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In late 2004 vocalist Jared Weeks and guitarist Jason Null met at a concert in Corinth, MS; the two began writing songs by early 2005 under the name Shade of Grace. The duo attracted attention from well known grammy award winning producer Skidd Mills (12 Stones, 3rd Day and Skillet). Writing and recording the demos for their untitled project lead them down an unexpected path. Weeks tells the story of transitioning to what we came to learn as Saving Abel. “We had written and recorded 18 days, Beautiful Day and Drowning Face Down as Shade of Grace. With Skidd we had this new direction and formula. He was pushing us creatively in ways Jason and I weren’t doing alone. So, one day after a long day of trying to write, nothing really stuck and we were feeling deflated about the wasted day. Jason said “Sing to him (Skidd) that song you’ve been humming for the past couple weeks.” I sang him the chorus of this little melody that had I written and had been stuck in my head. I sang to him what would later become Addicted and Skidd said “Well, why didn’t you lead with that?” This pivotal moment is when Saving Abel began.
Together Weeks and Null, along with Mills developed that riff-heavy hard Southern rock sound that catapulted Saving Abel into the spot light gaining interest from several major labels. “Catching attention from Jason Flom and Kim Stevens felt like a dream. Why wouldn’t we sign to Capital Records? It was the home to so many bands we love.” Null reminisces.
Their first single Addicted was released and with its unique sound and catchy hook, “Addicted” quickly climbed the charts, breaking radio barriers, throwing the band into the spotlight. “No-one expected Addicted to do what it did” Weeks says. “We knew we loved it, and it was special. But, you know, you just can’t predict these things.”
“Addicted” exploded on the charts, peaking at #1 on Mainstream Rock, Active Rock and Modern Rock, which lead to a cross over smash. Saving Abel found their first single peaking at #2 on Top 20 of Billboard Hot 100, cracking Top 40 and guiding their self title debut record straight into the top 50 of The Billboard 200 chart. Their self title record produced two more hits. “18 Days” and “Drowning (Face Down)” which both rose and charted to equally prodigious success.
Saving Abel spent that entire record cycle touring on the top grossing tours of 2008-2009 which consisted of Nickelback, Papa Roach, Avenged Sevenfold, Hinder, Shinedown and Sevendust just to name a few.
With multi-platinum success on their first single and album Saving Abel didn’t waste anytime to get back into the studio. This time with a specific agenda in mind. Weeks spoke on why, “Every show I always had an intro to “18 Days” thanking all our service men and women for their sacrifices and selflessness. We wanted to give something back This record was for them and for our day one fans”. “Yeah, we’d done a handful of USO and military base shows already, but we felt like it wasn’t enough.” Null chimes in. Saving Abel released their highly anticipated sophomore album “Miss America”, in June 2010. “Miss America” debuted top 25 on the Billboard 200. Once again, Saving Abel took over the charts with singles like “Stupid Girl (Only in Hollywood) and “The Sex Is Good” which soared into the Top 20 of Billboard Hot 100 and reaching #1 on several rock charts. With a record dedicated to the military, it provided Saving Abel with a unique opportunity. Weeks recalls, “We did some wild things. Working with the USO was unreal. We travel to Kuwait, Qatar, Iraq, Japan, Guantanamo Bay. Heck, we even flew on some jets to land on and play USS Carl Vinson.”Similar to the first record cycle Saving Abel became known as one of the hardest touring bands. They spent those next two years hard on the road playing shows and trying to write their 3rd record.
In July of 2012, Saving Abel released “Bringing Down The Giant” on their new label eOne.
“I felt like we had something special. We really grew and pushed ourselves musically.” Weeks mentions. “Bringing Down The Giant” charted well, but wasn’t the commercial success that Saving Abel was use to. “We were pretty burnt out and hadn’t been home really in 5 years.” Null tells. “I think we all were just tired”. Weeks looks back “I loved that record. I still go back to it and think had we played a few cards differently would the next part happen? I mean, man if we just took a break and gathered ourselves.” Saving Abel went right back into touring, but it took its toll.
Weeks announced December 2013 that he was going to step back from Saving Abel, take some time off and pursue a solo career. “I felt like I had no choice personally. I need to get back to my family and just be still for a while”.
Both Weeks and Null continued on with individual successes. Weeks released a solo EP titled “Brand New Me” that caught great independent release traction and has spent these few years touring with The Nashville Cartel and his solo band, Jared Weeks and The Band Criminals. Null’s Saving Abel with the absence of Weeks released a record on their own and continued to consistently tour.
Early 2021 Weeks and Null decided to revisit those first songs they wrote as Shade of Grace. “Our producer Skidd, Jared and myself all started going back to those songs independently of each other. We all felt drawn back to the beginning without even speaking to each other about it initially.” Null says. “So, that’s what we did.” Weeks and Null went back into the studio for the first time since Weeks left the band 7 years ago. Weeks mentions, “You never know how it’s gonna feel. Like, will this be weird? Will we still have that cool thing we had in the beginning? Well, let me just tell you, it’s there. I felt like I was back to that young, excited, not jaded guy. There’s just something about the 3 of us (Weeks, Null, Mills) together that is magic.” Null shakes his head with a confirming yes. “If we hadn’t felt pressed to get back to these Shade of Grace songs, who knows what would have happened.” Weeks and Null spent early 2021 recording those twenty year old songs and even writing a new one. Whilst in the middle of the project, Weeks and Null reminisced about how Saving Abel even started. “It was time. Time to come home.” Weeks says.
Early August 2021 Weeks announces his return with a gift of new music for their fans. Shade of Grace – Twenty Year Songs is a stroll down a nostalgic road where it beautifully showcases how Shade of Grace became Saving Abel and just how a small duo from Corinth, Mississippi could take their big dreams and turn them into big realities.
Weeks and Null are back in the studio writing for Saving Abel’s forthcoming album with an Essentials album on its way to the public with 3 previously unreleased songs. With the creative force that brought the chart topping hits and the original voice being back, there is definitely no stopping this revitalized Saving Abel. Weeks concludes, “The sky is the limited for us right now. We already made the mistakes and poor decisions. Now we get to do it our way, with a little more clearheadedness and a lot more guitar solos.”
Saving Abel are an RIAA certified multi-platinum band and have received multiple awards from MTV, VH1, Fuse, BMG and Music Choice. “Addicted” won most played song of the year and has hit over 130 million streams on Spotify and over 200 million as a band.
Saving Abel is currently in the studio recording their forthcoming album with a release of an Essentials early 2022.
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