Dave Saves the Day. Again.
Interview with David Soloway
Dave Saves the Day. Again.
It had been about a year and a half since my last interview with David Soloway and I arrived at Saves the Day's Burlington show with high hopes for a follow up. So you can imagine my excitement when Dave came outside for a smoke, pointed at me, and said, "Hey! I know you!" I responded with, "I'm so glad you smoke!" Then we headed to the bus for a little QandA.
Alright, so you're back on the road after a bit of a break how is this tour going?
Being as holed up as we were for as long as we were kind of had to forget about everything else that goes on besides just the songs, and concentrate on the relationship that we have with each other as people. That was kind of a necessity of actually being able to make this record, and make it as good as we knew we had to make it, in order to keep doing it. And so that meant that we kind of didn't have any expectations coming out here. We didn't know how people were going to respond, we didn't know what songs people wanted to hear, we didn't know anything. We were just like, 'ok! Let's try and figure out what to do on tour again!' You know, it kind of felt like starting from scratch. And the first show was amazing. And I can honestly say we've never had as much fun as we're having. Ever.
Wow! How long have you been out now? On the road?
A week and a bit. A week and two days.
Ok, you guys have been busy in the studio working on the next album, of which we have already heard raving reviews from Mike (Poorman, ex-Hot Rod Circuit). And we actually heard some new material from it tonight. What was that song?
That song was called "The End" I don't know what to say. I'd say it's representative of the record. In many ways it's the darkest record we've ever done, besides Can't Slow Down. Can't Slow Down, people, at least what I take from that, is people really took to the honesty in the lyrics. Chris was a teenager, grappling with being a teenager, and he was just really eloquent in expressing that, and that's what people gravitated towards, I think. And then you know, as you grow up / get success at what you're doing, it gets harder and harder to pay attention, or focus on what's really true about yourself, and how you can synthesize this need to be true to yourself with this need to create what people are going to want to hear. And that's something that all bands go through, whether they admit it or not. And that's what this record is all about. What are we actually about? What is Saves the Day, what do we do? And that's the record. It was hard. I mean, it took a whole year to get it all done.
It felt definitely reminiscent of Can't Slow Down, like how fast, I was like, 'oh it's back to the days of Lifetime, this is great!'
Yeah, the songs are definitely fast. I use the word 'compulsive' a lot when I talk about this record. This whole last year, there was kind of just one way to do it, and that was the way we did it. And we were either going to do something that was entirely honest and integral, or we weren't really going to do anything. Because we've had our moments as a band where people were like, 'oh you know what actually I'll just keep my mouth shut about that.' And this record was a process of every person clawing and scratching at every idea that they didn't agree with until everybody agreed. And that's the only way it was ever going to happen, I think.
Ok, when I last spoke to you this album was still in the stage of vague plans. And at that time you said that the reaction to 'In Reverie' had really motivated you to make more new music. How did that reaction affect the direction that you ended up taking?
Well, I could answer that question lots of different ways. I guess it provided a lot of fuel for reflection. And it really gave us a lot of information to think about. I mean, we're one of the lucky bands. The fact that we're still here, ever since the first record came out almost ten years ago, I mean we must be doing something right. And we knew that to some degree, whether we agreed with the response that every single kid had to our record or not, we knew that something had changed, in a way that we needed to pay attention to. And every person in the band, just like every fan, had their own opinion about what that is and what that meant. But it was really the first time we had to take a step back, ya know? I mean, we got dropped from our label. We had to be like, wait a second, what are we doing? Not like, let's cover up our tracks and make sure no one saw it. No, we made that record, and we thought we were doing the right thing, and we still think we're doing the right thing, because if we hadn't done that, we wouldn't have I don't know. You know how sometimes you're dating someone and you really like him a lot, but there's just something that's not all there? And then you break up with him and all of a sudden he starts being really nice to you? Because he realized what he was missing? Has that happened to you? It's kind of like that, I guess. You don't know what you have until it's gone type of thing. Not that it was gone, and I know there are a ton of people who love 'In Reverie'.
Yeah, it was good to see a good reaction to those songs tonight when they were included with the older ones.
Yeah, we know that they are important songs.
So did you get a chance to see Mike's studio yet?
No, no we didn't.
Alright, well I was wondering what it is like catching up with former label-mates who are now kind of retired from the whole touring thing.
It's an interesting thing that happens when you are in a touring band for many many years. Not everybody that started when you did is still doing it. I'm just glad that the people that I enjoy spending time with I still get to see every once in a while.
Which label will this newest album be released on?
You don't know? So you don't know when, either?
We have no idea. We paid for this record ourselves, and it isn't even mixed yet right now, although it will probably be mixed by the time people are reading this, but yeah we really don't know. We're hoping to get the record out definitely before springs over. We have touring plans for next year already, and obviously the record is going to be done, so of course we want it out. I mean, that was really one of the more important lessons we learned with the last record was what we didn't want on the business end. I mean we spent however many tens of thousands of dollars on a video that really didn't get played that much, you know? And sure it's important to do those things. And if everybody's making videos, and everybody's pushing singles, then if you don't do it you're kind of shooting yourself in the foot a little bit. I feel like we really understand now that there's something to be said for paying attention to what you care about as a band. And just forgetting about whatever it is that the business people think you should care about. I mean we're really just looking for the right business people to have some excitement in their eyes, you know, when we're meeting with them? As opposed to just talking like, 'oh the kids were going nuts at this show.' You know, anybody can say that. Anybody can say, 'you guys have sold a lot of records in your career so this is a great bet for us.' That's just not going to help us. We're looking for people that understand what we're doing, obviously it can't be exactly as we understand it, but as close to how we understand it as possible. We're kind of tightening our reigns a little bit, around everything we do now. And we all have a very strong need to have a sense of control over everything we're doing now. So hopefully the right people are out there to do it with.
So there's been even more lineup changes since I last spoke to you. Which must, at least in some way influence the band, so I was wondering, since Saves the Day can no longer be defined by its members, what would you say defines the band?
Well, obviously the answer is Chris. I definitely think that the music we write together is a huge part of what makes us unique, but without the eloquence that Chris puts all of his ideas to, I don't think we would be quite as special. I mean, I think another big part of it now, especially, as far as member changes like you said, I mean every single person that's left we've had now eleven people in the band total over the years, and every single time that someone has left the band it has been because the collective consciousness was clashing with that person's individual ideas, about how anything should go. Whether it was everything or just one thing. Now we have a group of people that we all agree, we're all on the same page about what we want to do, and instead of having to put so much energy into agreeing with each other, now all we have to do is, like I said, find people who run labels to agree with us, or our manager, or our booking agent or whatever. And that's something that I get a sense of from a lot of bands out there, is that there's a lot of confusion that goes on a lot of the time because the actual unit, the band, is conflicted. And having that out of the way is a huge relief now. And so I think that's also something that sets us apart now.
And the new bass player is from Glassjaw?
Yeah he's played in Glassjaw, he's played in tons of bands. Yeah his name is Manny Parrero and he's just great. That's all I have to say.
I know that you were disappointed about having to do more delegation of responsibilities when you were at DreamWorks. Has the band taken more power into their own hands since then?
Well, yeah, I mean we don't have a label now! I mean we didn't even get Manny on board until two weeks or three weeks before we left for tour. We wrote the record with Chris playing guitar and me playing bass and Pete playing drums. It was just the three of us! Just writing, and arranging, and rearranging, and rearranging, for eight months or so. And so yeah, there was no other input. And then we had Steve our producer come out, and then Manny. And that's it. There's five people's input on that record.
In our last interview you mentioned that you guys often discussed the difference between artists vs. entertainers. Who do you respect in today's music scene for their abilities as an artist?
Good question. I'm going to have a hard time answering it because I haven't been listening to any new music for the past year. Really at all. I mean I really kind of stopped listening to music in general. I know a lot of people when they're working on their music, they really put their antennae out and kind of absorb things and that's what gets their juices flowing. And that's just not how I am. I didn't even know what Chris and Pete were doing because everything's on headphones. But I really can't say any new bands. I mean, I think Emmanuel are great. I love them. I had never heard them before and, as you know, they were added onto this tour at the last minute because Say Anything had to drop off, and I'm just so glad they're here. They're twenty-one years old and they know what they're doing and it's just really cool to see.
We kind of already touched on this but future plans for the band?
Well, there are business plans, but really the only real plan that I think we have set in stone is that we have fun. That's really it. That's kind of the whole well I have a new motto now [laughs]. Which I hope doesn't fail me! Which is to have fun first, and play well later. Because we've spent so much time over the years just trying to take pride in being a good band, you know, like play our instruments well, and at a certain point it just stopped mattering as much. Not that we don't play well still, because I do think we play well, but not caring so much about playing well really allows the fun part to happen more. Plus, I mean, we didn't quit school to play well in a band, we quit school to have fun in a band! In part we're doing this for all the people who can't do it. I mean there can only be so many bands making money at it. And we're very very aware of the element of providing something for lots of people that can't have it. I mean, my favorite thing to do is to talk to kids that have bands that are trying to make it happen, you know trying to keep them motivated.
Ok, we've already asked you what knife you would bring to a knifeparty but
I don't even remember what I said last time [laughs]!
Ok, well we'll ask you again and see if you say the same thing then!
Um, well, I'm going to go out on a limb just because since I haven't had a home in a long time and whenever I do have a home I always have pets, so I would bring a knife fish. I bet you haven't gotten that answer before!
Whoa, no, we definitely have not. Last time it was butter knife and this is definitely more exciting!
Butter knife! I thought that's what I had said! Yeah, I would bring a knife fish and then I guess we would cut it up and eat it with the other knives? Although they're really small and they don't taste that good probably.