Uniservity's Interview with Saves the Day
Interview with Multiple
Uniservity | Amy Dalgleish interview// saves the day
"Life is pretty bitter. I mean it's not bitter like terrible, but it's bitter like everything dies. It's not like fatalistic or even pessimistic it's just that's how I see life. Like that almost defines things in life, like there wouldn't be flowers if the flowers didn't die. Do you know what I mean? It's just like the other side of it. There's life and then there's not life." Chris Conley, singer and front man for the New Jersey band, Saves the Day. Despite what that opening quote suggests, Chris is actually an extremely upbeat and seemingly content person. The questions that I fire at him are obviously those of a fan, and Chris seems pleased with this fact and indulges me in my little fantasy by answering everything I ask with very straight forward answers. I want to know the things any fan would want to know.
Saves the Day are an extremely young band for the success that they have achieved. The average age being only 22. Chris was 16 when he started the band, the other members in the line-up remaining today were just 18.
"I'm glad that we got to start young. It's a little weird sometimes. I know a lot of people have preconceived thoughts about us because we're so young, but, we've been doing it for a while and we're not as young as we used to be" remarks Eben, the bassist, "I mean even I would sympathise, not really looking down on a band, but just taking note of the fact that they're doing well and they're really young. There's always the sentiment of "oh this band, they don't know what they're doing. They're little kids", but I hope we've proved them wrong".
Saves the Day certainly have done this, with an ever-increasing popularity among the "emo" scene with every record they put out. "I don't really consider us a big band. Even if the majority of the people in the world knew who we were I still wouldn't consider us a big band. It's just that kind of mentality." sighs Chris.
And as for being labelled an "emo" band? "It's not even that we can't stand it; it's just that it's such a broad term. Two bands that are called "emo" could be completely different sounding. But if I were to describe our music I would probably say that it is pop music with loud guitars!" exclaims Eben.
Saves the Day started out by getting signed to Equal Vision Records. It really is true that's it's a matter of who you know, as Eben points out, "the bass player at the time (Shawn) was originally in a band called Hands Tied who were on Equal Vision, so he knew Steve the owner of Equal Vision and so he kind of had an in with that. I think what happened was he just gave them a Saves the Day demo and they took interest."
It wasn't long before they were snapped up by major label Vagrant Records on which they released their third album. "After putting out 2 records, the second of which got us a lot of attention from major and non-major labels, and just as we grew as a band, I think we realised that we had outgrown Equal Vision as a label and realised that they could only do so much for us and we needed a label that could accommodate us better" remarks Eben. "Vagrant has a lot more people working there. The production is better and they have more means to achieve an end than Equal Vision. And they have better distribution." adds Chris.
Another up side of being signed to Vagrant Records is that the band get to tour overseas. They never got the chance to do that on Equal Vision. Apart from Japan, "and Canada, that's foreign, right?" adds Chris, Saves the Day had never left the U.S. "It's been great over here so far. It's awesome to see people coming to the shows who are into the band. It's exciting and inspiring." comments Eben. "The crowds here are very respectful. That's something that we saw when we played in Japan is people are a lot more respectful." "It's fantastic!" Chris adds in between giggles.
Conley, like most amazing musicians, is a perfectionist to the core. "I'm maybe happy with a song for a split second. I think that's part of how I progress though. If I didn't at least hate things a little bit then how would I make any movement into the future?" chortles Chris. "They are songs that I just can't stand listening to, and I just cringe and I wish I had never written them, but at the same time it's good that those happened because I've learned from those things. I think it's usually lyrics that I don't like that make me wish we hadn't done it. I can't listen to "Through Being Cool". It just sounds so young. I feel more like the person who made "Can't Slow Down" than I do the person who made "Through Being Cool". It's really weird. I can identify with a lot of the lyrics of "Can't Slow Down" but I have a hard time listening to "Through Being Cool"" sighs Chris. Unfortunately for fans of the album "Can't Slow Down", it never gets played. "With Chris being the only member who was in the band at that point it's something we've just put behind us. We don't play that record anymore" mumbles Eben.
Chris is the more direct of the two at answering questions so I opt to ask him and not Ebden why former drummer Bryan left the band recently. "He wasn't happy doing it anymore. He didn't want to play music anymore, didn't want to be in a band full time. He didn't want the band to become his identity" Chris replies. "If I wasn't in this band I'd like to be installing solar panels like Bryan" chuckles Chris. "Damon from Hey Mercedes played on the last few tours for us, and he was awesome we had a lot of fun having him play for us; he was a great dude and a great drummer. On this tour our friend Alex is playing for us. We met him a few years ago when he was playing in Piebald. He played in Shelter for a while also. So he's playing with us now and he's doing a great job" Eben remarks, seemly enthusiastic over new boy Alex playing with them. Will this be the new permanent drummer for Saves the Day? "He may. We're not sure." Chris grins.
So I spent my time surrounded by the band and didn't do anything stupid. Miracle. I ask all of my nerdy fan type questions like who their favourite bands are and how they got together. After the interview I hung out with Conley and discussed sex, how you know you've found "the one", and Kevin Smith films (it's a New Jersey thing). After scrawling "Chris is a spaceman" on a picture of himself, I thank him and take my leave, taking with me one hell of a crush.