Interview: Safe to Say talks their new record, “Down in the Dark”!

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Last week, I headed out to Mansfield for our first year of covering Warped! While it’s something I’ve done in the past, this year was the most exciting year yet. When the line up was announced for this summer’s run which is arguably the best line up I’ve seen in years, we quickly had a list of the bands that breaking on this summer’s run that we wanted to make our priority. While we did interview bands that have been around for years (shout out to Less than Jake and Teenage Bottlerocket), I spent the majority of my day spending some time with the bands we think you should be watching this summer. First up on the docket are Toronto boys Safe to Say on SideOne Dummy Records! The boys’ latest record drops this Friday and was a definite passion project for the band as we learned when talking to lead vocalist, Bradley Garcia. Find our new chat below and definitely pick up the record this Friday. The band can be found on the Full Sail stage all summer!

How has Warped been so far for you?
Everyone that we know that has done this tour said that it’s going to be the hardest tour we have and the most miserable but most fun tour all at the same time and I didn’t really know what that meant. Like one week into it, we were like okay I get it now. Everyone’s really, really cool. Everyone’s really nice. We have a blast playing everyday but it’s so much work. Especially if you’re a smaller band, you have to get up super early and be out all day talking to people as opposed to just hanging out in your bus relaxing but yeah we’re having a great time.

And then your record comes out July 22nd.
July 22nd.
How excited are you to kind of have that baby born?
Very, very excited. Some people know the back story but I basically spent a quarter of this year sleeping on our guitarist’s couch making the record and like refused to go home. He lives like six hours away from me. So I had no idea when I was going home. I kind of just said when it’s done. My girlfriend was like so mad at me being like ‘when are you coming home? You said it would be a couple weeks’. Things like that as well as like we were doing it all ourselves. It was kind of like we could call it a day but let’s keep going more and more kind of down the rabbit hole and see if we can get it exactly to where we want it to be. As opposed to just leaving it to someone else. I haven’t listened to it since we finished recording. Cory, our guitarist, like engineered and mixed the whole record himself and I was on vacation with my family, because I had been away for so long, and he was sending mixes back to me. So I had to like find wifi on vacation, hop in the rental car and listen to our record just to make sure everything was cool. Then when we finally sent the final mixes, I was like okay, I don’t want to hear it until it comes out. It had been like a quarter of my year just listening to the songs every day. So I’m excited to listen to it again as just someone listening to it.

You worked on it so long. Really you stuck at it. Maybe for the writing of this record, is it more one person, more collective?
Usually how things go is I’ll write a skeleton of a song like musically and then take it to the band who will all kind of chip in. Then lyrics all come last unless it’s something I take care of but we did things a little differently with this record. We kind of wrote as we were recording. Because we were recording it ourselves, we kind of just actually took our time and figured out how we wanted to write the song. So there are some times where we’d all try to write together and it would work and there’s other times where we’d all try to write together and we’d want to kill each other. So it’s just kind of finding the balance. Like this song is Brad’s song and this song is the band’s song and so on and so on.

And you have been working on this for so long, is this something where you think you’re still going to be writing or do you think you’re going to ride the wave of this record and see how it goes?
It’s funny because the second that we sent the songs to SideOne Dummy and we heard back from them just to make sure they didn’t hate it, the first thing that we all said was like man, I just want to write another record. That’s like all we want to be doing is just writing music and playing shows. So yeah we’ll definitely ride the wave in terms of touring the record as much as we can. But yeah, Cory and I are already just writing music all the time.

Then Warped Tour, there is still a while to go and it’s a very grueling tour. Kind of what’s coming up after Warped Tour for Safe to Say?
So I guess the last day of this is in Oregon. So immediately after that, we’re driving back into Canada to British Columbia. Us, Four Year Strong and Like Pacific are doing a few shows to kind of come home which will be nice because it’s not like an eight am wake up time to set up a merch tent and go in the blistering sun. So it will be nice to play those shows with just three bands on a club tour. Then after that, we’ll have touring plans for the fall and winter back to the states again.
That’s a really good tour package.
Yeah it’s cool because Four Year Strong’s a band we all listened to in high school growing up so it’s cool to kind of be on the other side of that experience now. As well, Like Pacific and Four Year Strong are very much pop punk bands so it will be cool to be the weird alternative rock group playing pop punk shows to a bunch of kids who have never heard us. I’m looking forward to it.
That will be amazing.
Yeah it should be good!

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Colleen has been writing about music since 2009. Interviewing bands since the glory days of Warped and has continued to do so for now over fourteen years. As well as doing freelance for other publications, the love for everything rock continues today.

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