They helped define 90s nu-metal and have stuck around throughout the decades with hit after hit. Of course, we’re talking about Saliva who just keep on chugging along and have finally announced an Australian tour. We spent some time with drummer Paul Crosby to find out all the ins and outs of the band’s current world and what they’ve got in store for February.
Let’s talk about the upcoming Australian tour! You’re coming over in the fresh new year. We’re very excited to have Saliva coming down finally, will it be your first ever Australian tour?
“It will be, and I don’t know who’s more excited, the fans or us (he laughs). We are super excited as well, we can’t wait. We’ve been wanting to go [to Australia] for quite some time and we’ve had different booking agents and it’s just never really synced up for us going over there. Earlier this year we hired a new international booking agent, and he’s been getting us a lot of opportunities, so hopefully this will work out and we make it a regular tour stop for us a couple of times a year.”
That would be great. So there hasn’t actually been a particular reason why you haven’t come down, it just never happened?
“Yeah, the stars just never really aligned, and it didn’t pan out. It’s just one of those things but now we’ve got it locked in!”
So you guys released a new album last year Love, Lies & Therapy will you be focusing on playing some of those new tracks live for us?
“Well, it’s a good record obviously, but we’re at a stage now where we’re actually about 90% done with a new record (beyond the 2016 record), which we’re planning on getting released hopefully late Spring or early Summer (American season). So with that in mind, we’re kind of in the mode of putting that record to bed, and focussing on the new record. We’re going to be playing songs from our entire catalogue. We’re going to make sure that we play all of the songs that we know all of the fans want to hear, so it’s going to be a good time.”
That’s awesome, so how long have you been working on the new record for?
“Most of the year, off and on in between touring and other stuff, we have got out of the mode of taking time off [to do it] like through our former years where we would just go into the studio and record the whole thing. We write some while we’re on the road and then write a little bit when we have some time off, and then we still take a few months off when we actually get to be home with our families. That way, instead of being locked in the studio, we kind of interweave it in with our touring. It takes a little longer that way, but it’s better, you get more home-time.”
Also a better approach to not rushing a record right? (Right). So have old school fans who have stuck around over the years, responded well to your more recent records?
“Definitely. We’ve gained new fans with the new stuff and some of our old fans either love or hate the new stuff, and it doesn’t matter ‘cause they’re still our fans and they still come to our shows to hear the songs they do love, and they’re never disappointed ‘cause we always go on stage and give it 110% every time.”
I think that’ll particularly be the case for Australian fans who are happy to just get a glimpse of Saliva live on stage.
“Yes, and we’re going to do our best to make sure it’s an unreal experience. We’re going to play our hearts out for sure.”
So you guys have been a band for a long time. What components of Saliva do you think have kept the band alive? What do you think it takes these days to keep a band alive for so many years?
“Well (he laughs) the thing with that is, I say first and foremost, what’s enabled us to have the longevity that we’ve had is, you’ve got to have die-hard-core fans that stick with you. When Josey (Scott, former vocalist) left the band, we knew that he did it for personal reasons, he wanted to spend more time with his family and as a result, not to record music and tour anymore. We’re still friends, it wasn’t a bad break-up so that helps. I also watch the numbers on our social media sites, when Josey was in the band and when he left and we got Bobby (Amaru; current vocalist) and we lost a few fans – not a whole bunch, but a significant amount, and not only have we gained that amount back, but we’re way above where we were.”
And what about other bands, how do you think they do it?
“In terms of longevity with other bands, I don’t know. I think a lot of it has to do with luck and having a core fan-base and for us, music was different then. Today with bands, kids jump ship so quickly, it’s unreal. So it would be a lot harder, I couldn’t imagine having to start over in today’s environment, so we’re fortunate that at the time when we started our stuff, it was a time when people were passionate about the bands they liked and stuck with them no matter what, so that helps as well.”
I agree. I look at bands like Limp Bizkit who don’t really release a lot of music, and they’re still comfortably headlining music festivals. In fact, they’re coming to our inaugural Download Festival next year and they haven’t released an album in many years. So it’s interesting to see how loyal fans are. You guys are still a really great band, and the stats show. What do you think are some of the ingredients are for a decent rock and roll album in 2017?
“We have just stuck to our same format. When we write, we don’t have any premise or direction. We never say ‘let’s write a heavy song’ or ‘sound like this’ – we literally get in a room and just whatever idea happens, happens, that’s it. That just works for us, it has worked for us [with both vocalists].”
Sounds like you guys have got a good thing going. Speaking of the current state of rock and roll, what are your thoughts on music at the moment?
“I have a very wide variety of music. I listen to anything that moves me, but I’ve been listening to the new Thrice record lately. It’s a pretty amazing record, probably the best album that has been released in the last couple of years, in my opinion. It’s pretty awesome.”
Are you guys planning on bringing any guests down on the upcoming Aussie tour?
“Not this first time, we’re just going over there, getting our feet wet, but I believe (I don’t want to say anything false) – but I think there’s going to be local Australian bands opening all of the shows, and then maybe the next time we come over we’ll bring some others. I actually think there are already talks of planning the second trip, and then we’ll probably try bring another band with us or something.”
Sounds fun, looking forward to getting a whole lot of Saliva down here. So what’s next for the band in 2018?
“Right now, we’re going to Europe in late January, finishing that up in February, and then going straight from there to Australia. That’s all we’ve got, because we’re trying to stage up the release of the new record and need a minute to go and finish it up. Our plan is to drop that new album and just tour to follow it up, as much as possible.”
Going to be a big year then! So what can fans expect from Saliva’s upcoming Australian tour?
“We’re going to give them the exact show that we would do anywhere else, we’re going to go play our hearts out and just give it a 110%.”
Interview by Ricky Aarons @rickysaul90