SAVING ABEL: Biography
"You know when you hear a song on the radio and you don't know who it is, but you love it and feel like you've heard it before? That's our band! The first time someone hears us, they go, 'I know that band!' Then someone explains, 'no, it's a brand-new song and band.' Saving Abel has an accessible and comfortable sound---you HAVE heard us before," states lead singer Jared Weeks. On their self-titled Virgin Records debut, songs range from the wild road tale in "New Tattoo" to the sexual innuendos of the aptly titled first single, "Addicted."
Weeks and Jason Null formed the band in their small hometown of Corinth, Mississippi in 2004. They met when Weeks, who was in a band, was playing guitar at his best friend's house, when Null, who was in a rival local group, walked in to rehearse with his band. Within days of that meeting, Null and Weeks were writing and honing the intimate writing style that now defines Saving Abel. In early 2005, the pair's songs caught the ear of noted producer Skidd Mills (12 Stones, Saliva, Submersed), who took the band into his 747 Studios in Memphis. Mills notes, "It was '18 Days' that hooked me. The first time I heard it I was like, 'these guys are the real deal; they'll be doing this for a long time.' Jason and Jared have always understood that the most important part of the music business is having great songs."
Saving Abel gradually came together in the final electric lineup of guitarist Scott Bartlett, bassist Eric Taylor, and drummer Blake Dixon, and the band paid its dues both onstage and off. Weeks would toss Saving Abel demos onto the stage when bigger bands played in town, and between playing gigs, working day jobs, and Weeks and Null constantly driving from Mississippi to Memphis to record their self-titled EP with Mills, it was a busy and prolific couple years. Weeks remembers; "I used to work at a hospital. I'd have to be there at 4:30 in the morning drawing blood. I'd wake people up and stick a needle in their arm. I'd be walking around the hospital, singing 'Addicted' in my head, writing down the lyrics on patients' clipboards and doctor script pads."
Null and Weeks bring in differing songwriting approaches influences, giving Saving Abel a well-rounded sound. Null comes from a musical family, and recalls Saturday nights at the local community center as a child. "We didn't miss it, ever! It was bluegrass band after bluegrass band. We'd hoot and holler, as we used to say. My brother traded my bike for a guitar for me when I was 6, and I learned 'Johnny B. Goode' that night! I go back to Willie and Waylon, but as a kid of the '80s, I also love Metallica. Also, Angus Young is one of my main influences, as well as the guitar sound and solos of Seattle bands like Soundgarden and Alice in Chains." For his part, a teenage Weeks played basketball and went to state twice in tennis before music consumed his life. A big fan of the blues and Southern Rock, Weeks calls himself the more "literal" songwriter of the two, explaining, "If something is really bothering me, or how I'm feeling at that moment, I'll write about it. For me to get the most out of a song, I have to get it almost to the point I'm ready to cry if I can't get it out, and that makes people relate to it."
After shopping their indie EP for almost a year, a copy of 'Addicted' found its way to one-time Virgin A&R Consultant Scott Frazier and manager partner Rick Smith. They were so excited that they sent the song to the label's Chairman/CEO Jason Flom. Flom was impressed upon first listen and immediately sent A&R vet Kim Stephens (Collective Soul, Matchbox 20, Edwin McCain) to see the band in Jackson, Tennessee. The band was signed the next day. Says Stephens, "I was sold on the merit of the songs and instantly recognized this was a band with huge potential."
Saving Abel, the Virgin debut produced by Mills, features mostly brand-new tunes, plus a few favorites from the indie EP, including the poignant, perfectly crafted "18 Days," "Running From You," and "Drowning Face Down." Null explains that "18 Days" was lyrically inspired by sheriff Buford Pusser of 'Walking Tall' fame, while laughingly admitting that the rowdy road trip in "New Tattoo" ("The blue is for the bruise you left in my heart / and the red is for the color we're about to paint this town") is "based on a true story." Null furthers: "Our goals are always to concentrate on the song, not just one cool part to make a kid bop his head. Every person I talk to loves a different song of ours." Null was also the one who gave the band its name: "I Googled the story of Cain and Abel and found a line about 'there was no Saving Abel,' which just jumped out at me." Everyone agreed and the name stuck... much like Saving Abel's songs get instantly stuck in the minds and ears of everyone who hears them. With a radio-ready sound combining big riffs and memorable melodies, Saving Abel has created a polished combination of Southern and Alternative rock... 2008 style. Get Addicted. Get Saving Abel.
OPENING ACT - THE OTHER PEOPLE
About six years ago, a talented, enterprising group of musicians came together to form what set out to be one of Mumbai’s most acclaimed bands. Indeed, the band saw early success and stood out in the crowd, aptly calling themselves ‘The Other People’. The band debuted with a frenzied night of Classic Rock and Rock n’ Roll at Not Just Jazz By The Bay, Mumbai in July 2004. Jam packed shows and many rehearsals later, The Other People had Mumbai’s nightlife abuzz and became hugely popular for their Rock n’ Roll renditions. Edgy and experimental, the band’s move into covering classic artists such as Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Neil Diamond, Frank Sinatra, Louis Amstrong, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Doors, Bon Jovi, U2, Bob Marley, Billy Joel, Billy Idol, Police, Status Quo, The Eagles, Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Bee Gees etc; qualified Soft Rock, Retro and Rock n’ Roll as The Other People’s distinguishable genre. With Reggae and Blues coming a close second, the band has a wide audience and fan following of people aged anything between 16 and 60 plus, and more often than not, the band ensures that they ‘dance till they drop!’
Known to bring an original twist into each track, the band never fails to surprise an audience and has them hooked. Committed to quality music and entertainment extraordinaire, The Other People have innumerable shows under their belt and continue to wow crowds at Mumbai’s hotspots including the Hard Rock Café and Blue Frog. Along with these big clubs, the band has performed at the world – renowned ‘Lakme India Fashion Week’ Finale After Party in November 2008, the prestigious Terry Fox Marathon After Party, the launch of ‘Absolut Vodka’s Rock Edition’ and at a party hosted by one of India’s biggest and most respected Fashion Designers – Mr. Wendell Rodricks. Unstinting talent and a passion to perform drives the band to persistently raise the bar and endeavor to deliver something unique each time. Of course, being from India, the band adds its own little Indian flavour to each song they perform which makes them stand out and be different from the other Retro cum Rock n’ Roll bands around the world!
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