Rock and roll music has seen many trends, fads and movements come and go over the last two decades, some more influential and popular than others. Depending on whom you ask one of the most popular movements in rock outside of the grunge revolution in the early and mid-1990s was the nu-metal, rap/rock explosion of the late 1990s. Around this time, rock music was being severely beaten down by the Backstreets and Britneys of the world, but it found a way to fight back in the form of rap style vocals over loud, punishing guitar riffs.

Nu-metal was the talk of the rock world for a few years, largely thanks to bands such as Korn, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park and Papa Roach. While the aforementioned bands seem to still exist in some way, shape or form, the years have changed their respective styles and their popularity has dwindled significantly. One band from this era that has stayed true to their roots and has managed to keep their focus to this day is Memphis, Tennessee’s Saliva. These guys are not only innovators of the whole nu-metal movement, but to this day they have stayed true to themselves and their vision regardless of trends.

The roots of Saliva date back to one man specifically, lead singer and guitarist Josey Scott. Scott and the other members of Saliva all met in Memphis, Tennessee around the year 1996 and the band itself was formed in September of that year. Notoriety for the band came relatively quickly after their formation as Saliva was a competitor and ultimately a finalist in the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Grammy Showcase competition in New York City. The exposure that the band received from the competition was integral in jumpstarting the group’s career as soon after, they released their debut self-titled album locally in the Memphis area. The disc sold extremely well in the area, racking up sales of over ten thousand copies which triggered record label interest. Eventually Saliva settled on a contract with Island Records who greatly helped in bringing the band to the mainstream rock world.

Soon after signing with Island, Saliva released their major label debut Every Six Seconds in 2001. The album was a collection of fast and furious rock songs with Scott rapping over the music, a perfect fit with the nu-metal boom that was occurring at the time in the United States. Every Six Seconds went onto produce two hit singles, “Click Click Boom” and “Your Disease” as well as reach gold sales status and Saliva was suddenly one of the biggest new rock bands in the U.S. And while many bands that score a hit debut album are rarely able to follow it up just as strongly, Saliva was able to break this trend with Every Six Seconds’ 2002 follow up Back Into Your System. The disc produced a number one modern rock song in “Always” and Saliva’s first genre crossing hit with “Rest In Pieces.” All this monster success was of course preceded by Scott’s Grammy winning collaboration “Hero” with Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger from the Spider Man movie soundtrack which only helped to bolster Saliva’s popularity. Saliva’s follow up album Survival of the Sickest in 2004 also performed well for the band, although it did not reach the levels of success garnered by Back Into Your System.

After a short hiatus, Saliva has returned with their latest offering, 2007’s Blood Stained Love Story. This, the band’s fifth album, is perhaps its most focused and mature work to date as it brings a new level of passion and sincerity to the group’s sound and Scott’s lyrics. The album isn’t quite a concept record but it is somewhat more meaningful and deep than previous Saliva records. The title Blood Stained Love Story is a metaphor for how one’s world can stay constant for so long and then suddenly within a day be completely altered. The album also sees the return of producer Bob Marlette back into the Saliva fray. Marlette was responsible for producing Saliva’s first two major label offerings which are the band’s best selling and arguably best albums to date.

Saliva began writing for Blood Stained Love Story around July, 2005, but Scott’s creative passion was really fueled by the news that he and his wife were expecting a child. The news ignited Scott’s creativity and coincidentally, the new record was finished nine months later, just around the time his new daughter was born. In the month that it has been out, Blood Stained Love Story has been well received by fans and it’s been widely viewed as an improvement on Survival of the Sickest. The disc’s first single “Ladies and Gentleman” peaked at number two on the modern rock charts and the band has been touring the U.S. since the album’s release. It’s been a long road for Josey Scott and Saliva and judging by the continued positive reaction from their devoted fans, it looks as though the road has just begun.  [ END ]