While we may see two versions of Saliva in the future, it appears as though former frontman Josey Scott and the group’s current vocalist Bobby Amaru will be coming together to collaborate on the final song that longtime guitarist Wayne Swinny worked on prior to his death.
While appearing on the Battleline podcast, Scott revealed plans for the pairing, explaining, “We’re gonna do a song together called ‘Horizon’ that is Wayne’s swan song, actually. It was the last song that Wayne played on. So I’m really excited to do that.”
Swinny died in March at the age of 59 after suffering a brain hemorrhage while the band was out on tour.
“I’m not even sure what to think or how to feel right now,” said Amaru at the time of the guitarist’s death. “My heart aches for Wayne’s family, his friends, and anyone who had the joy of being around him,” revealed the singer. “My heart aches for his daughter Nikki. He loved that little girl so much. He was a Guitar Hero onstage with all the Rock ‘N’ Roll swag that most guitar players dream of. Offstage he was a proud father, an Ancient Aliens expert, and an incredible human who had zero enemies! He would go out of his way to make sure you had a good time.”
“I’m grateful that I got to share almost 12 years of my life with Wayne on the stage and most importantly off the stage,” continued the vocalist. “He was the older brother I never had. I learned so much from him and we had a fucking blast together! I will cherish it all for the rest of my life! God Bless you Wayne. I know we’ll meet again!!”
Scott later commented on the late guitarist while appearing on the I Ask No One With Kevin Re LoVullo podcast, stating, “It’s been absolutely heartbreaking. I can’t really put it into words how devastating this loss has been. Wayne Swinny was an amazing, amazing bandmate,” he continued. “He was an amazing friend, an amazing brother and just an unbelievable musician. His musicianship was just pristine and perfect… [He was one of] the most prolific guitar players that will ever be — not in just Memphis but in rock and roll history. He will go down — like a lot of people have said on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram; people have said, ‘This will be remembered just like Randy Rhoads. This will be remembered just like Eddie Van Halen.’ And that’s true. This moment for us carries the heaviness of a Randy Rhoads or an Eddie Van Halen-type situation. Swinny would have loved hearing that. And I just wish I could tell him those things to his face. And I will someday. I know I will see him again.”
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As for how the pairing with Amaru came to be, Scott gave credit to the current Saliva vocalist for facilitating the collaboration. “That’s just the kind of man that Bobby is. He’s created these opportunities and created these moments that we can all have and take with us that couldn’t be more special and more heart-warming and heartfelt and really well thought out,” said Scott.
As mentioned, Scott recently announced plans to play shows with his own version of Saliva, but added that he’d be willing to hit the road together with Bobby to play in honor of Wayne Swinny. “Absolutely. I’ve learned to never say never. Anything’s possible. I know he’s down for something like that. I know I’m down for something like that. And Blue Ridge was a great example of what we could pull together. So, yeah, I’m totally down with whatever he would like to do.”
Scott is referring to his onstage reunion with the members of Saliva at last year’s Blue Ridge Rock Festival. At one point a few years back, there had been reunion talk about Scott rejoining the group, but it fizzled out over time.
As for the Amaru-led lineup of Saliva, they issued a statement last month revealing their intent to continue as a band even after the death of Swinny, who was the last original member of the group. Their lengthy statement can be read below:
Since the devastating loss of our brother Wayne, we have had many difficult discussions regarding the future of the band. We had recently completed an album that was three years in the making, but when tragedy struck, we paused all plans and focused our energy on supporting one another and Wayne’s loved ones through this troubling time. As we grieved, we also took time to reflect on the joy of countless memories together on the road, travelling, making music and performing.
Wayne truly loved being onstage and he loved his fans. We also thought about all the creativity, talent, and passion that Wayne put into what would ultimately and unfortunately end up being his last album. Onstage and off, Wayne was a powerful presence in as our lives, so the decision on whether to carry on as a band is a difficult one.
What is the best way to honor a legendary talent like Wayne?
After careful consideration, and with the support of his family, we have made the decision to pay tribute to his legacy the best way we know how, through our music. We intend to move forward with the release of our album so everyone can hear the new songs that Wayne put his heart and soul into. We will also continue with the summer tour plans, honoring his memory every time we perform with a portion of the proceeds from each show gifted to his daughter Nikki.
The entire music community has lost a remarkable talent, and Wayne’s impact on the music industry will continue to be felt for years to come.
We miss Wayne beyond measure, but we know that he would want us to keep making music and sharing it with our fans, and to keep his spirit alive through our performances.
We are grateful for the love and support from Wayne’s family, fans, and friends.
Rest in peace, Wayne. You will be missed, but your music will live on forever.
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