Interview with Cove Reber from Saosin

GW: Hi Cove, how’s the tour going so far?
The tour’s going awesome, this is our fourth show. My first show in the UK on this tour, I didn’t talk all day before because I had a really bad sore throat. I was so nervous going on and when I actually made it through the entire set I turned to the guys and was like “Yeah! I did it!”

GW: So you still get nervous then?
Only when I know that I’m not going to be able to give 110%. I had to really calm it down when I was ill just to make sure I could sing the whole thing, but for the most part I don’t really get too nervous. You get so used to it, like you know the first time you get up in class to give your oral report, you freak out because all your friends are giggling, but its no longer like that for me. At the end of high school getting up in class was easiest thing to do, I just didn’t care.

GW: You’re staying with Alexisonfire for the rest of the North American tour – are you excited about that?
Yeah really excited. I’m kind of bummed that we’re gonna miss this first two shows in Canada, as we have these radio festivals in America. We disassemble a lot of stuff from home to bring here, and it’s kind of a bum out cos we’re already done 6 weeks in the US, 2 weeks here, and having done all that we have to put everything back together to make sure it works, then do another 2 and a half weeks in Canada. We’re kind of at our limit of touring at the minute so we’re kind of nervous. I really wish we were playing those first dates in Canada though, because although this gig is huge, twice as many kids come out to every gig in Canada. Alexisonfire are huge there. They’re the first or second biggest rock band in Canada. Dallas is huge too in the pop world because he does the acoustic City and Colour stuff, so kids come out to shows wearing City and Colour shirts, its kind of weird!

GW: So you’re ready to get back into the studio?
Well I have a lot of new lyrics ready but we don’t have any real music demos. Our guitar player has been working on stuff but its always hard to do it on the road. We’ve got a month still left of touring, and when you tour for 2 and a half months you’re not focused on writing music, whereas I have all the time in the world to write lyrics so I have about 30 pages of stuff that I just need to go through to make sure everything is where it needs to be. But we’re gonna start writing when we get home this time, cos we have about a month off. We’re looking forward to writing this new record because everyone is in their own environment, instead of when we wrote the last record and we all lived together, which kind of sucked! Now that we live apart its easier for us to be ourselves – we’re not trying to constantly please each other. It was good because we learned how to deal with one another, but it sucked because we’d come home from tour and it felt like we were still on the road! It’s much better now because everybody has their own space, so I think the next record will be a lot better because everyone will be way more relaxed.

GW: Who’s been partying the hardest?
A couple of characters have come out on this tour – George and Steele from Alexis! Steele can drink, let me just put that out there! Steele can drink any time of the day, its just amazing. I’ve definitely seen more of George than I have wanted to, and there are a couple of dudes in our bands, like Beau, but with him it depends, sometimes he’ll drink a little bit. Our tour manager will drink a lot, usually him and Stu (Alexis’ tour manager) will get together and hit the bars like they’re on a date, and they’ll come back with arms round each other going “dude you’re so awesome!”. Then Stu switches back into being a tour manager, and our tour manager’s like “fuck it, I’m gonna party tonight!” It’s funny because George will tease him when he does that.

GW: How has supporting Alexis compared to your headlining UK tour in the spring?
It’s awesome because we’re not playing over an hour every night, we’re palying 40 mintues, if that. Its nice to change from playing that long to doing a shorter set, but not only that, our attitudes have kind of changed. When you headline, you’re the biggest band and you need to make sure you’re the best you can be every single night, so when Alexis and Norma Jean were playing with us we were mentally prepared, because they’re really amazing live bands and get the crowd moving and by the time we went on the kids were really amped and ready to be a part of our show. Now that we’re playing with Alexis and its reversed, they’ve got that attitude and our attitude is that we need to make sure these kids are moving during our set. The goal for the opening bands I think is to get kids involved with your show, because if they do they seem to remember you a lot more. We want to play the best we can and be as energetic as we can. We don’t have this when we come to the UK, we have about 100 people there, but this is what we want in the UK and Canada – bigger shows. We tour in America so much so we can keep growing and growing, so that one day we’ll be as big as My Chemical Romance, which is I think what every band wants – to be able to play huge shows every single night. Hopefully we’re slowly but surely getting there. The more different tours you do, the more likely you are to achieve success.

GW: Well of course you played the Taste of Chaos tour this year – how did it feel to play with Taking Back Sunday for some of those dates?
It was really awesome because on that tour, we really bonded with Taking Back Sunday and Underoath. It was fun being able to bond with Adam [Lazarra] because when I was in high school I really really loved Taking Back Sunday, so being able to meet and bond with him was just really really cool. When I joined Saosin, Spencer had just released a record with Underoath so then I got to meet him and he was a really sweet guy and because of that tour he’s one of my best friends. I talk to him as often as I talk to my Mom and Dad.. It’s awesome to have spent 2 months out of my life travelling the world with awesome dudes who’re now like my best friends. We’ll always have that tour, its weird because the only thing we had on the tour was each other – I talk like that was a relationship!

GW: Well, you often play with your contemporaries like The Starting Line – do you see yourselves as very much part of that scene?
More so now than when Anthony was in the band. I was a huge fan of the Starting Line and Kenny had such a huge impact on me with melody and words. I think we do now fit in a little bit more with those bands than bands who’re coming out of our scene, or what was our scene. We still fit in with 30 Seconds to Mars, The Used and Senses Fail, I think those kids get us, but its weird because we cross so many genres. We might not be hardcore, we might not sound like Norma Jean, but we’ve toured with them. We might not sound like Avenged Sevenfold but we’re toured with Avenged Sevenfold. We’ve toured with Taking Back Sunday, Underoath, Anti-flag, so many different and we’ve played in front of so many different types of kids that I think a Saosin fan can’t really be defined yet because we see so many different people coming together at our shows. We see the hardcore kids, the 30 Seconds to Mars fans, college dudes, Goth girls, the popular girls – you see all these weird people coming out to our shows and we think its awesome because everyone is coming out for us and to have a good time. To see the pretty popular girls hanging out with the goth girls and the scene kid is hanging out with the jock – its kind of awkward but I think that’s the power of our music – we don’t have a definition so our fans don’t have a definition. It’s awesome that we don’t.

GW: So how do you think the band is different to how it was with Anthony and Zach?
Well obviously everyone was younger, a little bit more immature, and I think the music now has become way more mature, even though I’m the same age now as Anthony was when he wrote Translating the Name. These guys have aged musically and they helped out a lot on the vocals to get me to where they need me to be, so I think we’ve definitely just grown up and the music has got more mature and instead of setting a boundary. From my standpoint the two CDs that stand out from the screamo genre, and that will be the best screamo records ever are Saosin’s Translating the Name and The Used’s self-titled. Our new album may not sound as raw, it may sound over-produced, but the thing that matters is the songs and if you come out to our shows you’re gonna feel whatever you felt when you saw the Used for the first time. Its incredible, they’re the feelings I always want to have on stage and that I want to make sure everyone else is having and that’s why the attitude here and back in the States is that we need to make sure these kids are having the best time of their lives, because we want them to come back and feel those feelings that we felt so many times.

GW: So what do you guys think of Circa Survive?
They’re a good band, they’re much different to Saosin which is cool. They’re just different.

GW: So you wouldn’t tour with them because it wouldn’t quite fit?
I think it would fit, for us and them it would work, I don’t think it would every happen though. We would be fine playing with a band like that, with that kind of sound, but making a tour like that happen would be very very unrealistic. Those guys have come out to our shows before, we’ve gone out to their shows before. People ask if we’re enemies but there’s no animosity. I think at the time of Anthony’s leaving it sucked for these guys cos he left at a really really bad time, the worst time possible – Saosin was on the rise. He told me and everyone in the band afterwards that he quit because he was scared. He felt like they were getting too big too fast, and he wasn’t ready for the responsibility of being that huge and having to be a showman. So when he quit and formed Circa, it sucked for these guys because they were left in the dark and Anthony was already starting a new project. So we’re glad that its over now and we are where we are, and we’re proud of them and him for where he’s gone. It’s a weird thing but there’s no animosity. I’m friends with him, he’s one of those people I call every week and check in on, and if a friend of mine is backstage at their show I’ll tell them to give him a hug from me and vice versa. It’s definitely cool between him and I, but I wouldn’t ever be able to see him and these guys (the rest of the band) touring together. I just don’t see that working.

GW: So do you think Saosin’s career was a bit fractured because of Anthony and Zach leaving the band?
Yes and no. When Anthony quit Saosin got so much bigger, then when I joined the band our first show was the biggest show Saosin had ever played. Nothing stopped, it just picked back up and kept rolling. Things were just put on a temporary hiatus, there was no fall-back or anything like that, they just needed to wait for somebody to come along and that somebody was me. They were ready to pick it back up and keep going and it gave them the opportunity to write more with Alex and Chris so I think it was a good thing that they still had the attitude to make the band happen rather than give up. So it sucked for them and for all Saosin fans, including myself, but I’m glad that these guys are still creating music, and not just because I’m in the band now! I think they work really well with one another, and I think I work well in the band.

GW: What’s your favourite song to play?
It changes every night when I get off stage, but usually its ‘I Never Wanted To’. Its weird because here I feel like we stick out like a sore thumb – Ghost of a Thousand is mostly screaming, then Alexisonfire is singing and screaming, and then we just sing, so I feel that we stick out and I think that song really sticks out. I think we’re the only band who have a slow song! That’s kind of cool for me to get kids involved that song, and ‘You’re Not Alone’. It does change but that’s the song I look forward to the most because it means the most to me. It the one song on the record that we wrote over a year and a half, it was done in demo form and then we needed an extra verse for it by the time we recorded it, but I told the producer I couldn’t write the lyrics until something happened to me. The song is about different events in my life – the first verse is about 2 events that happened back to back, then it just so happened that they day before we needed the song, something happened and I managed to finish the song. It was cool to watch things change and the song change because there are so many parts to it that come from different times over that year and a half so its fun for me to pull my feelings out and put them into the song every night.

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