Silverstein - The past, the present and the future.
Victory Records is a fast growing label worldwide. Silverstein is one of the rising bands with this label. A couple of weeks back the band was playing three shows in the Netherlands and Metalrage got the opportunity to ask Drummer Paul some questions.
Hey man, how are you doing?
Good and you?
Can you introduce yourself and your band to the readers of our webzine?
Hey everybody, my name is Paul and I play drums in the band Silverstein. We are from Canada and are on Victory Records.
You released your latest album 2 months ago, how are the reactions on ‘Discovering The Waterfront’ so far?
They are actually excellent. We have put a lot of time and energy into this record and the fans are responding well to this record; they seem to be enjoying it.
We have gotten more press on this record than we ever had and we are doing really well in magazines and on the internet. That is pretty cool. This is our second full length on Victory Records and we are very happy with the progression.
As a smaller webzine which is growing rapidly we can see Victory Records is expanding their territory because we get a lot of their material.
Are they really? It sure is great to hear they are putting more energy in their bands! Besides that they are a fast growing label and this is our first time in Europe. We think it is kind of hard because we think our record isn’t widely available over here. We are hoping touring over here is helping us promoting our record.
You are playing three shows in the Netherlands, that is quite a lot.
Yeah, we just got the offers and it worked so we did it. The promoters were willing to do it so we said ‘sure’. And the kids are probable wondering why we haven’t been to Europe and there is only one reason for it: ‘We haven’t got the offer’. You need someone to come and provide you with a show and the timing and shows worked out great this time.
And the rest of Europe?
We did 5 in Germany and 3 here. The rest is in the UK. We are slowly expanding our terrain in Europe. Hopefully we will be back next year.
In the artwork for the promotional copy of your latest album (Discovering The Waterfront), there are no lyrics. Is that the same with the original album? Why?
That is just the promo version. Especially in the US with a lot of promos they get leaked or people are trying to sell them. The key idea of a promo is to provide the music to the press so we did it like this. There is no special booklet, just the music and the cover. With this skinned package we tried to get the people to buy the real package in the store in stead of the promo edition.
The booklet also says there are quite a few additional musicians on the album. How are you gonna handle this live?
It is just a few extra things like Sean Mackin plays violin on one track and a friend of our producer plays keyboard on one track. But the rest is played by us. About the live handling, we don’t play the violin live, just the rest of the music. And the other song with the keyboard isn’t in our set list. And in the future if we are going to do this we figure something our with a sample or an additional artist.
Why so many other artists?
In the past we were a band which always used a violin on their releases. Sometimes we even do some violin parts live with a guitar and translate these parts to the guitar. All the recordings in the past five years have violin on them so we thought why don’t we get the guy from Yellowcard to play with us. He plays in a popular band and we wanted to see if we could make it happen and we did so that was a success on this album.
And what about a permanent violin player?
You never know man. We have been doing this for five years and we don’t have one yet, who knows what will happen…
Of all places in the Netherlands, you’re actually playing the ‘Waterfront’ in Rotterdam. Why this choice?
It was great man. A beautiful view of the water there and I lost my keys in the river.
Isn’t that place an idea for a live album of DVD: Silverstein – Live at the Waterfront?
Haha, yeah.. you got an idea there man. It could happen and it definitely would be something special. But the story behind the album title is that we all grew up at a lake. And the waterfront is like 5 or 10 minutes away from our home. And I really liked growing up at the water.
Has this growing up thing something to do with the cover?
It is al symbolic an kind of means something. The situation where we grew up in opens up the idea. And when we recorded the album in California we were right at the ocean. We were there and I had a concept and we took it further.
You’re bio says that you kept writing music for ‘DTW’ despite an almost constant touring schedule. Is that how Silverstein usually works or did you change this working style after the release?
We are always constantly on tour and sometimes you write music while you are on the road. Sometimes you use the sound check to write some new material. You get ideas and finally write a song. It definitely was a crucial part for this record because we didn’t have much time at home to even do that.
And what about previous releases?
For that one we were pretty much at home during the writing process. We had a lot of time back then because we weren’t on the road constantly.
It is great if you get the chance to tour a lot.
Yeah, it means you are doing good!
What non-emo band would you like to tour with some day? Please explain your choice!
I don’t know man. That is a hard question. You can go in so many different ways. The band we want to play with are The Beatles but this is impossible. For me I think Cave In and stuff like that would be awesome.
A lot of the other press name you as the better band in the genre, in what way do you want to react to this matter?
They name us that? I don’t know but it is great to hear that. Sometimes I do hear people say they are not into emo but they do like our music and that is great comment to receive. And yes, maybe this is a oversized genre and maybe bands aren’t always that good. But we just try to make good music, we are writing our music for ourselves and not doing it for the trend. We like this kind of music since we were young and it is nothing new to us. Some bands are bringing the genre down and it is a damn shame to see this. They just don’t know what else to play.
Isn’t adding a violin to your music making the band step out?
It is just something that we have always done and the label picked us up because of these small extras we put into our music.
If there are any, please tell us about Silverstein’s future plans?
We are touring non stop and hoping to come back to Europe maybe in April next year. And then we want to go to more countries over here. Maybe some festivals because they are starting here around that date. Eventually we are putting another record on the market somewhere early 2007. We will see.
And DVD plans?
There is a DVD with the original package. There is some live stuff and behind the scene material on it. Also some studio and funny things. But we are also thinking about a re-release with a new DVD so we have to see where we can take it.
It seems Victory Records is up for everything.
Yes they are, it is a great label to work with!
Any last words?
It is beautiful here and we are looking forward to come back here!
No problem and enjoy the night.