Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Interview: Saving Abel rocks USO tours

Many fans credit Saving Abel's music with helping them get through tough times. They relate to personal lyrics in songs like "18 Days," "Drowning (Face Down)" and "Addicted."

Saving Abel's rock songs speak to the men and women in the armed forces, too. The Mississippi guys just wrapped up an USO tour of the Persian Gulf in February, in which they visited eight military bases, playing seven concerts for soldiers in Qatar, Kuwait and Iraq.

Now back in the states, Saving Abel just released its sophomore album, "Miss America," out last Tuesday, choc full of crunchy, post-grunge rock and soulful, Southern-fried ballads.

Saving Abel headlines the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series aftershow on Sunday, June 13, at the Michigan International Speedway.

Bass player Eric Taylor checked in with NOISE about the band's new album and the USO Tour.

NOISE: You just wrapped up a USO tour in the Persian Gulf. How was that?
Taylor: It was really fun getting to hang out with the men and women of the military and seeing how they live. We slept in the same place as them, ate the same food - it was a really great experience.

NOISE: Do you feel like it's your duty as musicians to give back by entertaining the troops?

Taylor: Absolutely. What we feel - and we don't shove it down anybody's throats - but we feel they're over there fighting for our freedom. We're just asking for people to support them, not the war. (They) are sacrificing so much.

NOISE: You're playing the Michigan International Speedway on Sunday, June 13. Excited?

Taylor: We're lucky - we've had the opportunity to do a lot with NASCAR. We've met a bunch of the drivers, so every time NASCAR calls, we jump on it. It should be fun to hang with fans and watch some good racing.

NOISE: Let's talk about the album. Why did you choose the title, "Miss America?"

Taylor: Well, we chose that title when we were overseas. We have this song, "Miss America," and it's a soldier writing home to his mom and dad and wife. While we were over there, we said, "Let's finish this up." We all agreed it should be the title, and it's the first time all five of us have agreed on something that quickly. In the song, it's, "I miss America." America is also known as the lady, so that term can be used different ways.

NOISE: When you listen to the album, what stands out to you most?

Taylor: We pinned down our sound. On this album, you can really hear the Southern rock. It shows Saving Abel isn't afraid to get up and play some rock and roll. I'm most proud that we've grown as writers and musicians, and we can sit back and listen and think, "Wow, we've constructed that. We've improved that much."

By Anne Erickson, Gannett LSJ

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