The longstanding Memphis rock band Saliva will go ahead with the release of a new album and upcoming tour as a way of celebrating the life and music of guitarist Wayne Swinny, who died in March at the age of 59.
In a statement, Saliva said, “After careful consideration, and with the support of his family, we have made the decision 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.”
The band will continue their summer tour plans, “honoring [Swinny’s] memory every time we perform with a portion of the proceeds from each show gifted to his daughter,” Saliva said. The band has one show scheduled in early May, with a full tour launching in June. (A GoFundMe was also set up to support Simmy’s family and daughter.)
Swinny, who died after suffering a brain hemorrhage, was the last remaining original member of Saliva, which formed in Memphis in 1996. The band rose to prominence in the early 2000s, scoring rock radio hits with songs like “Your Disease,” “Click Click Boom,” “Always,” and “Rest in Pieces.”
As the band noted in their statement, they’d just completed their new album — which had been “three years in the making” — before Swinny’s death. Saliva didn’t share additional details about the album, like a title or release date. Last Nov., the band released three new songs, “High on Me,” “Crows,” and “Revelation Man.” Their most recent album, 10 Lives, arrived in 2018.
“As we grieved, we also took time to reflect on the joy of countless memories together on the road, traveling, making music and performing, Wayne truly loved being onstage and he loved his fans,” Saliva said. “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.”
Saliva’s statement was accompanied by a note from Swinny’s sister, Linda Hanson, who remembered her brother’s “kind, gentle, loving heart and soul,” even if he tried to cover it up “with a rough and tough exterior.” She recalled how Swinny would sit in his bedroom, listening to Kiss records and trying to learn the guitar parts when they were growing up.
“As his sister in the bedroom next to his that was not always a good thing,” she quipped. “But there is no denying he was an amazing musician and guitarist. I am beyond proud of him. As the last original Saliva band member, all he wanted was to continue the Saliva legacy. He loved the band but most of all loved his fans. His spirit will live through the new album, every new song they write, and every performance the band will continue to give. Wayne’s legacy will live on through the music of Saliva — now and in the future. He would want everyone to Rock On.”