Sitting down with Anthony Green and Beau Burchell of Saosin right before their sold out show in London, no topics and no questions were off limits. From the original talk that led to Anthony Green rejoining Saosin to the expectations they felt from listeners while in the studio, both members candidly opened up about Saosin’s brand new chapter and new album, Along The Shadow.
When did talks about having Anthony come back to Saosin start to happen and how did they come up?
Anthony: We decided we were going to do something a few years ago, but it took a really long time. I had a trepidation about doing a new Saosin record, I thought we could make new music and call it something else that way we didn’t have to climb out of whatever mountain we had built ourselves. The songs just sounded so classic Saosin and it was the type of thing where both Beau and Chris thought it would be best for us to just do something and see how it feels and if it feels like Saosin. At the time, I had three children and all of our lives were already really busy – Beau was full time producing records, Chris was working and I had Circa and my family so we wanted to do it, but we wanted to make sure the time was right and it just took a long time for that time to come.
As you mentioned, all of the Saosin members have families and are also doing other projects outside of the band. How do you manage to find that happy medium of spending time with family, working on other projects and devoting time to this new chapter for Saosin?
Anthony: You don’t find a balance, you have to willingly accept the fact that the scale is going to be tipped in either direction. When I am home, I am 100% with my family and when I am doing Circa, I’m 100% involved with Circa and since we are doing Saosin right now, I am just doing Saosin. You have to accept the fact that there is going to be an incredible imbalance and some days, you aren’t going to see your family for a week or six weeks and other times, you are going to be home for six weeks doing nothing but self regulating your time and writing songs while still taking your kids to the playground.
When it came to writing content for Along The Shadow, did you feel at all that you had certain expectations from the fans to deliver music that sounded like old Saosin?
Beau: We had played Riot Fest and Anthony and I were in the hotel room together and I was just kind of jamming on my guitar and he heard it and liked the riff and started humming some stuff. He ended up having to fly out early and because he liked that riff, I ended up writing all of “Racing Towards A Red Light” in the hotel room and recorded a demo of it then. So I mean, there were no goals and no intention of doing something a certain way, we just went into the studio and waited to see what happened.
Anthony: There was an elephant hanging around our creative room and we all deliberately decided that the best thing for us was to ignore the attention that was coming out and make stuff that makes us feel good together.
Do you think Along The Shadow has a good representation of sounds that old fans will appreciate and that may attract new Saosin fans?
Beau: We don’t really care about that. I think we really wrote this record for ourselves and it’s the same feeling we had when we wrote Translating A Name. We don’t really care what anyone else says, we love this record. It’s even more exciting when people like the record and they have friends that like the record and they can bond over it because they love it so much. There’s not really a hope that people are going to like it, it’s what we wanted to do.
Anthony: I would be totally full of shit if I said that I didn’t get off on being able to share something that I made and I love and have people like it. With that being said, I think that it is a goal that would kill the creative vibe and the relationship I have with the people that have been supporting me the past decade to now and the relationship that Saosin has with fans, even when I wasn’t in the band, shows that the fan-artist relationship is really built on, ‘hey, if you really believe in this passionately, we are going to follow you to the end of the fucking earth’. I have literally done a million different things and as long as there isn’t a seed of doubt that I didn’t do anything that I didn’t believe in, the people that really care will continue to care. That is what I love about people that listen to our bands, they really care about the music and all they care about is that it’s being brought to them with faith and passion and they can hear that. In that sense, as long as we are serving that interest within ourselves and together, they are going to love it.
It’s been over ten years since Saosin first formed and since then, all of the members have taken on new projects within the industry and continued their work in music. From that time until now, has there been anything you’ve learned that made working on this new album and joining back together a lot easier?
Anthony: We didn’t know how to communicate back then. We are all a lot more mature and have more responsibilities and those responsibilities can weigh heavy on you and it can be a burden and I think that you are forced to really adapt in the sense of communication. You either are going to work on communicating with others or you are going to be really alienating and I think all of us learning how to communicate with each other creatively and intimately really helped make the recording process of Along The Shadow super easy.
There are a lot of dark themes and sounds on Along The Shadow. What was the writing process for the album like and where did you draw inspiration for the themes and lyrics?
Anthony: The themes that are dealt on the record, like the idea of reconciling with your past, are heavy and dig deep and I think everyone can relate to that and not just in the sense of the breakdowns and screaming that are heavy. Beau writes riffs and songs that draw that heaviness and you can hear a feeling in the music and immediately, I can tap right into that and I can start connecting with it really easily.
Saosin has some dates on the Taste of Chaos tour this summer with Dashboard Confessional, Taking Back Sunday and The Early November. Looking at that lineup, how does it feel to see these types of bands coming together for this massive tour and still making music and leaving their mark in the industry?
Anthony: I mean, we are all in our thirties and making music and there are people out there that still want to listen to us and that is pretty mind boggling. I mean, I don’t know what it’s like for Dashboard, TBS or the Early November guys, but for us to be part of a tour like that, with people that we can consider our friends and contemporaries, is pretty cool and it’s cool that people still want to hear that music ten years later. I mean, the lifespan of a rock band is typically not that long so for this band and well, for me in the band, I didn’t do that much with Saosin so the fact that people want to see that is pretty fucking cool. It’s just sort of a celebration that we are still able to make music together and that rock music is still important to that many people.
Beau: TBS and Dashboard were both really influential and helped shape some of the sounds that I draw influence from and even though you might not hear that much in our music, they definitely brought influence. I mean, The Swiss Army Romance is an album where if someone doesn’t like it, I can’t be friends with them.
Anthony: You can feel that album in your bones. And TBS has had a career that has really been an interesting career to watch and I think that they have stuck it out through really rough times and still make good music that people connect with. I don’t know, it’s weird to say a “throwback” tour, but it kind of is a throwback. Back in the day, you would go to a show and there would be tours where emo wasn’t a specific thing and it was a just a tour for people who really loved music and I think Taste of Chaos is bringing that back to the table.
Their new album, Along The Shadow, is out now!
Photo and Interview by Rachael Dowd