by Nikiforos Skoumas
– Columnist —
David A. Saylor is an artist who consistently comes up with authentic first-class AOR songs regardless of the context. Strength of One is his third studio album, one that flows so naturally while re-introducing many of the genre’s archetypal values. We contacted Saylor to talk about his solo releases, current band projects as well as digging a bit deeper into his ‘80s endeavors with Push UK.
Hardrock Haven: Three years, three exceptional solo albums and an incredible band album as the lead singer of Wild Rose. Does it get easier writing adult oriented songs (as demanding as the genre is) or is it a struggle each and every time one sits down to put together a new collection of songs?
David A. Saylor: Well to be honest, writing a new solo CD/album is always a challenge, especially if you like me have a standard of songwriting you like to maintain. Writing for me is an inspirational thing, I need to be inspired to write music and lyrics, sometimes it’s the music coming first other times I come up with a lyric idea, just depends of how I feel.
When I start the writing process I don’t find it difficult to come up with that 80’s Aor/melodic rock style of songs as it’s what I was brought up on through my teenage years living in Grand Prairie Texas. I went on to many concerts including Queen, Billy Squier, Pat Benatar, Ted Nugent, 38 Special, The Stone, ZZ Top and many others. The songs I loved on the radio were a mixture of all of these plus bands like REO Speedwagon, Boston, Journey, Van Halen, Whitesnake, AC/DC, and so many others, I’ve always loved a good song that has a good melody, so my taste would go as far as Michael McDonald and The Doobie Brothers, The Police, Hall and Oates, Survivor and others.
Wild Rose are a great AOR rock band that write some fantastic AOR songs, they certainly have that 80’s feel down perfectly, I’ve been involved with the guys on two studio Projects, Dangerous and now their new CD Hit ‘n’ Run which will be out 13th October 2014, two CD’s I highly recommend if you love good AOR Rock music.
Hardrock Haven: How would you compare your new album Strength of One to the preceding Kiss of Judas and City of Angels?
David A. Saylor: I would like to think it’s as good as the other two. I don’t really sit down and think about other CD’s of mine when I’m writing new material for a new project , I’m just trying to stay true to the style of writing I love and do it naturally, always maintaining a good standard of songs. To be really honest, I did mix Kiss of Judas slightly heavier on the guitars, but that was not that noticeable really. On my new Cd Strength of One I tried recording it on a new Logic program, Logic Pro X, I liked the drums and keys sounds on it, so I thought I would go with it, this could be possible why this last Cd sounds a little smoother in production, but again, not much in it really. Kiss of Judas and City of Angels were recorded on Logic 9.
Hardrock Haven: Almost thirty years since its original release, what are your thoughts on the classic AOR debut that was Push UK and its CD reissue a few years back?
David A. Saylor: To be honest myself and the guys in the band, Paul, Brett, Rob and Nik, were all surprised to be offered a CD release with AOR Boulevard Records 2 years ago, especially considering that we recorded the masters to the Push UK songs back in the 80’s. It was fantastic to get the CD out even if it was 25 years later (laughs) … better late than never right! We later found out that one of our demo cassettes had been copied and put out on the internet, so without knowing it, we had a small fallowing on the net for a few years, that was a pleasant surprise too.
Hardrock Haven: The song “Inside Love” featured on “City of Angles” was recently recorded by U.K. melodic rockers “Seven 7.” Who wrote that song? Are you musically related to “Seven7?”
David A. Saylor: No I’m not musically related , ‘Inside love’ was written by the band SEVEN7, I covered it on my City of Angels Cd, it was suggested to me by my record label. I hadn’t heard of the band before, but I must say, I loved the song when I heard it the first time.
Hardrock Haven: Early on in your music career you moved to the United States; As a veteran of the particular style what would you say was AOR’s reputation as a genre in the UK at the time?
David A. Saylor: The AOR scene in the U.K. when I was in Push was fronted by band like, Bon Jovi, Europe, Motley Crue, Journey, The Outfield, Toto. These were the bands we listened to back then, but our influences as band members went much wider than that, we love 80’s band like, Simple Minds, Go West, Nick Kershaw, It Bites, Mister Mister, Don Henley, Whitesnake, Def Leppard, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, to be honest a real mixture of artists and styles of music, as musicians we like different things from each band, some vocal styles, some production ideas, some there actual sounds arrangements.
Hardrock Haven: You released three solo albums over a three year period, not to mention the second great Wild Rose album. Has the period 2012-2014 been particularly hectic schedule-wise for you? And how harder, or perhaps easier, has it become for an AOR artist to put out music for their audience these days?
David A. Saylor: For me writing an album a year is fine, it’s plenty of time to get the project together. With Wild Rose, as I didn’t write the songs, it was easier, I just dropped the vocals on in the studio and that was that. I guess you can say that it’s been busy as I’ve been doing a lot of writing over the past 2 or 3 years, but I’ve enjoyed it very much. I’ve also enjoyed recording the Wild Rose CDs, as they are great songs.
Hardrock Haven: What would you say is the best and worst thing when working in a band situation as opposed to operating solo?
David A. Saylor: Well, I guess when you work with a band there are more people to deal with, especially when making decision to do with the band. When working on your own, well what can I say… you get things done when you want and how you want ha ha… But having said that there are some benefits to having others to bounce ideas off of.
Hardrock Haven: Are there any upcoming projects you are currently working on or any live dates in particular?
David A. Saylor: Well the next project for me is the release of the new Wild Rose second CD with me Hit ‘n’ Run. After that I’m just writing new songs for a possible EP of slightly heavier rock songs than usual for me, not sure yet what will happen, I’m just doing some writing at the moment, will keep everyone posted as and when it comes together; won’t be till late December or early next year if it comes off.
Hardrock Haven: As its predecessor, Strength of One enjoyed a limited release of 1000 copies. Does it make sense finance-wise to print a minimum amount of album copies these days? Are you concerned at all that might come out as elitism to the audience or does it make the physical copy more valuable in their perception?
David A. Saylor: You know, if you look at it from the record label perspective, it’s down to costs really, my label are a small label so to make 500 or 1000 copies of a CD is a good starting place, there is never any guarantee of how many CDs you are going to sell, especially if you are not that known in the AOR Rock scene, like myself.. I’m a small fish in a large sea so to speak. I’ve only started making a small name for myself over the last 2 years really. So if we can sell 500 or 1000 CDs that’s a great start, as you know we just need to build a fan base slowly, and that’s what we are trying to do. We need more radio, and publicity, interviews like this one you have kindly given me will also help a lot; regarding live shows, there are none planned at present.
Hardrock Haven: We would like to thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Is there anything that we left out that you would want the audience to know?
David A. Saylor: Thank you for this interview, I’m very grateful to you. I would also like to thank all of those who support my music and invite those who haven’t heard my music to check out my CD’s: David A Saylor: CD / Kiss Of Judas , CD / City Of Angels, CD/ Strength Of One – Wild Rose: CD / Dangerous, CD / Hit And Run (Out 13th October 2014) … Thanks to all! Take care and Talk soon!
Visit David A Saylor online: http://davidasaylor.webstarts.com/