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Interview | Silverstein

November 1, 2008
By: Megan Washington & Rebekah Rosado
Video interview available here.

* What were you guys for Halloween, yesterday?
We were Deathklok.
Josh: The metal band from the show Metalocalypse.
Shane: It was pretty awesome. Do you have a pic on your phone? Do you have your phone?
Josh: I left my phone up front.
Shane: Okay, yeah.
Josh: We can shoot some b-roll later.

* Do you guys have any juicy stories from this tour yet?
* Between the band or…
Like Perez Hilton type of shit? Is that what you mean? Juicy.
* Sure.
Celebrity gossip not from concentrate.
Josh: Stuff has happened but I can’t think of any of them…
Shane: You know, it’s been pretty calm, actually. For, you know, considering some other things that happened, it’s been really calm.
Josh: What happened?
Shane: Mostly just the other bands. (laughs)

* Do you guys play pranks or anything?
We’re kind of old and boring now. There use to be times when we’d light fireworks on peoples vans, throw soup at them and stuff … but these days it’s like pretty mellow, and boring.
* You don’t want to waste food.
No, you don’t waste any food.
Shane: No, and now we’re so concerned with the environment that we’d probably throw the soup at the band and then have to go pick up the garbage and put it away. (laughs)

* We saw, I think it was on your Myspace, that you guys are going to be recording after you are done with the tour?

* So what’s that going to be like? Do you guys know when and who you’re working with?
We do, yeah. We’re working with Cameron Webb. He produced our Discovering The Waterfront album. The last two records we’ve done in California but this one we’re going to do at home in Canada. So that will be kind of a different vibe, looking forward to just kind of being able to chill at home. Instead of having to… like last time we were in Hollywood and there were alot of distractions.

* Are there going to be any guest appearances?
I don’t know.
Josh: It’s hard to say. At this point we’re just kind of worried about….
Shane: Our own assurances.
Josh: Yeah…. gets in there and gets done.
Shane: It actually might be harder to get any guest appearances, doing it in Canada. ‘Cause there’s not so many…
Josh: We have some great Canadian friends though.
Shane: We do, and I’m sure we’re going to try to hook up one or two. But again, we try to worry about ourselves first.

* So what do you want your fans to walk away with when they listen to your music?
I’d like them to feel happy. I’d like them to feel energized.
Shane: Yeah, I guess I mean, there’s so much. There’s so much, I mean, I guess you just want them to feel something. You know?
Josh: Yeah.
Shane: Like, people can take from it what they want to take from it, and what they need to take from it. There’s so many bands these days it’s like, so sterile and fake. You know? Everything is just like not scientific, almost. We just want to get in there and just write music that we want to express ourselves playing… and take that from it.

* How has the band evolved since you guys started playing together?
We’ve got alot better.
Josh: Harrier.
Shane: Yeah.
Josh: Old.
Shane: Older, Harrier.
Josh: Yeah.
Shane: Fatter.
Josh: We’ve definitely all progressed as musicians and as people. I mean, the experience of being together all the time, and living on the road has definitely influenced our growing up. We all have grown up alot. We’re alot more responsible. Well, some of us are more responsible. (laughs) Some of us, less responsible.
Shane: (laughs)
Josh: We’re all growing as people, which is important, but we’ve definitely grown as musicians.
Shane: When we started this band I was 19, and our bass player Bill was only 16. You know? So, now I’m 27 and it’s like pretty much my whole adult life I’ve spent doing this band. So, I think it’s definitely been the one thing in my life that’s been a constant. You know? So it’s kind of crazy to think of it like that but you know, it’s always been there and it’s always shaped who I am. Which is kind of crazy to think about too.

* What kind of image do you guys want your music to portray to your audience?
Image. Do we look like we care about our image?
Josh: We’re kind of one of those bands that doesn’t really have any gimmicks…. like image. We are who we are. We think, feel, and express ourselves. There’s not any need for make up or costumes.
Shane: Except for last night because it was Halloween.
Josh: Halloween, we’ll make an exception, but I mean….

* Well today is the day after, so you guys can feel free to be Deathklok again.
(laughs) Yeah, Sorry.
Josh: (laughs) I didn’t get rid of my little beardy thing. So…
Shane: I think I might still have some black shit around my eyes.
Josh: I didn’t wash mine off either.
Shane: Yeah.
Josh: We look super metal.
Shane: It’s weird. Where we come from, this whole image thing is like such a new thing to me. When we grew up, image was for bands like Iron Maiden or KISS. It wasn’t for punk rock bands that we grew up listening to. You are who you are. You wear the clothes on stage that you would wear, like anywhere. You know, that’s just what you did.
Josh: Probably that you would sleep in too. (laughs)
Shane: (laughs) Yeah, seriously. That’s what it is. Now these bands show up, and you see them before and they are putting on make up and straightening their hair. It’s kinda weird, for me, because that’s just really not what I grew up with. But hey, You look outside at the line of kids, and I guess that attracts a line of people to it and that seemingly cool lifestyle or whatever. That’s fine, but that’s not something that we care about too much.
Josh: It’s interesting to me, sometimes, how embraced we are by kids that are really into the fashion of it. We really have little fashion to our band.
Shane: Yeah.
Josh: We just kinda do what we do. I think we do get a little bit of respect for that. Sometimes.
Shane: (laughs)

* People are also starting to say that music scenes are beginning to die out and that they are going to be replaced by the internet. So how do you think your band is going to fit into all of that?
What do you mean, exactly?
* Well, they are saying that music, all the different genres, are going to blending together and there’s not going to be really a unique sense of identity for the bands.
Well, I think that’s fine. I think that’s been happening for years. You know? Even with our band, people have always had trouble classifying our music and our style and what we do. That’s fine with me. We take, I’m a fan of all kinds of music. I hope to take something away something from every type of music and put it into one style of music that our band plays. I mean, I think it’s a great thing because when I was growing up I would go to a show on the weekends and there would be like metal bands playing, there’d be punk bands playing, there’d be ska bands playing and everybody was friends and it didn’t matter. Everyone was just a fan of good music. Hopefully that will come around where like you’ll have all different bands playing together, like at Warped Tour, or something and I think that that’s great. I think that is a scene more than anything else.

* Alot of people are starting to use the internet for illegal downloading, so do…
Oh that’s not just starting. I was doing that shit in 1999! (laughs)
* Well, I didn’t think of it back then, okay? (laughs)
* Do you think it’s helped or hurt your band, as a whole?
I think…
Josh: Helped.
Shane: It’s helped.
Josh: Big time.
Shane: Well, I don’t think it helps every band. It definitely can fuck over alot of bands. What will happen, this is getting a little complicated, but this is what people don’t understand. People will justify downloading a band because they will be like, “Okay, well I’ll download it and if I like it, then I’ll buy the tickets for the show and that money like goes to the band and I’ll go and buy a t-shirt and that money goes to the band. If I go and buy the CD at the store, the band hardly gets any of that money so that doesn’t make any sense. So, I’ll download it and if I like it, I’ll go.” Which is a great principle, but what will happen see, is the record label– well it’s suppose to– support the band. They’ll help the band with the promotion for their tour and all these things where the band really makes their money. So if you don’t buy the CD, the record labels are going to have no money to put into the bands to help promote the bands themselves. So what will happen is they’ll be like, “Oh yeah, well I didn’t even know about the show that ended up coming through,” because there’s no one that promoted the show. That will end up hurting the band more. I think if you’ve got ten bucks–or whatever it costs now these days to buy a record– if you like a band or you think you like it, you should buy it because it does really really help the band. But I know, realistically, like not every kid has…. there’s so many good bands these days. It’s not easy to buy everyones CD. I think we’ve definitly, you know, the word of mouth has spread from people downloading our music. So I think it helps sometimes. Overall, people have to understand you are hurting the band and not just the label when you download a record.

* And rituals. Any pre-show rituals?
We are so like…. our drummer kinda does cause he has to warm up for an hour before he plays. He’s got this crazy warm up schedule. Then afterwords he’s got an arm issue. He’s got to like ice his arm. He’s quite particular with that. The rest of us, not-so-much. Josh: We have little things. Like, Bill likes to make a sandwich and a milkshake. Neil likes to play video games.
Shane: Yeah, slash drink beer.
Josh: I drink beer and stretch. They are both very important routines for me. If I go on stage without drinking beer and stretching, I feel awful and my show falls apart. And you do usually a warm up routine, vocal exercises.
Shane: Well I sing, I do a little bit of singing first. I find it helps me not get up there and like, “Uhhh what am I doing? Okay, time to sing.”
Josh: Nothing crazy. We don’t have to touch a certain type of salami before we play. Or, I don’t know, we don’t huddle and chant.
Shane: Was that Staind?
Josh: Maybe.
Shane: Want to hear a crazy story real quick?

* We like good stories.
We played this show and it was at a college. They were telling us that a few weeks before, the band Staind, you know the like nu-metal band Staind? “It’s been awhile…” So they were in, so every thing’s like cool and it’s like fifteen minutes until they were going to go on. The singer starts freaking out that he doesn’t have this special kind of salami. So he’s flipping out so they are like, “Oh, shit. Sorry, sorry.” So they go and they buy this salami and I guess they are now like a half an hour or forty five minutes late going on because he doesn’t have this salami. So everyone’s like, “What the fuck does he need… is it really that important?” So the guy comes and brings the salami to him. He takes the salami and opens it up and rubs it on his hands, and is like, “Alright, I’m good.” (laughs)

* Wow, that’s intense. (laughs)
Shane: Like, you can’t make that shit up! It’s gotta be true! Who would make that up? So, I don’t know what it does… if it’s a guitar playing thing….
Josh: It makes his hands sweat less.
Shane: Maybe he likes the smell.
Josh: Who knows.
Shane: It’s fucking weird though.

* That is really weird.
We need to get some sort of crazy ritual like that so we have interesting things to say.
Shane: I know.

* Or you can make them up and nobody will know.
Yeah, I did that for awhile. I just was like, I started just saying crazy shit.
Josh: It’s really hard to say with conviction. If you do it too much, you get too good at lying like that. I don’t know, you just start to hate the smell of your own bullshit.
Shane: Yeah, well I was doing it for awhile. But then like, people will read it and other people will ask you about it. “Well wait, you said this, and then you said this! What’s going on man, are you on like alot of drugs?” Then you’re like, “No, I’ve never done any drugs. I was just kidding.” But kinda not. So, we’re not gonna make shit up anymore. We’re kinda over that already.

* Do you guys have a last message you’d like to give to your fans?
Does that mean the interview’s over already? We’ve only got a half of page. (laughs)
* That’s alot!
(laughs) It’s alot.
* It’s tiny print. (laughs)
It is tiny. How do you even read that?
* I have good eyes.
* Contacts!
I guess we’d like to say that we’re going to be going away for a little while into the studio and so we’re not going to be coming around visiting you and playing shows. We’re going to be working hard, making a new record for ya. We’d like you to check it out when it comes out.
Shane: In April!
Josh: Hope to see you soon, as soon as we get back out on the road.
Shane: Yup, April it will come out. Then we’ll be back again coming around more.
Josh: Coming around, to your home town.
Shane: The cycle, we just do it over and over again.
Josh: See you soon. See you later. Both at the same time.