March 6, 2014 Interview – Bobby Amaru of Saliva
During the height of the nu-metal wave in the early 2000’s, a few bands stood tall above the rest and provided rock fans with something unique. Formed in Memphis, TN back in 1996, Saliva took rock by storm in 2001 with their sophomore album Every Six Seconds. Now going strong for eighteen years, the band has sold over 2.5 million albums, toured the world and become one of the most recognized names in hard rock. When the announcement came in 2011 that long-time vocalist Josey Scott and the band parted ways, many thought that was the end of the band. Proving critics wrong, Saliva’s never say die attitude prevailed with the addition of vocalist Bobby Amaru to the mix. With a new voice at the helm and a brand new offering of Saliva tunes ready to be released on their ninth studio album Rise Up, theses veteran rockers are ready to make a big move in 2014. Recently we sat down with the new voice of Saliva, Bobby Amaru, for a look at his beginnings with the band, their new album, his approach to winning over fans, and much more.
CrypticRock.com – Saliva has been together for almost two decades now. The band has had a series of successful singles and a diverse list of albums to their name. When you were asked to join the band as the new voice of Saliva back in 2012, how did it happen?
Bobby Amaru – We just had some mutual friends. Living in Jacksonville, some of my friends knew them and worked with them before. They heard some of my stuff and asked if I would be interested in working with them. There was really no audition, it was very simple.
CrypticRock.com – Now taking over as vocalist of a well-established band can be a very daunting task as fans associate a band’s identity with the voice. You have done an excellent job thus far as the new voice of Saliva. How do you approach the task at hand of winning over fans?
Bobby Amaru – Being myself. I am already a little crazy when it comes to my energy on stage and interacting with fans. If you stand up there like a statue then people are going to stand like statues in the crowd and not care as much. The live show is extremely important to me and the band as well.
CrypticRock.com – I imagine being yourself and showing that emotion really gets people going.
Bobby Amaru – Yea, people are going to like you or not going to like you no matter what it is. If anyone has a chance to judge someone they are going to do it. They like it or not like it. You just have to treat it that way. I am not going to be liked by everybody, but as long as I am positive and do what I do, that is what it is all about.
CrypticrRock.com – Absolutely. You do have experience in the rock scene as you were the drummer for Burn Season and you were a part of your solo project Amaru. What did you learn as part of these bands that you take with you to Saliva?
Bobby Amaru – Experience, but it is a different thing because I was the drummer in Burn Season. We never really toured too much. It is a completely different experience with Saliva, it is very fun and I am grateful to share it with them.
CrypticRock.com – That is great and even though you didn’t get to tour too much with Burn Season it is still experience. Saliva released the single “Rise Up” recently and will be releasing the full-length album soon. I have heard the record and it is an extremely powerful piece of hard rock. You recorded In It To Win It which was released in 2013, but that album is no longer available and will not be re-released.
Bobby Amaru – In It To Win It is basically the same record, just a different cover. We released it online for the fans, that is the first record Saliva had ever made that we had did something like that. We were having an issue with retail and distribution that late in the year and the label really wanted to get it out for us. So we said why don’t we just release it online and once we establish what the album is we will re-release it with a different artwork with a few new songs. That was the goal, basically In It To Win It was a limited release.
CrypticRock.com – Interesting. What was the writing and recording process like for this record being your first with Saliva?
Bobby Amaru – It was great, everyone participated in it. We all wrote together, whether I or someone else started an idea, that is how we did it. It was very comforting for the band and everyone involved.
CrypticRock.com – It shows in the songs. The album sounds like Saliva and your voice adds a new dynamic to the music. You bring an energy to your vocal delivery. How do you approach your singing?
Bobby Amaru – It is all on the concept and thought. Your voice is a muscle, you can’t make it do anything, it is just going to do what it does. Every song I can listen to takes me back to that moment in the studio, know what I was thinking, and that is really cool.
CrypticRock.com – That is very cool. You will be hitting the road in support of the new material for a full blown tour. How exciting is if for you to get out, play this new material, and show Saliva fans all over what you have to bring to the table?
Bobby Amaru – We are all extremely stoked about it. The touring is what we are looking for most, and to go on an international tour overseas. We can’t wait to get out there, that is what this band does, we play rock-n-roll. That is how we make a living, we stay on the road often (laughs).
CrypticRock.com – That is what it is all about, especially in modern rock. Being on the road and getting that exposure is really one of the best ways for a band to sustain themselves. What is it like being on the road so much?
Bobby Amaru – Well you miss things. You miss birthdays and your kids. That can be frustrating and it can get tiring. At the end of the day you just have to realize we are into music. We wanted to play rock-n-roll and it is just part of it. You just have to fight through it, it could be worse, I could be digging a ditch or something.
CrypticRock.com – That is very true; what is better than touring the world and doing what you love. Since you have been working with the guys in Saliva for 2 years now writing, recording, and getting to know one another, how would you describe the chemistry you have developed in that time?
Bobby Amaru – It is great. We all get along great and have an understanding of one another. I think we collaborate well, there is nothing negative. All the negative stuff has already been taken care of and pushed to the side. We keep everything positive.
CrypticRock.com – That is a very good thing. What are some of your personal musical influences?
Bobby Amaru – I grew up on stuff like Motley Crue. Then I was also into Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and a lot of classic stuff. I love Aerosmith, anything with good songs really. I like Phil Collins, Alice In Chains, and Soundgarden.
CrypticRock.com – That is a good mix of rock-n-roll. It is good not to limit yourself because there is a lot of great music out there.
Bobby Amaru – Yes, I like everything really. Oasis is probably one of my favorite bands of all time.
CrypticRock.com – They are a very good band with a lot of great songs. My last question for you is regarding films. Crypticrock.com is a rock/metal and horror news site so we like to focus on all genres. Are you a fan of horror films and if so what are some of your favorite horror films?
Bobby Amaru – (laughs) You should ask my son, he loves them. I grew up on horror films. People think I am crazy because my boy was watching Child’s Play (1988) at two years old. I am a huge fan of all horror movies. I grew up on A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) and Friday The 13th (1980).
CrypticRock.com – There was a lot of great horror films in the 1980’s.
Bobby Amaru – They were just more original. There was more thought put into it with the characters I think.
CrypticRock.com – That is totally true. The atmosphere was very different back then too.
Bobby Amaru – Yea, a horror film doesn’t need a big budget. If you have some huge Spiderman budget for a horror film then you are messing up, you are going away from the blood and graininess. I think that is exactly it, it is all in the directing and filming. Like John Carpenter did Halloween (1978), you can’t re-create that. That everything from the actors and the way they played the roles is why those movies are so impactful and cool.
CrypticRock.com – With that said, what do you think of all these horror film remakes?
Bobby Amaru – I loved, absolutely loved, the Evil Dead (2013) remake. That was one of the best remakes I have ever seen. I was never a big fan of The original Evil Dead (1981). There was a little more comedy to it and I think that is why a lot of people liked it. People may have felt the remake was too serious, but I thought it was great. I did like Rob Zombie’s remake of Halloween (2007), I wasn’t a fan of the second one. I liked the idea but I wish he had stayed with the hospital idea, it kind of threw me off. A Nightmare On Elm Street (2010) remake, I don’t think anyone but Robert Englund can play that. I thought the Friday The 13th (2009) remake was pretty good. There are so many remakes, it is so hard to say.
As far as Evil Dead (2013) for me, I thought it was directed well. It definitely made people jump off their seats. That is really it, that is what a horror movie is suppose to be about. Someone goes and sees it and leaves feeling they are not going to sleep for a couple of days.
The band’s tour kicks off today and dates are as follow:
03/06/14 | Atmosphere Tallahassee, FL
03/07/14 | No Name Saloon Edgewater, FL
03/08/14 | Main Street Station Daytona Beach, FL
03/10/14 | The Station Bar and Grill Broussard, LA
03/11/14 | Live Oaks Bar & Ballroom Monroe, LA
03/12/14 | Backstage Live San Antonio, TX
03/13/14 | The Bayou Lounge Austin, TX
03/14/14 | Trees Dallas, TX
03/15/14 | Scout Bar Houston, TX
03/18/14 | Bucked Up Super Saloon Kernersville, NC
03/19/14 | Empire Springfield, VA
03/20/14 | Blue Fox Billiards Winchester, VA
03/21/14 | Schmitt’s Saloon Morgan Town, WV
03/22/14 | Hard Times Cafe Hagerstown, MD
03/24/14 | The Diamond Club New Bern, NC
03/25/14 | Bonnie Kate Theater Elizabethton, TN
03/26/14 | Diamond Pub & Billiards Louisville, KY
03/27/14 | The Token Lounge Westland, MI
03/28/14 | Another Hole In The Wall Steger, IL
03/29/14 | Q&Z Expo Center Ringle, WI
03/30/14 | Murphy’s Pub Rockford, IL
04/01/14 | Hipps Pub-N-Grub Eau Claire, WI
04/03/14 | DK’s Lounge Williston, ND
04/04/14 | Bernie’s Dickinson, ND
04/05/14 | The Venue Fargo, ND
04/06/14 | The Original Minot, MD
04/08/14 | Zbar Spearfish, SD
04/09/14 | Atlas Theatre Cheyenne, WY
04/10/14 | Carlin Events Center Billings, MT
04/11/14 | Hideout Lounge Great Falls, MT
04/12/14 | The Peppertree Idaho Falls, ID
04/13/14 | Diamondz Event Center Jerome, ID
04/16/14 | The Whisky A Go Go West Hollywood, CA
04/18/14 | Club Red Tempe, AZ
04/19/14 | LVCS Las Vegas, NV
04/20/14 | Mesa Theater & Lounge Grand Junction, CO
04/21/14 | Sunshine Studios Live Colorado Springs, CO
04/23/14 | The Beach Bar Lufkin, TX
04/24/14 | The Chameleon Room Oklahoma City, OK
04/25/14 | Lonestar Pavilion Lubbock, TX
04/29/14 | Reverb Reading, PA
05/02/14 | Farm Bureau Live Virginia Beach, VA
05/03/14 | Fishhead Cantina Baltimore, MD
05/09/14 | Piere’s Ft. Wayne, IN
05/10/14 | Athens County Fairground Athens, OH