Tongues of Silver, Wills of Steel: An Interview with Silver Story
After just one listen to Silver Story’s latest album, Cold Street Lights, I knew I was a fan. Why? It was impossible not to be. They’re fresh, yet also strangely familiar – it was as if I’d been listening to them all my life. This is no doubt due to their diverse range of influences; from grunge to hard rock to pop-punk, they’ve listened to – and drawn from – them all. Their sound is reminiscent of many old favourites with the new material featuring hooks and rhythms comparable to the likes of Linkin Park and You Me At Six. However, the originality of their work shines through, as Silver Story write and record with a subtle refinement and maturity that perhaps only comes with experience.
They are a band utterly dedicated to their art, a trait made most obvious through their adamant refusal to sacrifice their vision for any price. This is perhaps the reason they are, as yet, relatively small on the alternative music scene – but this is also the very reason they deserve to succeed. They are four guys with serious integrity: something for which they should be respected. Cold Street Lights is the perfect showcase of their organic, unrestricted talent and creativity. It’s an album which seems universally relatable and, at the same time, deeply personal. Here, Silver Story’s vocalist Alex McCabe discusses sources of inspiration, adversity and life on tour.
Ellipsis: I’ve heard that you take inspiration from a pool of genres. Which ones inspire you the most?
Alex: It may not seem this way when you listen to the music, but we are heavily influenced by the likes of Nirvana, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, System Of A Down and Blink 182. They are pretty much the first bands we started listening to and they inspired me a lot on a personal level.
Ellipsis: What made you start the band?
Alex: I kind of stumbled across it. I was just getting into rock music and the drummer, Gaz, was playing in another band at the time. We just all ended up jamming and decided we liked the sound and wanted to carry on. It was all a bit random to start off with, but we soon found our feet!
Ellipsis: Listening to your (AMAZING) album, Cold Street Lights, I was reminded a little of bands such as Sum 41, You Me At Six, and Our Lady Peace, as well as a few others. Are you influenced by any particular artists?
Alex: Thanks! Yes, you are correct there, also bands such as Blink 182, Linkin Park, and Foo Fighters to name a few.
Ellipsis: Do you ever find that you have to compromise your creative control when recording and producing?
Alex: No we never do that; we will never do that. We’ve turned down some big opportunities in the past because we won’t relent creative control. The way we see it if you can’t enjoy yourself what’s the point?
Ellipsis: Are there any artists or producers with whom you’d like to collaborate?
Alex: Yes, there are quite a few producers who we’d be interested in working with. In terms of artists there are hundreds, we would be here all day talking about that!
Ellipsis: What’s the best gig you’ve ever attended?
Alex: It was actually this year, funnily enough, Muse at Download Festival. They were absolutely unreal!
Ellipsis: “Silver Story” has always made me think of fairy tales. How did you come up with the band name?
Alex: The “Story” part comes from the fact that we try to tell stories with the lyrics that people can relate to, but which also allow them to put to use their own imagination and perception. This way the lyrics translate to whatever the listeners want or need them to mean. The “Silver” part is completely random, one of us suggested it one time whilst drunk, and we just went with it.
Ellipsis: Many of the songs from your latest album seem to explore the complexity of human emotions. Run, for example, seems to be about some kind of betrayal within a relationship. Are there personal stories behind these tracks? Do you generally write from experience?
Alex: I write from experience but also from observation. Run isn’t actually a personal track, betrayal is merely something I have observed quite frequently and ended up writing about. There are a few tracks like that. Others, however, are quite personal; for example, My Empire is a song I wrote after my grandmother passed away and it is very close to my heart.
Ellipsis: Do you consider Cold Street Lights to be a concept album? What inspired its title?
Alex: The title is actually from a line in the second track, I’m Not A Hero, which is going to be our next single: ‘I found you one night lying under cold street lights.’ The album is intended to tell a story and hopefully people get it.
Ellipsis: You’re currently in the midst of your 2015 UK tour, which hits Liverpool in August. What do you enjoy about being on tour?
Alex: We love being on tour. We like meeting like minded people who like our music. Plus, it’s lots of fun, and we get to see lots of different cities in the process!
Ellipsis: Do you have any favourite fan stories?
Alex: We played in Camden, London back in 2014 and some fans came all the way from Germany to see us! That was pretty cool.
Ellipsis: What’s the most difficult thing about being in a band? What advice can you give to other bands dealing with similar issues?
Alex: It’s the fact that hardly anyone pays for music anymore, so it’s hard to make a living. I would advise anyone (not just musicians) to go with your heart and just do what you enjoy doing. Life is short.
Hear more from Silver Story: The band’s latest album, Cold Street Lights, is available from iTunes. You can also listen to selected tracks on Youtube and bandcamp. Keep up with Silver Story via Twitter: @SilverStory.
Catch the band live at Magnet, Liverpool, on the 15th August. Other upcoming 2015 tour dates are: 3rd July at The Greystones, Sheffield; 11th July at The Dragonffli, Wales (Pontypool); 18th July at The Scream Lounge, London; 25th July at The Lord Roberts, Nottingham; 8th August at Retro Bar, Manchester, 12th September at The Actress and Bishop, Birmingham; and 26th September at The Lounge, St. Helens.
(Featured image credit: Taken from bandcamp).