With „Misery Made Me“ and the predecessor „A Beautiful Place To Drown“ the post-hardcore heroes of SILVERSTEIN had to present two new albums on the current tour due to the worldwide forced break of two years. With only 40 minutes stage time in the support of BEARTOOTH not a easy task. Shortly before the show we met a quite relaxed looking Shane Told in the tour bus to talk about the two albums and the tour. Why the two records are so different and what Shane has in common with our Federal President, you can find out in this interview.
Hi, you seem quite relaxed, so the tour is going on good?
Yeah, the tour is going on towards the end. We’ve got five more show and then we head back home. It feels good to be back in Europe. It’s been two and a half year and four years since we did festivals. So it’s very exciting!
Yeah. It’s for us press-people and fans of music also quite the same. My first concert was also only weeks ago. It was RAMMSTEIN…
You came back in with a bang. That’s a big show! Crazy… that’s amazing.
Yes, it was great! I saw, this tour is kind of a mix between clubshows and festivals.
We are mainly here to do big festivals, like we did Nova Rock a couple of weeks ago here in Austria. And we kind of fill in the days during the week. Today with a smaller show in Graz. It’s cool to do different things. Every day is an adventure. No two days are the same… is, yeah it’s fun.
Did you had the time to check out things in Europe between the shows?
Not as much as usual, because so many of the shows are festivas out in the middle of nowhere and it’s fucking hot… and no idea where to go. So we hang out at the festival, check out the area, eat some food and meet people. As a fan I missed seeing bands too. I didn’t see any show in two years. It was nice to see some of my friends from different bands on stage and see them smiling and just be happy to be back.
Today it was cool the check out the city, because we are kind of in the middle of Graz, but on some days it’s tough to find cool things.
You are on tour with your good friends of BEARTOOTH. So does it feel different to tour with Caleb Shomo and the guys in comparison to other tours with bands you not know so well?
BEARTOOTH are our best friends in the world, so it’s always nice to be with them, wherever we are. We just did six weeks in the US with them. Now to be here and out of our element in North America, it’s exciting. It’s fun being around with friends. It feels almost like a piece of home.
This tour is also very special, because it’s the first time for you and also for many other bands to present two new records, because I guess you didn’t had the chance to play “A Beautiful Place To Drown” songs so far. How hard was it to put a setlist together?
Yeah. Oh, it’s always hard now, especially with “Misery Made Me” being our tenth album. You are right, for our last record we couldn’t do any shows, so there is some songs like “Bad Habbits” we are playing for the first time. People loving it! But we also have to play some of the newer songs like “Ultra Violent”. But I think we have a good mix, but it’s even hard if have only 40 minutes on stage. We have to pick up 10 songs out of more than 100.
Do you switch songs in the setlist?
Yes, it depends how much time we have. We always think it’s fun to do different stuff on one tour.
I checked out the setlist and I really missed “Our Song”. Why didn’t you put it in the setlist. It’s kind o a “full-energy-hardcore-song” and it also felt like it could be your new band-hymn?
It is! It’s funny, because when we were writing it, it felt like “Europe festival Energy”. We felt like playing on a festival in Europe while we wrote it. So it’s funny, that you like it so much. But unfortunately, we did not figure that out yet. (laughs)
Haha, but maybe, when you return to Europe in fall with COMEBACK KID?
We will work on it for sure. Again: It is so hard. When we wrote the album, we thought, we want to play all of them live. But now, with so many songs, we can’t. There are so many songs we did not play live. But I hope we will ad this one, because I like it too.
Let’s talk about “Misery Made Me”. What was the actual idea of the title?
It come’s from “Our Song” – ”Misery made me, nothing can break me”. It’s a cool twist. When people hear the phrase “misery made me”, the think more a like “misery made me do something…”, but no! You have to think about “misery made me = nothing can break me” – it’s a very uplifting sort of phrase. It gravitated us immediately as a concept. When I brought in “Misery”, the acoustic song on the end of the album, it was interesting, because I wrote this song and Paul Marc wrote “Our Song” independent of each other. Then we thought it made sense to make it a concept of the song. In the last song, in the end I found peace in misery. That was a very cool twist. So both songs are very uplifting, also with the word “Misery” in it.
People should know, it is dark, frustrated record, but there is always hope. In the end of it, we gonna get through this. And we kind of got trough this.
So would you call it a “pandemic record”, I guess it would not be the same without Covid and all that bullshit?
A hundred percent a pandemic record. But we were also kind of on schedule. I mean “A Beautiful Place To Drown” came out in March 2020 right when the pandemic hit us all. We could not go on tour, but we waited about one year before we started to write new songs.
And the pandemic had an impact on it. How could it not. As much we discussed about it, I mean almost everyone is doing that, it’s kind of a cliché, you know, to make this a pandemic record. But another side of us said, we always made honest music based on our feelings. So it would be not honest not to write about what we’ve been going through. And we all went through this. You in Austria, we are in Canada. It was a worldwide thing. That’s the reason, why this record resonated so much with the people, because they feel it. They feel the pain, they lived the pain.
How do you see the differences to older records? I mean “ABPtD” was kind of a brave album and a big step forward with more modern elements and Synthesizers and so on…
I don’t know if I completely agree with this, but I think the records are really of the time they where written. “A Beautiful Place To Drown”: We were at a happier place as a society, or let’s say at least in relation to the time since the pandemic started. Like “Say Yes!”, this is very poppy and positive song. And now on “Misery Made”, such a song was impossible. No way, that we could write a song like this now. Because of the darkness inside of us. You have to live in what you write. If you try to write songs, which you do not feel, maybe a love song, it would be completely fake. And people see through that.
The funny thing is: my favourite song on “ABPtD” is “Infinte” and that one is completely different to “Our Song” – and that is what I love, your diversity!
Oh, thank you. That was always a thing in the band. Forever. And as a vocalist I’m able to sing, scream, sing loud, yell, sing soft… we can do acoustic songs, we can also do real heavy metal songs. We always had that. We feel comfortable to have such diversity and we thrive in it.
What are your actual influences for the lyrics, I mean beside such a global event like the pandemic now?
Lyrically it was always what we are going through. I don’t think it has to be more complicated and over the course of a year, I got the notes on my phone and add some if a I have an idea and visit it later. Paul Marc does the same thing. But I think, our songs are some of our live experiences. The most important thing is: We are not gonna fake it, that’s never ever gonna happen. That’s what you get. What you get is real.
Yeah, that’s what I felt. I mean everyone had hard times now and also before. You also sing about depression and other important problems. So everyone knows some one with depression or felt it and then you can sing with you about that or yell that stuff on the concert. You can relate with it easily and that feels real. That’s my opinion.
A hundred percent! And many people already told us that. And that is amazing. It feels like we made the right decision, to do what we always did and always have done.
I really look forward to the show! To be honest it’s my first time with SILVERSTEIN…
So I am happy to know, you will come back in fall with COMEBACK KID, as I mentioned before. Besides a longer playtime, what else can we expect?
Definitely more songs. We are excited to come back with CK and SENSES FAIL. Good friends. Not only forty minutes like today. It’s fine, but as a headliner we can mess around with things and other kind of songs. It will be fun. Can’t wait.
How was it to shoot the weird video for “Ultraviolet”?
Yeah, it was weird. Our video director is actually here with us on tour to do photos and that stuff. We had this idea, it had to do with a Italian video. Ähm, de dancing… I am not a dancer, and I literally had this choreographer guy to show me these weird dances. It was fun, but the thing about a band that is around for such a long time and had done so many videos. I think about 30 or 40 videos, maybe more. It’s hard to come up with new ideas. And we try to come up with new things. And It’s a cool video, we are talking about it at least. (laughs)
To be honest, I am not a big fan of shooting videos, but then it’s always fun and nice to have different ideas.
Once you said about your stile: It’s kind of an alternative way of post-hardcore. Would you still agree with that nowadays or do you care about labels on your music?
I don’t care what people call it. We are so past that point. Listen to one of our songs and make up your mind. It’s not like back in the 90s. Is this punk? Is that cool? Just to know before you go to the store and buy a CD. It’s a lot different now. Honestly man, influencewise. Sure, there is stuff that creeps in now and there. But most of my influences are the same like when I was 16 years old.
I like this question, hope you too. Do you have any funny story from your live on the road?
Just about everyday is a new story man. I just remember one thing in Austria. We played on Nova Rock and there was a crazy big storm in the morning and there was mud everywhere. We had to make our way to the Red Bull Stage and they put as in a Van. But the mud was so crazy, they had to tow the Van with a Tractor. So we were in a Van, but it didn’t do anything. We were literally taken with a rope to the stage. I have a video of it. It was absolutely ridiculous. Never a doll moment on this tour.
Haha. On Nova Rock it’s always the same. On one day you have dust that kills your lungs and on the other day there is a storm and after it there is tons of mud everywhere.
(Laughs). Yeah, but what can you do.
There are good bunch of great and famous bands from Canada, but to you have suggestions for bands from Canada and your maybe directly from your area, to check out?
Yeah, there is this band from western Canada called ARCHSPIRE. They are very extreme metal and incredible talented. There is a band from our area. Female-Fronted Hardcore Band called REDHANDED DENIAL. Everybody should know SPIRIT BOX now. And if you like Punk Rock, you should check out THE FLATLINERS, they are the best band for a decade and a half from Canada.
Thank you! Is there anything left to say?
No, I just wanna thank all the fans in Austria for all the love and support. And by the way, my sister’s husband’s uncle is the president of Austria Alex van der Bellen! Really, I am serious, the green party guy, Alex, he is my brother in laws‘ uncle.