New singer, new sound for rockers Saliva

By John Benson

“Click Click Boom” is the name of rock act Saliva’s hit song, as well as the sound of a motorcycle just before the ignition kicks on.

Seemingly, both will be taking place — the song will be played and plenty of bikes will be roaring — when the platinum-selling rock act appears Wednesday at Biketown Harley-Davidson in Austintown.

Considering the band is playing at a bike dealership, this means they’ll be arriving on their hogs, right?

“Oh, man, that would be great if we could ride and still carry all of our gear,” said Bobby Amaru, calling from Jacksonville, Fla. “That would be awesome. No, unfortunately we will not be riding Harleys but sometimes we keep little minibikes on tour and stuff. This time, we’ll actually just be showing up to perform.”

Showing up to perform with Saliva is something Amaru has been doing for the past year after he joined the popular ’00s hard-rock act known for Grammy Award-nominated song “Your Disease,” as well as popular radio tracks “Always,” “Rest in Pieces” and “Ladies and Gentleman.”

Originally associated as part of the turn-of-the-century nu-metal zeitgeist, Saliva fell on hard times during the latter part of the last decade before original singer Josey Scott left the act in 2011.

When it came time for the original members of Saliva to either find a new singer or quit, they decided to go with Amaru, who was playing out with his own band at the time.

“I felt like I could bring a new energy to it,” Amaru said. “I was familiar with the band. I didn’t dislike the band, but I was never really a fan as far as I never really kept up with what they were doing. I got that phone call saying they wanted me to be in the band. There was no audition.

“They wanted to try different things and get back to a more rock sound. They’ll tell you straight up that they felt the music was getting redundant and the songs were stale. They didn’t even know why they were still doing it. Now there’s a fire, and everyone feels good.”

That fire can be heard on the band’s latest album “In It To Win It.” While the song “Animal” features an old school Saliva sound, Amaru points to “1000 Eyes” as taking the band in a decidedly new direction.

“That song is the one that when I hear that riff, it’s just insane,” Amaru said. “Saliva never did anything like that before.”

While Saliva may be treading some new ground stylistically speaking, it’s following a somewhat cliched path of attempting to stay relevant and successful with a new singer.

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