Every so often you come across bands who seem to be doing things for exactly all the right reasons. You can see and hear it in the way that talk about their music, like it’s an absolute privilege to be doing what they’re doing. Ever since Saosin parted ways with original vocalist Anthony Green over a decade ago, fans had always dreamed of the day he would finally return to the band, but nobody thought it would actually happen. After months and months of speculation, Saosin announced the long awaited reunion in 2014 and now two years down the line, the band are about to release a new album after having recently played a sold out one-off show in London. Before the set, we sat down with vocalist Anthony Green and guitarist Beau Burchell – get the full scoop below.
MOSH: When you announced your reunion, it had been a decade since Anthony (Green) left the band in 2004, so it feels alright to bring this up now – what really happened in 2004? There are all these crazy rumours that were flying about, but never anything definite.
AG: I think I was pretty overwhelmed with what was going on with the band, the band was getting really big. I was just not in a place where I was making good decisions. It felt like I needed to go and be home, you know, be near my parents and be near people who know me and were able to be like “Whoa dude, you’re out of control right now.” We were all just soaking up this new thing that was happening. Instead of communicating with these guys like “Hey I’m losing my shit, I need to go home because I can’t do this anymore.” I just bailed.
I didn’t communicate with them, and it wasn’t out of lack of respect, it was more like I couldn’t do it. I didn’t know how to do it. I was like 20 years old. So I feel like that birthed a lot of rumours. Then of course I was being shittier and went on and said very shallow things about them. I was actually drunk during an interview and said dumb shit that got printed in Alternative Press. I think that definitely made it worse. Basically what happened was I was a shithead and these guys had been really patient and understanding. I think what we did together creatively was transcendent of all that shit. So coming back now, it’s easy to go back and rebuild that bridge.
MOSH: Who reached out to who?
AG: Chris (Sorenson) and I had been talking since a couple of months after I left the band, we stayed in contact. I was really nervous about seeing Beau (Burchell) because we hadn’t spoken in like 10 years. I had nightmares about seeing him, like he would beat me up and stuff. He would never do that, because he’s just not the type of dude. He’s very much like the older brother figure to me so I felt like I had let him down and disappointed him. Even though I had the capability of talking to him about it, now that I’m older, I was still very much intimidated by the conversation.
MOSH: What made you decide that it was finally the right time to reunite?
BB: He was always friends with Chris, so there was this natural relationship they kept having. They talked about all the feelings and they kept in touch. When Cove (Reber) left the band, I think that’s when it was like “Oh hey..”
AG: I had been talking to Chris and he asked “What do you think about if we got another singer, would you help us with writing maybe?” So I was like “Why don’t you send me the songs?” Then he sent over two songs, “Why don’t you guys just let me sing on this? If you want somebody else that’s fine, but I think it’d be cool if I did it.” I was really, really hoping that they would be up for it because I wanted to come back since like a year after I left.
MOSH: The thing is, for fans as well, despite having not put out much material together, Translating The Name had made such an impact. Nobody thought we’d ever say “Oh Anthony is back in Saosin.” The fact that that really happened is amazing. Was it quite odd at first, playing together after all these years?
AG: We went into The Sound Matrix, this practice space where we used to practise. It was on my birthday and it was ten years roughly to when I left. When we first started playing, it was immediately like “Fuck…this is awesome.”
BB: Yeah, like three words into the song.
AG: Did we play ‘Seven Years’ first?
BB: I don’t know what we did but I remember right away, as soon as you started singing, I was like “This is it.”
MOSH: Was it very nostalgic?
BB: Yeah, everything just felt complete again.
AG: My heart was exploding. I was filled with all of this tremendous joy and gratitude that I was able to do it. It was also a blood moon that night, and I was staying in Palm Springs. After we had praactised, Chris drove me back to where I was staying and it was my birthday, I was just so happy and I could somehow see all of this. That night I was thinking about it, like we had jammed a new idea and I could see all of this like playing out right before my eyes. The way things are happening right now, I could see it all that night.
MOSH: That’s amazing. So for the new record, you worked with Will Yip. He’s done a lot of amazing stuff so it’s always interesting to ask, what was it like having the extra input?
AG: Beau and Chris produced all the music, but Will did the vocal production. I work with him all the time, he’s like my dude. It’s always an amazing experience. I feel like for me, having him as a filter and a creative writing partner, it just makes it more fun for me. For me, when I’m with him, I respect his opinion so much. We have very similar tastes so we’re always bouncing ideas off of each other. It feels like in lieu of second guessing, I have somebody who is able to steer the ship a little bit. That being said, these songs; the songs that Beau and Chris were doing, were so good when we got them. Will’s one of my best friends in the world, he’s very easy to work with. He’s a great dude, in the same way that Beau and Chris do, they draw this creativity out of you. It’s a nice thing to have people who can draw things out of you without pushing you too hard.
MOSH: About the new record, you’ve referred to it as your heaviest material. Do you want to tell us a little bit more?
AG: I haven’t screamed like I do on the record for a really long time, but I think I said that and people are constantly like “Oh man, it’s so heavy.” To me, it’s really not that heavy – it tips the scale by like five percent. Beau was saying earlier that everybody’s definition of heavy is different. Some of it is some of the most ambient stuff I feel like I’ve ever done, and the screaming shit, I don’t feel like it’s ever stuck in there. It’s all very natural, like “This is the part that needs high intensity.”
MOSH: Out of all the tracks, which ones are you most excited for people to hear?
AG: The three songs that are out right now are three of my most favourite songs. There really isn’t a song on the record I’m not excited for people to hear. Not one song on the record I listen to and think this one could have been better. We spent a long time and worked really hard to make sure that we could play the record for anybody, or just listen to it on our own and really love everything about it.
BB: We didn’t really write it with the intention of there being singles. We just kind of wrote it like a collection of songs that are all awesome for various different reasons. Well, we had twelve songs, which is an album so we there we had an album.
MOSH: From what I understand, you guys aren’t really set on making Saosin a full-time thing. Where does it go from here after the record is released?
AG: We’re going to be doing Taste of Chaos in the States, which is a pretty long tour and then we might go do something before the end of the year, like our own little headliner. I mean, it’s very relaxed, you know? When I record with Circa (Survive) or something it’s always like we have to have this or that, so this time it’s just about having some fun.
BB: I guess it’s also about respect, from our side of things. Anthony’s got two or three other bands going on and it’s like we have no intention of trying to steal him and being like “No, you have to be with us now.” I think that would be totally unfair to everyone. I think we’re so grateful to be doing this at all. We can do a record, we can make music again. This is awesome, we can go play some shows and once we’ve had our fill we can go back to our regular lives. I can go back to doing records, he can go do Circa and Anthony. Everybody wins, in the ends.
AG: In the meantime, while we’re all doing that stuff, like when Beau’s producing a record and feels a moment of inspiration and writes down a riff to send to me, we can make time for it.
BB: I’m actually so excited for him to just tour so I have time to write more.