A Conversation With…Silverstein. Newcastle Think Tank. 13/12/17
I’m back at Newcastle’s, Think Tank for a dose of the rock kings in the form of Silverstein. They released their stellar record, Dead Reflection earlier this year and by the sounds of things, fans are eating it up all over the world! I sat down with Shane to chat about the record, the tour and everything else in-between.
Hey Shane, so you guys have been going for 17 years now, how does it feel to be in the band for that long?
“It feels good. It’s coming up on about half of my life which is pretty crazy to think about and I guess when you’re immersed in it and the main focus of half my life, it’s been a good experience all around and you know? We started the band for fun and it’s still our goal and we still have fun every single day.”
And tonight’s not going to be any different in Newcastle.
“Yeah, we’re about halfway through the tour in the UK. Bless you and your countries smallness. Each show covers the whole country pretty much. It should be great tonight and we don’t get a chance to come over to the UK compared to a lot of other countries so every time we’re here it’s really special and Newcastle’s special. We’ve always had a good time here, always had a blast.”
And that’s Newcastle for you hopefully, we never put you in the wrong.
“No, no for sure. It’s been good. First, we played in some little pub and then last year we played here again, and this is another new venue but fans are always coming out and they’re excited so it’s all good.”
“What’s it like to play a British pub?
It’s great. You know any place you put a stage or a PA works for a show and you get a great vibe. And it’s not like it’s a pub where you’re sitting around and there are old people and you’re drinking beer, eating fish and chips but any environment works for rock and roll. You just gotta own it.”
And the latest record was released in the summer. Now you’ve had the chance to play the some of the tracks off the record, how’s the reaction been to them?
“It’s been awesome. We still feel really strongly about the record and the fans love the record. Music journalists and critics really love the record so it’s a really great feeling to be seventeen years into our career and making some of our best music and it’s always weird you know? When you make a record in the studio and we’re trading demos back and forth in the studio you can kinda predict how a song will going to go down live but you can’t really until you do it. For example, one track off our record which is a fan favourite; The Afterglow. It’s a poppier song and we weren’t sure how it was going to go down live because it’s not really heavy or anything. It’s an upbeat poppy track so when the record came out in the summer we didn’t play it straight away, we played the heavier tracks and recently we’ve been busting it out and we couldn’t believe how well it went over. People are just going crazy for this song so it’s been incredible playing this song live and it’s one we’ve worked into playing in the set every day and we can’t not take it out because it’s too good live and we didn’t expect it, so it’s very difficult to guess what songs are going to go off live and sometimes the opposite happens as well, it doesn’t always do what you expect to do one way or the other.”
And was that the mindset for the new record as well?
“I mean we don’t really think we think about the songs in a live setting when we’re making a record. I think it’s an afterthought. You’re like okay we need to think how are these going to be played live and how they’re going to go over, especially with this record because we’ve used some different tunings which we haven’t used in the past and that’s an issue because it means we have to bring more guitars which are in the right tunings so there are things like that. So, with the mindset of the record, we wanted to make the best record on recording for all the people to listen to on their stereos or in their car or wherever.”
And do you have any secret talents?
There’s the whole singing, I guess it’s not a secret. I’d say I’m remarkably good at foosball, you know like table football. It’s bigger where we’re from. I’m remarkably good at that and our whole band’s pretty good at bowling as well. I mean if you wanna thrown down with a bowling tournament we hold our own.”
I’d be down for that, but I haven’t been for a while so you’d absolutely destroy me.
“I think it’s a little bit like riding a bike. You need to warm up and get back into the groove. I won’t bowl for a couple of months or even six months at a time and I could bowl a 175 pretty easily these days consistently so we’re feeling pretty good about our bowling skills.”
And has there been any standout moments from the recent tours?
“I think there are standout moments every day. Even the smaller shows, the shows that don’t go perfectly. There are still stand out moments. People still ask me oh do you get bored of playing the same songs for seventeen years?, how many have you played my heroine? you know, like thousands of times but every time you play a show it’s different. I mean it’s a different show, different people, different venue, different set lists, bands opening and I think there’s always going to be really cool moments regardless so it’s hard to pick a specific one and I’ll say our last tour in Germany, we did fourteen dates which is a lot and we sold them all out and some people came to multiple shows or all of the tour and it was a very special time to play to the fans but I can’t pick a specific moment though.”
And are you expecting for anything to go crazy tonight?
Yeah, it’s a little small room up there at the Think Tank in Newcastle so I think it’s going to be pretty bonkers you know? I think people are at that point where they’ll get the second wind for the week, so I think it’s going to be a good show.”
And is there anything else you’d like to add?
“Check out Dead Reflection, the new record’s out now. There are some great tracks on it; The afterglow, Whiplash, Retrograde Lost Positive some of our favourite tracks from the record and we’ll be around you know? Whether you’re listening in the UK or elsewhere in the world so come see us live and say what up!”