Gimme Your Answers: An Interview w/ Silverstein

Silverstein
“I felt like we were just kids back then, and now ten years later, we feel like we’re full-fledged adults with houses and mortgages.” — Silverstein frontman Shane Told reflecting on the anniversary of their sophomore record


In celebration of their sophomore album Discovering the Waterfront‘s tenth anniversary, Canadian post-hardcore five-piece Silverstein kicked 2015 off with a brand-new tour. Ahead of their Toronto date on February 28th and the release of their eighth studio album I Am Alive In Everything I Touch (out May 19th), A Music Blog, Yea? gave lead vocalist Shane Told a call to discuss all things Silverstein. Dive into our interview below:

AMBY: Hey Shane, thanks for having a chat with A Music Blog, Yea? today.

Silverstein: No problem, no problem at all.

AMBY: Everyone in the band seems genuinely stoked for this, so let’s start with discussing your forthcoming record. You soon release your new album I Am Alive In Everything I Touch. Tell me a bit about the making of the album.

Silverstein: We spent a lot of time getting everything together with the songs and we kind of worked on it all summer. We recorded the drums at a studio called Metalworks which is a pretty famous studio in Mississauga, and then we did the rest of the record in Liberty Village in Toronto which is where I live. It was a five minute walk to the studio every day which was actually very relaxing. I’m used to having to get in a car and drive an hour each way, every day, to get to the studio. It was really comfortable to do the record this way. It was awesome in that respect.

AMBY: This is a concept record. I’ve spoken with many bands and most find it agonizing to create a concept album because of all of the thought and precision that has to go into it. What was the experience of creating another concept album like for you?

Silverstein: Yea, it’s true what you said. We did this with the first concept record A Shipwreck in the Sand, going through that process almost killed me; I was very much like “yikes, I don’t know if I can do that again.” With this album, I gave concept records another shot and it turned out to be one of our best albums and one of the fan favourite albums. This time around, I figured I’d put in the work and try another concept album. Again, it came out really good. It’s all about knowing what you’re getting into and realizing that it’s not just about writing music and words anymore – there’s kind of a third step where you have to put together the music and the words in such a way that it goes with the concept. It’s almost like instead of writing a song in a linear way, which most bands tend to do, a concept album is almost circular where you have to keep working your way back. It can be very, very difficult but I think we’re starting to get the hang of it.

AMBY: For the actual concept, the album is split into four chapters and each track’s setting is in a different city that geographically falls into that region. I was wondering if you could elaborate on that?

Silverstein: You nailed it. We’ve been a band for fifteen years now and there are certain cities we’ve toured to that give us so many memories of the good times and the bad times. I think that this record is a reflection on all of the time I’ve spent in these places. It’s all about starting in Toronto and ending up back in Toronto once again, and having an emotion journey where you go through a cycle. I feel the record is more autobiographical than any of our records before.

AMBY: In support of the album’s release, you recently kicked off your Discovering The Waterfront 10-Year Anniversary Tour. Does it feel like ten years have gone by since dropping that second album?

Silverstein: [sighs] You know…

AMBY and Silverstein: [laughs]

Silverstein: You know, the answer you might want is “no, time has just flown by and I can’t believe it’s been ten years” but at the same time when I think about how much shit I’ve done in that last ten years – how many shows we’ve played, tours we’ve done, countries we’ve visited, albums we’ve made, video’s we’ve made – it actually does feel like a pretty long time since we made that record. I felt like we were just kids back then, and now ten years later, we feel like we’re full-fledged adults with houses and mortgages [laughs]. It’s kind of interesting how it does feel like a pretty long time.

AMBY: You’re bringing a few bands along with you on this tour like Beartooth and Major League to name a couple. I’ve featured both before and they seem great; but why did you decide to take those bands on the road with you this time around?

Silverstein: It was important to us to get some younger bands and some newer bands on the tour because a lot of bands are doing this kind of stuff, throwback tours, and are bringing back bands from that era. We thought about doing that, but we also really want to push forward with our new music and wanted to bring along some newer bands who are kind of also pushing forward with a new sound. It was cool to bring these bands out and they’re really excited to be a part of this tour, and you said they’re good people – it’s always important to us to bring along bands who are good people and stand for something. You know?

AMBY: For sure.

Silverstein: People who have some hope in their music and positivity.

AMBY: It’s a pretty extensive North American Tour. When it comes to packing for a tour like this, what are some quintessential items you must have with you?

Silverstein: You’re right – because of the time of year, it’s hard to pack. Summertime is easy since I can just throw some tank tops in a suitcase and go. Winter is different because I have to bring along different winter jackets; I have my super parka, a lighter leather jacket, and when we’re in San Antonio or something it might be hot, so I don’t know.

AMBY: Winter is hard to pack for.

Silverstein: It is a challenge for this time of year. For me, I have my suitcase and pack it as full with as much shit as I can. That’s how I roll.

AMBY: [laughs] What are some things the band likes to do for fun while on the road? Are you sightseers, restaurant hunters?

Silverstein: That’s a good question. You mention restaurant hunters; we’re always on the lookout for vegetarian and vegan food. We’re pretty psyched on looking for those spots. We always try to do things or go to some sports games and certain sightseeing. But most of the time it does come back to the music and show [laughs].

AMBY: Of course it does! To wrap things up, what’s something about Silverstein that most of your fans don’t know yet?

Silverstein: We’ve been a band for fifteen years, so we’ve given away everything. I feel like we’re a pretty honest band. I know we’re supposed to leave some mystery, but we don’t really do that. You know what’s one thing, maybe?

AMBY: Do tell.

Silverstein: Josh cannot stand prime minister Stephen Harper – he is very, very angry at Stephen Harper and would like Stephen Harper to not be in office anymore [laughs]. There you go.

***

Thank you Silverstein, for giving us your answers!

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Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout

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