Saving Abel frontman Jared Weeks says fans will hear "a much more mature band" when the Mississippi rockers release their sophomore album, "Miss America," on June 8.
"We've been out on the road for three years," Weeks tells Billboard.com, "but what we did was any time we had a day off somewhere, we'd fly down to Nashville and write a song or two, then fly right out and do a show. So we're out on the road and experiencing things, so it was easy to have stuff to write about. I'm super-confident this album is gonna back up our first album," 2008's gold-certified "Saving Abel."
The singer describes the 11-track album, produced again by Skidd Mills, as "versatile" but true to the character of its predecessor. "One of the strongest things that we're proud of here is our Southern heritage, man, and you can tell that in this album," Weeks says. "We do throw a little bit more rock 'n' roll in there, but we've got a little more in-depth than the Southern twang that made Saving Abel who it was when 'Addicted' (the ubiquitous radio hit from 'Saving Abel') came out."
Weeks says that several of the new album's songs -- including "Bloody Sunday," "Hell of a Ride" and the ballad "Angel Without Wings" -- have been around for the better part of a year and even road-tested. But like "Addicted," "Miss America's" first single, "Stupid Girl (Only in Hollywood)," was one of the last songs written for the album, shortly after the group's trip to this year's Grammy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles.
"There was a little bit of pressure," he recalls, " 'cause we thought we were done and (the label) wanted another single, so we had to go back and write. I had just gotten back from the Grammys, and I read a quote from Marilyn Monroe where she said that a wise girl always kisses before she's kissed...So that's basically how the chorus of the song goes, 'You always kiss before you're kissed/You're not a stupid girl.' It's not really calling a girl stupid.' "
Saving Abel is shooting a video for "Stupid Girl (Only in Hollywood)" this week in Los Angeles and has already determined that another one of the album's rockers, "The Sex is Good," will be "Miss America's" second single. The title track, meanwhile, was inspired by the group's performances for U.S. troops both here and overseas, while "Mississippi Moonshine" shows off the twangier side of Saving Abel's roots.
The group is planning to tour hard in support of "Miss America," mixing its own shows and dates with Sevendust into mid-May and performing at the Rocklahoma Festival on May 28. Weeks says Saving Abel has "put in our bids for a few of the big tours that are going out this summer" but adds that "if the single does what it's supposed to, we may just go out by ourselves. It all depends on the people who are listening to us."