TUESDAY, MARCH 22, 2016 AT 8:14 A.M.
Saosin and singer Anthony Green: The marriage was fraught from the start.
Photo by Brandon Sloter
"We haven't done this in a long time," says Saosin's Beau Burchell, reflecting warmly on the band's early days. The genre-defining post-hardcore outfit has taken Burchell on a lifetime's worth of ups and downs, and the band's recent reunion with original frontman Anthony Green has him smiling through the phone. "It feels like my baby again," he says.
Burchell recalls his introduction to Green, via friend Keith Goodwin (now one-half of indie outfit Good Old War), whom Burchell was attempting to poach from Pennsylvania-based rockers Days Away for a project he pitched as "a hardcore, emo Björk type of thing." Goodwin passed, connecting Burchell with Green instead. "He's like, 'Oh, man. I have this friend, but you're probably not going to want him. He's kind of a crazy person, and he's a drug addict.' And I was like, 'He sounds perfect! That sounds like [it has] lead singer all over it!' That's how we met."
The marriage was fraught from the start. Green's immense vocal talent and intense stage presence were matched by his emotional volatility and an uneasiness with Saosin's rocketship trajectory. And in 2004 — less than a year after recording the band's debut EP, Translating the Name — he took his leave. It was only the beginning of the story for both; Saosin continued on for the remainder of the decade with vocalist Cove Reber, and Green went on to form the wildly successful Circa Survive upon returning home. Yet, for fans, Green and Saosin's successes apart only intensified speculation about what might have been. "Seeing him up there, really passionate about it — I get so much joy from that."
"We went through periods where we didn't like each other for a couple of years," says Burchell. "All of the sudden, you get older, and you're like, 'Why the hell are we mad at each other?'?" The two buried the hatchet in late 2012, and according to Burchell, it was apparent as soon as Green and the band began rehearsals together that the old magic still lingered. "Everyone in the room was like, 'Aw, this feels great.' Like he never left, you know?"
Following a few one-off festival dates and a short West Coast tour, Saosin is now in the midst of an East Coast run in advance of the newly announced reunion LP, Along the Shadow. "There's just so much emotion involved, I can't really explain it," Burchell says. "It's little things — some nights, Anthony will let out a scream at a different point in a song than he did the night before, and all of the sudden that will send me into a huge smile. Seeing him up there, really passionate about it — I get so much joy from that."
For now, Saosin is opting to stick to performing Green-era material. But Burchell acknowledges that the band's Reber-fronted self-titled album remains its bestseller and hedges when asked if that material could sneak its way in, instead pointing to the anything-goes nature of the band's recent performances with Green. "The way we are, nothing is really scripted about the set," he says. "We have a set list, but that's about it. The whole set is flying by the seat of our pants. So I don't think we could ever get ultracomfortable in the way some bands do."
Still, while Burchell is happy for to ride the wave created by Green's return, the new momentum hasn't changed his position on Saosin's place in 2016 and beyond. Though the band will be following its short present run with a six-week nationwide trek as part of the revived Taste of Chaos tour, Burchell cautions not to read too much into things. "I wouldn't even say we're really active. We have these couple of things booked, [but] I'm definitely not expecting to turn this back into a full-time touring thing."
Why is a matter of both pragmatism and preference. The former involves an honest reckoning of Green's other musical endeavors. As Burchell puts it, "Circa Survive spent like ten years building up what they've done, and between that and Anthony's solo project, I have no interest in taking away from them." As for the latter, Burchell has a home life, a family, and a career as a producer and engineer, none of which he seems keen to leave behind for long. Following Taste of Chaos, he plans to return to the studio, where he's got a full slate of production projects to keep him busy through the end of 2016.
"I may even try and write some more Saosin songs," he says. "But again, I'll just write them, and if the stars align and [Green] has time to sing on them, that could be cool. For now, I'm just so stoked that we actually got to do what we did. It's like going to the World Series or something. Just the fact that we got here, I'm stoked about. Whether we win or lose, I could care less."