By MIKE CHAIKEN
Bobby Amaru, the new lead singer for rockers Saliva, knows there have been haters at the band’s shows on the current tour behind its new album, “Rise Up.”
Amaru said he knows there are long-time fans of the band, who miss his predecessor Joey Scott.
“I have something to prove every night,” said Amaru, who joined the band two years ago. “You know you have people coming who want to watch you fail. They don’t want to like it.”
But on this tour, which has found the band crossing the country and landing this coming week at Bristol’s Bleachers on May 5, “By the end of the show, they’re jumping and rocking.”
“The fans are great,” said Amaru of the audiences in general along this tour. “Without them, this band doesn’t exist. That’s why we have to bring it live every night.”
Grammy-nominated/American Music Award-nominated hard rock band Saliva reached the national consciousness back in 2001 with its album “Every Six Seconds.” The band’s music subsequently found its way onto music soundtracks and video games. And they’ve seen their albums continually storm the charts. And “Rise Up,” the latest album by Saliva (which is now Amaru, guitarist Wayne Swinny, bassist Dave Novotny, and drummer Paul Crosby) was released on Tuesday.
Although there has been a change up front in the band, Amaru said, “The band is clicking. Everything is vibing. It’s definitely in a different place than it was when I stepped into it.”
And, said Amaru, “We made a record we feel strongly about. We put our heart and soul into it and hopefully the fans will connect to it.”
“Rise Up” crackles with high power energy from the opening track onward. And that was the band’s intent to just go for it and not hold back, said Amaru.
“This is where we feel we’re at now,” said Amaru. “We feel we have something to prove. We want fans to realize the band is still around kicking ass.”
As for how Amaru felt about being asked to step into Scott’s shoes and if he felt he had to live up to Scott’s legacy, the new lead singer said, “I was brought in to do my thing.”
“It was the perfect opportunity to get into a really good band. They’ve been great. They’ve been doing it a long time.”
“I think things were starting to get a little stale (with Saliva before he joined). You could tell the fire was starting to burn out,” said Amaru. “I knew I had to bring my A-game, step it up, and refuel the band.”
When the band went into the studio to record “Rise Up,” Amaru said there was no set game plan as to what they wanted to accomplish to introduce the next phase of Saliva.
“We sat down in a room with acoustic guitars and we wrote and wrote, wrote, wrote for two weeks,” said Amaru. Some band members came in with songs already written, said Amaru. “But for the most part, I’d say about 70 percent of the record was written in the studio in those two weeks.”
Live, said Amaru, fans are loving the new songs from “Rise Up.” “We picked the right songs to play live. The sets are flowing really well so the new songs we are playing get a great response.”
Some bands when they tour focus on the huge markets like Los Angeles, New York City, or Chicago. “All the places where rock’s not popular,” said Amaru.
Instead Saliva prefers to play places like Bristol… or other stops along the tour such as Billings, Mont., Lufkin, Texas, and Fargo, N.D. “Those are strong markets for us.”
Saliva has played large amphitheaters on this tour. However, Bleachers will be one of the smaller venues for the band. But fans can expect a “high energy” show, said Amaru. It doesn’t matter whether the band is playing to 5,000 people or in a club. Fans get the same show from Saliva, said the lead singer.
Amaru said Saliva likes these more intimate gigs because it allows the fans to connect to the members. At a larger venue, he said, the first row sometimes is “15 security guards away.” At a club like Bleachers, “People can connect to us, they feel like they’re close and part of the show.”
Saliva plays Bleachers Sports Bar, 300 Middle St., Bristol on Monday, May 5 at 8 p.m. Lament opens the show. Tickets are $20 in advance at etix.com or $25 at the door.
For more information, go to bleachersbar.net or saliva.com