“Baptize Me” Begins Story of Jared Weeks’ Journey Back to Saving Abel [Exclusive Premiere]

“Even if you don’t believe, play the game of belief, act as if you believe and that is power, sheer power,” actor Anthony Hopkins once said. “Believe in yourself. Believe what you want is possible and it will happen. It will come.” 

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These words sum up the nearly decade-long journey Saving Abel vocalist Jared Weeks traveled through following his departure from the band in 2013. Off pursuing a solo career in Nashville, Weeks was also coping with a lengthy addiction to alcohol and drugs, along with physical and mental health issues, and the loss of close friends and family in the years after leaving Saving Abel.

These were some of the most difficult and transformative times in his life, which eventually brought the father of three back to his life and family, and ultimately led him back to Saving Abel.

Tired of living through the blackouts, depression, and other spirals of addiction, Weeks decided to start turning everything around several years ago. In 2021, he called Saving Abel guitarist and co-writer Jason Null, and by the summer of 2022, the band embarked on a U.S. tour with dates in Japan. They also began writing new songs for their forthcoming fifth album, set for release later this year. 

Out of their new sessions together, Weeks began chronicling the stories around his addiction, recovery, redemption, and renewal in song, including the lead single “Baptize Me.” It’s the band’s first song with the singer since their third album, Bringing Down the Giant, in 2012.

“When I ended up leaving the band in 2013, I didn’t have the tools to live life in reality, at that volume,” Weeks tells American Songwriter. “Being popular and having anything you want has its disadvantages, so I had to quit and go home.”

He admits to drinking a fifth of vodka, daily, for nearly five years straight during his first run with Saving Abel from 2008 through 2013. After leaving the band, Weeks reveals he was still struggling, while trying to find his way as a solo artist, and soon fell into depression, alcohol, and the “horrible negative circles” of addiction.

“I basically learned how to love myself a little more, and I got off all the drugs and alcohol,” shares Weeks. “I came into this new life, and then in isolation [during the pandemic], I started focusing on changing from the inside out.”

After deciding to change his life, Weeks, who was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder, checked himself into rehab and went to therapy for several years. “I was like, ‘God, please. I’m tired of living here. I’m tired of sitting here, drinking. I’m tired of not being able to deal with life,'” shares Weeks, who also credits his wife, Nikki, with helping him on his journey through sobriety and wanting to be a better father for his children.

“It’s got to be the life that you want [it] to be [and] you have to change yourself,” he says. “And sometimes you got to look at the dirty work to do the things about yourself you don’t like. So that’s what I did during the isolation, and it ended up being good for me.”

During this time is when he and Null began talking again. “Eventually, I called him back up and said ‘I’m ready to take my life back,’ and he said, ‘I’ve been waiting a few years for you to say that.’” remembers Weeks. “So we got back together and started writing up this new album.”

Working around more edgy rock riffs, “Baptize Me” was one of the first songs Null and Weeks came up with for the new album. “It was one of the original ones,” says Weeks. “And it was also one where I tried to focus on something other than being famous, or girls, or partying, or drinking. A lot of music deals with that, but for Saving Abel, I wanted to change the substance in the lyrics for us, because we’ve all matured and grown up.”

He adds, “That’s not what I want to put out into the world. I want to put out hope. I want to put out motivation. I want to put out inspiration. I want to help folks.”

I’m crawling my way out / I ain’t going back again / Crawling back from the dead … Time to live again, sings Weeks through the heavier march of “Baptize Me,” a song he says is about “consistently fighting for yourself, your life, how you treat others, and what you stand for.”

“Baptize Me” is a sermon to being the hero in your own story, he says, and taking back control of your life, and loving the journey.

“Ever since I left the band, it’s like I’ve been clawing and fighting to take my life back,” says Weeks. “It was hard at first but with consistency and hard work, I’ve been able to look at the things in my life that I’m not proud of, and I’ve been able to face those things, figure out where they are coming from and I’ve been able to heal.”

The new album, according to Weeks, is not about drugs, partying and egos, but about substance and inspiring others to know their value and worth in life. “They can be the hero in their own stories,” he says. “We are powerful beings, and everything we need is as close as taking a look inside yourself and discovering the power that you have over your own life.”

More than 15 years after the band broke out with their self-titled debut and hit “Addicted,” now is a new beginning for Weeks, and Saving Abel. “I’ve always wanted Saving Abel to sound this way,” admits Weeks. “I love my life, and I love this journey.”

Thinking of Hopkins’ quote, Weeks says he hopes to encourage others to see their worth and help them through their own journey with addiction, mental health issues, and whatever is holding them down. 

“You’ll be amazed at what happens in your life, the doors the universe opens, and the opportunity that present themselves,” says Weeks. “This universe has nothing more than someone who finds their passion, what makes them feel alive every day. If you chase your passion, I 100 percent believe that the universe opens doors for you, gives you opportunities and puts you in that position where you can further become a higher version of yourself.”

Weeks adds, “And that’s obviously the journey I’m on now.” 

Photo: Austin Dellamano / Courtesy of 2911 Media

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