Guitarist Arun Bali was holding it down for Saves the Day at the 2015 Alternative Press Music Awards, and we were lucky enough to snag some time with him on the red carpet. The musician told us Saves the Day are on a break from touring right now—it's been two years since their last full-length album—but that doesn't mean things are slowing down in his world at all. Bali's been writing, recording and jamming with some huge names in Tennessee music. Peep the conversation below.
Yeah! That was great. So much fun.
You told us you recently moved to Nashville.
I'm still there. I've been there three years now.
Are you pretty involved in the music scene there?
Yeah. I have a lot of friends that live there. I've been there long enough to kind of figure out what my niche is. The great thing about city like that is that it's so artist friendly. It thrives on musicians. I went there with a certain expectation but also wanting to try a lot of different things. It turned out the things that I wanted to do, going there, weren't the things I ended up doing. It's a process of seeing what sticks.
You're up for Best Guitarist, and in Nashville there's probably a lot of competition for that sort of thing. You're probably challenged there.
I went to a party recently—this is what I love about Nashville—I went to a dinner party and was sitting around playing guitar with Luther Dickinson [the Black Crowes] of North Mississippi All Stars and Jason Isbell [Drive-By Truckers] and we're just passing around a guitar like, is this real life right now? It's insane...trying my best to hang with those guys because they are monsters. I was going to visit my friend Corey Branan, who's a great guitar player, great songwriter, and he was like, "Hey man, haven't seen you in a while, come over and have dinner at my house" and these other people were there. I went home and practiced until, like, the whole next day.
Have any of these jam sessions lead to actual recordings?
There are some cool things I'm not at liberty to say yet. There's always people getting in a room together. Everyone has studios. I have a studio. I'm enjoying being involved in it in different capacities. I like being around people who just understand this life.