Contributor’s Note: I must warn you, this is one of our more heavier interviews that we have done. Here at Madness To Creation, we believe in taking the issue of mental health extremely seriously, and we want to commend Speed of Silvertung to come forward about his issues with anxiety and depression. The fight should never been a lonely fight, we need to link arms so to speak and remember to be that beacon of light for someone else. In this interview, Silvertung talks about their amazing album “But..At What Cost”, along with our personal favorite track off of the album entitled “World Gone Mad”. Fans can find Silvertung at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: What are you up to this evening Speed?
Speed: Just sitting here jamming!
Madness To Creation: What are you jamming out to?
Speed: Just new chords.
Madness To Creation: What is your approach when you enter the studio with the guitar?
Speed: Usually, I just pick out chords that I usually don’t play, and a lot of times I find new arrangements that I can use, that’s where it comes from, just sitting down and just jamming.
Madness To Creation: Was that the mindset that Silvertung had when you all wrote and created the album “But…At What Cost”, which was released this past February?
Speed: Well, we wanted to challenge ourselves with this last album, what we did was we just had a ton of ideas and we got with our producer Steven Wright, we just wanted to come in with the best ideas that we can all agree on, and then kind of grow the songs in the studio, that’s pretty much how we did all of “But..At What Cost?”, which is ironic because it costs more to do it that way, so we just decided to do a different idea, not just challenge ourselves as writers, but we also wanted to record differently, to tear them down and rebuild them, and we just wanted to get a different vibe, we wanted to feel different than what we have in the past, when we started recording, we went with the idea in the studio to start laying down the guitar tracks, and then we can just start building part by part, in order to start coming out with different arrangements. Then, once we got all of the music completed, then it was time to start writing the lyrics and the melodies, I’ve never written that way to where it’s all the music is done, and then I go back in to write all of the lyrics and melodies, so that was really the challenge for me. I think the whole recording session really challenged everyone to become better writers.
Madness To Creation: We reviewed “But…At What Cost?” and we gave it a 9 out of 10 stars for the review. It’s an absolute rocker of an album. I want to get into the song that’s a personal favorite of mine called “World Gone Mad”. It’s the song that gets me started when I do my workouts. Can you take us into that song and I hope Silvertung plans on releasing it as a single because I have this feeling that it would shoot up the charts.
Speed: It’s funny that you said that because that’s a lot of our fans favorite song on the album. Thank you for working out to that song, I work out to this album as well, but for “World Gone Mad”, it almost hit a lot of people right away. During this time, we sat our friends, our colleagues and a lot of our friends in bands in a room, and we were letting everybody hear the new album and everybody was like, “oh my God, “World Gone Mad”, that’s it, that’s it, that’s the hit”, and none of us really looked at it as the first single. Honestly, my choice was “Dodging Bullets”, but everyone else agreed on “Done My Best”, but we still hear everyone saying “World Gone Mad” “World Gone Mad”. Writing that song was very interesting, at the time when we wrote the music, I didn’t want to write to the music, I wanted to write around the music, so at the time when we started to write the lyrics, there were a lot of political things going on, there was a lot of news going on at the time, this song has veered me from watching the news to be honest with you, as I was watching all of this horrible stuff on the television, and I was like, “there is nothing that’s positive”, and all that I was thinking was, “has the world seriously gone mad”, and I guess just being into all of that, it just kind of jarred me to start writing, and hearing it from certain friends of ours, and now we’re kind of veering away from standard television, now everything on the news is negative, it almost feels like we’re standing alone, but at some point, we got to try to change this, there’s gotta be a better way, but in my eyes what I’m seeing is that the world has gone mad, it’s all crazy and there’s so much stuff that’s happening. When I started writing it, I just wrote it as an extent of our own person, but I also know that there’s a lot of people that feel the same way that I do, but I kind of wrote it as “am I the only one that’s seeing this, I need to make a difference”, but it’s about coming together to help make a difference, that’s where the whole vibe came from.
Madness To Creation: Based on that song, if you got elected President of the United States for one day, what would you change?
Speed: I would make it “International Hug Day”, where you had to hug everybody! *laughs* On that day, everybody has to be nice to each other or you go to jail. *laughs* Maybe not that simplistic, but something where you got to change the mindsets of everyone, everybody is so against each other, maybe when aliens visit us and realize that we’re not the only superior beings, maybe we would just shut up and become a little bit more humble
Madness To Creation: Since you brought up aliens, does your band plan on invading Area 51?
Speed: The funny thing is that we were joking about this on a lot of different aspects, we’ve been telling everybody that we’ll open the show and we’ll be the band playing, but that’s some crazy stuff, I mean what do these people think that they’re not going to get shot?
Madness To Creation: Crazy right? I mean it’s a military installation, they’re trained that if there’s trespassers to shoot the trespassers.
Speed: Exactly! They’re not going to be like, “go ahead and please turn around”, they’re going to shoot you. At the start of the tour, that’s when we first heard about this.
Madness To Creation: How did Silvertung’s tour go overall?
Speed: We spent several weeks out in the Midwest, and I gotta be honest with you, not that the East Coast has any less rock bands, but they were just open arms to us, we didn’t know what to expect, there was a lot of places that we’ve never been to, and there was a lot of cities and states that we never go to, but our songs are being played in that area, therefore we have that option. It’s funny, over in Minnesota, there’s this thing called “Minnesota Nice”, and it’s completely 100% true, everybody there are just the nicest people, it makes you wonder if everyone is high, but that’s great, that makes them more nice. It was just fantastic and it was on the first leg, and we had to come home because we had to put the bus in the shop, the bus needed some TLC.
Madness To Creation: What was the most challenging thing on the tour?
Speed: I think the most challenging was that we’re used to playing 90 minute sets, that would be us going out and playing 45 minute sets, sometimes an hour, I think that’s the biggest challenge for us, you want to continue to keep playing more but you only have this time frame, that’s probably the biggest challenge for us is not being able to play everything that we want to. We’re still supporting the album, but there’s so many other cuts from the last album that people still want to hear, there were people that have seen Silvertung live and they were calling out songs, and we were like, “okay, let’s play that then”, but then we realized that we only had 45 minutes, so the biggest challenge for us was not being able to play all of the songs that we wanted to.
Madness To Creation: Let’s say your set was cut short and Silvertung could only play one song on your set, what song would that be?
Speed: It would have to be “Done My Best”, which is the single, personally I think everybody in the band would have a different take on this one, we also have a song on the album called “Wise Up”, and it’s one of my favorite, I think it’s a hidden gem, it’s one that’s just going to come at you, it may be one of those B-side fan favorites like it is for me, but that would have to be one that I would really love playing, but if you ask of the other band members, I guarantee one of them would say “World Gone Mad”, speaking for the drummer Danno, he would probably say “You’re Fine”, Sam our bassist, would probably say “Dodging Bullets”, “Black Sunset” is also one of those hidden gems, if you ask me, man it’s so hard to just pick one song.
Madness To Creation: I can’t imagine how tough of a decision that would be. We focus on mental health awareness here at Madness To Creation, when I say the words “mental health awareness”, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?
Speed: When I think of it, I think of anxiety, depression, suicide, people that deal with those different type of things, that’s what I think of when I first hear it, ironically enough that’s what the song “You’re Fine” is about. If you listen to the lyrics, it talks about someone that has gone through troubled times, but at the end of the day, you’re going to be okay, the lyrics go, “you’re fine/you’re fine/it’s only in your mind, the pain is real, but you’ll survive”.
Madness To Creation: Do you ever have fans come up to you after a Silvertung concert that say, “that song helped me get through some serious stuff”?
Speed: Not only that song, but a song on our last album called “Never Too Late”, we’ve had many, many fans come up to us and say, “this song helped me get through my depression, it stopped me from committing suicide”. We’ve had fans that would bring us letters at the show and we’ve sat backstage with fans crying with them because it was a very emotional moment, and they’re extremely happy from giving some of themselves to us. To realize that your lyrics and your music has impacted someone like that, it’s an incredible feeling, but it also makes you realize that people are listening, they’re hearing what you’re saying, and in some ways you need to be careful, in other ways, you need to be free to speak, there are some great fine lines to follow in there, when we write, we try to be very positive on everything, we try to always look at the positive side, but “Never Too Late” has been the song that has brought people to the forefront with people telling us, “I didn’t commit suicide because of this song”.
Madness To Creation: Wow. That about got me choked up, and hope that this will provide encouragement to our readers. What advice do you have for people going through those heavy and difficult times in their life?
Speed: Definitely speak with someone that has a more positive attitude and surround yourself with those kind of people, the more you get away from the negativity, the better off that you are. Sometimes speaking to counselors is great, sometimes it’s not, it doesn’t help everyone, everyone has to battle that with a different approach, myself I continue to deal with depression and anxiety and things like that. I battle that every single day, and my music is what gets me through, when I believe that there’s always something for everyone to help them get through, whether that be positive people, friends, family members, it could be music or taking care of other people, it makes you feel that much better about you, and I think that’s really one of the biggest things is understanding yourself and pushing yourself to be at that positivity level, it’s tough when you deal with so many different things. Like I said, I for one totally understand it, I deal with it every single day.
Madness To Creation: Linkin Park and Killswitch Engage are my go-to artists to help me get through, how about for you Speed?
Speed: Skillet is one, I love listening to their music, there’s an extremely powerful message behind all of that, even bands like Disturbed, there’s a lot of hidden messages inside, I don’t know if they do it purposely, but I get a different take than what David Draiman wrote it for, but I get a different outtake on what they’re singing about. Those two bands along with Godsmack, are definitely bands I can’t live without, along with Three Days Grace, it gets very very deep, it’s not just that surface music that everyone thinks it is, it’s really really not.
Madness To Creation: What’s next for Silvertung?
Speed: We’re doing a lot of touring, and we’re getting ready to go up to Canada for the first time, we’re just getting ready to spread the love. That’s the biggest thing for us this year because we’ll get to go to new places and get to meet new people, there’s so many cities and places that we have not been to now that we’re finally getting that chance now that radio is spread out enough to go to these places and meet these people. That’s one of the most exciting things for us on tour is when you get to the venue and you perform your set is when you go to that merch table and you just can’t wait to talk to people and you want to get their input, and a lot of times we get this great opportunity to hear about peoples’ lives. A lot of people don’t realize this, but that helps us and inspires us to write other songs like, they’re telling us their life story, and have these great conversations with people that don’t even know who we are but they feel comfortable enough to share that moment with us, and that’s the biggest thing with us, it’s not about the money, anybody can bring the money for the cover charge, it’s about that time that we get to spend together, that’s OUR time together, you’ll get that money back later, but you won’t get this moment back, so let’s make the best of this moment.
And there you have it! Silvertung has a handful of gigs coming up. Check out the dates below:
Thu. 9/19- HMAC Stage on Herr in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Fri. 9/20- Adelphia Music Hall in Marrieta, Ohio (w/Bobaflex and City Of The Weak)
Sat. 9/21- The Citadel Music Hall in Indianapolis, Indiana (w/Bobaflex and City Of The Weak)
For tickets and further information on any of the gigs listed above, click here.