Zach Bedsaul, the guitarist of the alternative metal/hard rock quartet SAUL, was beyond gracious enough to answer a few questions with me about their forthcoming debut album Rise As Equals, the album’s writing process, the album’s collaborations, and some of the upcoming plans for the band when they have a bit of downtime amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
You guys are planning on releasing your debut album Rise As Equals on October 23rd via Spinefarm Records. How do you guys compare this record to your previous EPs? Was there anything you did differently in the writing or recording process?
We collectively found out that putting together a full length is a little more work than we thought it would be. It was a blast and a bit stressful at times, but it went very well. This was the first time we had an opportunity to write in a studio setting instead of writing everything in our rehearsal spot and then tracking.
How do songs come together during the writing process for SAUL?
It usually starts with a guitar, bass riff, or drum pattern. Our song “King of Misery” actually started with Blake coming to me with the chorus, lyrics, and melody. It just depends on where the inspiration comes from at that moment.
What are your musical influences that shape the band’s sound? You got that unapologetic hard rock/alternative metal sound shaped around all of your own traits that make you stand out amongst many in the genre by making songs of positivity out of real life experiences. But where do the heavy elements and the electronic pieces in your songs get their direct influence from?
Blake and myself have been huge Tool fans for many years, so from Maynard’s vocals to Adam’s edgy rhythms and sounds. We took a turn when we discovered the UK guys TesseracT, Monuments, and Architects, and really fell in love with that djenty, 7-string sound. We’ve always loved programming and that goes all the way back to Pink Floyd and more new age like Bring Me The Horizon.
I’m sure it’s quite stressful trying to release an album during these unprecedented times, how has it impacted the process in releasing Rise As Equals?
The quarantine in a way kind of helped us with the writing process. We thought we were done, but the label asked us to go do a few more songs and honestly, these last songs we wrote were some of the strongest. It all worked out in our favor.
How was it writing a song with Disturbed’s David Draiman over Zoom versus writing it in person?
Definitely a bit more difficult. We had to get the technical issues figured out first. Zoom wanted to compress the audio and it made it very difficult until we finally figured out the settings. After that it was pretty decent. We found you just don’t get the same vibes over Zoom versus in person.
So you released the album’s second single “King of Misery” approximately a month ago now, how has the reception been from the fans?
It’s been phenomenal so far! We are currently #25 on Billboard Media Base and couldn’t be happier. The Equals seem to love it and we are getting a lot of support on this.
How did the collaboration with Sevendust’s Morgan Rose come about? He appears on just the two tracks, “Looking To Fight” and “Inside,” correct?
Morgan was only on “Inside.” We collaborated with him on this writing of this song and it was an absolute blast. He’s a great songwriter and has fantastic rhythm ideas. I’m thankful that he actually drummed on this song for us as well.
Is there any song(s) off Rise As Equals that you’re dying to perform live in front of an audience, whenever that chance may be?
I think “Sticks and Stones” is going to a fun one for live. It’s a bit heavier and the lyrics are brutal. I honestly feel a lot of people can relate and the driving push of the music just helps deliver it.
Finally, what are your guys’ plans for the rest of the unforeseeable future? Any live streams or anything for the album’s release?
We are doing a CD release party on Friday, October 23rd to support the record. We’re doing a commentary section before the performance side to talk about songs, influences, lyric content and who we worked with on it. Then the performance, and directly after that we will do a Q&A for The Equals.
Thanks for the time! With everything still going on in the world right now, I hope you’re all staying safe. Is there anything else you may want to add?
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Thank you and let’s RISE AS EQUALS!