Ian Storck

Back on the Road: An Interview with Bobby Amaru of Saliva

Music Scene Media
Apr 9, 2024
6 min read

Saliva and Drowning Pool are returning in 2024 for a second leg of their co-headlining SNAFU Le Tour. I had the chance to sit down with Bobby Amaru of Saliva before their performance to talk about the tour, their newest album Revelation, and the future of the band.

So you just kicked off the second leg, how was the last one?

September through October, yeah. It was really good. So we were like, let's do some more. And, you know, it just seemed to fit and work. Last night was really packed, and tonight it’s really packed. It’s fun when you have really packed shows. 

When did you and Drowning Pool first throw around the idea of touring together?

I remember we played in Denton, Texas, and C.J. [Pierce] came out. That's the first time I met him. He was one of the first guys I met, and he was great. Through the years I've always kept in touch. We did shows here and there and thought, hey, we should do this, and it’d be great.

They were stoked that they got Ryan back, and it just made sense. I’ve known those guys a long time. I've done shows with Ryan when he was with Soil. We did a run that they were on and he’d come on the bus with us and hang out.

I have to ask, what is the meaning behind the name of the tour? 

You know, we talked about a name for the tour like last June or whatever it was. It's something I think Ryan McCombs came up with, and I just said “fucking great.” I didn't even care what it was going to be. [Laughs] I think we were just, you know, trying to get on the road and have a good tour, and it could have been called Cheerleaders and Hellraisers for all I care. I mean, it could have been anything. So “Snafu.” I was like, “sounds great, go for it.”

You had a break since the last tour. So it ended in October, and then you were off. Did you miss being on the road?

We’ve been off the road until now. Our first show was last weekend. We just did a one off in Arkansas. 

When you're home for a while, you realize you love being on stage But you miss those things at home when you're on the road. So you try to do your best to be there. You make the time that you're there with your family count. And so we did a lot of stuff, a lot of trips, a lot of movie nights and a lot of quality time. But, I don't like to go on the road for, like, five months. 

That tour that we did last September and October was like seven weeks. That's the longest that we've done in a while since like 2016. So this is two weeks, then we have two weeks off. So we’re doing that and then we're doing some festivals in May and and we're out until June 1st. So we're not going out solid for two months. 

So you dropped your album last year in September, right before the last tour kicked off. I heard that you were already working on more new music?

I’m always recording at home and stuff and writing with people, and yeah, there's a lot of songs. We spent about three years making that record, and there are 12 songs on it. So there’s like another 20 that didn’t make the record. And it's not because they weren't good. It's just that, we just put the songs on the record that make sense. And we've got all these other songs too. And we’ll do something with them. 

We’re working on something right now that we may release at the year mark.

Wayne [Swinny] had a lot of influence on the last album, and you have more songs that were worked on by the full group, including him. How does it feel to continue the legacy and work that you started together with him?

Wayne was doing some killer shit, you know?

He was doing a lot of those riffs that make Saliva sound kind of what it is. Wayne was just an incredible guitarist. I think the thing with Wayne was he was always holding back his potential because those riffs that we all love are great, but in the early 2000s, solos weren't really popular at the time. Everything was very bouncy and heavy and in your face and loud and aggressive. The thing about Saliva I think was always cool and unique was the sensibility of melody. 

I think Wayne through the years just kind of felt like he was a box with the way that he'd written stuff. When I got in the band, I just took notice of how great of a guitar player he was and how talented. He was a seasoned and super old school and grew up on Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads, but he loved Nine Inch Nails and Rob Zombie a lot of this industrial, like Ministry. So I started thinking we should incorporate things like this into the music and give Wayne the ground to basically lay it all out. And this last record was important to him, because it was the one where he got to do whatever he wanted to do. 

You’re closing in on 30 years of Saliva, in 2026. How have you guys tried new things or thought of innovating your sound in the past few years?

You always want to outdo your last record. You don't want to settle for “eh we’ll just put that out.” You always want to try to take it to the next level. That's how I've always looked at it and been, like, “I've got to outdo the last record.”

There's a lot of bands out there that stick to the cycle and they put out a record every two years. They play the same festivals every other year, it's the same kind of thing, like a machine. We never really worked that way, and we just started getting back to radio last year, and tried pushing songs and radio. Things kind of got away from that. Sometimes you can become jaded by the industry and the way things work and you kind of have to play along.

I'm not saying it’s a bad thing, right? We try to focus on “let's just write the best songs and let's try to, one by one, get to the Saliva fans and to make new fans.” That was always through live [performances]. I always thought that live is how you do that.

Honestly, what's your favorite song to play live or sing live for you in this case? 

The last one? [Laughs] No. 

Part of the performance would be the crowd reaction, so which one really gets you going on stage? 

Let's go with an old one and a new one. As far as the new ones go, it's tough. I really like playing “High On Me,” our single, but “Come Back Stronger” is really fun, too. It seems like the crowd is into it, you know? It's heavy. And then the old one to play live? It's got to be “Your Disease.” It's the one that I always go back to, I think it’s the first song ever heard by the band, It’s a fun one to play live. I'm up there for an hour, and I'm just going to enjoy it all.

At the core, what is it that motivates and drives Saliva?

Fans, that's what it is. The fans, they come out, they support. It's been my 13th year and I’ve met a lot of really cool people. It happens all the time. You meet those fans that are day one fans. It always makes me feel good when they’re like “man, you're killing it. Everyone thinks the show’s great, love the new record” and all that. It just makes you feel like, you know what? It's positive. This is positive stuff.

Just have fun embracing the moment and make it mean something, you know? But the fans, old and new, it just shows that music is a very, very special thing.

You can find Saliva’s upcoming shows with Drowning Pool below:

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