Interview by Jonathan Matthews
We had the chance to chat with Josh Bradford, guitarist of Canadian band Silverstein about their upcoming Australian tour. We chatted about songwriting, their most recent album Dead Reflection, and what else is coming up for the band.
SR. You guys have got a lot going on at the moment! You’ll be coming to Australia soon and hitting up pretty much every capital city. Are you looking forward to being over here?
Yeah man, absolutely! Going to Australia is always a treat for us, it doesn’t happen nearly enough. We’ve been there every two or three years since we started to tour internationally, so it’s about time for another visit. We’re looking forward to the weather over there. We’re meant to be coming into springtime over in Canada but the other day we had another huge dump of snow and ice, so winter’s not quite over yet. The weather’s pretty nasty here, so we’re looking forward to being there. I know it’s coming into winter over there, but Australian winter is much nicer than Canadian winter *laughs*
SR. Your new album has been out for nearly a year now, how’s it all going?
It’s been really well received, everyone seems to like it. From a critic point of view, we didn’t break the mould, it’s still classic Silverstein, but with a little bit of progress made. We’ve got some different tunings, different guitars on some of the songs, which I think adds a slightly different sound and tonality to some of the tracks. It’s just business as usual.
SR. What new tunings are you using?
It’s a bit of a funky one actually, I’d never heard of it before. We call it ‘BADGBE’, and basically the A sting through to High E are in standard tuning, but your low string is dropped all the way down to a B, rather than an E. We use six string guitars, but that tuning can almost sound like we’re using seven strings. It has that deepness to it. It’s a bit strange because the other strings are a bit higher than what we’re used to as well, it’s bright in the top end but has that low end underneath.
SR. Where did you come up with the name Silverstein?
That comes from way back, like eighteen years ago sitting in my parents basement playing guitar together and trying to think of a name. One of us looked over at the bookshelf, and one of the books happened to be a book of poetry by and author name Shell Silverstein. We just kind of liked the name, we thought it was cool and different. We played a couple of shows under it and it took off. It’s just a funny little coincidence really, just a book on the shelf. We’re lucky it was there or we never would have come up with that name.
SR. Have you got a favourite song off the new album to play live?
I have a couple that we’ve been playing in our set lately. Ghost came out before the record but it’s on the record as well, that’s one of them. It’s got a really crazy groove to it and I love playing it. I think my other favourite would have to be Whiplash, which is one of those that features the BADG tuning.
SR. Are you mostly going to be playing the newer songs when you’re over here, or are you giving the fans a bit of a mix?
We’ll definitely play a bit of a mix. One thing that is very important to us is to always play our old stuff as well, we’ve got a whole bunch of old tunes that people have grown up listening to and we don’t want to disappoint people by not playing them. We always have a bunch of old favourites in the mix. We’re really digging the new record so we’ll toss a few of those in as well.
SR. Are there any messages that you try to convey through your music?
I’d say that we deal with a lot of personal issues, relationships, mental and emotion hardships. I think the overarching theme over all of our music is the message of hope. Everybody goes through hard times, but there’s always a glimmer of hope, and when you push through to the other side you’re going to be alright.
SR. You’ve collaborated in the past with artists such as Lights and Anthony Raneri of Bayside, are you planning any collaborations with other artists in the near future?
I don’t think we have anything planned yet, there weren’t any guests on our most recent album, but you never know what’s on the horizon. We definitely had a lot of fun doing those collaborations, and had awesome results come out of them. You never know, I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
SR. How would you say the sound of this album has developed since the last one?
The different tuning is probably the most obvious change. This is the third record that we’ve made now since we had that line-up change with Paul Marc. I’d say the first record we made together, we were still kinda feeling it out, getting to know each other in a musical sense. The second record, we were a little more certain, but with this one we just went at it. We’ve been working together long enough now, we let him have free reign. He’s a fantastic songwriter and producer as well. I’d say that’s the most obvious difference I guess, his influence is all over it.
SR. Who has been your favourite band or artist that you’ve toured with over the years?
That’s tricky *laughs* Beartooth are definitely up there, they’re some of our best friends. We get silly when we’re together, we do this SilverTooth thing where we both go on stage at the same time. We swap songs and collaborate on other songs and just have a great time. August Burns Red are very close friends of ours, and we just did a tour with the band Tonight Alive.
Don’t miss Silverstein on their Australian tour with Comeback Kid!
Get your tickets at www.destroyalllines.