Earlier this week, post-hardcore veterans Saosin‘s debut self-titled studio release turned 10 years old. Since the monumental 2006 release, the group has gone through lineup changes and even a four-year hiatus, but still continues to make a name for itself within the respected genre, having released Along The Shadow earlier this year, recorded by all of the original members (save for original bassist Zach Kennedy).
Bass guitarist Chris Sorenson, who’s been with the group since 2003, recently had time to sit down and reflect on Saosin in celebration of its 10-year existence. Read the exclusive interview with Sorenson below to read about how the band feels about the album a decade later, experiences touring internationally for the first time, and even stories on where and how certain tracks were written for Saosin.
First of all, how does it feel knowing Saosin’s self-titled release turns 10 this year?
CHRIS SORENSON: Immediate feelings are old, but really, Beau [Burchell] and I were just talking about this a few days ago. We were trying to think of the spans of time between records that were super important to us growing up versus when we actually got into a position to release music of our own, and it’s crazy to think of how much of a difference perception makes in relation to those facts. 10 years before our first EP [Translating The Name] was released in 2003, records like In Utero [by Nirvana] were just coming out. In 2003, these seemed like old records to us. And here we are in 2016 with a record that came out 10 years ago, and it honestly feels like yesterday. It’s such a wild thing to comprehend, and for people to actually be talking about it again 10 years later—wow, could have never imagined this feeling.
At the point of time when Saosin was released, Cove Reber was only a member of the band for a few years, replacing Anthony Green. How was the adjustment in dynamic while writing Saosin?
All of it was new. The way the EP was written was basically separated by time and place, and Anthony came in and laid multiple ideas over the top and it was kind of “created” on the spot. It was like a long demoing process with time in the rehearsal space. It was more, “Hey, we have these songs and we’re looking for a singer; do you have some ideas to throw over the top?” And that’s kind of how it happened. With the self-titled, we had not only a lot of expectations—with the success of the EP and “Bury Your Head,” years of touring and signing to a major label—but also, we had a few more egos in the bunch. I did not write a note on the first EP, but I did exclusively write the music for “Bury Your Head,” so it was kind of this weird dichotomy of history with a fresh perspective. Cove and I were relatively close and would write the most together. Cove had some huge shoes to fill as well, and there are moments on this record where he was completely confident and others where he was scared shitless, and I think that really comes out in the songs of this record. It’s all truth.
With Saosin possessing some very memorable tracks that still hold up today, did you know these would be so well-received upon initially writing and recording them?
We honestly didn’t know what to expect. We were really stressed out for the most part during recording, but this was masked by a blind confidence that what we were doing was the best possible version of what we were capable of. We also really took the time to make sure the music could stand on its own, but also be a framework for vocals to be simple yet effective. When people started telling us they liked it, we were actually really humbled. It was from all corners, too—true music fans as well as musician dorks/band members. We got a lot of great feedback.
Looking at releases such as In Search Of Solid Ground or the more recent Along The Shadow, would you say any of the tracks or styling from Saosin helped shape your future works?
We knew we could get away with a lot more than we previously thought. The EP is a pretty heavy record, musically speaking—not a lot of space for songs like “You’re Not Alone” or even “Voices” on there. So yes, I think once we got through the self-titled it was apparent to us that whatever we did, so long as it was written from a place that was true to us and our methods, that it would be perceived as Saosin.
Looking back on things 10 years later, would you change anything about the self-titled release?
Our record label. The music business took a huge shit in 2006, and at the height of our release and touring we were shuffled around to different places at the label and to different labels entirely. The teams changed and the history changed. I remembered being on the cover of a big magazine at the time, and basically our product manager introducing himself and saying, “Oh, wow, I’ve never actually heard of you guys.” I honestly believe that if the label had not shit the bed we would have had a lot larger reach and ultimately a greater success. By the spring of 2007, our record was dead in the water thanks to the label.
After the release of Saosin, it propelled you guys to tour internationally for the first time. How was that entire experience looking back on it now?
It was insane. All of it. In 2006, we did the Taste Of Chaos international tour with Underoath and Taking Back Sunday, and it was like a giant field trip. We were all friends previously and we spent two months circling the world and just really having our minds blown. The travel continued into 2007 and we got to visit some really wild places, like Jakarta, Indonesia. I drank cobra blood!
Were there any bands in particular you enjoyed playing with while touring for Saosin?
During that cycle we toured with Alexisonfire for basically the entire year between ’06 and ’07. We are still great friends to this day.
Do you still find yourself revisiting any tracks from Saosin nowadays?
The intro to the record is so powerful to me. Stand out songs are “Voices” and the last song [“Some Sense Of Security”]. I constantly listen and just think about the process of writing the verses to the song “Collapse” in my shitty diesel Mercedes on the way to the studio one day. Or writing the bridge section in “You’re Not Alone” and showing it to a couple people and them giving me a weird people’s eyebrow like I was crazy. “Voices” was written in the condo I live in now, when I moved out of the apartment the entire band lived in and basically almost quit the band. All of the things that made up that record come out every time I listen to it, and it’s all good memories, really. I wouldn’t change a thing because really, Saosin—Saosin is awesome front to back.
Do any of the themes touched on in Saosin still hold relevant for you after 10 years?
The cover of the album was about how an idea can start so small, and develop into something that seems so strong, that we hold so dear. But there is always something bigger that can crush it—things you can never imagine. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t create new ideas and be imaginative and dream, but it means that nothing we create is sacred, without the possibility of it being destroyed. There is fear and power in that and both can be used for good.
Is there anything else you would like to add that I forgot to ask?
Will we ever play this record again live?
We’re trying to make it happen, but as this was written from personal experience and emotion, it needs to be performed from that same place. Currently we are not ready to channel that part based on the band’s current form, which is with Anthony on vocals. But, as with anything we do, when we want to do it, we will. S
‘Saosin’ was originally released through Capitol Records on September 26, 2006.