Saving Abel’s Scott Bartlett Talks ‘Blood Stained Revolution,’ Lineup Changes + Military Support
It's been an interesting period for Saving Abel, as the band is back with 'Blood Stained Revolution.' This marks their first disc with new frontman Scotty Austin, as well as new drummer Steven Pulley. Loudwire caught up with Saving Abel guitarist Scott Bartlett who told us about the transition as well as how the band has come along with their new 'Blood Stained Revolution' disc. Check out the chat below.
The band has undergone some changes since the last album. Can you talk about the transition welcoming Scotty Austin and Steven Pulley into the band?
We had no idea what to expect when we hit the studio. Just because everyone can write and play their asses off doesn't always translate to good writing and collaboration. There was no formula. Just a bunch of guys bouncing ideas off each other and it was incredibly refreshing. There's something to be said for writing from a pure place instead of banging your head against the wall trying to write a "hit."
You might call us "old-fashioned." We come from a time and place where people just do what they're supposed to and don't really complain. We feel that currently in our country people seem to gravitate towards laziness and complacency … especially our younger generation. We don't even know if it's their fault. There don't seem to be any true leaders or positive role models out there. Everyone just complains about their problems without seeking for real solutions. 'Blood Stained Revolution' is symbolism for all of us starting with a clean slate. There's no propaganda behind it … it's an idea that's enticing and we just hope it makes people think and try to take action to better themselves instead of complaining.
What do each of the new guys bring to the band?
Musicianship was a no-brainer. Both guys are great musicians and understand how to adapt and play with different people. For Scotty it was a bit more difficult for him because he has always been a guitar player first and a singer second. We just dug the vibe of his voice and when we asked him if he was up for it he jumped at the chance. The transition itself was effortless because we made a conscious decision to stay too busy to think too hard. If you're confident in your band's ability to perform, I've always found this to be the most effective way to undergo any lineup change.
Jason is quoted as saying in a recent press release, "For once this feels like a true brotherhood. We have the tattoos to prove it." Did you literally all get tattoos and if so, what did you get to signify the brotherhood?
We re-branded the Saving Abel logo. Since Dec. 27 we've hit 47 states …. twice. We figured what better way to say this then the new logo tattooed on us. It's literally been a "revival" tour and we're proud to have the ink to prove it.
Saving Abel have spent a good amount of time on the road this fall. Can you talk about how audiences are responding to Scotty and the lineup change? And also, does working with Scotty bring about a different dynamic to your live set or sound in the studio you may not have been able to pursue before?
There were skeptics at first. Bottom line is that Jared Weeks is a great singer. We knew that. We opted to find someone who sounded completely different. What true fan wouldn't be hesitant to listen to us with an open mind?! They have since welcomed us with open hearts and minds. Scotty and Steven literally won over the entire country gig by gig and I'm proud to say that we rallied together and weathered the storm together as brothers and we proved it everywhere we went. A dear friend of mine in radio said this to me, "Saving Abel is awesome, but you guys have always been...well…safe. This new edge makes you completely unpredictable. And that's rock and roll." We bring this vibe to the stage and into the studio every time we're together.
The beauty of the new is Saving Abel is that we listen to each other. Not that we didn't before, but it's not five guys waiting to talk. It's like five guys building a house together. We improvise every night. I grew up listening to the Allman Brothers and they made a career out of this and changed lives along the way, mine included.
Which songs are you most interested in seeing how they go over with the crowd once you get a chance to fully explore this album in the live setting?
I know that as we work these songs into the set we will be trying new things in live settings and that "unpredictability" will keep everyone guessing, including us! So I'm looking forward to playing every track.
You've been very dedicated as a band to supporting the U.S. military over the years and this year you're making sure to release 'Blood Stained Revolution' on Veteran's Day. Can you talk about the relationship built with the military over the years and what that audience has meant to your career?
We are very proud Americans. People like to support the troops publicly, but not do a damn thing about it. We're proud to say that we will do ANYTHING in our power to remind them that we care. We have cried by the bedsides of amputees and burn victims with their families as we tried to get through an acoustic performance of '18 Days.' We don't want acclimates or medals for this. We just want them to know that we recognize them and appreciate what they do. We are in a unique place with a platform to let our voice be heard, but actions always speak louder than words. Military men, women and their families find us EVERY night on tour and thank us for all we do. So ultimately we're just glad they know we care at the end of the day.
The fall is pretty well taken care of, but what are Saving Abel's plans going forward in terms of promoting the new album?
There is a video coming the 25th of this month for "Blood Stained Revolution". It will be debuted at the Hard Rock Cafe in Memphis where we are playing the grand re-opening.
As far as singles and tour plans for next year we are taking it one day at a time. There are lots of ideas and options on the table, but we've learned a lot since we started this and we want make educated decisions regarding our path and our future.
Tennessippi Whiskey is the name of your new record label, but it also sounds like an awesome name for a liquor. Any thoughts of branching out in the branding of that name?
We are very proud of that name! And speaking of our future... Yes. From branding a tour to a TV show -- we talk about that. But music will always come first for Saving Abel.
Check Out the 'Blood Stained Revolution' Video