By paul

Paul: Let’s get the pleasantries out of the way – who are you and what do you do in the band?

Shane – Vocals

Paul: Your band name was inspired by the author Shel Silverstein – is there a specific book or poem he wrote that gave you the connection to use the name? On a similar note, is it true Billy has a tattoo with a picture from a Shel poem?
Shane: When we started the band I showed up at the first practice empty handed. I had no lyrics written at all. We practiced in Josh’s parents basement which had a bookshelf with all kinds of stuff. I would use whatever literature to sing out of… National geographic magazines, cook books… One day I picked up a She’ll Silverstein book – it was “where the sidewalk ends” and sang out of it. We all talked about reading his books as kids, and laughed at some of the poems such as “hug o war”. 2 weeks later we didn’t have a name but had our first show so we chose the name Silverstein. Billy got the hug o war poem illustration tattooed and Josh actually got a She’ll Silverstein drawing of a guitar playing itself as well.

Paul: You have a brand new album out, who produced it and how the recording process differ from your other output?
Shane: Mark Trombino produced it. It differed in that we were a lot more confident this time around. We had made 2 records before, but when we made the first we were so young that the second one was more like our first time making a record, spending all our time together in one place and really embracing it. This time we felt like we understood the process better, and we were a lot more patient in getting sounds, and the best performances. It was more laid back. I think in the end we had a lot more control of how the record sounded.

Paul: How would you describe the new album to someone who is yet to hear it? Which bands, if any, influenced the writing process?
Shane: The new album is heavy and at times is really “in your face” and at other times very sweet and soothing. Its definitely a 2 headed monster in that respect. We wrote some of our most technical songs, and some of our most simplest, some of our heaviest, and some of our softest. I think the record is a journey through a wide range of muical scenary. As for influences it was the same its always been. Mineral, Grade, Poison the Well, Knapsack, Shai Hulud, Portrait…. I think the only new bands that really have influenced me since the last record were Mew, and maybe Meshuggah, although you can’t really hear their influence very much.

Paul: It’s obviously a very personal album. Is there any kind of meaning behind the album title?
Shane: The album cover describes the last 5 years of our life. Constantly on your, and coming and going. We’ve rode on Planes, trains, busses, vans, cars, boats, helicoptors, you name it… We’ve had so many people come and go in our lives as well. Relationships and friendship starting and ending, people passing away, even people being born. It seemed like a very fitting title for what we do.

Paul: On ‘Here Today, Gone Tomorrow’ you talk very specifically about life on tour and the feeling of losing someone when you’re not on the road – is this a personal story?
Shane: Yes. 2 years ago while on tour with Hawthorne Heights, Bayside and Aiden, Baysides drummer passed away in a van accident. It was the worst day of my life. Being on tour with your best friends on our dream tour, and then suddenly having a terrible tragedy happen right before your eyes was something that really affected me.

Paul: You’re frequent visitors to the UK and are touring over here real soon. What is it about the UK you enjoy the most?
Shane: Kids in the UK are just hungry for music. I don’t feel like kids in North America have the passion like you do here. People also seem to listen more and take it all in, rather than just beat the crap out of each other. Its more civil but at the same time more intense. I also love how old and beautiful everything is. In the US on the west coast the oldest thing you’ll find is a Taco Bell built in the 1980’s.

Paul: It’s also a pretty mammoth tour – 18 dates – which is admirable for a US band as most only come over and do half a dozen. Why have you decided to do so many dates this time round?
Shane: Because everytime we come people get so angry that we didn’t come to their city! And we know how that is. I grew up in a place where not everyband came through, so I think its important to play the small cities as well as the big ones. I want everyone in the UK who wants to see our band to be able to. There’s no excuse to not show up now!!

Paul: On your myspace you state The Get Up Kids are an influence on the band – if you could cover any one of the band’s songs which would it be and why?
Shane: That’s funny because this is a debate/argument we have every 6 months or so. We were going to cover TGUK at our first show ever, it was going to be “Fall Semester”, but we didn’t learn it in time. That’s still one of my favorite songs by them, but I also like “I’m a loner dottie, a rebel”, “shorty” and “red letter day”… I also think we could do “out of reach” really well.

Paul: You seem to have a lot of animals on your merch – from grizzley bears to massive invading ants to falcons…is this simply a coincidence or are you all big animal lovers?!
Shane: Haha, well we do love animals!! But it is just a coincidence.

Paul: You’ve released a digital only single here in the UK, backed with extra b-sides. How important do you see releasing music as MP3s and not just on CD/vinyl? Are you big fans of downloading music or do you feel it is changing the music industry for the worse?
Shane: Personally I don’t like to buy music online. Its usually not at a very high quality, and you can’t transfer it to another computer, and I like to have something to hold in my hand…. I remember being a kid and getting my allowance and going to the record store to buy a new CD. Getting so excited and looking at the booklet on the way home (because you couldn’t listen in the car in those days, it was all tape players). You open it and there’s the excitement, that smell… I feel like that’s lost now and a lot of people don’t care. I will always care which is why I almost never buy digital music. That being said, I know a lot of people love it. It’s easier to get the music on your ipod, and you don’t even have to leave your house. Its also pretty reasonably priced. We didn’t even have our first 2 records on itunes at first, so this digital single thing was definitely a big step. But I think its cool, and its definitely cheaper for the record labels!

Paul: Silverstein are a band that tour A LOT! Do you think bands are chickening out of the hard graft of hitting the road and simply using tools like myspace to try and befriend fans and sell their music?
Shane: Yes and No. I think you can take a band further than ever before using myspace and the internet, but I think some bands are touring more than ever. Bands realize that they don’t even need to have a record label, or their cd in stores for people to come out to their shows. People are buying less music, but listening to even more and going to eve more shows. I think its awesome.

Paul: If you had three tips to give any new band, what would they be?
Shane: -spend as much time and money as possible on your demos, especially the vocals.
-be professional and treat every person with respect. They will remember that you were cool to them.
-have fun! Remember that that is the point of playing music. If its not fun you shouldn’t be doing it.

Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]