Saves the Day's David Soloway with ES-330

Saves The Day may barely be a decade old, but they’re already veterans in the punk community who have influenced everyone from Fall Out Boy to Paramore. When asked about his band’s elder statesman status, guitarist David Soloway says, “Hearing that kind of stuff is incredibly flattering and gratifying because we don’t necessarily deserve this position more than any other band that’s been around for a while. Spending a couple of years on tour with younger bands and answering their questions has put a whole new level of significance to what it is we do." Soloway adds that during their current tour with Four Years Strong members of that band have filled in during Saves The Day's soundcheck because they already knew how to play their songs.

That's not to say that Saves The Day have become a catalog band. In fact, later this month the band will release their sixth full-length, Under The Boards, which is also the first album that they’ve completely self-produced. “We were really were interested in the idea of trying to specifically define each song sonically on this record,” Soloway explains. “We have a large enough collection of gear now that there was a nice palette to work with so there was a good deal of effort put into figuring out ahead of time ‘here’s what we’re going to try for this song’—and that was the fun part of it for me.”

Saves The Day

The result is unquestionably Saves The Day’s most varied album to date—and although it’s the second part of a musical trilogy that began with 2006’s Sound The Alarm, the only musical motif linking those two albums together is frontman Chris Conley’s distinctive vocals. For example, “Can’t Stay The Same” is a midtempo rocker that prominently features futuristic synthesizers, and “Lonely Nights” features one guitar track for most of the song and is the first Saves The Day song to fully feature piano. “I think that song is one of our big stepping stones as far as production goes,” Soloway says of “Lonely Nights.”

For Under the Boards, Soloway predominantly used a Gibson ES-330, a guitar he refers to as his “secret weapon.” “It’s more guitar than most other instruments, so I think we’ve kind of grown into the ability of being able to play them as we’ve gotten older and better,” he says. “The thing that’s so great about it is it’s got such a great tone and a lot of sustain and you really get a lot of note clarity out of it.” Soloway adds that Gibson is a part of Saves The Day’s signature and sound and that when he brings another brand of guitar out on tour “it just doesn’t work.”

This month, Soloway and Conley are embarking on a month-long acoustic tour—and if you’re wondering what their set list will look like, well so are they. “The whole intention of this tour was kind of to just go out and hang out and have fun and it may be that we just take requests all night or we’ll play entire albums,” he explains. “With a little bit of practice there’s over 100 songs we can play and there are a lot of songs from [the band’s first album] Can’t Slow Down that I’d like to play acoustically, because playing that fast has gotten harder over the years. But I don’t know exactly how it’s going to be; I can guarantee that it’ll be a mix; we’re just going to see how it goes.” As many hardcore fans know, the band are no strangers to playing acoustically; in fact on the 2006 Vans Warped Tour Saves The Day played both acoustic and electric sets every day.

When asked what has kept Saves The Day going through countless line-up shifts, trends, and changes in the structure of the music industry, Soloway’s answer is surprisingly simple. “Obviously the number one thing is that people keep listening to us and coming to concerts,” he says. “However, the second most important reason is that we’re stimulating ourselves creatively and we don’t really make a conscious effort to do things that are new and interesting to us, we just seem to be the kind of people who go in that direction.

“The music we listen to changes, our influences change, and our lives change, and we learn and experience new things,” he says. “All of those experiences affect the songwriting.”