|“It's all about keeping it fresh” – on the road with SILVERSTEIN|
|Skriven av Bella Qvist|
|Skapad 2012-05-15 17:58|
Canadian emo rockers SILVERSTEIN recently finished their biggest European tour to date, visiting as many as eighteen countries. Whilst the band was still on the road, Critical Mass’ Bella Qvist got a quick chat with the humble bassist Billy Hamilton who spoke about their many hardcore fans, magical connections and making every day count.
Billy picks up the phone. He is in Malmö in the south of Sweden, hanging with his best friend Jana. Having started out in 2000, him and his band SILVERSTEIN have travelled the globe many a time and now Billy meets familiar faces wherever they go...
– When we get to see friends on the way, it makes it that much better. It kind of saves you from being homesick when you have little pieces of friends all over the world.
Billy speaks in a calm and cheerful manner and I can hear the wind blowing on the other side of the line. It is clear that Malmö isn’t their warmest stop on the tour.
Still, Billy is a big fan of the Noridc country.
– We haven’t been to Sweden in about four years now, so it was just a really nice, warm welcome back.
The fact that the band played their Stockholm show at legendary venue Klubben was extra special to the 28-year-old.
– It was the place we played the first time we were there and actually the last time we were there... It’s kind of good to go back somewhere even after four years and still recognise the surroundings and see how the area has developed with new shops and stuff.
In Norway, the band took the opportunity to meet up with old chum and BRING ME THE HORIZON guitarist, Jona [Weinhofen]. They got to know each other when they played together with Jona’s old band I KILLED THE PROM QUEEN in Australia in 2006.
– Jona’s been one of my best friends… We seem to cross paths quite a bit and we’ve stayed really close.
Visiting so many countries in such a short amount of time, do you get time to actually see the cities you play in?
– We had a really great day today in Gothenburg just walking around, getting some coffee, seeing some shops and taking photos and stuff so it’s been really lovely.
Do people recognise you when you’re walking around the streets?
SILVERSTEIN began their European tour in Russia.
– I don’t think that I ever dreamed that I would go there, let alone to […] go and play shows and, you know, experience the culture.
– The first show we played in St Petersburg, we had a tour guide that was friends with the promoter, who knew about all the history and all the buildings and monuments and statues and stuff and could tell us […] all this history about Russia.
– It’s just great as a tourist, you know?
How do you choose the countries you go to, do you ever consider politics and social circumstances?
– I mean, we tried to go back to Mexico quite a few times and it’s just been so much going on there both in the economy and […] there’s been some kind of dangerous climate there, so we haven’t been back.
– I think our goal as a band, we’ve been together for like thirteen years now, is just to try and go to as many places as possible.
– I think for me personally I love playing shows still and doing all the music and recording and everything like that. Because every time it’s about making it a new experience and not getting bored or still with what you’re doing. I know as far as creatively being able to do some stuff, I feel that has really helped us.
– We’ve put out this new short songs record and it’s been like a breath of fresh air for us in the writing department.
Billy of course refers to the mini-album with the suitable title “Short Songs”, released earlier this year.
– It’s really something that’s new and fresh for us and it’s really cool. But on a personal level, with touring, it’s all about making a day something new and exciting. Not like the show is going to be the same every day no matter what you see or what country you’re in or whatever.
– It’s just about getting that time to go out and to kind of see the culture and meet some people and try something new. Whether it be food […] or anything, you know. It’s all about keeping it fresh.
Do you tend to bring stuff with you from tour like memorabilia, souvenirs and stuff?
Some of your classic songs like “Smile in Your Sleep” and “My Heroine” have been important in my life. How do you feel performing them today, are you sick of them or do you still have the same feeling when you hear them, does it take you back?
– I mean, it certainly can become tiring playing the same songs every night but songs like those, like you say, they are really important songs to your life. When we get that reaction from the crowd, it’s kind of hard to deny [that] it is still a magical thing for us to see people that are really excited about our music, even after this long. With certain songs you can just kind of tell that people have a connection to them.
– I know we are just big fans of music and have songs in our lives that mean that much to us so it’s kind of hard for us to deny that but at the same time we have probably 75 or 80 songs. So it’s very easy for us to fill out the set with another ten and keep it fresh and not just play the same 15–20 songs every show but maybe play the same five and change the rest.
What songs are important to you?
When you play gigs today do you see the same kinds of people coming along that you did ten years ago?
– It’s been good to see people come up for the first time and say “oh hey I just got into you six months ago and it’s my first time seeing you” and then you’ve got them next to someone saying “this is the 15th time I’m seeing you” or “the 50th time I’m seeing you”, you know. We always have a big mix of that, and it’s always kind of cool to keep it fresh but also see the true fans grow with us.
Do you think the same people will be coming in ten years time? Will you still be around?
– We have a six month plan and then after that there is another six month plan and it just kind of keeps going and we don’t really have any plan to stop.
SILVERSTEIN are taking some well-deserved time off at home in Canada before they return out onto the road again. Australia, New Zealand and Asia are next for the group that clearly loves seeing friendly faces, old and new and all around the world.
Here a video of SILVERSTEIN trying beer in Prague. Billy wasn't lying when he said they like to check out their surroundings on tour.