Ahead of their brilliant show in Bristol on 10th December, we sent Katie Bizley to catch up with vocalist Shane Told of Silverstein…
The Punk Archive: Hey! 2017 has been a pretty good year for you guys! How have you found it?
Shane: It’s been good, we started off the year with kinda like no songs, and we wrote a bunch of songs and recorded them and they came out really really well, people were really happy with the record. We took that into a few tours, the Warped tour, and now here we are. It’s been great to travel the world this year and see people really resonating with the new songs.
The Punk Archive: What’s your favourite song to play live at the moment?
Shane: I like this one called Afterglow. We didn’t play it all summer, so we tried to play it recently and I was like thinking maybe live it wouldn’t go over well because it’s not really that heavy, it’s kind of a poppy song. And I couldn’t have been more wrong, when we played it live the place erupts, it’s crazy. It goes over live even better than most of our old songs. So that’s definitely a highlight of the set.
The Punk Archive: Dead Reflection is arguably more aggressive than your previous releases. What are some of the themes behind the album as a whole?
Shane: Well, it was written at a kind of a dark time in my life, I’d gone through some personal issues over most of 2016 and kind of fell down a pretty dark path. Y’know, writing this record is entirely about that, but it’s also kind of interesting cause writing sort of saved me a little bit, out of going down that path. It was kind of therapeutic I guess in a way for me, maybe getting out that negativity bred some positivity in my life. But the themes are just that, the steps that a person takes when they go through a traumatic experience, the initial disbelief, the sadness, the anger and then the picking up the pieces.
The Punk Archive: What’s the process behind choosing your setlist each night?
Shane: It’s certainly become a lot more difficult, y’know as we’ve made more records and have more songs. Paul counted the other day and we have 116 songs and we only play around 17 live, that’s basically like 100 songs we can’t play. We’re constantly changing our songs to give our fans a different experience, whether they saw us the last tour, or they saw us yesterday. It’s more interesting for us too, so we’re not just going through the motions. We’ve toured with bands that play the same set every day, and even say the same things between songs every day. For me, as a musician I would just be so bored doing that.
The Punk Archive: Seventeen years together. How would you describe how your music has evolved over those years?
Shane: Well it’s taken a natural progression, completely. I think like every record we’ve made, we’ve just started with some riffs, some ideas, we’ve never had a conversation about what kind of record we’re going to try to make or anything like that. I think it’s been important for us to just kind of see what comes out and go from there. But we also sometimes put in parameters that’ll change things a little bit, so for example this record we experimented with some different tunings and we worked with a producer we’ve never worked with before, so I think there was a combination of things [which] set the natural progression up to be maybe taken a little further, but musically we were still on the same track.
The Punk Archive: Will you take that forward to the next album?
Shane: Yeah we try to beat it every time y’know, I think like when we did This Is How The Wind Shifts we felt like that was definitely our best record, but with Dead Reflection we knew we had to beat it and we did. I think that’s something that a lot of bands who have been around for 17 years don’t do. We really try to strive for y’know, perfection really, and it’s like, that’s what this record was to us, it was a really important record, and we feel really good about it.
The Punk Archive: How are you enjoying the UK tour going so far?
Shane: It’s been cool, we played Brighton yesterday. It’s actually the first time we’ve ever played there, which is kind of crazy. I love Brighton so it was a really really good vibe and a really good show. We don’t come to the UK that often really at all so it’s nice to be here. Maybe at a better time of year would be better, it’s a little cold and rainy and horrible outside right now but … it’s still a good time here.
The Punk Archive: You must be used to the cold back home in Canada?
Shane: Well it’s funny ’cause it’s snowing right now outside here, but it isn’t snowing at home, which is weird because usually Canada is much colder.
The Punk Archive: What do you miss about home when you’re on the road?
Shane: There’s always the little things… your own bed, your own shower. And friends and family obviously. But it’s funny now how we’ve toured around the world so many times you pick up little pieces all around wherever you are that become things you like and that you can get excited about. For example I love the idea of getting up in the morning and going to the pub and having an English breakfast. I love that. You go in, and you pay your like £3.45 and you get your unlimited coffee and you sit there, I love that. And that doesn’t exist anywhere else. You just fall in love with those little things. We’ve done so much travelling that our real home is our second home in a way. Which is kind of weird to say it, but it’s true.
The Punk Archive: What’s does 2018 have in store for Silverstein?
Shane: Paul and I, we plan out the year and we’re already like into like August/September of planning, so we’ve already figured out more than the first half of 2018. It’s going to be a lot of touring in the US, festivals, we’re going to Australia, all this stuff.