Over 10 years as a band now and Canadian post-hardcore outfit Silverstein have shown absolutely no sign of slowing down. Now that they’ve got Soundwave done and dusted, they’re eagerly awaiting the release of their fifth studio album ‘Rescue’ which is due later this month. While they were over here for Soundwave, I had a chance to chat with Guitarist Josh Bradford at their Melbourne Sidewave.
Hey Josh, we’re about halfway through the Soundwave Tour cycle at the moment, how have you found it so far?
Amazing! The calibre of the bands are unrivalled, there aren’t really festivals like this anywhere else in the world.
You played the festival in 2009 as well, how has your experience differed to last time?
It seems even more organised than before, it just an even better experience all-round.
Any bands on the lineup impressed you in particular?
I actually haven’t had much of a chance to see anyone, just catching up on a lot of sleep. I did go see Polar Bear Club though, we’re doing a tour with them in the States soon so I wanted to check them out, they were awesome.
What’s the tour like away from the stage? It’s a pretty hectic schedule, do you find yourself with much down-time?
Yeah a decent amount. I’ve spent a lot of time walking around meeting people, shaking hands, having the occasional beer…
Cool, have you become fond of any local beer in particular?
Yeah I tried a Cascade yesterday and really liked it, is that Australian?
Yeah man, Tasmanian I think. Well tonight you’re playing a sidewave with I See Stars and Blessthefall, when it comes to what bands you are going to play with at these things, do you have input or is it all Soundwave?
With the sidewaves it’s generally all Soundwave yeah. That said, we’ve played with both the bands before and we’re all buddies, so they’ve done good job!
We’re not far out now from the release of your next studio album ‘Rescue’, what do you think fans can come to expect?
Kind of more of the same, we haven’t tried to break the mould or anything. I feel like it’s a more honest record, returning to our roots and what we’re influenced by. We sound a lot more like what we listen to than we have in the past.
Cool, so in you saying that, would you say that you’re all on a similar page musically?
We’re all over the map to be honest, we all have a few bands in common but it’s really a blend of all our seperate influences that makes our sound what it is.
How do you guys generlly go about your songwriting?
We basically just jump in a room and jam! The last album was a little different with all the songs flowing into eachother, there was a little calculation and planning involved. This one we were just writing songs, it was easy and fun. We wrote it over the course of like a year as well, which probably affects the songs in some way.
Last year you guys celebrated your 10th year together as a band. Does it feel like that long?
Sometimes it feels like that long, and sometimes it seems like it just started yesterday. Depends on whether it’s a good or bad day, it’s mostly fun too.
You’ve only had the one lineup change too and that was very early on, so clearly you get on alright!
Yeah right from the beginning we’ve been pretty much the same guys, I can’t believe how lucky we are sometimes. We ll just have common goals, a common love for music and respect eachother enough to make it work. Like any family, you get into silly fights and hate eachother for a bit, but in the end we all want the same things and it just works.
You’ve developed a pretty large catalogue of music now, does it make it difficult picking which songs to play?
It makes it a little tricky, yeah. Making choices between what we want to play and what people want to hear is the hardest part. We always try and mix it up and play at least a coupe of songs off every record and play some of our favourites.
Interestingly you decided to not release a lead single for this album, but did release an EP ‘Transitions’ in December featuring 2 songs off the new album, how did that decision come about?
We just figured that it had been a while since we’ve done an album, so rather than just put an album out and having the traditional lead single come out way before the album, we’d give the fns something to tie them over a little better and give them a better taste of the album.
I read that you’ve been busy with quite a few videos as well?
Yeah we’ve done 2 and we’re doing one when we get home. Sacrifice came out a day or two actually, I actually made the video with my girlfriend so it’s a special one for me.
Cool, I’ll have to check it out. If you could say there was a particular band or song that inspired you to want to play music, who would it be?
Well my parents started me on The Beatles and The Beach Boys and I was super into them. I think the band that made me want to play in a loud rock band probably would have been Nirvana.
Fair enough, you know I reckon 80% of the people I’ve asked that have said Nirvana.
I’ve got to be careful how I say this…You hear Nirvana play and think ‘I can do that.’ Cobain wasn’t the greatest singer, he wasn’t the greatest guitar player. It gives you a little bit of confidence, you think ‘I can do that, I can’t sing and I can make noise, why not?’ When you listen to something really tecnical and incredibly difficult to play you get a little intimidated. I’ve always been into punk and underground music because it seems so much more user-friendly.
If you could make some sort of supergroup out of other musicians, alive or dead who would it be?
Hmm. Freddy Mercury on vocals, no question. Les Paul on guitar, why not? This is really hard. I’ll just jump in the band on rhythm, that’d be fun. Who’s a good bass player? Les Claypool! Which leaves drums, who would you choose?
Me personally, probably Neil Peart from Rush.
Yeah I was trying to stay away from that because it seems so obvious. Ahh we’ll just use a drum machine and call it a day.
Now you’ve got to name the band.
[Laughs] Cheers for the chat mate, has been great. Enjoy tonight and the rest of your Soundwave experience!
Yeah dude, thank you.