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Although formed in the late 1990s, Saliva didn't hit the mainstream until 2001, when the Memphis-based band's mix of angsty hard rock and hip-hop helped earn them a double-platinum certification for their sophomore album, Every Six Seconds. They struck gold again in 2007 with Blood Stained Love Story, which shot to the top of Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart, and went on to release a steady stream of albums that incorporate elements of heavy rock, post-grunge, and rap-metal, including In It to Win It (2013) and Love, Lies & Therapy (2016). Two of Every Six Seconds' songs had already appeared on Saliva's self-released debut, which was issued in 1997 on the band's own label. Singer Josey Scott, guitarists Chris Dabaldo and Wayne Swinny, bassist Dave Novotny, and drummer Paul Crosby were all veterans of the Memphis music scene, and their shared experience helped the album become a local hit. Island Records took notice and signed Saliva, who made an appearance on the Dracula 2000 soundtrack before releasing their major-label debut in 2001. Josey Scott brought more attention to the band with "Hero," a duet with Nickelback vocalist Chad Kroeger that appeared on the Spider-Man soundtrack and became an international hit in 2002. Meanwhile, Saliva put the finishing touches on Back Into Your System, which appeared later that year and combined the band's rap-metal bedrock with touches of post-grunge, hard rock, and punk. For 2004's Survival of the Sickest, though, the guys trimmed down their sound and focused almost exclusively on hard rock, a decision that took their single "Rest in Pieces" into the Adult Top 40 charts. Dabaldo left the band one year later and was replaced by former Full Devil Jacket guitarist Jonathan Montoya, who made his official debut on 2007's Blood Stained Love Story. After appearing on 2008's Cinco Diablo, though, Montoya exited the lineup, leaving Saliva to move ahead as a slimmed-down quartet. After releasing a greatest-hits collection in 2010, Saliva issued their seventh album, 2011's Under Your Skin. Months later, after 15 years together, Scott parted ways with the band to pursue a solo career. Saliva announced his replacement, Bobby Amaru, in early 2012. They signed with RumBum Records later that year, releasing their eighth album, In It to Win It, in late 2013. In an effort to further push the new songs, the band re-released In It to Win It under the title Rise Up, which included all but three songs from the original. Rise Up would also mark the end of the band's relationship with RumBum. In 2015, Novotny was the next founding member of the band to depart, replaced by Brad Stewart (Shinedown, Fuel), who had previously worked with Amaru in his eponymous band. The updated lineup of Stewart, Swinny, Crosby, and Amaru then entered the studio to record Saliva's ninth effort -- 2016's Love, Lies & Therapy (Universal) -- which was released in June 2016. Furthering their distance from the original rap-rock sound of their earlier albums, Love, Lies & Therapy boasted a harder-edged rock grit, as found on singles "Rx" and "Tragic Kind of Love." The following year saw the group issue the concert LP 10 Lives. In 2023, the band released a single, "High on Me," in anticipation of an American concert tour. Three dates into the tour, following a concert in Nashville, Tennessee, guitarist Wayne Swinny fell ill and was taken to the hospital. Swinny, who had suffered a brain hemorrhage, died on March 22, 2023, at the age of 59.
© Greg Prato & Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo
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