ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Silverstein Stop! Don't slit your
By Nicole D'Cruz
Gazette File Photo
THEIR SIDEWALK END? Hopefully Silverstein's terribly
sad expressions aren't foreshadowing their future.
Watch out for those cracks!
The famed author Shel Silverstein once said: "I will not play
tug o' war. I'd rather play hug o' war."
A band from Southern Ontario, who named themselves after the
author, scream: "I'll slit my throat with the knife I pulled
out of my spine." See the influence? It might be hard, but
Silverstein (the band) look up to Silverstein (the author)
because he was "unique and controversial," says drummer Paul
Koelher. "We also try to be unique."
Unique is definitely one word to describe them. Formed in
2000, Silverstein started as a side project for the group members.
Involved in bands ranging from hardcore to ska, members got
together to try something new and create something a little
different. What listeners are given is a medley of hardcore,
ska, punk and emo.
"We started out by modelling [ourselves after] the bands we
love, but we don't sound like that anymore. I don't know where
we are now," Koelher remarks. Silverstein won't put themselves
into a particular genre but Koelher defines the band as "kids
who [have taken] the ups and downs of life and put them to
a soundtrack of music."
Silverstein doesn't feel pressure from their label, Victory
Records, to constantly define themselves. Nor are they told
to change their style to suit mainstream radio. "Our label
tells us to do whatever the hell we want," Koelher says. "[Silverstein
and Victory] don't want records we don't enjoy."
While they may not change their style for it, are Silverstein
happy about hearing bands in their genres getting airplay on
Muchmusic and mainstream radio? "Absolutely," Koelher says. "It
is really positive to turn on the radio and actually like a
quarter of the songs they play." Although Silverstein will
not succumb to outside pressure in order to achieve fame, Koelher
says their "number one goal is to be a household name. A name
that people recognize."
Will they use their fame for good or evil? "Hopefully good," Koelher
says. "Unless there are some drug addictions€ " he trails off. "Just
kidding!" However, the band will not use their fame to be political.
While Koelher admits there is a time and a place for political
views, Silverstein want to create music you can sit down and
relax to. "All day we are being told what to do and what to
think. Music should be an escape from being told what to do." Koehler
can't predict where the band will be in five or 10 years. "The
genre might fade out, but we hope before then we will have
achieved some good success."
So what can we expect from Silverstein in the near future? "We
just want to stay happy and keep making music that we would
buy and enjoy," Koelher answers. Let's hope fans continue to
respond in similar fashion.