Interview With Silverstein - 18th March 2011

Photo Of SilversteinJustin caught up with Shane Told from Silverstein to talk about the bands forthcoming studio album, their current UK tour and much more.

You have just completed work on your fifth studio album, how long did it take to create from start to finish and did the process differ from your previous albums?
This one was a lot more different because we spent a lot of time writing it.We finished a shipwreck in the sand back in 2009 and a year after that we were officially over with Victory Records. Right after that we started working on some new songs, recording some demos which came out awesome and we sort of carried that on over the next year, pretty much till the end of 2010 as well as touring. So we'd write a few, go on tour, then come back and re-evaluate how we felt about some of the songs. As a result we had a lot of different material, a lot of b-sides and that. So yeah if you were to sum it up, we had a lot more time. And in terms of the process, Shipwreck was a concept record, a story about one thing. Whereas this is about a lot of different things. It's not like one concept, it's more like twelve. We focused more on writing great songs, rather than one big long one for one record.

The album is titled ‘Rescue’ and due for release on the 26th April, can you tell us about the songs and themes featured within the album?
There's a lot man, everything from the record industry and some of the companies, the stuff going on with that these days. There's a very personal one about the death of my cousin in 2006, which is something I haven't been able to find the strength to write about until now. Theres another song about prescription medicine and depression and how they relate to each other, another about drug addiction, alcohol addiction. There's a lot of stuff as well as stuff we've touched on before like relationships and you know, questioning your life and growing up. I mean I'm like 30 now but I still feel like a kid. So there's that deal of being an adult and wanting to be one.

Would you say "Rescue" fits the album pretty well then?
Yeah I think so. we've never done like a one word title and we thought you know, how can we some up what's happening personally with ourselves and this album in one word and that really just kind of hit the spot. I think the record is hopeful and it's about getting to a better place. I think that's life like, everything you do you're trying to improve, or you should be. Like yourself, relationships you have with other people or trying to get to like another level. And that's kind of rescuing yourself. So yeah it's ultimately about rescuing yourself and other people and out hope.

You recently signed to Hopeless Records, how did this come about and how have you found working with them so far?
Well we did 4 albums with Victory and our contract was up, and we just wanted to explore the other options that were out there. We talked to just a bout every record label there is. A lot we really interested and it was such a hard decision but we stuck on Hopeless cause there are a lot of great people there who we've been friends with a long time and who understand that we do this band for fun, even though it's our career. And they're kind of in it for the same reasons. They're not gonna sign a load of bands they don't believe to try and make money. They have a small family of bands that they believe in and that they like. They do a lot of things like their "Take Action" tour which we're gonna appear on and charities and stuff like that which is really important to us. We felt we really saw eye to eye with them and they're really cool about little projects we want to do like putting out a 7" for record store day in the states which helps keep a lot of the smaller independent record stores going. Wheres with Victory, that sort of stuff was never going to happen. It's just not how they're driven.

You started your UK tour in Portsmouth yesterday, how did it go and are you glad to be back playing in the UK?
We had the day from hell yesterday to be honest. We got off the plane at 8:30 and everything was fine, well, it wasn't really cause already our guitarist Josh has a pinched nerve in his back and he can't feel his arm so we had to get a fill-in for this tour and we didn't really know if he was gonna come or not and like last minute he said he didn't think he could do it. So we have a fill in which we've never had in our career and our gear wasn't here. the back line company in Germany we were using didn't pick up the gear. But yeah the day from hell but the show was great, we had a good time but today will be a lot better.

Label mates There For Tomorrow are supporting you, does it make the tour feel a bit more homey when being on the road with other bands you know?
We actually don't know them all that well! First time we met them was while we were on tour in Australia. They're great guys though, they have a lot of heart. They take a lot of pride in the music they play and they really care. They're not into the gimmicks, they're a real band and they have a good time as well .

UK festivals are currently being announced, can we expect you to come back in the summer to play any?
We're working on it! We don't know right now, we want to play all of them! We did Give it a Name a while back and really enjoyed that, and Download, that was good too.

What do you get up to on the road in-between shows?
Over here it's like I pretty wake up and have English Breakfast every day, then just explore the towns. Hopefully it's not shitty weather or raining, it usually is in all fairness. But if there are any things to see, any landmarks we'll always try to check them out. And you know the usual things, we try to stay away from the over the top, decadent rock and roll stuff. I say we try to stay away, we don't always succeed but for the most part we try to be pretty relaxed.

What bands and albums have you been listening to recently?
Well there's a guy in the UK called Frank Turner who I'm sure you all know, he's fantastic. I really like David Bazan too, the guy from Pedro the Lion. I'm a real fan of that sort of stripped down acoustic folky sort of rocky stuff lately and at the same time some more hardcore bands, Defeater I really like, Touché Amoré. The complete opposite of Frank Turner and David Bazan. For me, I don't like one particular type of music I just like anything that's good. And I think the difference between good music and bad music is the passion, the meaning and feeling behind it. There are so many things out there now that you can tell are just fake an insincere, where as if it is sincere it's good music, you can tell. Regardless of it's style.

What's your take on the digital revaluation killing the music industry?
The biggest problem I think is that the music industry has always been about record companies promote singles and push songs to radio. They promote songs, but they sell albums. So where they've messed up is they go on about pushing this big song to the radio, whoever it is, and it's almost like a movie trailer. You're promoting like a little piece to sell a bigger thing. With some digital elements there's always the problem of getting paid, but with so much illegal downloading, when bands actually get record sales now it's so much less and record companies barely pay them anything. And people who understand think "well if I buy this record the band only gets like 50 cents". But the band only gets 50 cents cause you're not buying the record in the first place. Maybe if the bands could get sell a whole bunch of record the moment they join a label, then they could get given a whole bunch of money, but they're not now because they're not selling records because no ones buying them! It's so backwards how people just look at stuff as this plus this equals this. Where it's more like this plus this plus this plus equals this, minus this equals this. It's so simple, but people want to make it so complicated. If you like band, buy the record cause it will really help them out.

Social network sites seem to be a big tool in the music industry these days, with artists communicating with their fans over it and some even ditching their own website and having just a social network page, what are your opinions on social networks as tools in the music industry?
I think it really helps out, like we were one of the first few bands on myspace I think. It definitely did help. It still is, it's definitely getting less effective though in the states and Canada at least, it's just kind of dying but it was great cos you could literally go any band you've ever heard of, and you know you could go here and listen to them on myspace. The networking between bands of top friends, you look though and click on another band and you know it was great. I know Facebook is trying to do the same thing but I'm not sure if it's as great as myspace was for music, but they all definitely help.

Where do you hope to see Silverstein in a year’s time?
Well in another years time we'll probably be thinking about another record, hopefully. I mean we've done like five records, with the last one being a concept record, this one being about a lot of different things so I dunno I think we might try something a little crazy on our next one. I dunno what but I'm gonad start thinking about things in a few months time.We want to continue to have fun and grow so something along those lines. Continue to your and hopefully with this record people will latch onto it, I think it's our best one so we'll see. We're focusing a lot on videos as well like our tour video for "sacrifice", we've got another one coming out soon for "The Artist" and one after that too. Like I even did one the other day, I wrote a song about Japan, just a little ditty. We want to release as much to our fans as possible. With Hopeless now it feels like we can do this, where as back on Victory it's something we never would have had the chance to do.

One last random question that we ask every band, if you could be an animal out of a zebra or Giraffe which one would you be and why?
I think I'd go Giraffe. I'd be tall and could see far away, all the tops of the trees. Yeah that'd be pretty cool.

Thanks for your time is there a message for your fans reading this?
Yeah please check out our new record, come see us on tour if you can and we really hope we can come and do more stuff in the UK.

Interview By Justin Andree
 Band Members

Paul Koehler
Neil Boshart
Josh Bradford
Billy Hamilton
Shane Told
 Latest Releases
Silverstein - Recue
Release Date - 26th April 2011

1. Medication
2. Sacrifice
3. Forget Your Heart
4. Intervention
5. Good Luck with Your Lives
6. Texas Mickey" (ft. Anthony Raneri of Bayside)
7. The Artist" (ft. Brendan Murphy of Counterparts)
8. Burning Hearts
9. Darling Harbour
10. Live to Kill
11. Replace You
12. In Memory Of...
 Band Related Links
Silverstein Myspace