Zach Bedsaul, guitarist and backup vocalist for SAUL, was kind enough to answer a few questions from INFRARED MAGAZINE about SAUL‘s upcoming debut album ‘Rise As Equals‘, the album’s writing process, and the album’s collaboration on “King Of Misery” with David Draiman of DISTURBED.
Check the music video for “King Of Misery” from ‘Rise As Equals’
Please tell us about the history of SAUL. How did you meet? How did the band form? What does SAUL mean? What was the first SAUL show like?
Blake and myself are brothers so we’ve been close since birth. We formed SAUL starting in high school and just built from there. SAUL is taken from our last name “Bedsaul.” We wanted to keep it close to home and personal. The first show is always a wreck, but that’s how we learn and strive to get better, right?
Please tell us about your debut album ‘Rise As Equals’. What is your writing process? What was the recording process like? How long did it take?
We started in June of 2019 right after we signed with Spinefarm. This was interesting for us since it was our first full length and we pretty much wrote everything in the studio. I think the limited timeframe can make every musician feel a bit rushed, but in the end we’re doing what we love.
What is your favorite song from ‘Rise As Equals’?
I like the whole album, so it’s hard to pick. I really enjoy “Get It Right” and “Sticks and Stones.”
Who would you list as your biggest musical influences? What are your favorite songs?
As a guitarist it will always be Adam Jones of Tool. He got me hooked on their “Aenima” album. One of my favorite songs from them comes from “Lateralus” called “The Patient.” Such a strong song with melodic hooks and fantastic lyrics. Recently I’ve become a huge fan of the UK bands TesseracT, Monuments and Architects. More of that new age edge with aggressive guitars and rhythms.
“King of Misery” from ‘Rise As Equals’ was co-written by Disturbed’s David Draiman. How did that collaboration come to be?
Our A&R rep from Spinefarm worked with David when he was managing Trivium some years back. We’re absolutely honored to have this opportunity with David and couldn’t be more excited about this song.
What are you listening to currently?
I listen to rock/metal, but then I stem out to some pop and R&B. I’ve been listening to The Weeknd a lot as well as Halsey and Shawn Mendes. It resets my brain so I don’t clutter it with too much of the same sounds and rhythms.
How would you describe your style?
I like to say we’re “Progressive Mainstream.” My whole goal as a musician was to help bridge that gap or heavy, djent and some progressive influences into the mainstream/radio world.
What is it you’d like a listener to remember the most when hearing your music for the first time?
I want them to relate to the lyrics and help them in ways in which it helped us. Hopefully they come back wanting more and start digging into the material.
You know that when releasing new music or any art to the public, everyone becomes a critic. Do you read all the press your music has received? If so, how does it affect you?
I definitely read the comments and responses either positive or negative. I like to get a feel of how people are reacting or feeling about the songs. It can take a toll on a musician if you let the negative comments get to you, but just keep pushing on.
When you are playing live, do you get nervous? Have you ever had a moment where you flubbed a musical part and found yourself lost? When this happens, what do you do?
If we’ve been down for a bit and then start playing shows I will get a bit nervous on the first show back. I’ve definitely had my fair share of mistakes live, sometimes they can be funny so not a huge deal. We play to click track so you can just wait to jump back in on one in the next measure.
Playing live, you are onstage giving a part of yourself to the crowd. Does it annoy you that you look up and see smartphones recording the performance? Do you feel it takes away from the experience for the fans? Also, does it take away from your part of having to play?
It doesn’t bother me at all. I think we grew up in an era where it’s just what people do. We know that they’re either going “live” or going to post it on a platform for others to view. In a way it’s flattering.
For someone that has never seen SAUL perform, describe your live show.
We like to keep it energetic with a flashy light show. We want to give an auditorium sized show in smaller venues. One of the best parts is after the performance and meeting the =Equals= at the merch stand.
What’s the craziest thing that’s happened on tour?
Everyday is crazy on tour. 4 grown men leaving their families for days on end chasing their dreams. That’s crazy to me.
What plans do you have for the future?
We truly hope the country and world open in 2021 so we can get out and tour to support the album!
If music did not happen for you, what was your backup plan?
Not a possibility mentally for me right now.
What would you like to say to all your fans out there?
Please pre-order and pre-save “Rise As Equals!” Sign up for our mailer and please follow us on all platforms.
Thank you and let’s RISE AS EQUALS!
JOIN SAUL FOR THE RELEASE PARTY
For more information on SAUL, visit: