Belle Haven bassist Tom Mitchell and vocalist David De La Hoz give us the lowdown on their respective love & personal history with Silverstein & Comeback Kid before the Melbourne band supports the Canadian duo on tour around Australia this May.
As for David and his relationship with Silverstein, the origin story is a little bit muddy now in 2018 but he knows that the first release of theirs he heard in full was the key record that put the then Victory Records-signed Canadian group on the map: 2004’s ‘Discovering The Waterfront‘.
“The first Silverstein record I heard was ‘Discovering The Waterfront’, but I’m not entirely sure how I got onto them. I know Christopher [his brother] used to listen to them a lot too, he might have recommended them to me. But I know I loved it. The druggggssss beginnnn to peeeaaakkkk!”
“They maybe weren’t a huge influence musically, but Silverstein was one of the bands that made Christopher want to start an alternative band and made me want to be in an alternative band”, he continues. “Definitely a big inspiration for us.”
“Up until last year, I would have still said ‘Discovering The Waterfront’ was my favourite, but I do really love ‘Dead Reflection’. Such a great record. It has such a great pace and energy, but my favourite thing about it is how catchy the choruses are. Sign me up for singing along every night of our tour.”
While David’s favourite Silverstein track is by far ‘The Afterglow‘ – taken from 2017’s ‘Dead Reflection‘ – when it comes down to what he said about looking forward to singing along to their music each night on the tour, that still goes on now actually.
“I definitely used to sing to Silverstein in the car on the way to rehearsal. In fact, I still do on occasion.”
When it comes to this month’s tour around Australia – a joint tour package of which Belle Haven is a fitting inclusion on – what is the vocalist most excited to see these Canadian’s perform live?
“Honestly, anything from ‘Dead Reflection’ will have me hyped. But I’d love to see ‘My Heroin’ and ‘Smile In Your Sleep’ live, too!”
Silverstein was also a gateway band for the Belle Haven frontman, as he recalls getting into other similar bands like Scary Kids Scaring Kids and Senses Fail by getting into Silverstein. Though to him, this is just one special aspect of the Canadian alternative group.
“There are a lot of things that make Silverstein a special band, but something that I really love about them is their ability to renew and reinvent themselves musically. To be able to keep it fresh but still sound like the same band. I mean, I’d say I’ve been listening to Silverstein since probably around 2009 or 2010, and yet in 2017 they released what’s now my favourite Silverstein record. I think that’s pretty cool.”
That’s actually the one thing I personally think has kept Silverstein somewhat relevant over the years as their peers fall by the wayside: the band reinventing themselves in various ways on each new record. Now, if David could have his wish about which Belle Haven song could be joined with the vocals of Shane Told, it’d have the opening jam from their latest record, ‘You, Me & Everything In Between‘.
“Good question. I’d probably have Shane on ‘You’. I feel like the pace and melodies would suit his voice really well. A man can dream, right?”
That’s the personal history for David and Silverstein, but what about Belle Haven bassist Tom Mitchell with regards to the other band on this Australian May bill, hardcore legends Comeback Kid?
“When I was 16 I got a Victory Records compilation CD which featured the song and music video for ‘Wake the Dead’ from their sophomore album ‘Wake the Dead’”, recalls Tom.
“I played it on repeat for months as it’s was my first time hearing really moody melodic guitars in punk music. It just seemed to resonate with exactly what I was wanting to hear as an angsty teen at the time. Without a doubt, along with the likes of Sick of it All and Cancer Bats they were one of the bands that linked punk rock to the more darker heavier sounds that I got into as a teenager”
This is something that struck my teen years as well – being a teenager getting a Victory Records compilation release packaged in with one of their releases and discovering so many new bands; Comeback Kid and the classic ‘Wake The Dead‘ being a similar gateway moment for me just like Tom’s own experience.
However, going beyond Comeback Kid’s fan-fave 2005 record, the bassist’s go-to release from this band is, perhaps controversially for some die-hard fans out there, the group’s follow-up release: 2007’s solid but sadly sorely underrated LP, ‘Broadcasting‘.
“Definitely ‘Broadcasting’”, states Tom.
“It’s a 10/10 post-hardcore/punk record to me. It’s has a strong message of media control and influence and the invasion of privacy. The production is aggressive yet crystal clear and each song on that album stands strong on its own. ‘Industry Standards’, the 5th track off ‘Broadcasting’, that middle section gets me every time!”
Me too, mate, me too.
While the Canadian’s band music played a large role on Tom and his musical tastes, the bassist admits that perhaps some subconscious influence and inspiration may have been pulled over from the Canadian hardcore act into his own band.
“Although our sound is a little different to Comeback Kid, I’d say that their energy and tempo would have played a bit of a subconscious influence in some of our music.”
As for why he thinks that CBK are such a special band for the hardcore and himself as an individual, he says that that’s all in the eye of the beholder, but he does have his own thoughts on the matter.
“For me, I managed to find them at the time when I was looking to find that sort of music and their particular sound just resonated with me more than a lot of the bands I was listening to previously.”
Now, just as how David had his pick for a Belle Haven/Silverstein collab, Tom also has his in mind what song of theirs he’d love to see Comeback Kid frontman and all-around good dude, Andrew Neufeld, provide a guest spot on.
‘Hunt For Health’ from our debut album, ‘Everything Ablaze’ – that would just be damn huge!”
Yes, it would be, so let’s hope something of that manner happens later this month when the tour rolls around Australia.
Catch Belle Haven performing with Silverstein & Comeback Kid this May on the following dates. All tickets here.
Monday 14th, May – Amplifier Bar
Tuesday 15th, May – Fowlers Live
Wednesday 16th, May – 170 Russell
Friday 18th, May – Manning Bar
Saturday 19th, May – The Cambridge Hotel
Sunday 20th, May – The Triffid