March 21, 2019 Interview – Blake Bedsaul of SAUL
Iowa based band SAUL are currently one of the hottest commodities on the Hard Rock scene. A band hard at work for some time now, their persistence has seemed to pay off with their single “Brother” becoming the #1 most spun song on SiriusXM Octane, launching them into the Top 40 at #35 and climbing. A blistering, emotional Hard Rock track off their recently released debut EP, Aeons, SAUL is striking a lot of interest as they continue to tour around the USA. Looking to keep their momentum going, Lead Vocalist Blake Bedsaul sat down to talk the challenges of being in a Rock band, the overwhelming success of “Brother,” plus more.
Cryptic Rock – SAUL has been hard at work over the last handful of years, and are seeing the fruits of your labor pay off of late with your single “Brother.” Before going any further, how would you describe the roads traveled by the band to this point?
Blake Bedsaul – The music industry is a hard business. A lot of late nights and early mornings. We’ve had our mix of ups and downs. Losing a couple drummers a long the the way. Having moments of self doubt and thoughts of giving up. I’m so glad to see the ‘EQUALS’ rally behind us even in our low moments. They truly keep us going day in and day out. My advice to anyone out there reading this that is in a band, don’t give up!
Cryptic Rock – That is a great attitude and has led you to success. SAUL is led by yourself and your brother Zach along with a very strong lineup including William McIlravy on bass and Joe Nichols on drums. The sound of the band is heavy, yet balanced with melody and ambient moments. What was the vision for the band when it all began and how has it evolved?
Blake Bedsaul – In the beginning SAUL started off as Zach and I just writing and writing. No ideas in mind beside we wanted to be a Rock band. It was easy and fun writing with my Brother. We can always tell where the other is going and just flow with each other. Later into our musical life of writing, we got heavily influenced by Tool. The idea of doing such awesome time signatures and juxtaposition’s, while still having amazing melody and not being so overly technical was a style we wanted to master. We learned a lot about music and music theory during this time.
Now we have gone back to our roots of writing from the heart. Every single song on the new record Aeons is a glimpse into the life of SAUL. We decided to keep Aeons upbeat and pumping the whole way through.
Cryptic Rock – The end result is very good. We are currently living in a time where there are not too many newer Hard Rock acts doing what you are doing. How important is it to you that the band follow their hearts artistically regardless of current trends on the scene?
Blake Bedsaul – I live by the idea of follow your heart and I preach it to all younger musicians.
Cryptic Rock – Right, you should only try to be who you are. So let’s talk about “Brother.” The song has really blown up on SiriusXM Octane. How exciting is that for you, and are you surprised by the overwhelming positive reception?
Blake Bedsaul – Honestly, we are over the moon about the reaction and reception of our single “Brother.” We have been getting so many messages about how it has helped people cope with the loss of their brother or loved one. This song was so personal for Zach and I when we wrote it that we weren’t sure how the world would react. SiriusXM Octane has shown us so much love and the listeners as well. Being a part of the Octane rotation was something I had on my bucket list and I’m so happy to say that the list is getting shorter and shorter as of late.
Cryptic Rock – That is great to hear. “Brother” was the #1 most spun song on SiriusXM Octane two weeks in a row and is now in the Top 40 at #35! “Brother” is a heavily emotional song. What does the song mean to you?
Blake Bedsaul – Brother is about Zach Bedsaul and myself struggling with the loss of our older brother. This song is so deeply personal and emotional for us that it was more therapeutic at first. We needed a way to immortalize our brother.
Cryptic Rock – That is great that you were able to do that through music. With “Brother” receiving some heavy airplay, you have your aforementioned debut EP, Aeons, out now. Five very strong songs, what was the writing and recording process like?
Blake Bedsaul – The writing process of the Aeons was pretty easy. Zach is a riff master, so he’s always racking his brain and coming up with ideas. When we decided to take our style back to our roots, the lyrics and melodies came easy. I really wanted everyone to get to know us by just the songs alone. I absolutely love recording. Getting into the studio and laying down everything we’ve been working on is something I truly look forward to.
Cryptic Rock – People should absolutely check out Aeons, it is well worth it. You have some shows lined up in the Mid-West through this month, but can we expect some more touring through the next few months in other corners of the USA?
Blake Bedsaul – We have announced a couple different tours with Messer and Bobaflex. SAUL will be all over the Northeast and South/Southeast on these dates. We are super excited to get back to some places we haven’t been to in a while, along with a lot of new places and venues. Playing live shows is what we love. Getting to meet the EQUALS from all different areas is something I truly look forward too. People can track us Bandsintown for all tour and show announcements.
Cryptic Rock – Hopefully more dates will be announced soon. With Aeons out, are there plans for a full-length album in the future?
Blake Bedsaul – We do have some songs on deck to get a start on a new record. At the moment, we don’t have any plans to hit the studio quite yet.
Cryptic Rock – Alright, well, it will be cool to hear more when the time is right. Listening to the music of SAUL, you can hear a mix of influences. Tell us what are some of your influences?
Blake Bedsaul – My influences are all over the place. If you were to ever walk into my house you would hear me jamming everything from The Temptations, Dio, Pearl Jam, Tool, Nothing More, Twelve Foot Ninja, and Architects. The list goes on and on. I pull things from every genre and experience to write into a SAUL song.
Cryptic Rock – That is a very diverse and cool mix of influences. Last question. Beyond music Cryptic Rock also covers movies, particularly Horror and Sci-Fi. If you are a fan of these genres, do you have any favorites and why?
Blake Bedsaul – I’m actually a big fan of Horror/Sci-Fi movies. One in particular that always comes to mind is The Others (2001) with Nicole Kidman. I thought they played that movie out perfectly with that crazy twist in the end. The idea of seeing the story through the ghosts eyes is fantastic. Following on that vein, I’m also a big fan of anything M. Night Shyamalan. I like a good twist at the end of a great story.