Story by Jonathan D’Auria

Photos Provided by Capitol Records

What’s been the craziest moment on the road?

The craziest thing by far was when we were heading to Orlando for a sold-out show and the back axle flew off the van and crashed into the cab. I swear, my life flashed in front of all of our eyes. People were taking pictures of the worst day of our lives. We missed the show, but we got a good story out of it.

Being on a bus for long periods of time together could be a great thing or a bad thing. What’s your band dynamic like?

You know, we’re like any group of boys—we pick on each other and mess with each other for a good time, but at the end of the day we’re family. We always keep our focus and make music our first priority. We all want to take over the world together, so there’s not too much grab-assing when it’s time for work.

Who are your biggest musical influences?

I am the biggest Atreyu fan ever, but I also love Stone Sour and Hank Williams Jr. The first time I ever heard 3 Doors Down, I knew I wanted to be a singer, especially because [Brad Arnold’s] voice is Southern like mine. At the end of the day, I must say that the entire reason I’m doing what I’m doing is the blues. Put on some Kenny Wayne Sheppard and I’m a happy man.

You have a lot of touring coming up. Do you have time to work on your next album?

Well, we’re going out with Puddle of Mudd for a six- to seven-week trip and then we’re heading out with Buckcherry and Shinedown for a while after, so we’ll probably write on the bus up until our break. That’s when we’ll head in the studio next—whenever we get off this damn bus!

And what can we expect from your new material?

There’s gonna be a lot more consideration for each other’s playing. When you write and perform together for so long, you really get to know how your boys play their music. Regardless of how it sounds, though, it’s gonna be a lot more “balls to wall” –you know, the kinda songs that can kick your ass one minute and make your girl cry the next.

We look forward to it

How does it feel to have a hit single in “Addicted’?

It’s kinda overwhelming; it actually makes you start to enjoy what you do more. I feel lucky that people have been way receptive to the whole album. I mean, nobody just yells for the hit at our shows. People love the whole performance.

How and when did you write that song?

It was written over a year ago when I was still working in a hospital starting at 4 o’clock every morning. I used to hum it when I was walking in and out of patient’s rooms. When lyrics hit you, you just have to write them down, so I wrote that song—and a lot of the album’s material—on prescription pads and notebooks. Now don’t get any ideas—I never used the doctor pads to prescribe pain pills or Viagra for myself (laughing). But sure enough, four months later it came together and ended up on the radio.

Do you always write your vocal parts in hospitals?

Luckily, I spend all my time now on this bus, with no urgent need to work in a hospital. The songs pop right in my head and I just have to let them out. I never try to force anything out, or it won’t be honest.

Tell us a bit about the x-rated video for “Addicted.”

Have you seen it yet? I love my girlfriend, but filming that video was the best seven hours of my life. Watching yourself on TV is such a trip, but we can really sit down and appreciate all the hard work we’ve put in when we watch it. We really are appreciative of Playboy for airing that shoot for us, and it did get us a lot of viewers.

I’m sure your male fans sure dig it.

You’d be surprised, man; the women almost think it’s hotter than the men do, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

What was it like recording your first album?

It was a ton of traveling for all of us. We all had 9-to-5 jobs at the time, so we’d clock out, drive across the state to record at night, and then be at work in the morning. I can’t even tell you how much of my life has been spent in a car, but it was all worth it in the end. We got everything to sound just as we wanted it, so it was a great learning experience.

How did you get into music in the first place?

[Guitarist] Josh Null and I have been working together for eight years now. We played acoustically for a while, but then ran into the rest of the band about three years ago. The rest is history.

So it must be pretty surreal having such as fan base as you do nowadays.

I never could’ve dreamt of having so many people loving what I do. It’s a trip! Just getting to talk to these people is motivation enough to keep going. And these girls—man, they’re so lovely!

The other night I was in a tattoo shop getting some work done on my arm when these three big guys came in and said they wanted to talk to me. Naturally, I  thought they wanted to scuffle, but then they said they had been at the show that night and that they had loved it. I had given a speech before our song “18 Days” about how lucky we are for our troops overseas, and these boys were military, and they loved it so much they gave me their dog tags. Now, that’s respect.

Wow. That must’ve felt good.

Yes, sir. I believe those fellas only get two sets of tags, so to give me one of them was a really big gesture.

Aside from adoring military fans, who do you make music for?

I try to write my songs thinking about what people from age six to 60 think about. I try not to leave anyone out of our music, and I think that range pretty much covers it.

What do you think it is that makes Saving Abel so popular?

I think we have a really familiar sound—you think you’ve heard us before even if you haven’t. We’re from the South, so it’s in our blood to have the Southern sound.

And I’m assuming the Southern hospitality goes with it, huh?

You betcha! It’s always “yes, ma’am,” “no, ma’am” and “please” and “thank you.” We do things right around here. People might not think we’re so polite ’cause they just know us by the “blowjob song,” but everything else we do gets full respect.

What’s been your favorite show so far? 

I tell ya, the Kansas City Rockfest was huge. We opened up for Stone Temple Pilots in front of a sold-out crowd of 50,000. I had chillbumps the whole time watching Scott Weiland from the side of the stage. I kept having to say, “Calm down, Jared, you’re OK.” But, really I felt so small, like, “Who am I? That singer has done so much more than me.”

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