Silverstein


In the lead up to the mightily stacked tour package of Peirce The Veil, Beartooth, and Storm The Sky, we recently caught up with Canada’s Silverstein about this fastly approaching Australian tour. However, the band’s guitarist, Paul Marc Rousseau, is a bit of an oddball character. But that’s cool because I am too, so here’s our rather weird and somewhat random chat that included the current Olympics, zombies, Bruce Springsteen, & podcasts. It’s good stuff, I assure you.

I know you’re a big sports fan, Paul. As such, have you been keeping up with the Olympics lately or is your interest only towards baseball and football?

You know, I am not interested at all in the Olympics. I wish I were because it is all anyone ever wants to talk about. And I just don’t care! But like most 20-somethings, I do read Reddit every now and then and what was up with that green swimming pool? Like, what!?

Well, if it’s in Rio, could it be because of their water supply?

Well, this is a controlled swimming pool, so I imagine it has nothing to do with the actual water. But dude, you have to Google it. It’s just green, out of nowhere, and no one knows why.

Weird! There were also those guys who were doing the rowing and they fell into the water and people started freaking out. Because now they’ve been exposed to all of that polluted, messed up water. 

[Laughs] Oh shit, those guys are probably dead by now.

Yeah, probably. I mean, that’s how you get zombie outbreaks, and if they haven’t turned yet, they will soon.  

Dude….I am not ready for this. You’re scaring me a bit here.

Well, it could be good, you know? A zombie outbreak could wash the slate of humanity clean and we will all start again.

I  find is funny how nihilism always gets painted as this optimistic thing. Like, “Sure, everyone will die but then it will be better”. I love that, it’s hilarious.

Yeah, I blame the Internet and memes for that. That… ironic welcoming of death many people have is because the world’s rather fucked, but it wasn’t us who made it that way.

Yeah, it’s so true. I was having dinner with my dad and I casually mentioned that while I didn’t want to be dead… I wouldn’t necessarily care if I was. He just could not understand it.

Man, that’s fucked up [laughs]. But look, let’s actually talk about some Silverstein stuff, now. Silverstein have been around much longer than Pierce The Veil, and you have a few more albums on them, so does it feel weird to be the “veteran” band but still be supporting in 2016?

Well no actually, we were already going to do a tour and Pierce The Veil’s shows were bigger. So we said that we’d gladly support them and it all turned out perfectly, even though none of

Right on. Will we be getting an appearance of ‘Silvertooth’, even if it’s just one song?

Well, I almost feel like I don’t want to talk about it. I’ll just say…no comment. This isn’t my first rodeo, man. 

Well, I think it’d be pretty cool to see either way. And if not for the main shows, maybe for a secret after party show….

Oh, I’m sure there is! I’ve forgotten that Australia is the land of the after party, I cannot wait.

As long as you dodge those lockout laws in some places. Pierce The Veil or not, maybe this tour is still a proof of concept for your own band’s success, that you can come back to Australia for what is easily your seventh or eighth time.  

Yeah, we consider ourselves very lucky, for one. But we all work very hard and we never stop touring or travelling. It’s tiring, but it pays off in the end. However, I am terrified for this flight to Australia, because it’s just so long and that upsets me. But as soon as I’ll get off the plane, it’ll be great and after 16 years of being a band, it’s awesome that we can still do that.

Of course! With travelling, I read your Music Feeds article, and Anthony Raneri from Bayside was telling me a couple weeks back that he does the strangest stuff on planes. Like, he’ll learn how to consistently say the alphabet backwards, just things that would never have practical use outside of a weird game show. Do you ever do things like that?

[Laughs] oh man, that’s a hilarious idea and it’s so, so Anthony! But no, I don’t. I just tend to get as drunk as I can while still being awake before the plane takes off so I can exist in a state of half-consciousness. But I still love food, so I need to be awake to eat their food, but I also don’t wanna remember any of it. It’s tricky.

Well, if you’re in the aisle seat and you’ve passed out from being too drunk, you could just leave a note on your face saying “Insert Food Here” so flight attendants can just place the food in your mouth and you’ll do the rest of the work. Maybe have like a small bag of money on your lap so they can take the necessary money out if need be.  

[Laughs] Now I am just picturing them shoving an ice cream sandwich, like a cassette tape into a VCR!

Oh man, that’d be one for Shane’s Snapchat! Back to Silverstein, do you guys look at the streaming data from Spotify and YouTube to help construct your live sets when touring in a particular part of the world?

This may shock you, but no, not at all! Just for the first time in our career, our record label sent us the data from our Spotify and Apple Music. That was about a week ago and that was the first time we had ever seen that. We have so many songs that it almost doesn’t matter as we have about ten songs that if we don’t play, people will get mad. There’s not much left up to chance after that, as we then just pick our favourites.

So does that ever feel…restrictive, knowing that there are some songs that you’ll always have to play? Like ‘Smashed Into Pieces’, ‘My Heroine, and ‘Smile In Your Sleep’, songs that the band is almost contractually obligated to play now? 

Yeah, it does a little bit, to be honest. When we headline, it’s not so bad as we’re playing longer headline shows now. So we can play 20 songs, and it’s a little better. But when we’re on Warped Tour, you only have 30 minutes, so it’s tough.

I suppose you could just do the Millencolin approach and just speed up your songs, you may get through a few more songs that way!

We have thought about doing that, actually. The best setlist we have ever done was a show we recently played here in Canada. We wrote down a bunch of our song names and put them in a hat and got the audience to pick them out before we played, so that was really interesting. But we stacked the deck a little bit, as we put multiple copies of certain songs in so that we had more chance of playing them.

Sneaky, I like it. With that method, you’d only want to put songs in that you knew that you could easily knock out.

Yeah, we only put in songs that we absolutely knew we could play if they were chosen. There are about 45 songs of ours that we don’t really have to rehearse anymore, songs that we just know fully. Everything else…is a bit of crap-shoot.

Well, 45 songs is a couple hours worth of music for the band, and I don’t think you’re playing sets that are that long. 

Yeah! If I ever have to play 45 songs in a row, then I want it to be literally the last thing I do before I die. That’s just too long!

For sure. Then you’ve got someone like Bruce Springsteen who plays these huge setlists, it’s crazy. 

I have a lot of respect for that guy. I mean, I don’t really like his music, but he is pretty old now and he can just play forever. How does he do it!? You know that scene from the Simpsons where they thaw Mr. Burns out? That’s what I picture it to be like.

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[Laughs] Well on the Simpsons references, you and Shane [Told, vocals] had a little convo about the show on the Lead Singer Syndrome podcast. As weird as this may sound, you had a really good voice for podcasting and radio shows. 

Oh, thank you. I’m gonna leak this to you now but Taylor [Lumley, Beartooth] and I are going to be starting a podcast together. We’ve been thinking about doing one for a while now. We actually plan to start recording it in Australia. So maybe people will have something to look forward…

Cool! Taylor’s a pretty chill guy! Do you guys have a working title for the name right now?

I don’t know if we have a name for it just yet. It’s going to be an advice giving show and people can call in and ask us questions about, love, life, music, the movie Transformers, and we’ll do our best to answer them. But our best won’t be very good…

Well, let’s try it now. How would you answer someone who calls in and asks which of the past four Transformers movie they should like the best? Do you tell them to simply like the one they like the best, or do you break it down more scientifically?

I would probably go somewhere in the middle. For that question, I would establish a set of criteria. Are you interested in special effects? Are you interested in big name actors? Do you prefer a certain iteration of Optimus Prime? If so, which one? Or alternatively, I might just say that they’re all bad and tell you to fuck off.

Another question you should consider is if this person is only familiar with the current live action movies or if they grew up with the animated TV shows. I think that could be a deciding factor.

See, that’s really important! Maybe Taylor’s fired and you’re in, man.

I’d be down for that. We could call it the “Alex and Paul Show” or just “The AP Show”. But then again…if people Google that they may just get something related to Alternative Press.

Oh yeah, we’d get steamrolled [laughs].

Probably! Well, we’ll have to leave it there, Paul, thanks very much for the chat today. It was a lot of fun. Hope the Australian tour goes well for you guys!

Absolutely dude, thanks for waking up early for this! See ya there.

Paul Marc Rousseau and his fellow cohorts in Silverstein are touring Australia next month alongside Storm The Sky, Beartooth, and headliners, Pierce The Veil. Dates below. 

EATONS HILL, BRISBANE
TUESDAY AUGUST 16 – All Ages

BIG TOP AT LUNA PARK, SYDNEY
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 17 – All Ages

THEBARTON THEATRE, ADELAIDE
THURSDAY AUGUST 18 – All Ages

170 RUSSELL, MELBOURNE
SATURDAY AUGUST 20 –  All Ages

170 RUSSELL, MELBOURNE
SUNDAY AUGUST 21   sold out! (18+)
*MONDAY AUGUST 22   new show! (18+)*

ASTOR THEATRE, PERTH
TUESDAY AUGUST 23 – All Ages

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