Silverstein's influential album, Discovering The Waterfront turns 10 this year. The band is currently doing a highly successful anniversary tour of the record. We have commentary on the album from Shane Told himself. Enjoy the read and let us know your thoughts on Discovering The Waterfront ten years later.
How did you feel when the album came out?
This I cannot answer for certain, because the album doesn’t come out until May 19th… However, I can guess I’m going to be pretty dang excited for everyone to finally hear this thing!
Where do you think the album fits in the band's legacy?
I think it’s in line with our albums getting better and better as we’ve aged and mature. It’s nice to be able to honestly say this and have our track record back us up. A lot of bands on their 7th album can’t say that.
How the band approach writing?
We take every single song with a different approach. Each song is special and needs it’s own formula. Too many bands/artists/songwriters/etc try to use the same method on every song because it’s worked before. It’s a big mistake. Some songs can be written in 5 minutes, some take months, some need a wide variety of input and a lot of instrumentation and some don’t. The key is finding out what sort of song it is and then determining the best way to make it the best it can be.
What inspired the lyrics?
As I’ve gotten older I’ve kept my eyes open a lot more to the world around me. When I was younger I’d write more just about what was internally inside my head, my heart… now I can read a piece on the news and try to think of someone else’s internal feelings. I can write from their perspective more. So inspiration can come from things that directly happened to me, or very external thoughts, and often a combination.
What were your hopes and expectations for Discovering The Waterfront during the writing and recording process?
It was scary. For the first time I was writing words and music and songs that I knew people were going to actually pay attention to. I had heard of the dreaded “sophomore slump” and it was my goal to do everything I could to top our first record. Luckily it wasn’t that hard because our first album wasn’t that great.
When you were in the studio, how was the morale of the band?
We were just excited to be in California, working in real studios with a real producer. We really enjoyed every minute. We were excited to eat Chipotle (didn’t exist in Canada at that time) and get Jamba Juice (ditto) and be able to go to the beach on our days off. We were young and enjoying it. Really now I guess it’s the same vibe, just not as young.
When was the last time you listened to the record? Are there memories and emotions that come back?
I listened to it when we were going to start this tour. I had to relearn the songs, remember the little vocal nuances. It’s funny a couple of the songs sparked a bit of nostalgia, but less than I even expected. But once we went on tour and were playing them live, it really flooded in. Some night on the tour have been extremely emotional.
What do you remember most about making the album?
I remember in the apartment we stayed at there were only 2 rooms with 2 single beds in one and a double in the other. Since there were 5 of us, I volunteered to sleep on the rollaway bed. It actually fit in a walk-in closet we had, so I literally lived in a closet for 2 months making the record. It kept me isolated and felt pretty weird but I wrote some great lyrics in there. Then I just remember feeling like we were living the dream in Southern California. It was freezing back home and we were eating lunch outside, and recording at the Capitol Records building. Bon Jovi was fucking recording next door. It was very surreal and I think we thought we were in over our heads. But that helped us perform to our best ability as well.
What sort of place was your life in when the album came out?
I was really just trying to get used to the whole rock’n’roll touring thing. I didn’t know how I was supposed to act towards fans and all that. I guess I still don’t really know. But at the time our success was new and it was weird. I didn’t know how to be in a relationship and also be on the road. I didn’t know what I was supposed to say or do in the media. Again, I guess I still don’t really know.
Did you ever expect the album to have the influence it did?
Absolutely not. Back in those days hardcore bands usually put out 2 records and broke up. There were a few exceptions but I didn’t think this was going to be a career for us let alone would this be a record that would still resonate with people 10 years later. I’m very proud that it is though, because it is a real record, and we worked so hard on it and I really poured my whole being into it.
Do you remember what you were listening to at the time?
Armor For Sleep, Hot Water Music, Emanuel, Strike Anywhere, Grade, The Movielife, Emery, and Pedro The Lion.
Is there anything about the album you'd change?
Not a single note. I said it after the record was done, a year later, 5 years later, and today.