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HEAD OF THE CLASS

Saving Abel tops hard rock package tour

Saving Abel.jpg

My, they grow up so quickly these days.

Saving Abel only has one album under its belt, but after scoring a bunch of radio hits from its self-titled 2008 debut, the Mississippi hard rock band has already established somewhat of a veteran presence.

That explains why Saving Abel is the headliner of The Class of 2009 Tour, which also features fellow recent hitmakers Red and Pop Evil, as well as Taddy Porter, which has been dubbed the freshman act of the bunch.

Guitarist Jason Null, who co-founded Saving Abel, recently took some time between tour dates to talk about the band’s past, present and future.

Medleyville.us: Who came up with the idea for this package tour, and how did Taddy Porter get picked to be the freshman act?
Jason Null: “The Class of 2009 Tour is actually the brainchild of our management team … Taddy Porter is also managed by them. We’ve done shows with all these guys before, and Taddy has been out with [us] on and off over the past year, so it’s been kinda like a family reunion.”

Let’s turn back the clock to 2004, when Saving Abel was in its freshman stage. What do you remember from that first time you and Jared Weeks met at your house to write some songs?
Null: “Actually, we met at his house the very first time. Not a whole lot came of it; we kinda jammed and didn’t really write anything. But he had an amazing voice – it was like I’d been given a Van Zant [brother], so we continued to get together on and off throughout the year.

“I remember waking up one morning on a day off from work and had a lot on my mind. As I sat on my front porch, I began thinking about my relationship at that time and how unhappy I was, but I also remember thinking that the day was really nice … and I was just gonna enjoy a beautiful day. That’s when [inspiration] hit me, so I picked up my guitar and began writing. I got really excited about the song and called Jared and asked him to come over. We ended up writing ‘Beautiful Day’ by 10 a.m. that morning. That’s when it really all started.”

What did you do to pass the time during your trips back and forth from Mississippi to Tennessee to record with producer Skidd Mills? Who controlled the car stereo, and what did you listen to most often?
Null: “Well, [Weeks] and I would take turns, and he’d take his ride one day, then mine the next. We actually would do some writing to and from [Tennessee] and talk about ideas. We finished writing ’18 Days’ in his truck about the time we saw the Mississippi state line. We would also listen to the rough mixes to and from and discuss the songs.”

What have been some of the most memorable tour moments since the release of Saving Abel’s debut album?
Null: “Our first big gig, the 93X Fest in Memphis, we opened for Drowning Pool, Puddle of Mudd, Chevelle and Korn. That’s when we really felt like our dedication was paying off. We’ve been out for more than two years, and there is just a lot of great memories from the van touring days on to the bus. I met my wife on the road.”

What’s the status on the next Saving Abel studio album?
Null: “So far, we have tracked about eight songs. The tour ends Dec. 18, so [after that] it’s back to Nashville to Skidd’s studio. I’m really looking forward to releasing this record. We have matured over the past two years, and I personally have had much to say. It’s really good to be able to express yourself like that, and to be heard on top of it makes it worthwhile. In a perfect world, I’d like to say that our fans could be expecting new music by March 2010.”

— Introduction and interview by Chris M. Junior

Class of 2009 Tour schedule (subject to change):

* Nov. 13: Orbit Room – Grand Rapids, Mich.
* Nov. 14: Fillmore – Detroit
* Nov. 15: Dow Events Center – Saginaw, Mich.
* Nov. 17: House of Blues – Cleveland
* Nov. 18: Egyptian Room – Indianapolis
* Nov. 20: Mohegan Sun – Uncasville, Conn.
* Nov. 21: Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, N.J.
* Nov. 22: Northern Light – Clifton Park, N.Y.
* Nov. 24: Ram’s Head Live – Baltimore
* Nov. 25: House of Blues – Boston
* Nov. 27: Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel – Providence, R.I.
* Nov. 28: Crocodile Rock – Allentown, Pa.
* Dec. 4: Amos’ South End – Charlotte, N.C.
* Dec. 5: Shoreline Ballroom – Hilton Head, S.C.
* Dec. 18: Cannery Ballroom – Nashville, Tenn.