MUSIC INTERVIEW: Silverstein
Continuing our London Rise Up Tour adventures we caught up with one of 2000’s emo originals and co-headliners of the run, Silverstein. With newly released 7th studio album I Am Alive In Everything I Touch under their belts, we were eager to see what else is on the horizon for the Canadian rockers. We spoke to frontman Shane who Told us about life on the road, new music, and disastrous dates!
Hey Shane, so you’re on the Rise Up tour which is exciting! Silverstein have been around for 16 years and may have already risen, do you feel you have more rising up to do?
[Laughs] Yeah already risen and fell down! Our peak in 2006/7 when we were selling all these records and it was all crazy, that was great but it doesn’t matter who you are, as a band the hype wears off and you find your core fanbase. We have great fans.
Silverstein have had a hell of a journey for sure! What has been your proudest moment in the band?
Oh wow there’s been so many! I think there’s one thing that comes to mind in terms of longevity. We did a 10 year annivesary tour for Discovering The Waterfront, that was a really cool moment. It really solidified our music as a real thing that wasn’t just a flash in the pan. Like when we did that tour the fans were so excited about songs that were 10 years old! That was cool because it was like, ok this still matters and is important to people. Especially little kids that were like 12/13 singing along, cause it’s like they were in diapers when that record came out. Legacy I guess is what we’re proud of.
You guys are emo royalty that’s for sure. You’ve played a lot of shows over the years! What’s been your most embarrassing moment on stage?
We’ve had so many train wrecks with shit not working, which isn’t embarrassing ’cause it’s not our fault. I mean like I’ve fallen down on stage like so many times. We were playing a festival in Germany and I just took a ball roll from something high, across the stage, in front of 20,000 people, that’s always fun! Oh I got hit with a bottle in the face at a festival that hurt actually!
Oh man! That’s not unheard of, was it filled with beer or piss or did someone just think the stage was a bin?
[Laughs] Do you know what it was filled with vitamin water and it carried some weight! It hurt! But luckily I haven’t had my pants pulled down when I’m playing or anything yet, but it’s probably gonna happen!
We’ve heard some really embarrassing stories, it sounds like you’ve had lucky escapes! So you’re playing tonight alongside an amazing line up, The Devil Wears Prada, Memphis May Fire and Like Moths To Flames, but if you could be responsible for choosing to play alongside someone (living or dead) who would it be?
Living or dead? Oh jeez! I will give you the worst answer ever which is The Beatles. That’s the most obvious answer.
It’s a great choice! UK band as well! What’s your favourite song?
Oh man that’s so hard! If I had to pick ONE I’d have to pick Strawberry Fields Forever. That’s a pretty crazy song, super well written, but weird. It speaks of The Beatles growth and development that’s why I’d go with that one.
Great choice! Back to Silverstein and your new record I’m Alive In Everything I Touch, which is great by the way! What do you want your fans to take away from this record?
I think the message in all of our music that we want people to take away is the message of hope.
Hope for what?
Hope for the future and for self-improvement. That’s something us humans are striving for, or should be striving for. People will always shake their head when I say that and be like “you’re talking about negative things and about horrible things sometimes,” but if I was up there singing about ponies and rainbows and stickers, I don’t think anyone would take much away from it. You have to get people in, to where you are and where they’ve been and relate; put them in that spot and be like, “this is what you need to do, this is what I did”. I think that’s a real important thing to our music and how it’s helped people.
The record is really emotional, does it reflect personal stories?
I mean the record is really autobiographical for me. Every song is about a specific city and represents an actual event of my life.
Any about London or the UK?
No, it’s all about North American cities, which is the whole point. But maybe that would be a cool thing. It’s too late now but we could do an extra bit or EP about Europe. That’s the whole point of the album, each song represents a different city. It’s reflects when you leave for a tour and have all these journeys. I mean this isn’t written about one tour, it’s 15 years of touring, it’s about personal things that happen in these places. The record is really real and it’s probably the hardest one for me to listen to. It’s a fun record for me but a kick in the gut too.
That makes us want to re-listen to figure out your secrets now! What track is the most special to you or are you most proud of?
Defintely the last song, Toronto, it’s the most honest thing I’ve ever written. It’s about finally coming home after a journey and having to deal with maybe the things you’ve seen or done, the idea that you are supposed to live this normalness now because you are home. It’s about wrestling with that idea of home and things changing but not changing and the cycle of things never really growing, but just escaping. Leaving to return, to escape again, only to return. It’s a cycle. It’s a song that definately means a lot to me.
It’s a great song. Right time to liven things up, we’re bringing out something unconventional!
If there’s a severed head in there….
Woah [laughs] there’s not! It’s maybe just as scary though…it’s our fun box! You could get any question here, we don’t know what’s in there!
Oh ok so fate decides?
It does indeed! Dive in…
[Picks one] What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened on a date? So erm, uh, well it’s not super embarrassing for me. It was a long time ago I mean I was 19 [35 now]. This girl, it was weird I didn’t ask her out, she told a friend she wanted to date me so I was like, “ok I will go out with her.” We go to a restaurant, cliche shit, dinner and a movie. We order food and I’m like “I’m hungry, are you hungry?” and she’s like, “oh I’m super hungry, but I have this thing where I can’t eat in front of people.” I thought it was kind of strange you’d agree to go on a date with somebody at a restaurant if you had an issue! I didn’t know what to do! She literally would stare at me when I was eating and when I looked away, she would quickly eat and then I’d turn back and she’d stop. In the end she asked me if I could look away. It was super weird! [Laughs]
Oh wow that’s awkward!
It gets worse! On the drive to the movie she wouldn’t talk. We saw the South Park movie, (yeah I’m old), and she’s not even watching, so I ask her why and she’s already seen it 2 days ago! On the ride back she didn’t speak for a whole 15 mins. It was super fucking crazy and then she wanted to go to a park and she tried to kiss me! Horrible date.
That’s Silverstein’s guide on how not to date right there!
I’m sure that’s tame, it must be so much worse for women with all the creeps out there!
One more for the road question we mean!?
Sure! What’s the most rock and roll thing you’ve done? [Laughs] Oh man I can’t answer that it’s too crazy! That’s too hard not to answer honestly so I’m gonna come back to that! [Picks another] Who is a band you’d hate to tour with? I See Stars were not nice to tour with that’s for sure! They were not cool. That’s a band we’ve had some issues with. Attitude and a couple incidents. It’s a funny thing because if I like a band’s music and they turn out to be bad guys that’s not great. If I hate a band’s music and they’re good music that’s a bit better. But if I hate a band’s music and they’re bad guys, that’s a band I’d hate to tour with! They might feel the same way about us which is fine, not everyone can like everything! When people are just dicks forget it!
Well thanks for speaking so honestly it’s been fun! Great meeting you and we can’t wait to catch your set later!
You’re welcome thanks for the chat! Nice to meet you!
Interview by: Charly Phillips
Silverstein’s latest album I’m Alive In Everything I Touch is out now – catch them on the Rise Up Tour with The Devil Wears Prada, Memphis May Fire and Like Moths To Flames at one of the remaining dates:
Fri 9th – BRISTOL – O2 Academy
Sat 10th – SOUTHAMPTON – Engine Rooms