Editor’s Note: It has been an amazing year for the Iowa hard rock band SAUL so far! They have released their single entitled “Brother” and it is blowing up Sirius Octane, as of press time, it returned to number one on Sirius Octane this week! SAUL is composed of Blake Bedsaul on vocals, Zach Bedsaul on guitars/vocals, William McIlravy on bass/vocals, and Joe Nichols on drums. With their gritty sound and their heartfelt lyrics, this will not be the last time we hear of SAUL on top of the charts. SAUL sits down with Madness To Creation to discuss “Brother”, mental health, and Dick Dale! Fans can find SAUL at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: Tell you what Blake, it seems like I hear “Brother” just about everyday on my way to work or on my way home from work. Take us into the success of the song, the meaning behind the song and the video.
Blake: Thank you thank you! I have to give a shoutout to Russ and Ned at Rock 108, the fans over there in Waterloo and Cedar Falls area, they blew up Rock 108 so hard that it was so awesome that Russ told us that they had to take a step back because it was getting to be too much, so a big shoutout to our Equals over there. With the song “Brother”, we are blown away by the success of the song because Zach and I are brothers, Zach Bedsaul and Blake Bedsaul, we started writing the song mainly as a more of a therapeutic thing I’d say over the loss of our brother, and it was more personal. It is crazy to see the reaction that we are getting from it, the amount of people reaching out to us saying that they lost a brother or a sister, or whatever it may be, and how this song is touching them, and bringing it to life. We had people say that it inspired them to write down certain things about their brother and their family member and it blows us away that it has reached people on such a personal level.
Madness To Creation: The song has hit number one on Sirius Octane for multiple weeks in a row. Tell us the moment when you found out and your reaction.
Blake: It was a moment of shock really because it was number one for three weeks as most requested and most played on Octane, it’s something that you strive for as a band, but to actually see it happening blows you away because you may tell yourself that you’re ready for it, but when it happens, you’re like, “man I didn’t see that coming”, it came so fast, it was amazing there were high-fives and hugs all around. It was a cool feeling.
Madness To Creation: What was the exact moment when you wanted to make music and play shows for a living?
Blake: Zach and I have been touring around the Midwest for awhile, when we first started out, I played bass and I sang and Zach did guitar and did backup vocals, we had a couple of drummers that played with us and we did that for awhile. Every once in awhile, we do a 30 day run and we would do a two week run, and a week run here, stuff like that. When we decided we were going to do music full-time, it was probably two years ago, we didn’t do it full-time then, we were working our butts off for a company around our hometown area and that was our starting point. We were like, “hey, in two years, we are going to be doing music full-time”. Zach and I set the goal to it, our bass player William McIlravy moved up and we expanded to a four-piece, we got Joe Nichols on the drums, and we all collectively looked at each other and said, “hey, this is what we are doing and we are going to go full steam ahead, it’s either all or nothing”. That’s when we all decided and it’s coming to fruition right now.
Madness To Creation: Saul has some headlining gigs coming up and a support slot for Bobaflex coming up. What is your favorite thing about performing live and the most embarrassing moment that you have had on stage?
Blake: It’s really cool and I’m super excited to see it because Zach and I have been fans of Bobaflex for a lot of years and to do a couple of opening shows in some local markets with them and to meet Marty and Shaun, the brothers of Bobaflex, it was super good, and I’m super excited to get over in their market with them in the Northeast with them being from West Virginia and Ohio, where they’re from, it’s a very very good feeling because we’ve looked up to those guys for a long time, and they’re an excellent, excellent band live. The best thing about playing live is meeting the fans, it’s the adrenaline rush of being up there and rocking out and doing your thing, we live for that, but meeting the fans, taking pictures, signing, doing all that is what we truly live for. The most embarrassing moment on stage, I don’t know if I can really narrow one down, I never fell or nothing, maybe some hecklers at some points. I broke a bass string, it’s not embarrassing, it happens, but it sucks! *laughs*
Madness To Creation: As I’m learning about Saul, I notice that you have an EP out entitled “Aeons”. With the success of “Brother”, do you plan on rereleasing it or should fans expect a new album? What does that look like for Saul?
Blake: Well, we released “Brother” as a single on January 25th and then 30 days after that release, we released “Aeons” as a whole EP. I don’t know if we have anything in the works to re-release or to add to it or to make it into a full-length. We got some songs on the backburner right now that we will be excited to get out, but I think that will come later on when we decide to release a full-length album maybe late this year or early next year.
Madness To Creation: What are some pre-show rituals that the band goes through before you all take the stage?
Blake: What we do every time when we get up on stage, we get there early and we do our soundcheck, but when it’s about ready for go time, we do the knuckle bumps and say, “I love you dudes”, that’s how we do it, it felt natural and this is what we started doing, I always make sure to tell the dudes in the band that I love them because they’re awesome dudes and we wouldn’t be here without each other, it’s a group effort.
Madness To Creation: Have you got music that you go to when life gets tough?
Blake: My main music that I listen to is 50’s and 60’s and anything from The Temptations to Architects. If I’m in a more depressed mood, I’ll put on something like Twelve Foot Ninja or Architects rather than something slower and sappy I guess.
Madness To Creation: If someone is reading this and they’re going through anxiety or depression, what advice would you give them?
Blake: Talk to somebody. You can always reach out to us on the Saul Facebook page or Twitter or Instagram. If you have my phone number, call me or text me, it don’t matter because we are family. If you need somebody to talk to, we’re always available, we will make time. It’s never good to go through something like that alone because with Joe Nichols being a military vet with eight years in the Army, he knows about depression, he knows about his own friends taking their own lives and stuff like that because of PTSD or depression, it’s a real deal. Zach fought depression for awhile, he’s kind of come out of it, don’t go through it alone because you have family right here with the Equals. Get a hold of any one of us.
Madness To Creation: You mentioned PTSD and military, do you all write or gear your music towards those that have served our country?
Blake: When Joe came into the band, we had the EP written and recorded, we had a couple of drummers come in and do some drum parts, we had our old drummer, he came in and did a couple of drum parts, it was already done, he had to come in and learn it, it was crazy when he came in and he said how he felt that some of the songs were definitely geared towards that, not directly, but he felt it could be used in a military sense.
Madness To Creation: What’s the biggest thing you are looking forward to moving forward?
Blake: I am looking forward to touring. I am looking forward to getting out there and meeting everybody at every location. Follow us on BandsInTown, if you want to come up and see us and shake hands or whatever, if you don’t have money to buy merch or whatever, it don’t matter, come up and say hi, come up and shake our hands, I’m looking forward to meeting every Equal out there that wants to meet us.
Madness To Creation: I read a previous interview of yours and you brought up Dick Dale, and he passed away recently, what’s your favorite memory about him and his music?
Blake: It was crazy. Dick Dale absolutely blew my mind because he’s such a legendary awesome guitar player to begin with, but Zach and I were pretty young, I’d say we were 15 or 16 when we saw Dick Dale in Iowa City at Gabe’s Oasis, we were talking about music and really getting into music, we were learning Nirvana songs, a buddy of ours down there showed us Dick Dale, he had a signed gold fender strat guitar, it was crazy. After the show, Dick Dale sat us down on the edge of the stage, and he said, “if you guys wanna do it, be bold in the china shop, break some stuff, get out there and make yourselves known”. And he talked to us for a good half an hour and got to shake his hand and actually meet him, so I have a very fond memory of Dick Dale, and I’m sorry that he’s gone, but I think he lived a pretty fast and good life.
Madness To Creation: What else would you like to add?
Blake: Anybody out there that is getting a hold of this, the biggest thing that you can do right now is get your requests in at your local radio stations, you can find us at www.saulofficial.com, anything that is @saulband on social media, and comment away, send us a message, let us know how you’re doing, let us know what is going on with you too, it’s not always about us, let us know what is going on in your life, and let us be a part of it because we wanna do that for you as well, so the website has links to our everything, you can find us on Instagram, Twitter, everything at our official website.
And there you have it! Check out Saul at the following tour dates:
Wed. 4/24- RocHaus in West Dundee, Illinois
Thu. 4/25- Top Fuel Saloon in Braidwood, Illinois
Fri. 4/26- Hijynx Bar in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin
Sun. 4/28- What’s Up Lounge in Mankato, Minnesota
Wed. 5/1- Big’s Bar in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Thu. 5/2- WAVE in Wichita, Kansas
Fri. 5/3- Front of House Lounge in Springfield, Missouri
Tue. 5/7- The Nick in Birmingham, Alabama
Wed. 5/8- The Masquerade in Atlanta, Georgia
Thu. 5/9- Crowbar in Tampa, Florida
Fri. 5/10- South Street in Naples, Florida
Sat. 5/11- Piper’s Sports Bar & Grill in Greenacres, Florida
Tue. 6/18- Growler’s in Memphis, Tennessee
Thu. 6/20- EXIT/IN in Nashville, Tennessee
Fri. 6/21- The Tiger Room in Louisville, Kentucky
Sun. 6/23- Hard Rock Cafe in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Sat. 6/29- Exhibition Hall in Watertown, New York (w/Bobaflex)
Sun. 7/7- Lizard Lounge at Chamelon Club in Lancaster, Pennsylvania
For tickets and further information on any of the gigs listed above, click here.