When Saves the Day hit the music scene 10 years ago, they
were mere teenagers with a lot of angst and power chords. Now all grown
up, Saves the Day are putting that anger aside on their new album, Under the Boards (out on Vagrant Records Oct. 30), a poppy, sometimes punky ode to growing up and letting go. OK! caught up with lead singer Chris Conley before the band’s sold-out show at Hoboken’s famed music venue Maxwell’s.
What inspired Under the Boards?
Under the Boards is a little bit more poppy than Sound the Alarm.
And I’d say the songs are more musical and less aggressive, and that’s
based partly on musical tastes changing and also I went through a hard
time and a really bitter depression before writing Sound the Alarm. I was really angry.
was a lot of things under the surface that I hadn’t dealt with, like
hang-ups since I was a kid. I had pretty much hit rock bottom and I was
really pissed off and bitter and depressed and paranoid and anxious
that everyone was out to get me. It was a dark time, so the music was
really pained. Through the process of dealing with that stuff that was
under the surface I found a much greater ease of living. And I learned
to accept myself and things that had happened to me. I felt more at
ease, so everything in my life always leads to changes in the music.
Is it hard for you to put out such emotional music?
I never really stopped to think that people are going to hear this
stuff. I’m really just trying to get an emotion out of me because if it
stays in me it’s gonna give me a mental breakdown. I need to get these
things out of me so they don’t eat me alive. It’s really a process of
survival. Keeping my head above the waves and sticking around and not
going down any dark roads — that’s what this music is about, and the
fact that people hear it, that happens after the fact. And I go, “Wow
that is pretty intense.” So people are going to hear this now, and I
wrote something very intense and I go, “Well, good for me for being so
honest.” It is a little scary to put my heart out there.
Your next album is already written. These last two albums and the next one are a trilogy of sorts.
It’s a trilogy. It’s funny because I see so many parallels between the arc of our trilogy and Star Wars. Darth Vadar is what the whole Star Wars
journey is about. He’s a normal guy who turns to the dark side, but you
realize he did it for very human reasons. Then he loses himself in that
and through the power of love, his connection with his children, he’s
redeemed and destroys the machine within himself. And then his spirit
is free. This middle chapter [of the trilogy] is essentially The Empire Strikes Back.
Where do you see your career going?
think we’re just going to keep making more and more music — an album
every year and acoustic EPs and side projects. And we’re going to keep
touring. We’re going to give our fans as much good content as possible
without trying to give them an arm and a leg. Hopefully we’ll get to
keep doing this at our own pace forever.
By Jocelyn Vena