Interview mit Silverstein (Dezember 2009)

silverstein-band-2009You recently toured Europe with BILLY TALENT and the CANCER BATS. What are your impressions of that pretty bombastic road trip?

Shane: It was probably the best tour we’ve ever done overall. In the past we’ve done really cool tours where we got a long with the other bands and broed down hard, or we’ve loved the music on the tour, or the crowds were great, and a lot of people came out. On this tour all of that was true. And the setting was amazing! Getting to see some beautiful European cities with a lot of days off. It was perfect.

Playing in front of such huge audiences isn’t everyday business for you guys. Do you prefer the intimate atmosphere of small clubs?

Shane: I like both the huge shows and the small ones. Sometimes we’ll do those huge festivals and they are so crazy. Having 50,000 people standing out there is just so cool. But after a few weeks of that, I’m ready to play some small sweaty punk shows. And after that for awhile, it’s cool to play and arena or something. I like to switch it up and keep it fresh.

In 2006 you supported SIMPLE PLAN on their way throughout Europe. What do these opening slots for, let’s say corporate rock acts like these type of bands, mean to you?

That tour was also one of the best we’ve ever done. It was cool because the kids coming out were so young and excited, and they latched onto us so hard.

Shane: I think so many of those people had never seen a band like us. They’d only heard mainstream bands on the radio, so when I’m up there screaming, people are freaking out about it. It’s a cool scenario to watch people have no idea who you are when you start, to rocking outlike crazy by the end.

SILVERSTEIN is still an indie band on an indie label. How do you feel when you’re playing arenas where half of the crowd is seated?

Shane: The seated thing is a bit weird, but honestly I usually have the lights in my eyes and I can’t even see the people up there. It’s the first 10 rows and the pit that I am concerned about. Those are the people that control the energy of the room. Those are the people I play to.

Do you have plans for another headlining tour in Europe?

Shane: We’re not sure, but we’re hoping to come back soon.

silversteinashipwreckinthesandWith „A Shipwreck in the Sand” you recently released your fourth record. I had the impression you gained back some of the ground you lost with “Arrivals and Departures” in public opinion. How would you describe the outcome of this last record?

Shane: “Shipwreck” came out awesome! We really couldn’t have been any happier with it. It was a challenge and was a lot more time consuming and mentally draining on me then any of our other records, but it was worth it. It was a different kind of hard work though because we had a blast making it. I was stoked to come in every morning and work with Cameron, whereas with “Arrivals”, it just wasn’t as fun.

What is the concept behind the title and the story you’re telling?

Shane: It’s complicated. I wanted to write about how messed up and uncertain everything is in the world right now. Issues like the economy, war, climate change, healthcare (in the US), and how the government isn’t taking the right steps to fix it and become the new modern. The approach I took wasn’t a straight up BAD RELIGION style attack though, I wanted to write it as a story about a typical American family and how the average person is affected by it. I felt like it would be a lot more deep that way, and a lot less preachy.

The title has to do with a part in the story where the husband reads a story book to his daughter called “A Shipwreck in the Sand”. The book he reads has a lot of parallels with their life.

SILVERSTEINHow did it come to the collaboration with Ex-COMEBACK KID singer Scott Wade on “Born Dead”?

Shane: He lives with Billy, and I thought his voice would lend itself really well to that song. His voice is so different from mine, so it’s awesome to have that contrast. It was super easy to get him to come in since he’s our bass players roommate.

How have the reactions on the new material been so far?

Shane: It’s been so great. I haven’t heard a single negative comment at all about it. It’s cool to make a 4th record and have people tell you it’s their favorite. Nostalgia usually trumps everything else, so I think we made a very special record if people are saying that.

After a great hype the Indie-Rock/Post-Hardcore/Screamo scene drowned in a sea of triviality. Do you think it’s sort of a natural process that genres with a great financial potential are sucked dry by an industry which supports the similarity of certain sounds and scenes?

Shane: I don’t really buy that. I think we can blame major labels or the radio or whoever you want, but I think music styles come and go and fans come and go too. People grow up and their tastes change and people get sick of certain sounds. With SILVERSTEIN we were always focused on writing the best songs.

Songs that you could strip down to just an acoustic and vocal and still have the passion. I think that’s why a lot of other bands have broken up and have been forgotten about. They were more wrapped up in image, or in what everyone was listening to that week. That’s how bands lose their way.

There are rumors that “A Shipwreck in the Sand” was your last record on Victory Records. If it’s true, what comes next for you guys?

Shane: We’re not sure yet. We are going to be free agents and just want to consider all of the options and be smart about it. The music industry is completely different now then it was in 2002 when we signed, and we need to see everything out there and what works best for our band.

Any last words you would like to spread?

Shane: Thanks for all the support over the years Germany!

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