The Silent Comedy
THE awesome band The Silent Comedy…
have been talking about their approaching album, Enemies Multiply, and what sort of themes are investigated throughout; why there was a slight gap since their last release and which musicians are inspiring to them.
I was eager to know how the band got together and how their sound has evolved since the very start; if there are any gigs booked in the diary; whether there are any rising artists we need to be aware of – they provide some useful advice for newcomers in music.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
We’re doing well, thank you!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
The core members of The Silent Comedy are Joshua Zimmerman (Vocals, Bass), Jeremiah Zimmerman (Vocals, Keys, Guitar); Justin Buchanan (Banjo, Mandolin, Guitar) and Chad Lee (Drums).
How did The Silent Comedy get together and find one another?
The development of the band, and its line-up, was a process of evolution over years. Obviously, Jeremiah and I are brothers so we met pretty early on. Justin is the only other member that was there at the very beginning of The Silent Comedy. We met him through some mutual friends when we were in high-school. Chad is our cousin and the newest member. We had several drummers over the years before he started playing with us.
Enemies Multiply is your forthcoming album. What can you say about the themes explored and the influences in the songs?
Enemies Multiply explores the feelings of dealing with hardship and adversity in life. The songs are anthems of frustration, anger and despair. We get influence and inspiration from our personal experiences as well as what we see in the world around us. Societal themes of our time from Brexit in the U.K., Donald Trump in the U.S.A. and the rise of dictators around the world mirror some of the upheaval and chaos that we experience in our own personal lives. The songs of this album track that narrative arc.
This is your first album in eight years. Was there a reason behind the gap?
It is actually our first release in five years. There are a number of reasons for the gap that would take a while to explain but a quick version is that we have all gotten caught up in other artistic pursuits and our own lives. We toured hard for a number of years and also needed a break from the road. It feels good to revisit the band after taking a step away.
In terms of music; what did you all grow up around and idolise when young?
Jeremiah and I were raised on the Folk music of the sixties - Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel; Cat Stevens etc. We were also introduced to the roots of Blues music through ‘field songs’ and ‘spirituals’ that were sung by slaves in the American South. Traces of these influences can still be found in our music now.
How do you think you have developed and evolved since the start of your career?
Our sound has changed pretty drastically over the years. We were a more folky, acoustic act in the beginning. Over years of touring, we added a lot of the Rock influences that we love and the sound became a mixture of both. This album is considerably less Folk-oriented than we have been in the past. It’s a better representation of what our live show has developed into. We still write the softer acoustic songs, but we don’t play them live as often.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
Releasing Enemies Multiply is our focus right now. We really want people to have access to this album because it means a lot to us. We’ll be doing a few release shows in California, then looking to do some more performing in 2019.
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Two show memories are particular stick with me over the years. We played KOKO in London with our good buddies The Heavy in 2013. That whole tour was amazing but that show was amazing! Another one was playing Wrex the Halls holiday show in our hometown of San Diego with Queens of the Stone Age, Cage The Elephant and Vampire Weekend.
Which one album means the most to each of you would you say (and why)?
That’s a really tough question! I don’t know if I could choose just one. Different albums are perfect for different times and moods…when it comes to the impact a single album has had on me then In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel may be the one!
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
I have always wanted to play with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. That would be an amazing experience!
As far as riders go; our rider is pretty simple. Just some food and beverages make us happy. Nothing crazy!
Can we see you on the road this year at all?
We have several shows in California to celebrate the release of the new album. San Diego on October 13th and 19th and L.A. on October 18th.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
I would tell aspiring artists to really analyse what they truly want out of an artist’s life and what sacrifices that will require. It isn’t an easy life and I think a lot of people pursue it with unrealistic expectations.
IN THIS PHOTO: Benjamin Booker
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
There is a guy named Benjamin Booker that I am really digging right now. He has a song called Slow Coming that has just gotten under my skin. I usually listen to it at least once a day.
Do you all get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
We all have very busy lives outside of music. A couple of the guys had children recently; I am constantly traveling shooting and directing projects for television - so we don’t get very much chill time. When we do, we all have different activities to unwind. I like to go to my house in the forest in upstate New York and spend time in nature.
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
I would have to say Slow Coming by Benjamin Booker since I mentioned that before!
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