Band Spotlight – Saosin

The rock band Saosin has made waves in the music industry, securing headlining positions on the Vans Warped Tour and boosting ticket sales. They pack clubs regularly and perform with high profile bands like AFI and My Chemical Romance. The popularity of the band is reflected by an astronomical number of song downloads via MySpace thanks to a very loyal fan base that continues to grow. The word “saosin” means “small heart” in Chinese. While the band does not exactly fit the mold of your typical rock band, they have found success in their own right by pursuing music and performing on their own terms.

Saosin Band Members

The five members of Saosin live and work in Southern California. Frontman Cove Reber performs with colleagues Chris Sorenson on bass, Alex Rodriguez on drums, and Beau Burchell and Justin Shekoski on guitar. Burchell and Shekoski are responsible for the original founding of the band; Reber is actually a new addition, following the exit of original frontman, Anthony Green, in 2005. At this point in time, the band is signed with Capitol Records, has produced an EP of demos, and initiated pre-production for a full-length album.

Capitol Records Album Debut

In September of 2006, Saosin released their first full-length, self-titled album under the Capitol Records label. Some fans wondered why the wait was so long, considering that the band released their first EP back in 2003. But singer Cove Reber explains that the band insisted on waiting until the songs felt right. They did not want to rush into anything they did not feel they had given 100 percent of their time and attention. This is in-line with the band’s refusal to adhere to a specific genre or mainstream label. Instead, they focus their energy on producing music and an album that can stand on its own merits. The band does not conform to a strict image like many young performers today. They hit the stage each night in jeans and t-shirts, letting their fans enjoy their authentic music.

With popular songs on the record like “Voices,” “It’s Far Better to Learn,” and “You’re Not Alone,” Saosin broke the mold and exceeded the rock genre expectations. Recording the album fueled Reber and band mates to start writing new material and get back on stage.

Saosin Growth and Promotion

Saosin has never been aggressive about promoting their band; instead, fans have used the Internet to get access to the Saosin music. Putting the responsibility on the fans to actively pursue the band has unified the fan base, letting the band enjoy an unprecedented loyalty from their fans. The band continues to relate to fans in unique ways, most recently by inviting fans to listen in on a recording session of their album “In Search of Solid Ground,” using a real-time Internet feed. Opening themselves up to give others a glimpse of their creativity and flow of ideas as the recording developed is what continues to attract new Saosin fans.

The band went back on tour in 2008 with Underoath as they fine tuned a new set of songs for their next recording phase. The newest Saosin album came out in 2009 and features 13 songs under the album title of “In Search of Solid Ground.” The album made its way to #7 on the Billboard Top Rock Albums chart and the band is enjoying this new wave of success.

After a number of tours, including the Vans Warped Tour and a 2008 tour with Underoath, the rock band Saosin has really made a name for themselves in the music industry. Fans know that this quintet of Cove Reber, Chris Sorenson, Alex Rodriuguez, Beau Burchell, and Justin Shekoski can deliver sold-out shows at clubs but what they may not know is that the band has found success through recording sales despite their atypical approach to writing, recording, and promoting themselves and their music.

Album Release Record

Saosin has released three EPs and two full-length albums between 2003 and 2009. They have performed on four Vans Warped Tours, a Rockstar Taste of Chaos event, and the 2007 Projekt Revolution tour. The band has performed internationally, with concerts in the United States, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, and Singapore.

EPs

Saosin’s first EP, “Translating the Name,” came out in 2003 as a self-release that they were able to promote on the Vans Warped Tour that same year. Their lead singer left the band, but recent high school graduate from San Diego, Cove Reber was happy to take his spot. With Reber in place, the band was solid and optimistic and decided to sign with the Capitol Records label.

The second EP, Saosin, was produced by Howard Benson in time for a 2005 release as a sort of preview for their first full-length album with the same title.

The Grey EP was put together in 2008 just before Saosin went on tour with Underoath. It includes three new songs and two acoustic tracks. The EP was marketed while on tour as well as online through hurley.com.

Saosin

This 12-track album was released in September of 2006 as the debut Saosin album. While many of the songs were remakes or revisions of previous demos, the album was well received by fans around the world. A limited edition version of the album included two music videos and some behind the scenes footage of what went into the production of the album.

In Search of Solid Ground

The most recent album release took place in 2009, and “In Search of Solid Ground” hit # 22 on the Billboard 200 as well as an impressive #7 ranking on the Top Rock Albums chart. The initial recording was done in Malibu with the help of producer Butch Walker. The universal themes incorporated into the album’s 13 tracks touch upon a quest for truth, the fragile nature of relationships, and the necessity of pain in the growth process. While the ideas are easy for listeners to relate to, they are presented from a new perspective that makes the album interesting and appealing to new and old fans alike.

Saosin finished the recording and producing of this album on their own, thanks to the rehearsal studio they built in Orange County as well as the equipment they travel with on their tour bus. With the Pro Tools rig housed in the back of their bus, they are able to keep the creative juices flowing even with the demands and expectations placed upon them while on tour. When “In Search of Solid Ground” was completed, Saosin headed back on the road for their fourth Warped Tour during which they were excited to play their newly recorded songs live for fans.

With two full-length albums under their belt, the Saosin rock band members are coming into their stride as singers, musicians, songwriters, and producers. The 5-member band takes on a lot of responsibility, recording much of their music live or in their at-home recording studio. They even have the back of their tour bus rigged up with recording equipment so that they can continue working on creative projects while they are on tour.

Lyrical Commentary from the Saosin Members

Bassist Sorenson expresses a feeling of uncertainty, “We don’t know exactly where this record is going to take us,” but he and his band mates are optimistic about the adventure in store for them. Lead singer Cove Reber uses his song lyrics to convey emotions from both ends of the spectrum. He hopes that fans, and kids in particular, can pick up on the feelings he has experienced over the last three years as they listen to each song. Reber hopes that fans will dive into the lyrics to understand and enjoy them at many different levels.

Album Reviews

Released in 2009, the album, “In Search of Solid Ground” has a few dark and disturbing songs like “Changing” and “On my Own.” However Reber reminds fans that there is always hope with the lyric, “Sometimes a leap of faith is all that we have,” in his anthem “The Alarming Sound Of A Still Small Voice.” Reber goes on to take a real leap of faith by closing the album with a notable 8-minute, 30-second long “Fireflies,” that pushes the Saosin sound and comfort zone to a new level. The band strives to break boundaries, labels, stereotypes, and expectations with this open and exposed sound on the album.

Music critics at the Alternative Press point out that Reber has developed a lot over his last four years with the band. His lyrics are becoming more personable, relatable, and introspective with time, which draws in new fans and keeps loyal fans truly engaged. This new album is more diverse than the Saosin album released back in 2006 and gives fans more to look forward to from future recordings.

Fan Favorites

Fans aren’t shy about voicing their opinions of the band and their songs online. Some of their favorite lyrics include the line “She’s just like him, spoiled rotten, confused by the lies she’s been fed “ from the song “You’re Not Alone” because it makes them cry every time they hear it. Other lines that make the top 5 list are:

- “I’ve been trying to reach you, but my extension cord wouldn’t reach that far” from “I’ve Been Dying to Reach You”

- “Seven years, you assured me that I’d be fine if I complied” from “Seven Years”

- “Wish I could love you, and I don’t regret the rain. Now that I’m sinking, I will just sink away” from “Fireflies”

- “Taking hits off the surface, it’s just too hard to swallow when their judgments are concentrated on everything they know” from “Sleepers”