Saving Abel interview
June 8, 2010 by Bill Palmer
After spending years clawing their way toward rock stardom and finally finding it with hits like Addicted and 18 Days, Saving Abel and releasing their new album Miss America today with the entire rock world watching. Eric Taylor chats with us about the real meaning behind the Mississippi quintet’s new single Stupid Girl (Only In Hollywood) and why their roots are still in southern rock…
Ever since your self titled album came out in 2008, you guys have been on the go, getting more famous and continually touring. Did you guys come off the road to make Miss America or was it something you created from the road?
Most of it was created out on the road, because we went from tour to tour. We actually flew our producer out a couple times to come do some demos and some writing sessions, but we took a month off in June of last year and went in and started doing the initial recording.
So it was wrote on the road and demoed on the road, but we actually had some time off to go in and record it.
This is the first time you guys have sat down to make an album where you’re already famous and there are outside expectations attached to the album. Did you guys go into it with a specific gameplan?
People say you have twenty years to write your first album and six months to write your second one. That’s definitely the truth. But hen we had some success on our first one. Addicted was a real big success, 18 Days. So we didn’t have the pressure. We wanted to write something that the fans like hopefully as much as they did the first album, and I believe this album is a little better than the first one.
When I heard your first record I thought “this is a good young rock band.” When I listen to the second I’m thinking “this is a good rock band” and the word “young” doesn’t come to mind anymore. Do you guys feel that much more mature or older than the last one?
We do. Even on the songs we recorded on the last album, the latter songs were a little heavier and a little edgier. So we had that mindset going in on this album, we wanted to make a little heavier album but we wanted to find our sound.
Your first single is Stupid Girl (Only In Hollywood). I see a lot of landmarks in the background of the music video. Did you actually go out there to film it?
The pool scene and the bar scene and stuff was filmed at the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, and we actually went out on Vine Street to the Capitol tower, which we’re signed to Virgin/EMI/ Capitol, and we went and filmed on top of the Capitol tower because we wanted to have that in the video. You think of Hollywood, you think of the Hollywood sign, you think of Capitol Records. So all that’s real, the Marilyn Monroe star out on Hollywood Boulevard, that’s really her star.
I’m sure some people are going to say that it’s just another band picking on Hollywood. What do you say to those folks?
The song first off is titled “Stupid Girl” and we have to stress that it’s not a derogatory song, we’re not calling a girl stupid, it’s “You’re not a stupid girl.” And we’re not dissing Hollywood, I mean Hollywood is a great place, there’s a lot of good thing come out of Hollywood. But also it’s known for a trap for especially young women that are trying to become actresses and models that get out there and get success real quick, glamor goes to their head, and that’s just pretty much what we wrote about. We love Hollywood. We love women. So we were like hey, let’s write about this trap that Hollywood is known for.
How did you end up calling the album Miss America?
We had a song in the making called Miss America. We’re real big supporters of the military, and it’s a song talking about a soldier writing his mom, saying “I miss you, your prayers are working because I’m still alive.” It talks about him fighting and losing his friends. It later goes on he writes home to his wife, then his dad. It’s a really emotional song for the military but we actually went over to Iraq on the USO tour for a few weeks back earlier this year. We were over there and actually getting to live, we weren’t out fighting, but we got to live the men and women live, slept in the same places they slept and ate the same food they ate.
So we were like, let’s go back and finish this song, let’s put it on the album and let’s call the album Miss America. There’s so many translations of Miss America, you have Lady America, you have “I miss America,” so there’s two or three translations of that phrase. So that was a unanimous decision that, hey, let’s call the album Miss America.
About six months ago, Jared Weeks was in the hospital with his diabetes. He’s doing better now, I assume?
Yeah he’s doing good. Last year he got some kind of stomach bug and got dehydrated, and he takes shots of insulin. His body was counter reacting with it so he probably went five or six days without any insulin, but he wasn’t giving it to himself. So it took a toll on him and we had to cancel some dates and he spent a couple days in the hospital. But he’s doing well.
It’s really tough, especially I mean diabetes is a big disease that I know a lot of people have, but living out here [on the road] you don’t have the best of diet and your sleep schedule stays messed up. You definitely have to stay on top of yourself, and sometimes it’s hard to do. But he’s doing well, and we’re gonna keep on touring and keep on playing.
You guys have a song on the record, Mississippi Moonshine, named after your home State. Do you guys feel like you’re carrying the torch for Mississippi?
Oh wow, that’s some big shoes to fill because 3 Doors Down is also from Mississippi. But we’re proud to be from the South, we’re proud to be from Mississippi. We feel Mississippi loves us and we definitely have a fan base there, and we’re proud of it. We let everybody know where we’re from.
Mississippi Moonshine is definitely a southern rock song. It stands out. We were raised on southern rock and old classic country and it really shows on that song.
You guys are playing the Hard Rock in Biloxi in late June. I know that’s the opposite end of Mississippi from where you’re from. Does that feel like a home town show for you?
Anytime we’re five hours from home we call that a hometown show. You get up to Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, it’s definitely feels close to home. And all of us have family in all them States, so every time we’re in one of those States there’s a family member out or some friends from high school. So we love going to that part of the country.
What do the rest of your touring plans look like for 2010?
At the end of June we have some dates with Buckcherry, and then we go out on a headline run. We take the band We Are The Fallen, they’re going to be our direct support, and then the band American Bang and Taddy Porter. So we’re gonna go out for about a month and headline.
We Are The Fallen has a female lead singer. Have you guys previously toured with a female fronted rock band?
Yeah, Hellstorm, definitely. It’s definitely a man’s world out here, and most every female we’ve met that’s an artist, especially in rock music, is they’re real cool and just real fun to be around. So it’s definitely going to be a fun tour.