Saves The Day Still Flourishing Amid Lineup Shuffle
By Mike Duffy
That Saves the Day is still a band after nearly 15 years shaping what would become the emo/pop-punk scene is nothing short of amazing.
A double-digit cast of players has cycled through the lineup since 1997, with lead singer Chris Conley being the only constant.
But through it all, relatively-new guitarist Arun Bali hopes STD’s latest album, 2011′s Daybreak, is their best yet.
|Bali shows off his Telecaster.|
At the very least, the group consisting of Conley, Bali, bassist Rodrigo Palma and drummer Claudio Rivera make up a tight unit ready to continue plowing forward, carrying the Saves The Day banner well into the future.
It had been four years since Saves the Day’s last record, and Daybreak announces that the band is moving clear of the dark times chronicled in 2006’s Sound The Alarm and 2007’s Under The Boards.
“With everything in place now and a really solid lineup, we’d love to do one every year/year-and-a-half if we can,” said Bali. “We love playing and being around each other, so we just want to keep creating as much as we can.”
Daybreak brings a close to the trilogy Conley conceived with Sound and Under, which the frontman has said dealt with “an expression of discontent” and “reflection and remorse,” respectively.
Bali explains the theory thusly: “Going through this very dark period of his life and sort of getting out of that. He was a new father and wanted to be a good influence on his daughter. Conceptually, this was a way to dig out of things.
“Daybreak could be, I guess, the acceptance of what everyday life is.”
Bali had been with the band since 2009, but his addition to the songwriting process shows up in the diverse sounds of the record.
At one point, Bali takes an almost Latin-inspired approach to the summery “Chameleon,” but drops thunder claps from above as he builds towards a final climax with “Undress Me.”
“Living Without Love” has a Chuck Berry vibe to it, and Bali admitted to listening to the legendary be-bopper for about a week “trying to channel all those double-stops and weird pull-offs.”
And then there is the titular opener, a 10-minute opus that seemingly spans five different genres into a working single track.
“I instantly formed a really good friendship and working relationship with Chris, and we were really excited about music in general,” said Bali, who has a relationship with Palma that spans 15 years. “You hear that on the stuff we’ve been able to collaborate on since I’ve been in the band.
“I didn’t want to come in and drastically alter anything because there’s such a cool legacy with this band. And ultimately, there have been changes with how Chris has developed as a songwriter. I just wanted to sonically add something different without completely altering it.”
Midway through Save the Day’s North American tour before embarking on a European jaunt to close out 2011, Bali said the reaction to Daybreak has largely been positive.
For him, taking over for longtime guitarist David Soloway wasn’t easy, considering the band’s proud history.
“Now that the record is out, I think people are more receptive to having me in the band, and obviously, that feels good,” he humbly stated.
If anything, it’s been cathartic playing new tunes in front of live audiences and seeing the public accepting Saves The Day’s current iteration.
“Being able to go on the road and play these songs, knowing that the fans have the record and are singing the songs, that’s like a weight off our shoulders,” said Bali.
Head to the band’s website to stream the new album.