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Interview: Silverstein - 04.22.11
 

Silverstein - 04.22.11

Interviewed by
Silverstein - 04.22.11Silverstein's Shane Told talks about their brand new record and more in a phone interview conducted a few days before their album stream on AbsolutePunk. Thanks to the users who submitted many of the questions:

Rescue will be your fifth record. How did the recording process differ from your previous four?

Well, this record was different. We had a lot more time to write it. We actually almost sort of wrote and recorded over an entire year. What happened was we put out A Shipwreck in the Sand, which is our fourth record, in 2009 and then a year from that was when our contract with Victory Records was over. We werenít really sure what we wanted to do with the label and stuff so at that point we went to the studio. Like a year ago from now we went into the studio and recorded some demos that we had been working on and it came out great. From then on, we went on tour with A Day to Remember and then we came back to look at the songs again, change them around a little bit, wrote more songs, recorded demos of those and then we went on tour again, you know what I mean? We kind of went back and forth between touring and writing. Usually weíd book off an entire period, like three months, to write the entire record and then record it and that would be it. But this time we were going back and forth and I think that was really a good thing. It gave us the time to go back and reflect on what we had written. Change things around and make sure we really were stoked on them. And yeah, that was the major difference.

What is the significance of the title?

It was interesting. Going back to the songwriting process, how we wrote over a year, it was a lot different than A Shipwreck in the Sand because on that record we just had one focus. We were writing a concept record so we already had a title, knew where all the songs were going to go and how it was going to be laid out. Whereas with Rescue, it more of just a collection of songs. Songs were written months apart about clearly different subjects. So we were trying to find one common thing and we had trouble going through all the songs and coming up with a title. But one thing that did shine through on all the songs was something that our band is always trying to come up with a message for and thatís hope. And the message of staying true to yourself and we thought Rescue was a good title. Itís a positive word obviously and itís also a powerful word that fits into everyday life. I think people are constantly trying to rescue themselves from a bad situation and put themselves in a better situation to improve their daily lives.

Did you come across any other challenges while making Rescue?

It was a challenge in that when we started writing it, we werenít really sure who was going to put it out or produce it. You know, the whole business side of it was very up in the air. We had a lot of labels we were talking to, but we werenít really sure, even when we started tracking drums, we werenít 100% sure we were going to find one. So that was definitely challenging, but in terms of the songwriting, I felt like it actually came out pretty organically and naturally this time. One thing we really did on this record that we didnít do on our previous ones was we really took the songs in the direction we wanted to take them in, not necessarily the direction that someone else was saying. I donít think we played it safe, we took some little chances on some things and I think it really paid off.

Moving back a bit, what made you choose Hopeless in the end? Whatís your favourite thing about the label?

First of all, they have a really small roster of bands, you know? They have a few bands that they really believe in that are great and they spend a lot of time on those bands. Itís nice to be, every label talks about the family of bands and when youíre on Victory Records, they have so many bands from so many styles and genres that by the end I didnít even know, there were bands I had never even heard of before on the label. So with Hopeless, itís such a tight knit group and itís really easy to call them up and talk with them. Itís such a real thing and at the end of the day weíre friends and I think that makes it a lot more fun.

Would you say ďGood Luck With Your LivesĒ is about the music industry or Victory Records in general? After watching the Kerrang! track by track you did, thatís sort of what I picked up on.

Itís funny because when we recorded that, I remember doing it, but I havenít watched it. We were a little bit put on the spot because when we went down we thought it would be a normal interview. For that song, it was the only one Bill and I didnít do in one take. We did a few different ones and we didnít really know what to say. But it is interesting that you say that, I think the great thing about any song is that itís open up to some interpretation. I definitely think thereís some music industry talk in there. I remember reading once, and Iím sure all the readers of AbsolutePunk because everyone loves Brand New and Iím one of those people, read about how ďMe Vs. Maradona Vs. ElvisĒ was about the record industry. And to me, being a big Brand New fan, I never would have thought that. But looking through the lyrics and thinking about it that made sense. So I definitely think our song could be interpreted about the music industry or a label. But it could also be about a relationship or anything you want. Thatís the problem with some songs I write, Iíll write songs with double meanings or triple meanings even.

What do you say to people that tell you that you should experiment/expand your sound?

Well, I guess the thing is we really do love the music that we play. But I do think we have progressed a lot. Listen to our first record and our new record, I think that if they came out one after the other youíd be like ĎHoly crap, what happened?í For us, weíve been a band a long time and I think itís been a natural progression. Generally we go into each release without talking about it, we just start playing. What comes out is what comes out. And the only time I really hear people complain about us not progressing or changing our sound, those are not our fans. Those are people who just like to talk on message boards. Because Iíve never had anyone come up to me at a show and tell me that. Our fans love it so weíre going to keep it honest and keep doing what weíre doing.

Yeah. I know ďBurning HeartsĒ is a little different and in previous interviews you mentioned how you were influenced to write it from your love of skate punk.

Absolutely, thatís the thing. I donít know what people hear when they listen to music because ďBurning HeartsĒ is a completely different song that would not fit on our previous records. And ďThe ArtistĒ is a lot different. The way that I sing on that song, Iíve never sung like that before. The first track is way more punk rock and fast and double time. I think weíve made progressions. But I also think thereís always going to be songs that sound like Silverstein because thatís who we are. In time, we just push the boundaries and try to be different. ďDarling HarbourĒ is a little different, itís a lot more poppy.

Speaking of poppy, ďReplace YouĒ has a really catchy chorus in my opinion.

The interesting thing about ĎReplace YouĒ was it was written on acoustic guitar and meant to be an acoustic version. It was funny because we never intended it to be an electric song at all, but then I ended up adapting the riff and it was different in terms of songwriting. Iíve never done that before.

Moving back, what do you think of When Broken Is Easily Fixed after all these years?

I canít listen to it, I canít. It is such a strange sounding record to me. Everything on the record, itís very different and the singing, Iíd like to go back and do that again. I look back at it and I donít think itís good, but at the same time it makes me smile because I remember making it and I remember who I was and I remember how little I knew about it. I think when we were talking about honesty earlier, this record was so honest. Lyrically, I didnít think anyone was going to hear when I wrote those songs. I wrote those songs just being a kid in my bedroom trying to get those things out of my head. I never thought so many people would end up hearing the songs I wrote in my bedroom. So I think that made for an honest record and I think thatís why people latched onto it.

How has being in Silverstein affected you as people?

Itís hard when youíre on the inside to know. I think the biggest thing is we started this band when I was 19 or 18 and now Iím 30. Iíve done a lot of growing up and I think being in a band, you learn a lot of life experiences. And Iím sure Iíve traveled more miles than many people three times my age. I think it shapes you as a person. And I think that would have happened anyways, but weíve grown up together. And without this band, I donít think any of us would ever know where we wouldíve ended up.

Moving onto the Take Action tour that starts this week, can people expect any surprises in your set list?

We canít reveal anything because we havenít figured it out. I know the tour starts on Friday, but weíre still kind of discussing it. I wish I had something, but I donít.

And Bayside will be there. Anthony also sang on your new record, can you talk a little bit about that?

Of course. Weíve been friends since about 2003. I remember a random show with them in Columbus, Ohio. Iíll tell you a quick story. There were two shows in Columbus on the same street. It was Branson playing up on the road and they were bigger than us at the time. And then it was us and Bayside down the street. And it was 2003 so our record had just come out. And we tried to get the shows pushed together so we could all play the same venue. But Branson didnít want that and we were pretty convinced no one would come to our show. So we ended up walking around Ohio State, putting up posters and trying to get people to come. It reminded me of ďThe ArtistĒ video where we walked around putting those up, that was the last time we really did that until now. Anyway, sorry. Off topic, but weíve been friends for a long time. And I always wanted to do a collaboration, but the thing with those is I always feel like they have to be the right vibe and right song. You canít force it so with ďTexas MickeyĒ I just thought it would fit. So he did it and kind of made it his own, which was cool. It was really great to have one of my best friends on the song and he did such a great job.

When can we expect your music video for ďBurning Hearts?Ē

Well, todayís the 19th. I think weíre supposed to get a rough cut of it later today actually so Iím sure it will be coming out pretty soon. I think the plan is to have it come out a little bit after the record comes out.

Would you ever consider doing a solo project?

I would, I mean I donít know. Iím really busy with Silverstein and I have been busy with it for over 10 years. I mean, I write a lot of music on my own and I write a lot of songs with the band. One day I might try working on something, but I donít know when.

And lastly, whatís next for Silverstein?

Well, obviously the record comes out next week so I hope everyone buys it. We want to release the ďBurning HeartsĒ video like we just talked about. And weíre already working on a fourth video, I hope we make a lot of videos for this record. Another thing we want to do is more stuff with our fans. And these days with technology like Formspring, Facebook and Twitter, itís a lot easier to interact with our fans. Itís definitely something that we want to keep up and get more involved with. More involved with live chats, online stuff, especially for people in other countries we donít get to as often.

Where do you see the band in five years?

I guess five years is somewhat realistic. If you said 10 years, Iíd be like ĎIím going to be 40, oh my God.í But then Iíd think back to 10 years ago and remember we never thought weíd get to do this for so long either. So I donít know, I think in five years weíll probably still be making music. And maybe weíll have progressed in their eyes finally. We enjoy what we do currently and thatís why we do it. We do it for fun and as long as itís fun, weíll keep doing it.

Fair enough, anything else to add?

Just to check out our record and please, if anyone could donate money to the Japan relief efforts out there. I know itís been about a month since the earthquake and tsunami, but they still need help. People who are reading this, Iíd just like them to please donate if they havenít already.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 13 of 13
10:09 AM on 04/22/11
#2
cubsml34
A Class 3 KILLSTORM
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Good interview. Really digging the sound of this record
11:58 AM on 04/22/11
#3
border43
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Awesome interview. I definitely need to check out the track-by-track discussed in it. :) Can't wait to get my hands on a physical copy of this record!
04:18 PM on 04/22/11
#4
Jake Denning
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Great interview, well researched
04:24 PM on 04/22/11
#5
xsimplex11
Disgrace the traitor
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good interview. good guy. great band
07:20 PM on 04/22/11
#6
Miketheunicycle
"Look mom, no hands!"
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this record has a great sound to it. picking it up for sure, got their whole discography haha
07:46 PM on 04/22/11
#7
LexXchaos
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Great interview. Shane always has some amazing answers. I love Rescue, and I'm excited for it and Take Action!
04:47 PM on 04/23/11
#8
AquaMan
Constantly evolving...
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Yeah, really liking the new album. I will admit that it has a scaled back sense from Shipwreck, but not necessarily in a bad way. I can still feel all the work that has been put into the album, just like all the others. It's crazy, though, that I heard of Silverstein in 2009 and I already have they're whole discography (physically and digitally) and thy're my favorite band. My favorite songs would have to be Medication, The Artist, Burning Hearts, Live to Kill, and In Memory Of... and this is just on the first listen. Looking forward to seeing you guys on May 20th at the SLOWDOWN!! WOOT!
07:09 PM on 04/24/11
#9
chelsealouanne
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Great interview! a few of these were my questions, actually that AP.net asked fans to submit. I love hearing from Shane, he always goes in depth with his replies. So interesting to read which also makes me love this band even more. I can't wait for Rescue! Not long now.
05:34 PM on 04/25/11
Deborah Remus
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Great interview! a few of these were my questions, actually that AP.net asked fans to submit. I love hearing from Shane, he always goes in depth with his replies. So interesting to read which also makes me love this band even more. I can't wait for Rescue! Not long now.

You are definitely right, I edited the top to give you guys some credit.
06:04 PM on 04/25/11
chelsealouanne
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You are definitely right, I edited the top to give you guys some credit.

Oh, you didn't have to! I just wanted to say that it was cool that the questions got used! There were some really good ones and the interview turned out really great! Glad to of helped in some way.
06:14 PM on 05/27/11
Rob McWilliams
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Great interivew.
11:28 PM on 08/11/11
BryanLozeau
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I love Silverstien, they are so good live

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