Last month, Saosin announced that it was at long last releasing a new album. It's their first in seven years...and their first since singer Cove Reber left the band in 2010.
The return in and of itself is pretty exciting, but it gets better: original vocalist and current Circa Survive frontman Anthony Green has returned to head the group. He told Diffuser, “Making this record was such a sentimental thing for me. You can literally hear us making amends with each other while lamenting on our experiences together. It was very healing and cathartic, and might be the heaviest thing I’ve been a part of since the first EP.”
He's not lying. Along The Shadow, which will be released on May 20 via Epitaph Records, feels like a continuation of where the band left off with Green. Along with the new full-length, Saosin will be featured on the revived Taste of Chaos tour, and is also playing a handful of U.S. shows this month.
We hopped on the phone with the reinstated frontman to talk about his journey back to the band and what the future has in store.
FUSE: Where are you calling from?
Green: I'm in a van with the other guys in Saosin. We're headed to Silver Spring, Maryland, our first night of a little mini tour we're doing so we can get ready. We're going to play some new songs for everybody. This will be our first show in some time. I'm excited! I get excited like when you kiss your crush for the first time.
You left the band in 2004, about a year after Saosin started, because the group was moving to a major label... or so that's what the folklore says. What really happened?
There was no interpersonal conflict. We all got along pretty well. I was young. I don't think I knew how to be a good friend to people. A lot of things got thrown out there about why I left. It was a lot of, "They're going to a major label," and "They didn't get along that well." The big thing was that I was just scared. I was scared of committing. I thought that if I was going to commit myself to working on something, it would be with people I knew better. That was kind of a cop-out at the time, when I look back.
That makes sense: People became interested in Saosin almost immediately. The major label thing is interesting because your other band, Circa Survive, went on to work with majors.
[The difference is that] that it was going to be our first release, our first full-length. I think that rather than sign to a major label right away, what Circa ended up doing was putting out two records on [indie label] Equal Vision Records. We built that fan base. It was slow, but I think it paid off for us in the long run. I was pretty nervous, back then, of being one of those bands that come out trying to be something that they weren't. We needed to pay our dues a little bit. I was in a situation with guys that we're like, "Let's go for it!" I wasn't ready to go for it.
It wasn't a good time for me, either. I was young and I wasn't really sure what I was doing, but I knew there was something not right about the situation. But I don't regret any of it. If a kid came up to me in my 20-year-old situation and said, "What should I do?" I'd say, "Maybe you should talk to your band about how you're feeling instead of running away." It's cool to be on the other side. We're all friends again.
What's going on with Circa Survive? Are you taking a break to focus on Saosin right now?
I wouldn't say it's a break, because they're writing and putting stuff together for our next release that might happen next year. We went really hard in the last two years. When you do what you love as your job, your passion, you're never really taking time off. You never step away.
Why is your return to Saosin happening now? Was it your idea to get the gang back together?
We've been talking about it for a while. When they parted ways with their old singer Cove Reber, I started talking to [bassist] Chris [Sorenson] about what they were going to do and he started throwing around ideas of maybe me helping them write. It got to a point where we all thought it would be fun to play the old songs again and write new ones. To be able to do a bunch of things, you have to have time management. I spent the last two years going really hard with Circa, now I'll spend a little bit of time with Saosin and my solo stuff. In order to line things up to continue to work all the time, I have to keep it fresh. Saosin is a little bit heavier than Circa and that's awesome, that different energy as an outlet.
Is this a temporary reunion?
Rather than have anything be considered full-time, this is not going to be a main project or side project. It's more like, this year I'll be doing more of this and less of that. It's not that one thing is the sun and everything else is revolving around it. There's a little bit of me everywhere.
A lot of bands from this particular music scene are reuniting or playing anniversary shows. Does any element of this feel nostalgic for you?
Oh, yeah! When you're singing the song you wrote when you were like 19 or 20 at 34, you can't help but feel nostalgic. You think about the things you were thinking about when you wrote the songs. It's awesome. What's really awesome is that we're still playing music now, years later. If someone would've told me then that this was going to be my life, I probably wouldn't have believed them. To be able to continue to do it and have fun doing it is pretty awesome. It was never like, "Hey, it's been a long time, let's do a reunion tour." It wasn't like that. It was more of us wanting to go have fun.
Glad to hear it happened organically... that it's not a money-play, or what have you.
Exactly. No one called us up and said, "Hey, this would be a good thing for you guys to do right now." Actually because of my family situation it was the worst idea. I'm putting more and more on my plate when I should probably be doing less and less. Luckily everyone I work with is pretty understanding in giving me balance and helping me accomplish going on tour and writing new records and not becoming the guy that's never around his family.
How do you create that balance?
Part of it is making sure you give everything its place, focusing on one thing at a time, deciding "This year I'm going to do this, next year I'm going to do that." You have to try and plan ahead. Part of it is planning, some of it is rolling with whatever happens.
“Things are going to change. You're not going to make the same album 10 or 12 years later.”
Your upcoming album, Along The Shadow, doesn't sound like vintage Saosin, but there are moments of comfortable familiarity. When writing the release, did you focus on staying true to what the band is, but evolved for modern audiences?
When I was in the band, there wasn't an idea of "This is what Saosin is." As a group, we never really discovered that. They became something after I left. Even after I left, I felt they were still evolving and becoming who they were. By the time we started on this record, we never talked like that. It was more, "Let's make stuff that we really like and that'll be our gage for what we keep and what we want." Things are going to change. You're not going to make the same album 10 or 12 years later. Music changes. Your taste in music changes. We were never trying accomplish anything greater than making an album that we like, that we were excited to play for people which I think was the same thing, the goal of the  EP [Translating the Name]. In a lot of ways, it's exactly like that because we weren't going for anything. Sonically it's a lot different because we're a lot different. We're all grown up.
Are there specific moments on the record that show you repairing your relationship with the other guys, coming together after a decade-plus?
Probably half the record is about me reconciling the things that were going on my life and the things that were going on with me and the rest of the dudes.
You've mentioned this before but the album is pretty heavy...definitely heavier music than we've heard from you in a while. Is there a specific reason for the aggression?
I love hardcore. I grew up listening to punk and hardcore music. When I was younger and I was singing with Saosin, I was always only ever in hardcore bands. When Circa started we wanted to do something a little bit different. After doing that for a really long time I wanted to do this, play heavy music.
Not enough Anthony Green for you? Watch the Fuse original video below wherein the singer tells us all about Descensus, Circa Survive's latest release.