 'their' band."

Soloway called these fans "kind of selfish" but forgives them. "I used to hate it when bands I liked got popular," he laughed.

Saves the Day is delighted to be playing with enormously popular Weezer, though.

"Bigger bands want to take us on tour with them. It's great. Our goal is to get more out to people," Soloway said.

"We're a little nervous and anxious about playing in arenas though," he meekly admitted about performing in venues that are massive compared to their usual smaller shows.

But their days of small, intimate concerts seem to be coming to an end.