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WEEKENDER
Return to Saving Abel

Saving Abel learns on the job


by Nikki M. Mascali
Staff Writer

Before making it big, musicians had to start somewhere. Rod Steward dug graves, Jack White upholstered and even Kanye West schlepped in retail. While some pre-rock star lives may not have inspired those future stars, Saving Abel vocalist Jared Weeks definitely drew on his patients for motivation — pun intended. Weeks used to draw blood in a Mississippi hospital.

“The old women there — and that sounds kind of perverted — I used to sing to them. The old ladies loved it,” Weeks recalled in his thick Southern accent. “They always had something good to say, and it kept me going and getting back up at 4 a.m. to be there. They were some special people there.”

Weeks spoke to the Weekender while at a mall with his girlfriend near Nashville where the band — also made up of guitarists Jason Null and Scott Bartlett, bassist Eric Taylor and drummer Blake Dixon — is recording the follow-up to last year’s self-titled debut.

Saving Abel wraps up a Midwest tour with Shinedown this Thursday and kicks off the summer leg of Nickelback’s Dark Horse Tour on Friday, which will roll into the Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain Tuesday, July 14. Hinder and Papa Roach join Saving Abel as openers.

Last year, Hinder drummer Cody Hanson took a shot at Saving Abel saying that the group was trying to copy Hinder’s much-lauded debauchery. Before he could be asked about how that might affect this tour, Weeks addressed it on his own.

“Hinder and Saving Abel are no longer battling each other, and it’s going to be really good,” he said with a laugh. “We were out with Seether the last time we were out with Nickelback, and it was lame backstage. Not that Seether was lame,” Weeks quickly covered, “but I know those boys from Hinder and Papa Roach, and I know it’s going to be a party all the time.”

One that apparently doesn’t end once Saving Abel boards its bus to roll on to the next town. For example, Weeks said, sometimes the band turns tour-bus PlayStation games into drinking games.

“If you lose, you have to take so many shots. Before you know it, we’re all wasted. We’re like a bunch of dudes in an Irish pub,” Weeks said.

But it’s not all drunken fun on the road.

“As you’re on the road, you’ve written on notebooks, sheets of paper, napkins and toilet paper, and you come home and put it all together, and can go ‘Wow, this makes a great song,’” Weeks said.

During the previous leg of the Dark Horse tour, the group used the GarageBand program to send clips to its producer in Nashville, where the quintet is now based.

“We’ll go back and forth, then get into the studio and everybody records the idea, and I come in and sing it,” Weeks explained. “This is only our second album, so we’re still kinda new at this and trying to figure it all out.”

Things began happening for Saving Abel very quickly, thanks in part to the hit single “Addicted,” which was written about Weeks’ ex-girlfriend.

“She didn’t like it ’cause Daddy had to work all the time, so Daddy found a new one,” he replied as his girlfriend could be heard laughing in the background. “I had to work — it’s good to be busy in this business.”

He eventually did thank his ex for inspiring the band’s breakout hit.

“I’m a nice dude, I treat all my girlfriends nice,” he said.

Despite the rapid change from its day jobs to touring with the likes of Nickelback, Saving Abel is still on a learning curve.

“It’s been overwhelming,” Weeks admitted, “but at the same time, it’s been a whole learning experience. A lot of times we’re out there and don’t know what to do in certain situations. I guarantee you we’ve been in every situation you can put anybody in, and we’ve learned from it.”