Rise up

Saliva brings the energy at BMI

By Mike Ritchie

Photo: Saliva will perform at BMI on Speedway Oct. 10; photo: Steve Sergent Photography

Since the mid-nineties, Saliva has traveled countless roads and trucked through various trends, industry fluctuations and the nu metal genre label to keep their brand of hard rock filling the engine with high octane, high decibel fuel.

They have rocked stages worldwide with loud speaker shakers “Your Disease” and the pit-ready “Click Click Boom” along with tender road life epics like “Rest in Pieces” and the show staple “Always.”

Their work has also entered the squared circle a few times with songs used as theme music for WWE’s Batista, Chris Jericho and as PPV theme music.

The last few years have been a new chapter with Amaru/Burn Season’s Bobby Amaru stepping to the mic after the departure of long time vocalist Josey Scott.

Saliva released a limited edition promo copy of 2013’s In It to Win It, then re-released it as 2014’s Rise Up.

New stage scorchers include “1000 Eyes,” the drama fueled crazy “She Can Sure Hide Crazy” and the emotional awakening from addiction in “Lost.”

Regarding fan acceptance of the new lead vocalist, Amaru has a just-go-for-it attitude.

“The way I look at it is wherever we’re at, whatever show we’re playing, it’s the same thing,” Amaru assures. “I wanna give them a rock show and give them something to talk about. I’ve always given all-out vocally and performance-wise. I’ve never had to ask people to take my side or anything. I’m never gonna sound like him but I bring a new flavor and energy and I just believe in myself and what I’m doing and bring it live and make people show up, a Saliva reborn kinda deal.”

Long-time fans can be harder to win over with new material and a different singer on stage.

“Those that want to hate it will,” Amaru reflects. “I’ve had people come up and say ‘man I wanted to hate it, but I can’t.’ It’s been a really good experience. If it didn’t click and work, we wouldn’t have made it this far.”

Amaru explains the story behind the limited edition In It to Win It album and the re-release.

“We’ve signed with Universal Records for this record which we’re really excited about,” he says. “The last record (In It) was more of an investor trying to get a label off the ground and never did. It was the label’s cover up, someone with a lot of money gave us half a million dollars. Distribution had a falling out with the label. We still have copies we sell at shows. It’s a shame because we spent a lot of time on that record and thought we made a really good record. You’re in the record business to sell records and they couldn’t promote it.”

On the new record and the band’s future, Amaru says, “We took much, much less money for the new record because we want a proper push, distribution and the record to have a shot. We’re ready to come out swinging, rebuild and figure it out, whatever makes you stronger.”

Though “Rise Up” isn’t his favorite song on the record, it is a statement.

“We’re alive and well and showing it,” he says. The video has some Purge elements but was inspired by Mad Max.

“It was our director’s idea,” Amaru says. “Shooting-wise it was one day and the band shot for two hours. It was fucking nuts. We were there from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., they had to wait for the sun to go down and get the right shots. They blew the car up before we went on. We weren’t trying to hold back or anything.”

Amaru enjoys the back catalogue, though some songs are a challenge live.

“The most challenging is ‘Always’ because it has that pop, big hook huge melody,” he admits. “‘Click Click Boom’ is the easiest by far. ‘Your Disease’ is a really fun one.”

And he’s ready to bring the band to the Buckeye state. “We’ve played Ohio probably more than any other state, Dayton, Cleveland and a few times in Fostoria,” he says.

“We’ve never had a bad show in Ohio.”

And, he wants to set the record straight on former vocalist Josey Scott’s departure.

“He didn’t wanna do it anymore. He was over it and wanted out and it was doing serious damage to his health, causing him paranoia on stage and he didn’t wanna die on stage.” Amaru explains. “He found God, goes to church and is a correctional officer somewhere in Tennessee. I can’t imagine anyone having the balls to step up to him.”

But for now, Amaru’s place is on the road, fronting Saliva. “I just do what I do and this band moves on from the past and everybody’s happy with a new deal, and doing it till we’re dead in the dirt, and I feel we’re not even close to that.”

Saliva will perform on Saturday, Oct. 10 at BMI Speedway, 291 Main St., Versailles. Doors open at 6 p.m., music starts at 7. Able Danger, Downfall NSB and Kelen Heller are also on the bill. Tickets are $15 pre-sale, $20 at the door. For more information, please visit saliva.com.

Reach DCP freelance writer Mike Ritchie at MikeRitchie@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Mike Ritchie
Reach DCP freelance writer Mike Ritchie at MikeRitchie@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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