Savage Skies represents a re-birth of sorts for veteran writer and vocalist Lee Saldivar and brother/bassist Rudy Saldivar. Having left the music industry in 1994 to raise their families, they walked away from their independent label
Blue Moon Records (1987-1993) and succumbed to doing corporate video to stay closer to home. The album "Out of the Clouds" was their last release in 1992, and had opened many doors for them but meant months away from home, and fatherless children.
It wasn't until late 2009, that the past caught up to them in an unexpected way. As a single father, Lee had dedicated himself to his son, and left music behind to share a video production studio with Rudy, who was raising six children of his own which they were forced to close in 2006 - losing everything they'd invested and walking away with a handful of equipment and no clue as to how they'd survive financially.
Coming back to music was something Lee had not considered - he hadn't sung in ten years, hadn't written a lyrical song in several years and had no clue where to begin. He'd been teaching his son Steven piano and guitar and guiding him in vocal training, but figured it was too late for him to come back to it even though he never stopped wanting the career he'd given up - but sometimes we're backed into a corner for a reason.
Rudy had also become a single father in the meantime, and for years, wanted to go back to music, and now that the bottom had fallen out of everything else, there was no reason not to. He'd written a tune and took it to Lee for help in arranging, and perhaps producing a recording if only for something to do. With the old recording gear left over from the studio, they recorded the song four different ways, something that experienced players never do, and Rudy ultimately dropped the tune, but the process re-lit an old flame.
According to Lee, it was a silent prayer answered, because they were going downhill fast, and didn't know what to do next. Believing that they were too long away he had much trepidation about coming back, but declared that if it were meant to be, he'd write the song that would inspire them to move forward. The song "Thank You" was written in a two-hour burst of lyrics and music without ever needing a single re-write.
The floodgates opened and many new tunes were written, and after many months and several musicians who didn't work out, Jon Price joined up and provided the percussion and further motivation needed to keep going, in spite of all the difficulties that cropped up in establishing an act. an independent label, publishing, marketing, and learning the world of digital music and distribution. It's a daunting task when you're struggling to survive, but the music was providing the reason, and the will.
Influenced as a youth by Elton John, Paul MacCartney, Genesis, Billy Joel, Pink Floyd and Supertramp, Lee called upon those influences to give him what he needed in a creative sense, and he created a conceptual work in Savage Skies. While seasoned writers don't usually worry too much about the acceptance of their offerings, Lee felt he'd wandered outside the box lyrically; with each song delivering messages that he himself needed to hear. They were about pursuing that part of you that had been buried, facing the fears and overcoming the difficulties of starting your life, or just starting over. It was a moving, introspective work that seems could connect with anyone, everyone.
The final element came in aquiring guitarist Josh Chiericetti. The newest, and youngest member of the group, his "old soul" comes through in his ability and dedication to the band, as he was preceeded by several guitarists who did not work out for one or more reasons, but he completed the circuit on a few levels. Meridian 65 comes into the picture at a good time in the world of music, if ever we needed some inspiration and encouragement, it is right now, a good time for artists to create works that help us get beyond the dismal times that have overtaken the world, and get our minds back to re-evaluating our personal agendas, and hope for the future.
In Lee's own words, these songs were "Written by the downtrodden hopeful, for the downtrodden hopeful". They are songs of, and for everyone, by artists that are truly connected to life.
- Michael Plant