Soundtrack Work Sways Saliva Set

Excerpted from the magazine for

Saliva fans may want to pop some popcorn and settle into a dark room for their first listen to "Back Into Your System" (Island), the second set from the Memphis rockers. "Our music listens like a movie," frontman Josey Scott says. "It has peaks and valleys, tension and resolution, and I think that's what attracts people to it."

With the success of "Hero," Scott's collaboration with Chad Kroeger for the "Spider-Man" soundtrack, and featured Saliva tracks on "Training Day," "A Knight's Tale," "Resident Evil," and "Blade 2," the group kept in mind its marketability in the soundtrack community in mind when making the new album.

As the principal writer, Scott says, "I wanted to take my time and sort of lay it all out on the line creatively to make an album that wasn't conceptual, necessarily, but had a beginning, middle, and end."

If the plot to its 2001 Grammy Award-nominated debut, "Every Six Seconds," was that of five ambitious, wide-eyed musicians yearning for the big time, "Back Into Your System," Scott says, "tells the story from then until here. It's a wiser and smarter window inside our lives."

With songs like the Southern, metal-tinged "Holding On" and the title track, Saliva's second set (issued Nov. 12) deals mainly with the experience of navigating through the music industry after being thrown "into the vortex of the 'gravy train,'" as Scott puts it.

Recording for three months on the same board as the Who at New York's legendary Bearsville Studios, guitarists Chris D'abaldo and Wayne Swinny, drummer Paul Crosby, bassist Dave Novotny, and Scott were conscious that the album avoid any genre labels while reflecting the different musical influences of each member.

"I've never really been about titles," Scott says. "Coming from Memphis -- which is the Liverpool of America, in my opinion -- we come from all these melting pots of styles, and in the industry, if you have a little bit of hip-hop influence and use it as spice as we do, you're automatically pigeonholed as rap/rock."

Produced by Bob Marlette, who produced the group's first album and has also worked with Ozzy Osbourne and Marilyn Manson, "Back Into Your System" features the notable "Rest in Pieces," a track backed by a mournful guitar riff written for the band by Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue.

"I was really blown away by it, not just by it being Nikki Sixx but by [him as a] songwriter," Scott says. "We went into the studio with it and the rest of the guys fell in love with it, too."

The group recently tried out the new material with audiences as headliners of the Nokia Buzz Band tour with Audiovent and Theory of a Deadman. The band will return to the road Jan. 14 in Jackson, Miss., hitting clubs with Greenwheel and Breaking Benjamin in tow.

Excerpted from the Dec. 7, 2002, issue of Billboard. The full original text of the article is available in the members section.

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