Bobby Amaru says his marching orders were pretty clear when he joined Saliva at the beginning of 2012 to replace original frontman Josey Scott.
"They wanted a new energy," Amaru, who was leading his own band and had also been the drummer for Burn Season prior to joining Saliva, tells Billboard. "When we talked on the phone the first time, they told me what they were looking for. They said they really liked my voice and liked my energy and, I guess, my vibe, and they said they had been lacking that for awhile. As they would tell you, it wasn't fun anymore in the band. It was almost like they needed a new fire, and I feel like I definitely added a new energy to the band."
Listen to new track "Lost":
Saliva's second album with Amaru, "Rise Up," comes out April 29 and features 12 songs, all of which first surfaced on last year's "In It To Win It." But Amaru says the latter, which is now out of print, was "just for the fans to kind of hear what was going on and stuff. Basically we released it online for a little bit; we didn't establish a release date in stores and didn't tell people about it. We just put it out there. But then we changed the name and the album cover and everything else and got a release date for stores, and it turned into ('Rise Up'). there's still a lot of people that didn't realize ('In It To Win It') was even released. There was no full-blown campaign like there is now for 'Rise Up,' so this, to us, is really the first album with this version of the band."
Amaru says Saliva wrote "20-something songs" for the album before winnowing it down to the 12 that appear on "Rise Up," and he says the process went smoothly. "These guys have been doing it a long time," he notes. "We just knew we didn't want it to be stale and like every other record they've done, not be like, 'Let's go shit out a record.' We wanted it to be kind of special, and we just focused on the songs before production. All I wanted to do was make sure it still sounded like Saliva; obviously it's going to, musically, because these are the guys who have been playing in the band forever. But at the same time we wanted these songs to have depth and meaning and try new things that the band hadn't tried before, different style riffs or things that are a little meaner or grungier and not so polished. That's what they were trying to get away from."
Saliva is in the midst of a U.S. tour with dates booked until late June, as well as an August 16 show at the Budweiser Grand Nationals in Peoria, Ill. And Amaru promises the band's schedule will be full for the foreseeable future. "We're just going to tour a lot, man," he says. "We're going to plan some international stuff and go overseas. We've got a lot of festival stuff we're doing in the summer as well. We're just gonna promote this (album), man, and play wherever they'll have us."