Heckler Magazine's Interview with Chris Conley
Interview with Chris Conley
Heckler Music Saves the Day by Brad Oates
There is nothing that pisses me off more than a backseat driver. Sure, if your driver is falling asleep at the wheel, having a heart attack, or vomiting out the window uncontrollably to the point where it may affect his driving capabilities, by all means, please make a comment. Besides that, have a little faith and trust in your driver, seat belt, and airbag. Chris Conley, lead singer of Saves the Day is a backseat driver. He's worse than my mother. Every bend, bump, or turn in the road and Chris was bitching and moaning about my driving skills. He's a singer in a great East Coast melodic punk band who has released two phenomenal albums, so if he wants to talk shit about my musical prowess, by all means go ahead. But to this day I have yet to roll, flip, or self-destruct a car in any way. So please, keep comments about my drinking to yourself. Chris was paranoid, and no, I wasn't driving around scoring drugs for the band, or getting brown M&M's we were on our way to the natural foods Co-op. I guess Chris forgot that song he wrote on their last album, "Through Being Cool" called "Shoulder to the Wheel" about speeding and rocking out to Queen. What a phony. The next time you see Chris, tell him to get a fucking bike and stop his whining. Also tell him we're tired of waiting for him to get his act together and get over to Trax East and record their third album with Steve "I'm Still Metal" Evetts. When that occurs maybe then they can get a real limousine driver and a Lear jet to fly them, and all their model girlfriends, around the world in. ___________ (Insert name of your city here) are you ready to rock?
You went to NYU, huh? Chris: Yeah, Bryan and I went to NYU for a year.
What happened there? It was fun, we just couldn't do the band as much as we wanted too. The academics are really great, but it's tough meeting people. I am really shy though, so I met three people the entire year.
What were you studying? Mostly creative writing for me, Bryan was into photography.
You guys are from New Jersey, but I don't even know what town. Princeton.
I heard that you guys got a lot of slack because you don't have some fucked up dysfunctional background and you come from rather comfortable upbringings. Most rock musicians are tortured artists. Are any of you tortured? I would say no. A number of us are really neurotic, Eben definitely has some obsessive-compulsive disorders. He keeps wet naps in the van so he can cleanse himself a lot. I thought you guys had a lot of balls for putting out that whole acoustic EP, "I'm Sorry I'm Leaving". On the first record there was one acoustic song, and people liked it. Sean at Immigrant Sun approached us about doing an entirely acoustic related release. So we did it.
When did the band start? Before there was S.T.D we were a band called Sefler. S.T.D. officially started in April 1997. We were all 17.
Things have moved smoothly for you guys. How did you hook up with Vagrant Records? We just didn't want to take a step to a major label yet. Vagrant called us the day "Through Being Cool" came out, and we talked with them for a while, and then when things got serious they flew us out to California and we eventually signed with them. You might get more groupies if you're on a major. Dude, we get enough chicks already.
What was it like being the black sheep melodic punk band on a hardcore label? It was kind of weird. It was really good at first, and I can definitely say we wouldn't be at this point if we didn't start in the hardcore scene. The hardcore scene is lots of underground networking. You can tour with tons of bands and play because there are fans out there. If we were just a rock band it wouldn't have happened. We wouldn't have been able to tour and would have had to play bars or something. (Car banks around an off-ramp.) Oh Jesus! You are not a fucking safe driver.
Yeah, didn't you guys get in a bad accident last year on tour? Yeah, that was terrible. Your driving makes me nervous.
My driving is that fucking bad? You're really fast and erratic, dude. Anyway, I don't give a fuck right now. Yeah, the crash was pretty shitty. It was an amazing experience though. Dude you are freaking me out! I am definitely not sitting shotgun next time. It seems almost like a rite of passage for young bands. Before you make it big you've got to, at least, roll one van. We're out on the road 6 months of the year or more, so we've got a lot of opportunities for crashing and burning.
Did they tell you to take the rest of the tour off? No one told us to stay home, because we're trying to make the record companies money. They'll do anything they can to keep you playing. We never really considered going home. I mean it was just a broken tooth, broken nose, broken collarbone, and a destroyed van.
I am driving a stick and holding a mini-recorder while I conduct interview . At the same time I am looking for a store on a street I only know vaguely. Some aspect at this structure has to lax and if is's my driving, so be it.) Lyrically, you make up a bunch of your shit don't you? A lot of it's fictionalized. It's probably 60/40 fact over fiction. The most important part is that the messages are universal. It's more the feeling than just the songs. It's a little different on the new record we've been working on.
How is that going? It's going really well. We've got a bunch of songs written. We've got enough good songs to fill an album. I know you do most of the music. I do all the music.
Do you have a designated time when you write or does it just flow to you? I'll get an idea in my head and hopefully I write it down before I forget it. Or if I am bummed out that's usually a good time to write. I definitely am noticing a more female oriented audience than I've ever seen before coming out to punk and hardcore shows. I just think punk and hardcore music is turning into something different. There are more pop sensibilities in the music now. If it's more accessible it's going to draw more people and get out there to more people. Then there will be more girls and more boys. You notice girls more at a punk/hardcore show, though. It's rad, better than a bunch of stupid male aggression. Yeah, that's fucking lame. Moshing is the funniest thing in the entire world. Imagine walking on a sidewalk and seeing a mosh pit in a field-just a mosh pit. People just running into each other. I mean, how completely idiotic. I guess if it's fun for them, then it's fun for them. I am not anybody to say what you can and cannot do.
You guys ever bro down and go snowboarding? Yeah, Bryan and Kevin do.
You mean the guy in my back seat who has been on the cell phone since we started rollin'? Yeah, that would be our drummer.
Who is he talking to? Probably a friend of ours named Ben Gairto.
How is Ben, Bryan? Is he good? Bryan: No, he's pissed off.
Why did you get into music? Music is one of the most important art forms. The weird thing is I don't like listening to music that much, I just like playing it.