"The fact that anyone would have that kind of connection with one of our songs just blows my mind."
Saosin are returning to Australia this month for their first-ever headline tour down under, their first tour here since 2010, and their first in Australia altogether with original vocalist Anthony Green. Phew!
It’s a massive tour for longtime fans who grew up in the MySpace era, jamming to the band’s post-hardcore classic debut EP, Translating The Name in 2003. Green left the band not long after Saosin’s first release due to personal reasons and wound up forming Circa Survive in 2004.
After Green’s departure, Saosin recruited vocalist Cove Reber and together, released the debut self-titled record in 2006, and In Search Of Solid Ground in 2009 before Reber was dismissed in 2010. In 2013, Saosin reformed, but it wasn’t until 2015 that Green rejoined the band at live shows and recorded the album Along The Shadow in 2016.
Rounded out by guitarist Beau Burchell, bassist Chris Sorenson, and drummer Alex Rodriguez, Saosin's scene-defining blend of heady artistic intellectualism and passion is an adventurous rush of energy. Equal parts confidence and vulnerability, it straddles the line between metalcore angst and melodic experimentalism and strikes the perfect balance of what makes their music simultaneously gorgeous and brutal.
All members of Saosin are busy with their own side-projects in music and real-life adult stuff, so there hasn’t been a follow-up to Along The Shadow yet.
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Even if you’re unfamiliar with “the scene” that encapsulates post-hardcore, emo and other alternative music, you’ve at least heard of Saosin.
To celebrate one of post-hardcore music’s formative pillars' first-ever headline tour of Australia, we caught up with Beau Burchell from his home studio about the band’s big return, producing music for heroes like He Is Legend, the MySpace era, Katy Perry, and much more.
How’s your day been so far? Have you been doing other interviews?
Beau Burchell: Yeah, actually, it’s been kind of cool! I enjoy talking about the band, I guess, because I am constantly forgetting that I am in a band [laughs], because I produce and mix a lot of albums. So right now, I'm in the middle of mixing an album that I have to finish before we leave. And then I just came out of mixing, like another three or four albums that I've just been producing nonstop. So I just live in the studio.
Every once in a while, I have to be reminded that like, oh, yeah, you're in a band! It’s fun for me to talk about. And also, I apologise – this is my Twitch streaming setup. My computer and everything is facing this way, so my camera's kind of off to that side. It might look like I'm looking off into space, but I'm really looking at you!
Oh, it’s totally fine! Who have you been producing for?
Let's see – He Is Legend is coming over there pretty soon; I just mixed their newest album and that was awesome. There's another band called Dead Sara, that's more of a rock/pop kind of album, so I mixed that album as well. Let's see… It's real heavy, kind of like Killswitch Engage kind of band, but maybe a little bit more modern and heavy, called Lightworker. They're on Solid State Records, and then a band called The Seafloor Cinema, who's on Pure Noise, so I'm wrapping them up right now. And then I just did a couple of live recordings for a band called The Struts. It’s just been nonstop, you know?
And then I have this year's signature guitar model coming out, so I've been having to finalise that with the manufacturers. It's been nonstop busy, but I think that's how I thrive. Dude, it's crazy. Like, if I don't have something that I'm marginally stressed out by, I feel weird. Do you know what I mean? Like, I should be doing something right now. Like, what am I supposed to be doing? I know I'm forgetting something. And at those times, it's actually really hard for me to transition into vacation mode because I feel like I'm supposed to be doing something.
I'm just finalising all these projects that I'm working on, and then finally get to Australia, which is so exciting. I feel like it's been forever since we've been there. And then of course, right now, it's just like, perfect timing, because it's cold here. And I love, love, love hot weather. So I'm going to be in my zone. Chris and I are going to be renting mountain bikes every time we can, like, just going mountain bike riding. Oh, man, we're definitely gonna do all the touristy things; we're cheese balls. We just love it.
How are you really feeling with the Australian tour so close? It’s been 13 years since you were last here.
Dude, I know. It's crazy. We were just talking about how crazy it is to me that, like, our last album came out in 2016. It doesn't feel that long ago! I mean, obviously, with COVID and everything, we just woke up, and all of a sudden now it’s 2023. It definitely does not seem like it's been almost seven years. It's amazing to me that we haven't gotten over there sooner. But then also, if you look at our sort of band philosophy or band motto, it's something that always pops up with us in more recent years, where I think mainly because we are in an extremely unique position where Saosin is not like our job, you know what I mean?
Yes, we get paid for it. But it's not our livelihood, so we look at it like it's a vacation. Between me, I have a successful music production career, Chris has a very successful video career, and Anthony obviously has a very successful music career. Phil has a successful career with As I Lay Dying. So, everyone has their own career that we do. Saosin has turned into this passion project that we only do if we're absolutely excited about it, and that’s a really unique and fortunate position for us to be in.
I think sometimes, it can be frustrating for people that want us to be more active, but I think at the end of the day, when we do things, you can absolutely know that we are so excited to be there. If you see pictures of me playing [the guitar], I'm just the biggest cheeseball ever for the whole time. The whole band makes fun of me [laughs]. It’s like, ‘dude, I literally have the best night of my life every night.’ It's so awesome. I don't know, I forget what the question was. But yes, I am super excited.
The Internet has changed a lot since Translating The Name, which thrilled people on websites like MySpace and AbsolutePunk.net. What do you think the impact of that era of the internet had on bands like Saosin?
Oh, man, at the very beginning, it was like the wild, wild west. For bands like us, it was huge. You mentioned AbsolutePunk – that was one of the things where it was like being on a billboard in Times Square. People would go to AbsolutePunk to find out about cool music, at least at that point in time, right?
It was like, you either had to have an older sibling in high school, who was super cool and knew about all the cool bands. Or you had to know somebody that worked at an independent record shop, and they could get the cool music for you. Or you had to scour the internet and find someone who had really good taste in music, or a website, like AbsolutePunk where people could recommend things that were kind of cool, and you can trust the reviews.
For us, I think we got extremely lucky that we had so many people helping us in the early days, and on the message boards, and all that stuff where now people are like, ‘What the heck is a message board?’ It’s like vintage internet, you know? There's no way that I could deny the impact that having the internet help us, has had on us.
Did you see that SeeYouSpaceCowboy covered Seven Years last year?
Dude, that was so sick!
I know right? And I honestly wasn’t expecting them to stay so close to the original song. How do you feel about bands covering your songs?
It's a crazy feeling because I don't look at our music… I can understand if people were to cover a P!nk or Katy Perry or another huge artist’s songs. But I just don't feel like we are at that level. So it's just such a massive undeserved compliment when people cover our music.
Especially on something like that where all the bands on the compilation had literally the pick of any song they could have chosen, and for someone to choose one of our songs out of like the millions – I think it was a screamo compilation, so out of the millions of songs that exist, for us to get one is pretty awesome.
That's the thing – you talk about these people like P!nk and Katy Perry being at this level [raises hands], but, you know, your band is on that level [raises hands] for your fans as well.
That's another one of those mind-blowing things. But I think that there's a difference between – I'm not saying that huge pop bands can't be meaningful. But I do feel like there's a little bit of a difference in why you might like a band.
Even though I bring up artists like Katy Perry or Taylor Swift… I have so many fond memories of me swinging around the kitchen with my daughter when she was a baby and singing that song [All You Had To Do Was Stay] and I’m singing it at the top of my lungs, cracking up laughing. You can really form these bonds and memories with songs, and they don't necessarily have to be underground songs.
But I feel like most people are more attached to underground songs that are maybe relatable to the things that they might be actually going through. Rather than like, I don't know, like, for me personally, I can't relate to songs that talk about driving Lamborghinis and buying Gucci stuff, you know what I mean? It’s not something that I can relate to, but getting back to the Katy Perry thing – there was a song that came out maybe a year ago. What lyric was it? I literally had the song on repeat for a week straight in my house and my wife got so mad at me [laughs].
It was the ‘just because it's over doesn't mean it's really over’ –
Never Really Over!
Yes! Oh my gosh, it was so good. And you know, a song like Firework. There are so many of those songs where I'm like, ‘Oh, I love this song.’ I obviously love a good melody and an emotional melody too. And a good vocal performance. But then there's also a lot of stuff where I'm just like, I just don't connect with it, you know?
So the fact that anyone would connect with a song, in the same way, that I connect with an In Flames song or even Oasis – Oasis has so many songs for me, where I'm just like, when it comes on, Slide Away?! Oh my God, I’m gonna cry.
So the fact that anyone would have that kind of connection with one of our songs just blows my mind because I have such a strong emotional reaction to songs that I really love. And for someone else to have that feeling about something that I created, is just mind-blowing.
Saosin’s Australian tour begins tonight in Melbourne with special guests Alt. From there, the band will head to Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Melbourne and Perth are sold out. Buy your last-minute tickets here.