Posted February 17, 2014
Look, it’s been an exciting day for you. Saosin just announced reunion plans with former frontman Anthony Green, and it probably still feels too good to be true. PropertyOfZack was pretty excited when we heard the news too, so we thought it’d be a great idea to have an interview with Chris Sorenson from the band ready to go to answer all your questions on the reunion.
We spoke with Chris about how long this has been in the works (a really long time), trying out and falling out with Tilian Pearson, the pride Saosin has, and the unlikeliness of new music. Read the full interview below!
Skate And Surf 2014: Midtown, Saosin With Anthony Green
Saosin is back-ish. The band will be announcing a brief reunion with Anthony Green on Monday. I started hearing rumors about this in May of 2013. It’s been in the air for a while. When did talks start?
Talks actually started in September of 2010 right after we had made the transition from Cove on vocals. That was kind of a long time coming as well. The situation we got into where we decided whether to continue on the path that we were on with Cove singing and seeing if it would work out or not. We launched all confidence in our talent, if you will. We just didn’t feel like we were the band we wanted to be, especially live. We had just gotten off Capitol, tours weren’t going too well, and we got our record back. It was the best time to figure out what wasn’t going to work out. We kicked Cove out and we were just figuring out what we were going to do.
I had started a full time job at a merchandise company. We had looked into other career paths. All of us and Anthony have been friends since like a few weeks after he quit in 2004. We’ve kept contact. So I went up to a Circa show in 2010 when they were playing with Coheed. Anthony texted me, and it was at a time when he was going through a lot of stuff. His first child, struggling with some of his vices, and other things. I went up there to support him a bit. I showed up and hung out for a while and shot the shit. As I was walking out, I told him we had kicked Cove out and why. He was like, “Why don’t I sing on some songs?” Okay, cool.
We didn’t necessarily take it all too seriously. Circa had a new record out and Anthony was having kids on top of his solo stuff. We were entraining the idea in the back of our minds that this could be possible. Over the next year into 2011, we met with Tilian from Tides Of Man. He is super talented. He is a really, really good singer. Really eager to do different things. Really pushes his limits as a vocalist. We really considered the possibility of working with him. It just so happened that there was a little bit of a generational difference between us and him. We come from a different era, especially as far as internet stuff is concerned. We grew up without it and grew into it. We didn’t take things as seriously. It can be a powerful tool, but also a complete and utter distraction and waste of time. Especially when self-critiquing yourself.
Needless to say, we got ourselves into a situation with him where we were stoked on some of the music, but we knew that we were at a point where if we did that it would be the absolute end of Saosin. We knew it wouldn’t go that far. Maybe we’d get a year of some soft touring.
The band had waited long enough where your mindset became, “If we’ve been waiting, we might as well wait until it’s right.”
Exactly. That’s a perfect way to put it. All the while, we were still talking to Anthony off and on, but not as seriously. It wasn’t a, “Hey, I’ll rejoin the band” type thing. It was, “Why don’t I just sing on a couple of songs.” One of the Tilian songs got leaked somehow. We got hit up by Anthony because he thought we were going to do some stuff. We were all like, “Well, we weren’t planning on working with Tilian, but it just happened.” So, needless to say, we kind of split things off with Tilian, but we didn’t do it in a good way. The relationship kind of dissolved more passively than we hoped. We didn’t explain anything to him, we just waited until it fizzled out.
It was public knowledge that the band was working with Tilian, but then it became assumed on the internet that things had died out once he began working with Emarosa and Dance Gavin Dance. What came next?
When we decided not to work with Tilian, we kind of focussed more on what we were doing career wise. The toughest thing is letting go of the possibility of still trying to do the band. At no point have we ever wanted to dissolve or stop doing it. But when we were doing it truly for a given period of time from 2003 to 2009, none of us did anything else aside from Beau doing a few records. We were pretty dedicated to the cause even though we didn’t turn out as much music as we should. All of our lives were in Saosin. To get ourselves out of that mindset was tough. We decided one day to start focussing on those paths. If something happened in the band, we’d pursue it, but not on the full time scale.
I went pretty heavy into the merch, photography, and videography worlds. Beau built his own studio and starting tracking more bands. Justin is doing guitar lessons and stuff; he’s always been a wiz there. That’s kind of what we’ve been doing. We always kept in contact and never lost our identity as Saosin.
We’d send riffs back and forth too. In the middle of 2012, Anthony hit us up again about getting the band back together. We wanted to do it, but told him that we didn’t have the desire to do a full cycle or tour nine months out of the year. We wanted to keep it simple and special, just like we did when it started. We had tracks that we liked for him to put vocals on. We started that process and got down to about fourteen full tracks without him on vocals. We were keeping fans updated on Facebook to let them know we were doing stuff.
Towards the end of 2012, that’s when we had demos without vocals. I think the reality for Anthony and ourselves set in that it just wasn’t possible for him to fit another band into his schedule. A lot of things were weighing on him as well as far as expectations went in terms of creativity. Especially in regards to topping anything he accomplished in Saosin before. He didn’t want to taint a legacy that we had, not to sound full of ourselves.
There’s something special there for so many individuals. It must be daunting, in a different way for Anthony even, to consider going that route musically again.
We were trying to be sympathetic with the situation. We were confident that anything we did would be pretty good because we wouldn’t let it come out if it wasn’t. We spend the most time critiquing ourselves on what we do. It just didn’t seem to come together. I think there was some conflicts of interest when it came to Anthony’s obligations with Circa, which we totally understood.
It’s somewhat ironic that essentially Circa started because he flew home and jammed on a few demos with Colin and decided to leave because of those demos. It was a little ironic to have it be in the opposite position. We didn’t think of it in any bad blood or revengeful tactics. It’s just funny. Regardless, at the end of the day, the reality is that we’re all friends. There is no conflict between us. We realized at one point that we were accomplishing a lot without Anthony on vocals and people responded to our songs with Cove in a completely different way. We didn’t necessarily need fans of the white album to be fans of our self-titled album. There was some crossover, but the conflict between each side of the fence worked to our advantage.
Saosin’s first full-length with Cove was clearly a success in terms of both fan acclaim and sales. It’s very rare for any band to accomplish that.
We don’t get it. We had some crazy extremely lucky break on our first EP, and we lost a singer, and then were able to recapture a different magic with our album. We’re completely aware of that and are stoked. Even parting ways with Cove, we knew that we had accomplished some pretty rad stuff. We’ve never had to play that show where we were selling tickets. We don’t want to get into a position where we resent anything in the past. We didn’t want one year to make ten years of being in a band not worth it.
We went into it thinking there could be a conflict. It wasn’t a direct conflict with us, they didn’t reach out to us and say no way. But it became obvious to us that he had obligations and responsibilities with that, and we had our own obligations and careers too. We weren’t relying on that paycheck like we used to. Towards the end of 2012, we were just like, “If it happens, it happens.”
In 2013, it became official that the new Saosin songs weren’t going to work. We were cool with it. We were really stoked on the songs, but at the end of the day, it didn’t matter to us. We had always talked about doing shows though regardless. We talked about that for at least two years. Whether it be for a ten year show or something else. Maybe the last Bamboozle, or maybe some club shows. Anthony, like I said, is a busy guy between all of his stuff and children.
All the while, we were still keeping contact. I have a side-project and we open for Anthony solo when he plays locally. It was a cool situation, but always in the back of our minds we didn’t want to waste a good thing. Like I said, when we released that EP, something happened and people responded. We wanted to make sure we paid respect to that.
Two months ago, we got an interview about Skate And Surf in May and that Anthony wanted to do it. They sent us an offer, details, and all that stuff. There was a possibility of doing other shows in the future, but we wanted to get through this one. That’s where we’re at now.
When was Skate confirmed?
I want to say three weeks ago.
This will be Saosin’s show in what, over three years?
The last show we played was during an Australian tour coincidently seven years after the first show we ever played. It’s funny because that’s what “Seven Years” is about. It’s about people changing every seven years. I think our last show was on June 17th, 2010. Anthony actually quit today (February 13th, 2013) ten years ago. We were hoping to announce today, but the Skate And Surf guys wanted to tie it in with ticket sales.
You’ve all had your careers, but I’m sure you missed people screaming at you.
The weird thing about this is that the experience we had with Anthony was completely different than with Cove. The biggest show we ever played with Anthony on vocals was like 900 people and that was opening for Avenged Sevenfold or something. We never fully actualized that part of the band. There was always this crazy dynamic between each other on stage. It was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced since. That’s really what we’re looking forward to; remembering those times when we were on stage together and being absolutely crazy and being completely in the moment, playing songs, and having people freak out.
We’re actually not looking forward to being on a large stage because we don’t know how to do that with that part of Saosin. We’ll probably sound like crap, because, as much as people like to compare both singers, the Saosin that played from 2003 to 2004 sounded like absolute shit.
We’re in February now. Skate In Surf is in three months. What does the timeline look like from now to then. A vinyl reissue of Translating The Name, you’ll play at least one show too. Is there anything else?
Nope, nothing at all. Anthony has quite a few obligations. He has a new Circa record, and they’re playing Skate And Surf as well the next day. He’s going to be busy.
What about practicing?
Anthony will be out here for Coachella and has some shows in between the two weekends. We’ll set up a day to get together and jam through the songs. All four of us are in the area so we will hash things out before he comes in. The beauty, and the chaos, of Anthony Green is that regardless of practicing, he’s going to do what he’s going to do. We’re not too worried about it. We want to make sure we have a 100% good and genuine experience with the show, even if it’s a one time only thing. We want to come out of it and it to be worth it.
That EP is 15 minutes.
We have like eight songs with Anthony. We’re going to have to get creative. If there’s a situation that we figure out a new song we’re stoked on, we’ll play it. Maybe there’s a cover we’ll play. We’ll get creative.
In terms of Saosin beyond that… Fans are going to hope for more. Will there be more shows?
I think that’d be great to do, but we’re waiting to see what it feels like.
As far as I can tell, you guys aren’t necessarily in a place where you want to do Saosin full time again, right?
No, not unless there’s a guarantee genie we rub and he’ll plan out the next year of our life and make it financially safe and beneficial. That would be the only thing to get us out of bed. Beau just had his first kid, Justin has a mortgage, and I have bills to pay and a career now. We can’t take that time off. The hardest part for us is not that we don’t want to do it, but when we’re in Saosin mode it’s all that we do. It’s not fair for anything else that we have going on. We’re tired of missing our little sister’s birthdays and missing anniversaries and stuff like that. We scarified a lot of that for ourselves.
Is there hope or a plan to have another vocalist in Saosin?
We’re in a situation now where if the possibility arose and the results were pretty clear to us. It’s based on our own reality and self facts. If we could tell ourselves that, then there may be a spot for future stuff. We just don’t want to be in a situation where we look back and are like, everything from the past is ruined because we forced ourselves.
You seem genuinely proud of Saosin’s accomplishments. It’s incredible to play “Seven Years” or “Voices” and to hear two different, but powerful energies. It seems like the whole band is proud and aware of that, which is rare.
Every band will say they do it for the art, but there is a point you reach where you’ve expressed the art that you’ve wanted to do. But is it worth it to be in the van, spinning out, and crashing? You need to look at what you’ve done, what you were able to do, and what you accomplished. Is the pursuit of more selfish, or is it better to just be stoked on what happened. At the end of the day we didn’t put out another song and officially called it, we wouldn’t be bummed on a macro scale. There will be micro regrets and things we hoped to do differently when it comes to the music business goes, but I think that we’re accomplished musically and on our own. We look back at those years as the most important things that we did.