Before calling it a day in early 2014, the original Saviour was one of the most promising young Australian bands in heavy music. Frontman Bryant Best jumped straight into his new project I Am Zero but it was always Saviour at the forefront of Best’s mind, so he got the band back together. The freshly rebooted Saviour features three brand new members, including the addition of Shontay Snow. Snow’s addition to the band not only rejuvenated the line up, but also helped Saviour reshape their sound for the next leg of their journey.
We caught up with them to see what’s coming up for their revival!
If your music was a person, what would their personality be like? Do you have any character that comes to mind?
It would definitely be a weird, introverted person.
The character would be actor James McAvoy from the movie Split (2016). He plays a character with dissociative personality disorder.
Our music journeys between both light and shade in the world, expressing an array of different emotions and ideologies, often within one track, which sort of reminds us of Split.
Having two vocalists in Bryant and Shontay, it’s within our strengths to play them off on each other, which is often where this sort of bipolar songwriting begins for us.
What’s the plan for the rest of 2017?
For the most part we look forward to releasing new music and hitting the road as much as possible. We found ourselves in the studio not long after Let Me Leave was released in January, and have some new material that we’re really excited about. So that’s probably on the forefront of our minds at the moment.
We are always looking for new opportunities to grow as a band, and push our sound to new audiences wherever that may be. We still haven’t played a few places in Australia, so we would love to get to those places in the near future, whether that be this year or next.
What’s on your music bucket list?
There are hundreds of bands and festivals we would LOVE to play, but these are some that we rattled off in the van as instant bucket list classics.
Splendour in the Grass
Warped Tour (USA)
Glastonbury Festival (UK)
Any tour with Limp Bizkit
If you had to choose an album title as a quote to live by, which one would it be and why?
Without sounding too grim, Bring Me the Horizon’s “There is a hell believe me I’ve seen it, there is a heaven let’s keep it a secret” is a pretty cool idea that we can get around.
What is the most bizarre moment you’ve experienced during a performance?
Back in the early Saviour days, we had major technical issues in Mt Gambier (Vic), forcing Bryant to do his best 10 minutes of standup comedy.
That would be followed by the poor bloke who tried to slide down a 20 foot flight of stairs in Melbourne on tour last weekend, falling from the top, causing himself a fair bit of grief. He did it while we were meant to be loading in, Danno was on stage not allowed back through to the green room and the rest of the band were stuck in the band room. No one knew what was going on, but an hour later we made it on and played. Was a really weird time for us, as we really had no idea what had happened or if the guy was ok. Thankfully, the last word of the night was the guy was in hospital and doing ok. So to whoever that guy is, we hope you’re doing well man!
If you could perform in a concert with three other musicians/bands of your choosing, who would they be?
Another really tough one to pick, and this will change for every member but for me as a guitarist, I’d love to play with these bands mostly for the nostalgia and the riffs.
Queens of the Stone Age
As a band though, I think an Australian tour with bands such as Trophy Eyes, Young Lions, Introvert and ourselves on a lineup would be really cool! Some of our favourite home grown talents and all really lovely people. Someone make this happen!
What’s on your Spotify playlist at the moment?
In the tour van, Spotify was bouncing around from Curtis Mayfield to Dimmu Borgir. Between us, there’s not many genres that don’t get a look in. Bryant has a history of listening to Drake for hours on end, Michael has his 60’s funk mix, Chrisso gets about his Balance and Composure sort of indie rock vibes, Danno loves instrumental jams and Shontay enjoys a bit of everything. After driving 30 odd hours, it’s hard to name just one or two bands!
If you could talk to your younger self, what advice would you give about the music industry?
Learn to record music, learn it now and never ever look back. It’s seriously hard to function as a band if you’re not putting things down and working on it that way. I remember the early days in older bands trying to write music in the “garage” setting. It works, but it ends up being a lot more work and it’s so easy to forget what you had done the week before at jams. We are now at a point of recording our own music and sending it off for mixing and mastering, which not only fits in better with our work schedule and things but is financially far more efficient than paying for an engineer, which last album costs us in excess of 10 grand. It also means for me (on guitars) I can put down drums/keys through midi, and play with structure and other things before sending my ideas to the rest of the band.
The other major thing would be don’t rush. When you have some music written, and you’re happy with your sound, hit it hard. Make an impact, because first impressions are huge. I can think of a handful of bands that have done it this way, and immediately they have a leg up on the competition. Email everyone and everything you are interested in playing, basically just don’t take no for an answer in regards to where you want to get to. Eventually, you’ll get a chance to showcase what you have, just make sure you are ready when that chance comes!
What’s in your gig bag?
We have a pretty big live set-up but compared to the bands like Northlane, who literally tour with a moving truck full of gear, it’s actually pretty manageable.
Drums – Michael plays a Mapex Saturn kit, paired with iron cobra kicks and a mix of cymbals, mostly Sabian and Zildjian. He plays with live clicks and samples via IEM, but we will get to that later.
Guitar – Daniel plays a six string Fender American Deluxe for all of the Let Me Leave tracks, and uses an E-ii JD7 seven string for everything else. These are run through a Kemper Profiling amp, which has everything needed for our live show. The most versatile piece of kit in our live setup.
Bass – Chris players a Fender P bass, and live we run direct DI through a Sansamp modeller. These are a great compact unit for traveling bands, and sound really good with the right dialling. There are other models which do the same thing as the Sansamp, such as the Darkglass, so do some research and find the right one for your budget.
Samples – We run cubase 8 live through a mac book pro. This is to facilitate all the production we use on the album, so it can be heard live. The samples (and click track for Michael) run through a presonus interface, which then routes to a stereo DI which goes to front of house. The presonus also runs to a mixer which we control the clicks and samples for Michael’s IEMs. We also send samples to Shontay here as well for her monitoring. We call this box of gear the Spaceship and is really the most essential piece of kit on tour for us.
Keys/vox – Shontay takes her Yamaha keyboard, a mixer, a vocal effects unit and her Audiofly IEMs to every show. The vocal effect unit has compressors, gates, reverbs and delays all bundled into one, so venues with no on-board FX don’t have to worry about it. We run that unit and the keys into Shontay’s mixer, along with the live samples, which she monitors her levels into her IEMs. This allows her to hear her more delicate vocals on stage while competing with a metal band behind her.
Why do you use Audiofly IEMs?
We were already using the dual driver IEMs, purchased from our local music store a couple of years ago. Even at an entry level, the difference between dedicated IEMs and the average headphones you can buy from any music store are huge.
As we are growing as a band, we have started looking to upgrade our in-ear monitoring set-up as it’s become one of the most important aspects of our live sound. We were excited to see how well the brand was doing being a local company, and since the first IEMs we had were from Audiofly, we figured why change? We are extremely excited to get the chance to work with Audiofly as an endorsed customer, and will be recommending them to anyone from drummers to vocalists looking to improve what they’re hearing onstage.
Check out their hit, The Quiet Calm, below: