Michelle LaRose talks to Chris D’abaldo for Metal Masters
Photographs by Michelle LaRose
Hi you’re rocking out on Metal Masters. This is Michelle. Usually I try to be impartial when I interview bands but it’s hard to be impartial today because I am sitting next to one of my idols, Chris from Saliva.
Chris: How you doing? Good to see you.
MM: I have a few idols. Saliva’s one and Aerosmith is another so that’s going to roll into my first question. You guys did the Aerosmith/Kiss tour… What was that like?
Chris: It was amazing. We learned a lot from those guys. At their age, they go out there and they give it 110%. They look like they’re eighteen years old. They perform just insane! As much as they’ve been through, they don’t do anything. They don’t party or anything like that anymore. We kind of took that as some medicine for ourselves so to speak. We learned a few things from them. That’s where we’re at now. We’re healthy. We’re happy. We’re working our butts off out here. We’re having a lot of fun and we can actually remember it this time!
MM: I was looking at the Kiss/Aerosmith/Saliva tour and you guys were jumping on and off the tour, doing your own shows in between.
Chris: You have to do that. You have to keep the money flowing. We took a pretty big hit to do that. I wasn’t going to pass that up, that tour. I wasn’t going to pass that tour up. That’s a once in a lifetime thing, to play with at least one of those bands let alone both of them at the same time. I couldn’t pass it up.
MM: Those are bands we grew up with; we’re about the same age.
Chris: Absolutely. Absolutely.
MM: You guys are out promoting your latest album, Survival Of The Sickest. This third album of yours, you’ve kind of had this running theme on all three albums that you guys want to be a rock star, now you’re a rock star… We’re still seeing this theme. Is that something you’ve always wanted to do? Be on the stage as a rock star?
Chris: Absolutely. Ever since I was twelve years old. I’m thirty-five today, I just turned thirty-five thank you. We’ve thought about this and dreamt about this since we were little kids. It’s no surprise, we’re blessed to be able to do this and be at the level we’re at right now.
MM: From a fans perspective you guys are huge rock stars. In your perspective, in your own mind, are you there?
Chris: Rich and famous are two different things. Some people get both at the same time. Some people get one or the other.
MM: Your still waiting for the “rich?”
Chris: I’m still waiting for the “rich!” Yeah. [Laughing]
MM: A couple of songs on the album are very interesting. On Two Steps Back there’s something about The Dixie Chickens. What’s that all about?
Chris: Oh I think that was just a little nudge from Josey. He writes all the lyrics. He just kind of wanted to elbow them a little bit as far as whatever that controversy was. They went to a foreign country or something and said something political. We try to stay out of all that. They’re nice girls. They really know how to go out there and shake things up. God bless em’.
Chris: What’s it called again?
MM: Well I can’t say it here on TV.
Chris: I just love the way you say “F All Ya’ll”.
MM: F All Ya’ll!
Chris: Again, that was a Josey lyrics sort of thing. That song mainly is about us learning a few tricks of the trade. Being in this business, being a national or world touring band for the last four or five years and learning a few things. It takes a few years to learn how not to get screwed over. Can I say that? Is that fair? Not to get screwed over as much because you’re going to get screwed either way. This job, you know, don’t take a lot of things personal because it’s going to come. After a few years, we really took the bull by the horns with our own demons and cleared the stock houses as far as people that really didn’t have our best interest in mind. I called them up personally and let them go. I had replacements. We have a new team in place. I think that whole Nickelback thing was just a play on words. It was kind of like a catch twenty-two thing.
MM: On the new album there’s a hidden track. A lot of people are doing that these days. What’s up with the “hidden track” thing?
Chris: [Using air quotes] The hidden track thing is… A) We don’t like the number thirteen, so we don’t want track thirteen on the record. We actually get paid for eleven songs but we wanted to give the fans two more songs for free. So that’s where track twelve and technically track fourteen comes in. It landed on thirteen and we don’t like the number thirteen. We’re like, “We don’t want he number thirteen on our record so take it to twelve skip thirteen and have a hidden track number fourteen.”
MM: On Saliva.com, where you can find more information about the band, it was saying you guys were interested in taking time off around Thanksgiving and Christmas for births and weddings. Anybody from the band having babies or getting married?
Chris: I am. I’m having a baby boy. My first one…
Chris: Thank you, His name is Ryder and he should be here in a few weeks. Dave’s getting married. I want to be around when my baby’s born. It’s going to be tough because in this business you have to keep things going. If you’re not out there all the time… A lot of it is about perception, to the record label, to the fans, to the radio stations. If they don’t get the perception that you’re out there working they may bail on your record or they may say, “Oh my God, Saliva’s gone for a little while” and start fading them down in spins. Everybody knows we’re a hard working band. We like to stay out there and stay in peoples face. Hopefully I’ll be able to see my baby boy being born and spend some time with my wife.
MM: That’s awesome. Congratulations. I’d like to thank you for taking time out of your busy tour schedule to speak with Metal Masters. Now here’s a bad ass video, Survival Of The Sickest with Saliva.