Just hours before a pair of packed Brooklyn concerts, emo legends Saves the Day stopped by Billboard’s Manhattan studio for a lively chat and a trio of live performances.
“It feels really good to be playing shows knowing that everybody there wants to see us,” says Chris Conley, who formed Saves the Day in New Jersey during the mid-90s. The quartet just wrapped their first headlining tour in years, and were eager to share selections from their new self-titled album, along with a plethora of old favorites. At the studio, they did a little of both.
Conley, along with guitarist Arun Bali, dipped into Saves the Day’s 2001 album “Stay What You Are” with the track “Cars and Calories,” which has been a staple of their live set for years. Reflecting on the song he wrote 12 years earlier, Conley explained its meaning:
“It’s about living in our hectic modern world and being exposed to celebrity culture and the strange nature of our culture. And being a sensitive guy, (I’m) not sure what’s going on with all of that, knowing there’s probably more out there.” Watch Saves the Day perform “Cars and Calories”:
Since debuting with the album “Can’t Slow Down” in 1997, Saves the Day has gone through countless lineup changes, sometimes replacing every member besides Conley in between albums. But with this album, there’s a feeling that Conley has finally found the magic combination.
“I met Arun and I felt, ‘Wow, he cares as much as I do,'” he says. “Once I started playing with Arun, and then (bassist) Rodrigo (Palma), it felt like I had a band,” Conley says. “So the sound on this record is very cohesive. It’s another reason why we wanted to call this album ‘Saves the Day.’ Because, to me, this is Saves the Day, and this is what I always wanted it to be. I’ve got my guys that aren’t going anywhere and I love them. It took a long time to get here, but we’re just getting started.”
Watch Saves the Day perform “Ring Pop”:
It may have taken Conley fifteen years to find his ideal bandmates — but hey, better late than never.