A Conversation with Scott Wilson of Saving Abel
ANTIHERO: So, you recently left Tantric to join Saving Abel? Could you tell me about how that happened?
Scott Wilson: Sure, so, Saving Abel and Tantric, we were on the “Make America Rock Again Tour” last year for over 6 months. So, we all had kind of cultivated our relationships, became good buddies. And this year we were out with Tantric, Saving Abel, and Puddle of Mudd was with us. And Saving Abel’s talking to me, and they said, “Hey, you know we’re writing some music, why don’t you come on the bus and hang out and grab your guitars and who knows what we’re going to come up with. Who knows, let’s just start doing some writing”. So, that kind of started the thing. And then Eric Taylor, Saving Abel’s bass player that’s been with them since the beginning of the band, came to the band and said, “hey, I think I need to leave and just give up on the music thing for a while and stay home and just kind of retire essentially”. And the band talked to me about it and we all agreed that I would fill in for 2 months and see if Eric really wants to stick with his decision and he did. So, Eric calls me and said, “look, I’m going to stay home and you’re the guy I want in this position.” So, you know I had some soul-searching to do and eventually came to the decision to jump ship and hop in with the Abel boys.
ANTIHERO: I’m not terribly familiar with Saving Abel as much as I am with Tantric. It’s kind of a launch from Days of The New, right?
Scott Wilson: Yeah, Tantric was Days of The New originally.
ANTIHERO: So, as I see there’s only one member still, now in Tantric?
Scott Wilson: Yeah, Hugo is the only member in Tantric from the original band. Hugo and I have been together for almost 7 years now, so there were a lot of people that came in and out of the band during that time.
ANTIHERO: Can you tell me a little bit about Saving Abel?
Scott Wilson: Sure, well Saving Abel, I like to say it this way, our singer Scotty Austin every night says Saving Abel is an American Rock Band, and that is essentially what it is. It’s Southern Rock, but very cultivated Southern Rock. So, if you like Blackberry Smoke, Black Stone Cherry, you’re going to like Saving Abel. It’s Southern Rock and Roll music, but also in line with Radio Rock.
ANTIHERO: What is Saving Abel working on right now?
Scott Wilson: Well, we’ve got some tour dates coming up. We are getting ready to go out with the band Soil, on a tour called “The Redneck Revolution Tour”. So, it’s Soil and Saving Abel for September and October. And we’re going to go out and have a great time. And then, in November and December we are actually going to be recording a new record. So, for those of you not familiar with the band we haven’t released one in a few years.
ANTIHERO: Can you tell me about the songwriting process with Saving Abel?
Scott Wilson: Yeah, the great thing about this particular record is everybody in the band, all five members, are writers and singers. Like everybody in this band is super musical, and has created a lot of new and well, actually everybody in this band has had a bunch of songs on the radio. So, if that tells you anything as far as writers go, amazing group of dudes. So, we have all got together and talked. And we’re like, “if anybody has ideas for a song that for some reason didn’t work or something before, let’s put them all out on the table.” So, we, we’ve all sat around with guitars and then traded recordings and emailed and texted each other songs and song ideas. So, everybody is eclectically throwing music together so, when that happens with a group of great songwriters, you wind up with some amazing music. And that’s what’s going on, we’ve we just started tracking the ideas and putting them all together as a group, so it’s cool and super fun.
ANTIHERO: So, was the songwriting process different with Tantric, was it not a band effort?
Scott Wilson: Pretty much with Tantric we rarely got together and played. Most times everything was emailed to each other. We would come up with music and send it to our singer; he would come up with some stuff and then send it back. And we would talk about it and change things and do things. And then you get in the studio, the producer gets his hands on it and starts twisting the ideas around a little bit too, to mold them to be the best they can be. So, that’s kind of how Tantric wrote, there were a few jam sessions here and there where something cool would come out. But very rare did that happen, most times it was just, “hey, I got this whole music idea” and then Hugo works his magic with it.
ANTIHERO: Yeah, I guess it’s kind of hard to bond as a band when you’re not actually playing together. I assume you’re all living in different areas, that’s why you had to send it up?
Scott Wilson: Yeah, originally the band… everybody was in Louisville, Kentucky, or right across the river in Indiana. And then as time went on and members change, our last lineup was all over the US. For the guys, we tour so much and have home lives and things that we got to take care of. So, it’s just tough. The thing with Saving Abel is we write on the road. This band still loves music. So, a lot of musicians and bands that tour so much and as heavy as these two bands, have kind of lost being in love with music, you know? And Saving Abel is still in love with music; they love to sit around with guitars write and have a few and kick back and talk about the good times, and then write about them. So, it never stops.
ANTIHERO: You’re going to be recording on the new Saving Abel, and I see that Tantric is either coming out with a new album or it has come out. Did you play on that one?
Scott Wilson: Yeah and sing, and wrote a lot of the stuff. So, Tantric’s album is about halfway done. I don’t know when or if this album will see the light of day. But it’s a great record, it’s one of the best ones, if not the best one in my opinion, that the band has ever done and you know we were super pumped to make that happen. But yeah, it just wasn’t in the cards for me personally to be there doing that. However, Saving Abel, we’re doing this new one and I’ll be a part of all that and help them with production and everything. So, it’s going to be fun man, lots of good music.
ANTIHERO: So, who are some of your influences?
Scott Wilson: Musically, I grew up… this is going to be odd sounding… But, I love everything from The Cars. I’m also a huge Sting fan. And then of course, Rock and Roll man, you got Guns N’ Roses and Metallica. And I’m a huge Linkin Park. Chris Cornell was one of my favorite songwriters in rock, and Jani Lane from Warrant. So, these are people that I’ve modeled myself over.
ANTIHERO: Well, that’s quite diverse to go from Jani Lane to Chris Cornell.
Scott Wilson: They’re actually very similar writers if you take out the hits and you listen to actual works of their stuff that are B-sides and things. They were very relatable as writers, not performers, not vocally but their melodies, and you know… the melodic-ness of what they created, it was very similar.
ANTIHERO: So, you’re still working on a new Saving Abel album. When do you think that album will be out?
Scott Wilson: I think we’re looking at a single in early 2018. And then we’ll see how far we are on the record. If it’s completed by December than the whole record may be out in the spring, but either way I feel strong that we’ll have a single out early 2018.
ANTIHERO: Do you feel it’s important to step out of your comfort zone when it comes to writing music?
Scott Wilson: Absolutely, everybody has a certain forte that they’re good at musically, so we as people tend to write in the comfort zone so that it’s easy. This is what comes natural so, that’s where producers come in. And they try to make you step out of that comfort zone and push you to do things a little bit different but that’s what growing is all about. And if you’re not growing as a musician and try new things then you’re going to become stale pretty quick. So, yes, I think it’s very important.
ANTIHERO: So, is there anything else you would like to add?
Scott Wilson: Just if you haven’t come to a Saving Abel show, everybody jump out there and check us out on the road. We’ve got a lot of dates coming up and hope to make new fans and make the old ones super happy.