The Silverstein Interview

A Conversation with Singer Shane Told

Pukkelpop Festival 2011 - 18.08.2011 - Hasselt, Belgien(Feb in 2012) SILVERSTEIN are one of today’s most popular bands in emo / screamo / post-hardcore / whatever. Over the years they’ve built a large army of fans. Their songs are hits among the scene and their records always get positive feedback. Now they are going to release “Short Songs”. A record that consists of tracks under 90 seconds. Eleven of those are their own tracks and eleven are hardcore and punk covers. Singer Shane Told answers a few questions.

Question: How did you get the idea of writing songs which run less than 90 seconds? That actually isn't anything you are known for.
Shane:We got the idea from doing a few short cover songs for our “Support Your Local Record Store” 7 inch vinyl.  We had a lot of fun doing it and decided to write some of our own songs, as well as doing some more covers.

Were there any differences concerning songwriting between these and your "regular" songs? Which ones?
It was very very different.  The typical song structure was thrown out the window, and we had to find a way to have a song make sense and have a message in less 90 seconds.  I think each song stands on it’s own, and is special.  There’s diversity too which was important to us on this record.

Your covering a lot of Hardcore and Punk bands. How do your fans react on that. Your fans will actually listen to A Day To Remember not to Orchid.
I don’t really know, but we did the covers for ourselves, and we did it as a tribute to some of our favorite bands.  If someone hears our covers and goes out and buys the original and discovers some great music, that’s awesome!  

Are there more songs that you would have liked to cover?
There were tons that we couldn’t fit into this project but we’ll try to do them at some point.  This record was so much fun.

Which idea came first: Recording covers or recording short songs?
Well the whole thing stemmed from covers, but the idea for this project was to challenge ourselves with writing originals.  I think that is what makes this really special.

What was more fun for you? Recording songs that you have loved for years or the “Punk goes Pop”-covers?
They’re different, in fact pretty much opposites.  The Short Songs stuff was truer to the original and that was fun to imitate that, while the Punk Goes Pop songs are cool too because we change a lot of things from the originals.  So both are awesome just in different ways

Unterwegs in - © sumnersgraphicsinc - Fotolia.comIt's not typical to release many songs in advance of a release? Why have you decided to do so?
We’re just excited and we want everyone to hear it.  There’s also 22 songs on this record, so giving away 5-6 songs isn’t that much really, kinda the same as 2-3 songs on a “normal” album.

You have once somehow been a part of the emo/screamo scene, but you have survived all of these trends. What's your opinion on this today?
I don’t know we’ve kind of always been in between everything.  I don’t think we ever felt right in the scene with “emo/screamo” and we were not part of the hardcore/punk word either. We’ve always existed outside on our own, maybe that’s what’s set us apart.  I think we just try to write the best songs we can, and we feel if we do that, it’ll stand the test of time.  A great song is a great song.

Where does the motivation and energy come from, to be on tour non stop and to still be as enthusiastic on stage as the first time I saw you in 2006?
I think we continue to challenge ourselves, keep it exciting and fresh.  Touring is fun for us, seeing the world, meeting new friends, and playing new songs as well as bringing back old ones.  We’ve been doing this band for almost all of our adult lives now, so it’s what we do.  I think we’ve gotten better and grown a lot.  It’s a good feeling to know that you’re still making your best music.

When can we expect a new album with regular Silverstein songs?
Gonna start writing this summer, and we might even record this fall!  Could be sooner rather than later!

A Conversation with Singer Shane Told

Interview © by Sebastian Berning