With a fresh new record deal, Saving Abel is back and feeling more confident than ever with their latest release, Bringing Down The Giant. The new album marks the band’s third record in just over four years and is also said to include some of their most diverse material to date. Lead singer, Jared Weeks, sat down to talk about the band’s journey since 2007, their hectic touring schedule, and the creative process behind the new album.
With a string of hits between their first two records including the smash single “Addicted,” it would seem Saving Abel would have little trouble staying with a label. Before their debut in 2008, the Mississippi rockers signed onto Virgin Records for a two album deal with the third being an option. As more of the band’s songs climbed the charts and their popularity grew, it was tough to imagine any serious issues on the horizon for the group. Unfortunately, earlier this year the guys were thrown a curve ball when they learned that Virgin would only be doing one more rock record this year and it would be with the Sick Puppies; just like that, the band found themselves looking for a new home. Shortly thereafter, Saving Abel signed onto eOne, a label that also made news earlier this year for signing Santa Clara trio Smile Empty Soul.
“It was one of those moments where they were as glad to sign us as we were to be signed. They came in and did about eight months of work in only two months; they supported us, gave us everything we needed to get going and get back out on the road. And it kind of feels good to have the attention from a big record label like eOne. When we we’re at Virgin/EMI our competition was Katy Perry and Coldplay so sometimes you feel like you’re not getting a whole lot of attention, but eOne has been great and they’ve really hooked us up.”
No strangers to the road, Saving Abel toured for about four years straight prior to recording Bringing Down The Giant and were even forced to write their second album while still out on tour. Fortunately though, for the new LP the guys were able to write and record new material on their own time which gave the band the opportunity to experiment with different instruments and sounds like never before. For instance, a jaw harp can even be heard on the track “You Make Me Sick;” and while the song turned out great, guitarist, Jason Null, actually chipped two of his teeth learning how to play the instrument.
“Once “Addicted” hit we toured from like 2007 to last year. We washed the road off for a couple of weeks and then we got in the studio, and I really think it helped us get the creative juices flowing. We even went as far to play mandolin, banjo, jaw harp, and even blew some jugs on this album. We definitely didn’t fight the writing process, especially when something is writing itself.”
Heading into the writing sessions of the new album, Weeks explained the band avoided any sort of restrictions; the only rule was that the song had to be good and after that, it didn’t matter what genre the song fell into. The time off between the road and the studio also enabled the group to take a step back and reflect before beginning work on new material, something the band was never given the time to do before recording Miss America.
“We toured so many places in such a short amount of time and it really did us some good as far as writing goes. It’s great to be able to actually step away for a minute and think about what you want to do, what you want to represent, and who you want to become. Once we got that figured out, we just sat in the studio and did one thing, and that was we didn’t argue – if a song was good then it was good. It didn’t matter if it was Christian, Country, Pop…I think that’s one of the things that’s going to show through on this album once you listen to it. You will see how versatile it is and how many different genres there are. It’s just something we’re all really proud of.”
For the album, Saving Abel once again hooked up with producer Skidd Mills who has now worked with the band on each of their three records. Over the years, Mills and the group have built a close relationship and developed a great amount of respect for one another. And given the favorable results the band has seen working with Mills, don’t expect the producer to be excluded from of any of the group’s projects in the near future.
“I look at him as a personal friend and he helps us out in any way we need it. He’s just a super genius at what he does behind that big sound board in his studio. It’s just so funny to see this little old timid man come out with these monster epic hits. It’s a sight to see and just a process that is awesome to be apart of…I just like the way he works; it’s easy and there’s no pressure. When you find something good you stick with it, and Skidd has helped us out tremendously.
In addition to Mills, Saving Abel also brought in famed rock producer Marti Frederiksen to provide a new and creative perspective to the writing process. Weeks explained the group thoroughly enjoyed collaborating with both producers and together, the three of them were able to create what Weeks feels is some of the band’s best and most unique material thus far.
Saving Abel is has been out on the road since March 27th of this year and will be doing a series of festival shows in the month of August.
“If it weren’t for the fans, the radio stations, and everybody working together then I’d probably still be working at Wal-Mart. We got really lucky and we’re really blessed to have such loyal fans like we do and I just thank God for them. This is what I want to do for my whole life; I don’t really look at it as work but I do enjoy working to get better…when you stay out on the road for four and a half years, you kind of get tired of waking up in some run down part of town where there’s no place to even shower. But whenever I get tired, our fans just pick me up and carry me on to the next show, and that’s the way rock and roll is.