INTERVIEW: Who Saved Who Tells Us Who Saved Who
Updated: Mar 11, 2021
JORDAN: All right, I'm recording now. Cool. So Sean, how are you today?
SEAN: I'm so good. How are you?
JORDAN: I'm doing wonderful. So would you want to start out by telling me about this project that you started recently?
SEAN: Yeah, sure. So this project has kind of gone on for a while. I've always wanted to be making music and like releasing it how I do it now. So really, it's been going on for quite a while. I guess it technically didn't start until about a year ago when we first released our first single, and then we were like, an actual thing, like an actual band now releasing music. So, yeah, it's been great. These are songs that I've had in my head for like years and I just never really found the way to make them come to fruition. And kind of knowing Sal, because I know how he's my drummer. And I've known him since high school – I was never really friends with him in high school. And then I saw he started, he was playing drums. And I was like, Hey, can you come into this interview? And then he said, Sure.
During the zoom call, Sal enters the interview from off-camera.
SAL: How's it going?
JORDAN: How are you? I'm Jordan. Nice to meet you.
SAL: What is it? Jordan? Nice to meet you, man.
SEAN: Cool. Cool. Yeah. So Sal was the one he's like, you know, the hidden ingredient in how we made music.
JORDAN: Nice. Nice. So, where did you come up with the name Who Saved Who? You know, you really don't, I guess see those kinds of like, complex, mysterious names that your project has. So where did that name come from?
SEAN: I just heard someone say that once. We were talking about a movie that came up. In this movie ... I don't want to give too many names out because this is a person that we might know. This person had a movie and there was just like, a character conflict. And this character was also helping this character who hated saving themselves. So it was also like, “oh, who saved who in this situation?” And then I heard that. And I was like, “who saved who...” That's a really cool, like, that's a cool concept. It's interesting hearing it back to me. Like, that's a complex name. I'm like, I never thought of it that way. But I mean, I always thought it just sounded really cool. And like you saying it is complex? It kind of reaffirms that.
SAL: Yeah when we were spitballing ideas it was, you know, a lot of people are like the noun or this or that. And so we kind of wanted to differentiate ourselves as well. And having something that's a phrase, and not only almost a question, at that point was really cool. The full sentence was my big thing.
JORDAN: Word. So I guess kind of an offhand question is “who did save who?” I know you said that it was from the movie idea. But is there like, someone you think of like when you say the name? Or is there something you think that kind of applies to the name?
SEAN to SAL: How would you respond to this? We saved each other, we saved each other. That's the thing. Yeah, I guess we could have a building relationship with the people that are listening to us. It's, you know, copacetic. If they are getting something out of our music, we're getting something out of them as well. So I guess just the music to fan relationship is also what it's about as well. That's kind of beautiful.
JORDAN: Wow, that is kinda beautiful. So correct me if I'm wrong, but “How to Be Strangers” was your first release, correct? Could you tell me a little bit about that song?
SEAN: Yeah, that's probably the most personal song that I've released so far. I mean that was at a time I was really reflecting on a past relationship. I had and just kind of, you know, been reevaluating the old days of the relationship. Specifically those final weeks you're with someone and you just know that it's not working out and you have to get out of it. And slowly, slowly, you're just drifting apart from each other until it doesn't feel like you even know each other anymore. So that's mostly what I was reflecting on those final days of a strained relationship that's run its course.
JORDAN: So instrumentally, how do you write songs? What are your writing and creative processes?
SEAN: I use Logic Pro and I just have like, a blank session going on. Sometimes I'll put in one of their preset drum tracks and I'll just go from there. I usually start with guitar. The guitar is like, my main instrument – I always build from that. So for “How to Be Strangers,” the first thing that I ever wrote was just those opening chords you hear. I slowly kept building up from that, then I added the second guitar, then the bass, then the synths. After, I had that whole instrumental track. It was when the words started coming to me. A lot of the guitar parts I’m singing along to. I just heard that guitar strum and heard the words “learn how to be strangers,” and I was like, “Oh, that's the hook! That's what the song needs to be.” It was a process that was super organic. I didn't have to think, it just came out of me. I was like, oh, that's what this is what it has to be called. And like this has to be a song now because I have a whole idea fleshed out.
JORDAN: That's really cool how it kind of came into fruition on its own. So after “How to Be Strangers” you released a couple more ... three more singles, correct? Could you give me the rundown about those?
SEAN: Yeah, so when we recorded “Strangers” and “New Life” we tried to record them in the same recording session, but we couldn't get “New Life” down at the time. We weren't as well versed in our previous studio sessions. They were pretty intimidating for the first time, to be quite honest.
SAL: Yeah, very humbling. There's a lot of things we just weren't prepared for, like playing with a click track. That was a hill for us to climb, but very worth it. It only made us better musicians.
SEAN: We wanted to release both songs at the same time. This is just a blunder on my part on how I release stuff, which is like still a new game to me – releasing music. Right now the easiest way was to release everything as a single consecutively. I mean, you release a song and then two weeks later you're kind of old news. So having those singles lined up to release was really beneficial for us to keep our listeners engaged.
JORDAN: Word. So I've seen across social media that there is an EP in the works. How's that currently going? Do you have anything to share about that today?
SAL: So we actually got our final masters back, and we have a release date for this and it will be April 9.
SEAN: So this is a three song EP called “Songs To Play Live.” It's our best work to date because it's the most we both put into a project ever. It's like lightning in a bottle for us, because it's like we live together now. And we practice the songs like every day. And you know even like, days before we went into the studio session were like, “let's try this new thing … let's try this instead.” I literally wrote lyrics to one of the songs like the day before we went in. It's a culmination of the best parts of us taking a lot of time to practice and also bringing in something new and spontaneous that day. So it's exciting. We’ve got a full band behind us now. It should be fun.
JORDAN: I think I've got one last question too. If there's one thing that you would want listeners to take away from Who Saved Who, what would it be?
SAL: Listen to the basslines. Like just don't disregard the bass.
SEAN: I would say the nuances, yeah. It might sound like straightforward pop rock, rock, indie rock, kind of artsy songs. But we do a lot of just nuanced stuff. For example, in this one song called “Moving Out of State,” which is probably our most upbeat song ... it is very up tempo, but in the chorus and in the pre-chorus there are extra vocal layers, there's extra synth layers that, you know, in a very guitar-oriented rock anthem, you might not otherwise notice. But so there's something there for everyone in our music I guess. So what I would say is, if there's something you want to listen for, you will find it with music.
SAL: Yeah, I guess the thing is it's like, the things that we put in our music can seem invisible, but they're also there if you're looking for them. So I would say just kind of give our songs a listen and like, you know, hear different things. If you want to find something different, you will find something different in all of our songs.
JORDAN: Well, I'm excited to see you guys get this stuff going. It sounds like it's gonna be really cool once, I guess the momentum, starts and shows inevitably start coming back.
SEAN: Yeah, we’re excited to start too. Thanks for talking with us!
JORDAN: No problem.