Saliva lead singer discusses career, new album [Midland Reporter-Telegram, Texas]
(Midland Reporter Telegram (TX) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Oct. 27--Some might say Bobby Amaru has some big shoes to fill. But the lead singer for Saliva, who took over lead vocal duties when Josey Scott left the band two years ago, hasn't let anything deter him in his new gig.
Saliva, the Memphis, Tenn.-based metal band, has been in business almost 20 years thanks to a string of hits that includes "Always," "Ladies and Gentlemen" and "Click Click Boom." Armed with those hits, Amaru on vocals -- and featuring original members Wayne Swinny on guitar, Paul Crosby on drums and Dave Novotny on bass -- plus a few brand new songs from "In It to Win It," released Sept. 3, Saliva is bringing its acclaimed live show to the Permian Basin on Friday to Graham Central Station in Odessa.
Amaru, 30, recently talked to the Reporter-Telegram about his new job and what brought him to this stage in his career.
MRT: As the newest member of the band, not much is known about you. Tell us a little about you and how you became interested in music.
Amaru: I grew up in Jacksonville, Fla. I was born in South Carolina. My dad played in bands and music was a big thing in out home. I don't think I'd be where I'm at without that (Influence). I was into drums at about 3. I started playing guitar around 12.
MRT: Did you have any formal music education or are you self-taught?
Amaru: In middle school, I was in band but by high school I didn't have any interest in it. I was into playing drums, not just playing a snare drum. Usually the whole marching band stuff in high school is all catered around football. And I had no interest is staying after school, I wanted to get home as soon as possible.
MRT: What was your "aha" moments when you realized you wanted to make music a lifelong pursuit?
Amaru: I started playing music because I love music. I don't think it was ever about money. As you get older, you realize 'Hey, I should probably either put this down or think about college.' But I was lucky, too. Right after I graduated high school, the band I was in at the time had gotten a record deal so it worked out.
MRT: That band was Burn Season. What happened there?
Amaru: It was nothing too fancy. I still meet fans from that era. Damien (Starkey, who was Burn Season's lead singer and has produced Saliva and was a mender of Puddle of Mudd) and I are still friends and make music together.
MRT: So how did you stay in music after Burn Season's demise?
Amaru: I started getting in to other things like studio work and producing. That's where you realize that's where all the money is. Or was at that time. Labels at that time were paying producers a ridiculous amount of money. You could almost literally fall asleep on the couch, wake up and say 'Yeah, that was a good take' and go from there.
MRT: Do you blame file-sharing for the music industry's decline or is there some other cause?
Amaru: I think it was a self-destructive thing. And karma. The labels had screwed over musicians and bands for so many years and they're constantly trying to find ways to steal (from artists). All they used to want was just the record sales and bands made their money from publishing, touring and merchandising but labels are trying to get their hands on that, too.
MRT: What happened for you as a performer in the period after Burn Season and before Saliva?
Amaru: I had my own band for a while (Amaru), creating (music) myself. I was the songwriter and the drummer (in Burn Season). But I wanted to sing and do more. I started getting into the producing more, doing everything from pop to rock to country. then call for Saliva came. It was November two years ago.
MRT: How did Saliva find you?
Amaru: We had mutual friends and my name came up a couple of times. There was no audition. They liked the music (I had done previously) and that was it.
MRT: What was your opinion of Saliva before you got the call?
Amaru: I was never really (a fan), to be honest. I mean, I didn't dislike the band. It was no disrespecting their music. I thought they had great songs for the genre. I remember the first time I heard "Your Disease" that the chorus was catchy and it had a big melody, I thought it was different from a lot of the rap rock stuff.
MRT: Did you come into the band on equal footing or were you hired to be just the singer?
Amaru: We're all in this for the same thing. We wanna tour and make good music. We're all putting in the same effort. We're not trying to just live off the past.
Saliva's newest album, "In It To Win It," is available for download at iTunes and Amazon.com.
Opening the show is Downfall Rising, the East Texas band fronted by Rachel Peloquin, who ha been hailed as one of the premiere female rock voices.
(c)2013 the Midland Reporter-Telegram (Midland, Texas)
Visit the Midland Reporter-Telegram (Midland, Texas) at www.mywesttexas.com
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